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Join clinician and author Lisa Dale Miller at the leading edge of integrative mental health! We deliver thoughtful dialogues with innovative clinicians, researchers and contemplatives that unite health science research and profound wisdom traditions, inform about somatic psychotherapies and Buddhist psychology, and we do it all with big dose of intelligence, clarity, curiosity and openheartedness.


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Join clinician and author Lisa Dale Miller at the leading edge of integrative mental health! We deliver thoughtful dialogues with innovative clinicians, researchers and contemplatives that unite health science research and profound wisdom traditions, inform about somatic psychotherapies and Buddhist psychology, and we do it all with big dose of intelligence, clarity, curiosity and openheartedness.



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Awakened Heartmind

Lisa Dale Miller starts this episode with an explanation of why the Groundless Ground Podcast has been on hiatus for the last year. Then the episode presents a dharma talk Lisa gave at Marin Sangha one month ago. Her talk is a reminder that every moment is an invitation to decrease the mass of human suffering by seeding the world with at least one more quiescent, wise, and compassionate mind committed to non-harming. Lisa explicates why cultivation of Bodhicitta is the ultimate path to accomplishing that aim, right in the midst of ordinary daily life. Longchenpa's Finding Rest in the Nature of Mind Lisa Dale Miller, LMFT, LPCC, SEP specializes in working with high-performing professionals (engineers, scientists, executives, physicians/psychologists, first responders) struggling with unresolved traumatic experiences: particularly medical trauma, C-PTSD, combat and war trauma, moral injury, high-impact injuries, burnout, workplace harassment, traumatic grief, and challenging life transitions. Lisa authored Effortless Mindfulness: Genuine mental health through awakened presence a highly regarded textbook on Buddhist psychology for mental health professionals. Lisa has been an outpatient clinician for the VA San Jose, has taught a variety of Mindfulness-based Interventions, and is an AAMFT Clinical Fellow. Lisa is a Buddhist teacher and has been a yogic and Buddhist meditation practitioner for over four decades.


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Basic Human Goodness

This is a recording of a dharma talk Lisa Dale Miller gave March 19, 2003 at Marin Sangha. Recently neuroscientist Richard Davidson reiterated a long-held tenet of Tibetan Buddhism that all human beings share the same wish to be happy and free of suffering, and that this wish emerges from innate basic goodness. This goodness is often viewed in Mahāyāna and Vajrayana Buddhism as an expression of Buddhanature, the fundamental awakened mind of all beings. There is not much in the Pāli Canon to support the notion of innate goodness. However, the Buddha did teach unconditioned mind—a mind purified through contemplative effort, not an innately awakened mind. This dharma talk compares these two frameworks and explores the cultivation of ethical goodness using specific suttas and findings from affective neuroscience. And I am joined by a co-teacher ChatGPT, which explicates historical references to goodness and investigates its own sense of how to engage in ethical conduct. Lisa's catalogue of Dharma Talks can be found on the Groundless Ground and those done prior to 2020 are available on my clinical website.


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Mental Health Renaissance

Psychologist, researcher, and executive Cassandra Vieten and I dialogue about a wide range of interventions that can shift the mental health crisis into a mental health renaissance. Cassie’s many years of offering patients empirically-based, mind-body tools for sustainable transformation, has taken place at several renowned academic medical institutions and greatly contributed to psychology’s integration of embodied, spiritually-oriented interventions for human flourishing such as: meditation, qigong and tai chi, being in nature, ritual, spiritual exploration, and most recently, psychedelics. This is a jam-packed episode full of practical information for health professionals seeking easy ways to facilitate patient well-being. Watch Cassie's TED Talk! Build Your Ecosystem! Cassandra Vieten is Director of Research and Associate Scientist at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Executive Director of the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation, co-founder and Clinical Psychology Director at the Psychedelics and Health Research Initiative at UCSD, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. She is a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research has focused on spirituality and health, transformative experiences and practices, the development of mindfulness-based interventions for emotional well-being, and development of media technologies to inspire awe. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She was a Scientist at the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group for 12 years, and worked at the Institute of Noetic Sciences for 18 years. She has authored three books and has published numerous articles in scientific journals.


