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Secular Meditation

Eddies in the Mind Stream, with Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

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Rick Hanson

Rick Hanson and I discuss the tension between accepting how you’re feeling and changing how you’re feeling, spiritual bypassing, how to cultivate positive states of mind, the quivering potentiality at the front edge of now, the three branches of attention, why Buddhist aggressiveness is not an oxymoron, and, of course, ewoks.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books include Buddha’s Brain, Hardwiring Happiness, and the new book Resilient. Rick began meditating in 1974, has trained in several traditions, and teaches at meditation centers around the world.

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2 Comments

  1. Sebastian October 18, 2018

    Wow, this was a great discussion, well worth the long running time.

    A few trivial notes:

    1. Looking up at the sky probably means that you should put down your phone.

    2. The idea of eddies in the mind stream does sound like it was influenced by Douglas Hofstadter, who effectively says that our sense of self is a vortex of brain activity if I remember correctly.

    3. I do think that attributing positive qualities to the unconditioned is incoherent. Something like love or even consciousness is already a determination or eddie. And since an eddie is essentially a kind of organizational structure that limites and alienates you from the absolute in some way, it would be a mistake to think that bliss, for example, is inherently part of the unconditional.

    4. The stream is already an eddie. The stream of the entire universe is an eddie, compared to the unconditioned, although the unconditioned is not itself a stream so the world cannot really be an eddie of it. The metaphor starts to break down at this level. The “source” of the stream being oneness or zero.

    Reply
    1. MWT October 18, 2018

      Thanks, Sebastian. Interesting ideas.

      Reply

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