Health@Google: Dr. Daniel Siegel, Taking Time In

Uploaded by GoogleTechTalks on 11.06.2011

I'm Adikia and I'm an engineer in Geo. And in my 20% time, I'm working with the Personal
Growth Series and we're trying to bring you more resources to help you improve your life,
your work. So in that spirit, I'm here today to introduce Dr. Daniel Siegel. He is co-director
of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. He is clinical professor of Psychiatry
at the UCLA School of Medicine where he's also on the faculty of the Center for Culture
and--Brain and Development. Dr. Siegel is the author of "Mindsight," "The Mindful Brain,"
"The Mindful Therapist," and "Parenting from the Inside Out" which he co-authored with
Mary Hartzell. So, Dr. Siegel previously came and talked to us in 2009 and this morning,
we're lucky to have him back ay Google, really fortunate. And he came before the publication
of his book, "Mindsight." So, he's here today to kind of deliver some new insights at Google
on Mindsight and why it's applicable to you, how you can cultivate it for personal and
professional growth. So, that's all for me. I'd like to turn over the mic to Dan.
>> SIEGEL: Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be here with you today. Thank you, Adikia,
and thank you, Google, for having me here. Can you hear okay in the worlds wherever we're
projecting? Yes, wonderful, great. So, today we're going to talk about something called
Taking Time In. And it builds on this concept of "Mindsight", which I spoke about at Google
University a few years ago, and allows us to go deeply into the idea of asking the question,
"What brings health into our lives?" by looking at what the mind is. And I'm happy to report
to you an unhappy statistic which is that I've asked 100,000 mental health professionals
now if they've ever been given a lecture that defined what the mind is and what percentage
of 100,000 people all around the planet from the field of mental health, psychiatry, psychology,
social work, nursing, what percentage do you think have been given a definition of the
mind? It's so very low; it's 2% to 5% all around the planet, which is an amazing number.
So, this first question--and are the slides available to everyone to see or we can--we
can show them later? The first question is what is the mind? And if at--to Google or
anywhere we want to say we want to help cultivate a healthy mind, how can we start to address
that question if we don't have a definition of the mind? So the work I do in the field
called interpersonal neurobiology tries to address this question head on by offering
a working definition of the mind, at least one aspect of the mind, that allows us to
develop a healthy mind. Does that make sense? So, in doing this and in walking through this,
we're going to do a couple of things. We're going to walk through the science of the mind,
we're going to ask the question, "How do you develop health of the mind?", and then if
we have time, we're going to actually do a practice that will increase the health of
your mind. Okay? So, here we go. So, the first thing to say in addressing this is that we
have a kind of challenge ahead of us. You can see here that the issue now in the modern
age, and certainly our internet is a part of it, is that we're having this ever expanding
world of external things drawing our attention to it. Attention is the process that regulates
the focus of energy and information really and we experience it everyday. You focus attention
on this, so if I'll go like this, you'll focus your attention on my clapping and my hands.
And the internet provides us with this infinite set of stimuli that draws our attention outward.
And one of the main messages of today's talk is we need to balance that by having a focus
of attention inward. And as you'll see, it actually helps cultivate the parts of the
brain that generate health, and I'm going to now--present that to you now. But this
is the issue that the focus of attention externally is far from the world of the circuits that
calm us or the interactions with other people that calm us. So, if you're feeling sometimes
a lot of stress and anxiety, here are some of the reasons that might be the case. That
if we're constantly--that is perpetually focusing on external things, we can have this persistent
sense of incompletion. You know, how do you ever finish things? You know, in the old days,
we used to read something you may remember called a book and a book had a beginning,
a middle and an end. And when you finish the book, you'd felt like you had achieved something.