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Meditation Beyond Optimization

This is a very special and quite different kind of episode to finish out the Groundless Ground’s 5th season. I have a frank discussion about the pitfalls of packaging and delivering meditation as a performative act in health contexts with Donna Sherman—clinical social worker and teacher of practical wisdom from yoga sciences, mindfulness meditation and behavioral sciences. Since Donna has studied extensively in the Tantric yoga tradition and I have expertise in Buddhist psychology, we interview each other about the ancient science behind Yogic and Buddhist meditative practices. Donna’s Therapeutic Yoga Nidra is the NSDR (non-sleep deep rest) practice I refer to my patients. And Donna is also a longtime dear friend and colleague from whom I have learned so much. It is hard to imagine a good life without her along for the ride! And wow, 5 years and 60 episodes. What an adventure Groundless Ground has been and much gratitude to every listener! You continue to be my greatest inspiration. Best wishes for the holidays and very happy and healthy New Year!


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Turn on Love and Intimacy

Alison Ash PhD is a sex and intimacy coach, educator, and creator of many sex positive workshops including her upcoming, very popular Sexual and Emotional Intimacy Skills Mastercourse. This dialogue was stunningly rich and informative for both of us. We freely converse about sex positivity and how consent skills make it possible to skillfully and joyfully give and receive pleasure, flirt and seduce, have more intimacy, and better understand monogamous and non-monogamous relationships. We also discuss how the lingering pain and shame from sexual trauma impedes healthy sexuality and what systemic healing and resolution of sexual trauma entails. Alison clearly explicates the difference between pornography and erotica, and the deleterious effects of widespread porn use by teens, adults and couples. This episode is a romp through a diverse landscape of contexts and practices in which sex positivity is being experienced and enjoyed. Alison Ash PhD is a sex and intimacy coach, educator and creator of many sex positive workshops including her upcoming Masterclass. She coaches individuals and couples in sex positivity. Her book Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace: Trans and Genderqueer Discrimination was published in 2018. In addition to her private practice she is a Stanford University lecturer in the Wellness Education program teaching Sexual and Emotional Intimacy Skills to both undergraduate and graduate students. Her website is


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Embodying Emotions

Psychologist Raja Selvam, discusses his new book, The Practice of Embodying Emotions: A Guide for Improving Cognitive, Emotional, and Behavioral Outcomes. Raja is the creator of Integral Somatic Psychology™ (ISP™), an effective somatic therapy that encourages optimal mental health by fully embodying emotions. Raja and I explore how clinicians can facilitate patient resolution of difficult emotions by allowing increased recognition of emotion and then expanding that emotion to more of the body. Rather than cognitively down-regulating emotions, this somatic approach of expanding emotion increases affect tolerance and resolves systemic distress. ISP is a complementary modality for all talk therapy methods. It was an honor to dialogue with Raja about ISP and also our mutual interest in non-dual philosophy. Clinical psychologist Raja Selvam, PhD, is the developer of Integral Somatic Psychology™ (ISP™), an effective somatic therapy that helps clients achieve optimal mental health by fully embodying their emotions. Raja is also a senior trainer at Somatic Experiencing® International. His work is informed by Reichian Therapy and Bioenergetic Analysis, Bodynamic Analysis and Somatic Experiencing, and bodywork systems of Postural Integration and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. His work is also inspired by Jungian and archetypal psychologies, Kleinian and intersubjective schools of psychoanalysis, affective neuroscience, quantum physics, yoga, Polarity Therapy, and Advaita Vedanta (a spiritual psychology from India). He did trauma outreach work in India in 2005–2006 with survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, based on which he has published an outcome study titled “Somatic Therapy Treatment Effects with Tsunami Survivors,” in the journal Traumatology in 2008. Dr. Selvam’s work is also inspired by the work he did in Sri Lanka in 2012–2014 with survivors of war, violence, loss, and displacement, and with mental health professionals engaged in treating them, after Sri Lanka’s thirty-year civil war ended in 2009.


