Rick Hanson, PhD began meditating in 1974 and has practiced in several traditions. A neuropsychologist, writer, and teacher, he co-founded the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom (see www.WiseBrain.org) and edits the Wise Brain Bulletin. First author of Mother Nurture (Penguin, 2002), he has authored the books Hardwiring Happiness (New York Times best-selling author), Buddha's Brain and Just One Thing. He started sitting at Spirit Rock in 1993 and served a nine-year term on its Board. A graduate of the Community Dharma Leader training program, he leads a weekly meditation group in San Rafael.
In his newest book, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, Dr. Rick Hanson explains how the mind shapes the brain: neurons that fire together, wire together. Positive experiences are the main source of the neural structures underlying motivation, self-worth, the executive functions, good mood, kindness, resilience, and other inner strengths. Unfortunately, most positive experiences are wasted on the brain because it evolved a negativity bias to help our ancestors survive. It’s like Velcro for bad experiences but Teflon for good ones. To solve this problem, this talk will present the four simple HEAL steps of taking in the good, which turn passing experiences into lasting neural resources. We’ll explore how to use these methods to build confidence, focus attention, lower anxiety, and fundamentally, hardwire happiness into the brain.