But when you ever finished anything on the web? It's endless. And that, for a nervous
system, makes us, well, nervous. We have this nagging sense of a bottomless pit of things
to do and a hidden feeling even of being invisible. All of these things create a state of dis-ease
and anxiety and stress that is not of the healthy sort. So, time in, as you'll see,
is an approach that can help us provide an antidote to those stresses. When you say,
well, if we're trying to develop a healthy self, let's just use that word for a moment
before we get into the mind, what is the self? Now, amazingly, even this term doesn't have
much of a definition. Now, you may think that your self resides only in your body. But actually,
if you look at studies of how the self develops, which is what I'm trained in as a researcher
in relationships, you'll find that the self is actually connected to the environment in
which it's growing, right? So that your relationships with other people, the things that you do,
are the context both external, the environmental interactions we have and the demands from
our environment and internal. And when we're far from the internal experiences that shaped
a self, then you don't have the capacity to actually change your mind toward health, as
you'll see. So, the self is not created in isolation and, in fact, if you can see from
this diagram, it's created at least in two places; one is the embodied brain that is
this nervous system that's distributed throughout the whole body, which we'll just call the
brain for short, and relationships. And now what I want to ask you to do is reflect for
a moment, how would relationships in your life be related in any way to your interpersonal
relationships beginning there? How could that be? And then, you can see on this triangle,
we have the mind. What is the connection between the relationships, the brain and the mind?
Now that by itself could be an entire semester at a university, which is what I do, and we
teach about this. You could take this one slide and you could actually spend an entire
semester focusing on how do these three things go together. So for the purpose of our talk
today, I'll just say that we see the mind, in fact, as emerging from how energy and information
flow is shared in relationships. So relationships are defined as the sharing of energy and information
like I'm doing with you right now. And the brain, the embodied nervous system, is the
bottling mechanism through which energy and information flows. You may remember from basic
biology that the nervous system is basically a system of interconnected neurons in the
supportive cells around the called glia. And essentially, what it's all about is electrochemical
energy flow and sometimes those patterns have symbolic value and we call that information.
So, energy and information flowing through the body is what the nervous system is all
about. And relationships are all about right now I'm sending something to you, you receive
it, it's energy I'm sending to you. Sometimes if I go [MAKES SOUND], there isn't much symbolic
value to it. Sometimes I might say, "Golden Gate Bridge," and suddenly that phrase Golden
Gate Bridge has symbolic informational value. So basically, in science, we talk about an
emergent property that arises from complex systems that's called the self-organizing
process. And this self-organizing process is what I now pose to you as what the mind
is and that the mind is not just in your body, but it's also emerging in your relationships.
And the way to really imagine that is the system that you're looking at is patterns
of energy and information flow that are not restricted to your skin. You're immersed in
a pattern of energy and information flow. Just think about what you do at Google, think
about what you do on the internet, think about what you do in your life. We are constantly
immersed in energy and information flow sharing. Now, when that's only externally focused,
we get very limited in what we can do. Now, how do you embrace health in this view? This
is, again, an entire semester's worth on one slide, but it goes like this. Through a long
line of reasoning, all the different books I've published you'll see the science behind
this, so you may say, "Well, where's the science behind it?" It's published but I just want
to give you the take home message. Health--if you say, "I want to develop a healthy mind,"
health arises from a process called integration. Integration, defined this way, as the linkage
of differentiated parts. So let's take, for example, your own brain, if you don't allow
the two sides of your brain to be differentiated, be specialized in the unique, wonderful ways
that they are and then also become link, you can show a person will have restrictions in
health and you can show this literally on an MRI. You can show in a relationship, let's
say someone you live with, if you're not honoring each other's differences and promoting healthy,
caring communication, that's the linkage part, it won't be a healthy relationship. Now, how
do you know when a system is not healthy? This is how you know. When an integration
is happening, whether it's in your nervous system or in your relationships, it's harmonious,
it's flexible, adaptive, and it has a certain stability and energy and vitality to it; that's
the integration piece. But when integration is not happening, you move to chaos and rigidity.
Now you can look at subtle forms of chaos where you just feel like life isn't what you
want it to be and you just feel you're in turmoil or rigidity. I feel numb, there's
no meaning to my life. I feel kind of disconnected from myself, other people, my body; that would
be a good example of rigidity. Or the extremes, of course, you can show major forms of illness.