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Science of Psychotherapy

Richard Hill and Matthew Dahlitz have written a comprehensive, definitively modern psychotherapy textbook titled, "Practitioners Guide to the Science of Psychotherapy". Their book covers basic neuroscience, body-brain systems, genetic processes and the application of integrative psychotherapy modalities for mental health disorders. This is the textbook I wished for many years ago when I attended graduate school. I was so excited to dialogue with these two brilliant men about the current sad state of standard psychotherapy, and the need for updated curricula and therapist retraining that rests upon scientifically validated patient-responsive treatments. This episode is a critical rallying cry in support of transforming a psychology/psychotherapy profession that fails to adequately meet the needs of so many patients. Richard Hill is managing editor of The Science of Psychotherapy magazine and lives in Sydney, Australia. at 42 (1996) beginning with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in linguistics. This triggered a curiosity that led to a diploma in counselling and a new career in psychotherapy. Studying continued and he has added three Masters degrees – an MA in Social Ecology; an MEd in Social Ecology; and a Masters in Brain and Mind Sciences (MBMSc) from Sydney University. Richard is also fortunate to be mentored by the esteemed Ernest Rossi PhD who has invited Richard into the International Psychosocial Genomics Research Matthew Dahlitz is editor-in-chief of The Science of Psychotherapy magazine. He founded The Neuropsychotherapist in 2013 and lives in Brisbane, Australia. autodidactic, whose knowledge spans across the arts, technology, psychology, neuroscience, emergency medicine, and business. Studied psychology at the University of Queensland and gained a Master of Counselling postgraduate degree–now a specialist in neuropsychotherapy and the Editor-in-Chief of The Neuropsychotherapist, has taught post-graduate courses in neuropsychotherapy, and is author of the book The Psychotherapists’s Essential Guide to the Brain.


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Beyond Distraction

This episode features a rich, in-depth dialogue with Buddhist teacher and author Shaila Catherine on her new book, Beyond Distraction: Five Practical Ways to Focus the Mind. Using a Theravada Buddhist approach for cultivating focus, clarity, and wise action, Shaila offers an effective five-step method for changing distorted, habitual thoughts: 1) replace unwanted thoughts; 2) examine the dangers of distracting thoughts; 3) avert distraction; 4) investigate the causes of distraction; and 5) exert dedicated resolve. This informative and enlightening conversation will be of great benefit to anyone seeking a focused, clear mind and also mental health professionals who favor top-down interventions. It was a great honor to spend time with Shaila, a Buddhist teacher and consummate practitioner, whom I respect and admire.


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MORE Research Update

Eric Garland, PhD, LCSW, and I discuss exciting new research on the effectiveness of Mindfulness Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE)—his unique mindfulness intervention—for alleviating the cognitive-affective distress associated with chronic pain and co-occurring opioid misuse. We also focus on the value of meditation, expanding consciousness, and experiencing bliss in decreasing reliance on opioids and increasing capacity for ordinary pleasures. Lots of neuroscience and we cover research on the role of psychedelics as adjunctive treatment for chronic pain and opioid misuse. Eric Garland, PhD, LCSW, is a rare combination of rigorous researcher and compassionate clinician. His unique integration of CBT and mindfulness led him to create Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), an integrative group intervention for treating chronic pain, stress, and opioid misuse. His attention to detail and methodology has made him a trusted researcher. In 2019 he was appointed to the NIH HEAL Multi-Disciplinary Working Group to help guide the HEAL initiative on pain and addiction. Our dialogue was exciting for both of us. We share a sense that helping patients attend to savoring and insight is key to moving beyond the murky grasp of addiction.


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Being Wise in a Time of War

It’s been a very disturbing few weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine. Coincident with the initiation of war, clinician, author and dharma teacher Lisa Dale Miller taught two weeks in a row at Marin Sangha. These two dharma talks explore, from a Buddhist point of view, what it means to be wise, compassionate, and even awakened in the midst of difficult circumstances. The second talk, which starts at 27:00, dives deeper into what the Buddha called, the rod of violence, as well as its causes and alleviation. May these talks benefit all beings everywhere and contribute to the end of all war and violence.


