The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Practice

The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Practice

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Research has shown that mindfulness can help us self-regulate our moods and thoughts, become more resilient in the face of stress and challenges, make us more productive and effective, and restore a sense of calm and balance in our lives. But why and how does mindfulness work? What happens in our minds, brains, and bodies when we practice it?

Although it is not necessary to know how our brain changes with mindfulness practice to ‘get’ mindfulness experientially and benefit from it in daily life, an understanding of its neural mechanisms can aid our practice development and strengthen our motivation to practice.

This one-day workshop will explore the neural dynamics of a mindful brain, blending conceptual learning with experiential exercises. Specifically, we will look at three main mind modes: mindless emoting, conceptualising/doing, and mindfulness/being, and differentiate between them neurally and experientially. We will also explore the relationship between mindfulness and compassion, as well as compare empathy and compassion on the neural and experiential levels.

What we will learn:

  • The neural dynamics of three mind modes and what they ‘feel like’;
  • The effects of mindfulness practice on brain’s structure; and
  • The neural and experiential differences between empathy and compassion.

The workshop is suitable for those who are considering enrolling on an 8-week mindfulness course, as well as experienced mindfulness practitioners. No prior knowledge of neuroscience is required.