In this episode, taken from the Buddhist Geeks Conference in 2011, Kelly McGonigal, PhD in Health Psychology, speaks on how the neuroscience of meditation can help us understand how practice shapes the mind and can also offer fresh insights into concepts like mindfulness and suffering. As Dr. McGonigal presents various scientific studies that show differences in the brain functioning between meditators and non-meditators, she highlights how meditation practice benefits the practitioner in various ways such as higher pain thresholds and reduced depression.
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Leading game designer Jane McGonigal joins guest host Rohan Gunatillake to explore the relationship between games and well-being, and see what clues they might hold for the future of Buddhist practice. Jane starts with a surprising disclose: she is a meditation practitioner and has been studying Buddhism for the last 5 years, since she was a grad student in Berkley. She explains how her work with game design and development ties in with her interest in meditation, explaining the strong overlap between the positive qualities cultivated through good games, and those cultivation through mental training.
Rohan proposes that the Buddha’s own story could be likened to a type of epic video game, and building off of that discusses the likelihood of being able to design a game that actively cultivates the 7 factors of awakening—a classic Buddhist list on the qualities that lead to enlightenment. Jane speaks about enlightenment as an “epic win” and maintains that gaming has the very real potential to cultivate the factors of awakening.
In this episode we examine the nature and meaning of Buddhism. Buddhism is a religion started by the Buddha that teaches a philosophy and a way of life that frees one from attachment and thereby frees one from suffering. The older term for Buddhism is the Buddha Dharma.
Podcast Outline Introduction A. What does the term Buddhism mean? B. There are many ways to understand Buddhism. C. Buddhism can also be divided into its three vehicles or branches. Conclusion
We talk about the science of will power with Dr. Kelly Mcgonigal.