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Mark Solms on Consciousness

Consciousness remains a scientific puzzle: what it is, what creates it, and though all known conscious systems are alive, not all living systems are conscious. These days cortical-based theories of consciousness are all the rage. However, renown neuropsychologist and psychoanalyst Mark Solms has put forth, in his book “The Hidden Spring”, a radically convincing theory for the subcortical, homeostatic origins of consciousness rooted primarily in feeling or what is known as affect. Dr. Solms explains why a particular area of the brainstem is his choice for where the lights of consciousness get switched on and off and deftly explains the difference between mind and consciousness, and why humans have evolved a mind to mediate between the needs of the visceral body, the self, and the objects in the world that satisfy those needs.Dr. Solms’ research on consciousness has recently pivoted toward bridging affect into artificially intelligent systems and yes we do talk about the ethics of that frightening possibility. This episode is fascinating and mind-blowing and I am so grateful to have had time with such a compassionate and brilliant researcher, clinician. Mark Solms is a renown South African psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist best known for discovering forebrain mechanisms of dreaming, and neuropsychoanalysis, his unique integration of psychoanalytic theory with neuroscientific methodology. He holds the Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital (Departments of Psychology and Neurology) and is the President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association. He is also Research Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association (since 2013). Solms founded the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society in 2000 and he was a Founding Editor (with Ed Nersessian) of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis. He is Director of the Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuropsychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute.


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Somatic Horsemanship

This is a very special episode with Beverley Kane, MD, discussing her book Equine-imity: Stress Reduction and Emotional Self-Regulation in the Company of Horses, which introduces us to somatic horsemanship—a therapeutic practice for exploring the physical relationship between humans and horses, on the ground and on the horse, to promote body-mind-spirit well-being in both species. Dr. Kane portrays horses as consummate teachers of healthy embodiment and emotional resilience and describes interventions like medical qigong that help patients learn how to regulate and heal nervous system and psychological dysfunction. She tells us about somato-intuitive skills horses naturally use like presentiment and going back to grazing which we can model and implement to enrich our daily lives. This is an informative and enchanting dialogue to kick off 2022 with a heartfelt wish for total health. Beverley Kane, MD, is Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine and an integrative medicine physician in the Stanford Division of Primary Care and Population Health, Palo Alto, California. She is the founder and Lead Mare of Horsensei Equine-Assisted Learning and Therapy (HEALTH).


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Rescuing Virtue

Stuart Shanker, MD and I address the loss of virtue as a fundamental part of societal and individual conduct and how to reinvigorate it. He notes with sadness the quaint overtones and ironic sarcasm that has infected discussion of virtuous conduct; particularly in politics, journalism, academia, and psychology. We name the war between reason and emotion, rationality and irrationality, and discuss its role in widespread sense of unsafety, outright lying and ‘truthiness’ in media, and the continuing horror of school shootings in America. We discuss solutions for restoring ethical human values so critical for well-being and wholesome relationship. Happy and healthy New Year to every listener and all beings residing on our planet. Dr. Stuart G. Shanker, is a research professor emeritus of Philosophy and Psychology at York University[1] and the Founder/CEO of The MEHRIT Centre(TMC) 2012. He is also the founder and Science Director of the Self-Regulation Institute (SRI), and an acclaimed author and international speaker.[2] He is best known as Canada's leading expert in the psychophysiological theory of self-regulation. His latest book is REFRAMED: Self-Reg for a just society.


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Neurobiology of Trauma and MDMA for PTSD

Psychologist Jim Hopper and I discuss the neurobiology of trauma, MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, the critical role embodied treatment modalities play in trauma healing, and use of Buddhist psychology and Internal Family Systems (IFS) for trauma resolution. He fully explicates the process used in the FDA-approved and MAPS-sponsored MDMA phase 3 trials, discusses the results, and clarifies for whom MDMA, Ketamine or psilocybin sessions could be adjunctive trauma treatment. We also discuss a habit model of understanding trauma response as well as an updated ethical view of addiction. Jim is a consummate communicator. That, coupled with his depth and breadth of knowledge about trauma therapy, make this episode a critical listen for every clinician working in the trauma field. JIm's website Jim's publications Jim Hopper, PhD is most often sought for his expertise on the neurobiology of trauma and sexual assault, and on the unique experiences and needs of males who have experienced sexual abuse or sexual assault. He trains others in contemplative practices that transform the brain to bring healing and genuine happiness, and is co-editor of Mindfulness-Oriented Interventions for Trauma: Integrating Contemplative Practices. He is a sub-investigator at the Boston site of the FDA-approved and MAPS-sponsored phase 3 trial of MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD. Jim is a Teaching Associate in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School, and a consultant to the Outpatient Addictions Service of the Cambridge Health Alliance.


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Kindness vs Niceness

Two recent dharma talks given by Lisa Dale Miller at Marin Sangha explicate what kindness is from Buddhist psychological perspective and how it radically differs from niceness. To lay the groundwork of what kindness is, the first talk employs a very challenging sutta, “The Simile of the Saw”, where the Buddha proscribes wholesome conduct in all manner of difficult relational engagements. The second talk investigates kindness and niceness and clarifies their differences. Niceness though pleasing or agreeable, is only intended to avoid discomfort and is deceptive and disingenuous. Kindness is genuine benevolence enacted through skillful application of presence and discerning wisdom. Due to its engaged and other-centered nature, kindness isn’t always easy and navigating the discomfort it can bring is the common ground of both talks. May these talks lead to the awakening of all beings everywhere.


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Stuart Shanker on Reframing for a Just Society

Stuart Shanker, PhD is a world-renown author, researcher and scholar on self-regulation science and creator of the groundbreaking Self-Reg method for cultivating mental and physical well-being. His life’s work has focused on the beneficial role that positive stress plays in children’s development and learning, and the harmful effects of excessive negative stress on parents, educators, and children. His new book, REFRAMED: Self-Reg for a just society, explores self-regulation in wider, social terms and unpacks the unique science and conceptual practices that are the very lifeblood of the Self-Reg. I have been a big proponent of the Self-Reg methodology and recommend the Self-Reg books and website resources to patients struggling with poor parenting skills and child behavioral problems. Dialoging with Stuart Shanker was simultaneously humbling and affirming. He felt like both a kindred spirit and a wise elder. This episode presents a doable path for healing societal distress and discord by bravely, collectively solving the existential crises of our time. Self-Reg website Stuart Shanker is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Psychology at York University. An internationally celebrated speaker, thinker, and writer, Dr. Shanker is one of the world’s leading authorities on self-regulation. Stuart trained intensively in child psychotherapy under Stanley Greenspan; he was the Director of the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative at York University; President of the Canadian Council of Early Child development; Director of the council of Human Development; and has served for many years as an advisor to government and education organizations across Canada and internationally. Since 2012 he has been Founder/CEO of The MEHRIT Centre.


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Rodney Dietert on Microbiome-First Medicine

Get ready for a microbiome geek-fest with Cornell Professor Emeritus, health scientist, and author Rodney Dietert, as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of his pioneering book, The Human Super-organism. Rodney shares the fascinating history of microbiome research and recounts his own life-changing, career-shifting revelations about microbiome-first medicine in reversing the modern epidemic of non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) and immune system disorders. We discuss the difference between viruses and bacteria, and because our dialogue took place in June 2021 (pre-Delta-variant spread in the US) he offered surprising views about COVID19, vaccines, and mask-wearing. We also cover the latest research on microbiome testing, probiotics, prebiotics, rebiosis, and fecal transplant interventions for physical and mental health disorders. Rodney Dietert, PhD has turned his wide-ranging expertise toward reducing the environmental health risks of children and protecting against chronic diseases by focusing on the microbiome and the immune system. As a full professor at Cornell University in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a faculty member in the Cornell Institute for Comparative and Environment Toxicology, Dr. Dietert has published peer-reviewed papers in more than 70 different scientific journals ranging from environmental health and pediatric medicine publications to nutrition, metabolism, immune, neurological and reproductive journals. He has been President of the Immunotoxicology Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology and previously led Cornell's programs in immunology, toxicology and risk reduction of breast cancer. In 2012 Dr. Dietert introduced a new course at Cornell applying contemplative tools for creative problem solving. This has blossomed into a variety of new educational programs and workshops.


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Jeremy Lent on The Web of Meaning

Jeremy Lent’s new book, The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe offers a coherent worldview of deep interconnectedness by integrating ancient Taoist and Buddhist views of humanness and awakening, with a modern scientific, conceptually-oriented view of human capacity. Jeremy makes the case for reigniting lost ethical values that can shift the disconnection that has led humanity to the brink of ecological and societal destruction. We discuss deep intelligence, wise action, how to expand collective concern to include all humans, our animal and plant brothers and sisters, and our planet. Our practical and philosophical dialogue moved me at the core of my being. May it be an inspiration for shift in all who hear it! The US edition is available mid-July but you can get the UK edition now. Visit the book website. Visit Jeremy's website Jeremy Lent received a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and was a former internet company CEO. His award-winning book, The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning, explores the way humans have made meaning from the cosmos from hunter-gatherer times to the present day. He is founder of the nonprofit Liology Institute, dedicated to fostering an integrated worldview that could enable humanity to thrive sustainably on the Earth.


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Tibetan Buddhist Foundational Practices

This is a very special episode featuring Anne C. Klein, PhD, aka Lama Rigzin Drolma; Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University, Buddhist Studies scholar and Tibetan translator, author, and Tibetan Buddhist teacher. It was such an honor to discuss Dr. Klein’s groundbreaking book, Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse Foundational Practices and the Transmission of the Longchen Nyingthig. We speak frankly and deeply about Nundro; its practice and relevance for Western Tibetan Buddhist practitioners. Dr. Klein also generously shares her rich history of engagement with Buddhist academia and her long-standing relationship with Tibetan Buddhism as a practitioner and guiding teacher of Dawn Mountain Tibetan Temple and Institute. May this episode be dedicated to the welfare and benefit of all beings everywhere. Anne Carolyn Klein is Professor and a former Chair of the Department of Religion, Rice University, where she helped developed a contemplative studies concentration for graduate students. Co-founder of the Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism. She is a Lama in the Nyingma (ancient) Buddhist tradition.


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Jud Brewer: Unwind Your Anxiety Habit

Psychiatrist, renown mindfulness and habit change researcher, Jud Brewer, MD, PhD once again disrupts conventional framing of mental health disorders and their treatment. This time the target is anxiety. Jud says you cannot think your way out of anxiety. Because anxiety is actually a habit loop—an unrewarding reward that experientially and neurobiologically mirrors addiction. Jud unpacks this brilliant and effective revisioning of anxiety and a radically beautiful treatment model, which is featured in his NY Times Bestselling new book, Unwinding Anxiety. Then Jud and I switch gears and discuss the intersection of meditation and psychedelic research. How these treatment models can complement each other and what top academic psychedelic researchers are learning from seasoned meditation researchers like Jud. This jam-packed episode delighted us both and we expect you too will love being along for the ride. Unwinding Anxiety Book Unwinding Anxiety App Jud Brewer, MD PhD is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University, as well as a research affiliate at MIT. Before that, he held research and teaching positions at Yale University and the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Mindfulness. Read more about his research here. Dr. Jud also serves as the executive medical director of behavioral health at Sharecare. He has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety (Eat Right Now, Unwinding Anxiety and Craving to Quit). Dr. Jud is passionate about understanding how our brains work, and how to use that knowledge to help people make deep, permanent change in their lives — with the goal of reducing suffering in the world at large.