But even in the subtle ways that our health is compromised, this graph of chaos and rigidity
basically explains a lot of what happens in human life. So here's what I'm going to propose
to you is the following: that Time In practices, which we're going to talk about right now,
Time In practices are the way you integrate both your nervous system, that is your embodied
energy and information flow patterns, and your relationships. And again, everything
I'm saying, when I hear myself say it, I say, "That sounds too simple." Luckily, there's
literally thousands of scientific articles that support these slides. So, these are like
the take home, how do I make use of this? So, just look at any of the books that I've
been a part of publishing or written myself. And here's the bottom line, Time In Practices,
which we're going to define in a moment, they cultivate integration. So if you say well,
at work, let's say at Google, what should I do? Or anywhere you work, what should I
do with my life? And you say, well, at least you should be doing a Time In Practice and
though the body is clean and beautiful and wonderful and the relationships are clean
and beautiful and wonderful. If you think about brushing your teeth, right? How many
of you brush your teeth? Okay. Now, actually there was a time when we didn't brush our
teeth and what was the problem with not brushing your teeth? Our teeth became unhealthy, our
gums became unhealthy, right? We didn't have good dental hygiene. Well, Time In Practices
are all about keeping the mind fit, keeping the brain integrated and keeping your relationships
empathic and supportive. That's what Time In does and there's an extensive amount of
literature behind what I'm saying. So, let me just give you the bottom line. You say,
if integration is health, I want health in my life, great. How do you achieve it? You
have a regular Time In Practice just like you have a regular brushing of your teeth.
We need to start creating not only in you but all of you who work here. But we need
to think creatively, how can systems like Google, that influence the mind of humanity,
taken active part in making Time In a regular practice throughout the planet because this
is a serious moment when actually we can start influencing people to create health in their
lives. Now, how does that work? Well, here's the proposal. There's something called attunement,
which again, these--all these are all very deep processes but the bottom line is, a two
minutes where you focus attention on the internal nature either of someone else in a relationship.
So like, if you are close to someone, you don't just respond to their behavior. You
respond to what's going on inside of them, their thoughts, their feelings, their memories,
their hopes, their dreams. That's the key to a healthy relationship. And a Time In Practice
actually builds the circuits of the brain--bless you--that not only allow you to tune in to
others with more power and specificity which does. But it also allows you to develop the
circuits of internal attunement where an observing part of yourself actually tunes in to an experiencing
part and when you do that, there's a sense of safety, stability, clarity and coherence
that is in your own mental life. So, if you say, "Oh my god, my life is so feeling chaotic
and crazy. I just feel sort of afraid." This gives you a feeling of safety, stability,
clarity and coherence. And when you look at the brain, you can actually show that the
parts of the brain that regulate the brain and give a feeling of safety, stability, clarity
and coherence, all the things that Time In gives you, you can show that those parts of
the brain--for those of you who like the science, are the circuits that link widely separate
areas to each other. Widely separated areas are the different shaded parts of the nervous
system and you can show that the circuits which link them, which are called of course
integrative circuits are the circuits that are stimulated to be active with Time In Practices
and to grow. Now here's the secret to the sauce, integrative circuits in the brain are
regulatory circuits. So if you say, "I want to learn how to really bring myself more in
to balance, to coordinate and balance my whole bodily experience." Time In Practices are
the root. Integrative focus of the mind stimulates the growth of integrative circuits in the
brain which are regulatory. So, that's the whole--that's it in a nutshell. Whether you're
doing that internally or doing that with the internal world of someone else, attunement
is an integrative form of communication that allows you to stimulate the growth of these
integrative fibers of the brain. That's the whole secret. Okay. So, Mindsight is how we
do this because it's a teachable capacity that I'm going to teach you about right now
to monitor the flow of energy and information within relationships and the embodied brain.
So, from this talk I hope you're saying, if you say, "Well, hold on. Dan didn't tells
us where the mind was." Well, this is one aspect of the mind, not subjective experience
necessarily or awareness, those are very important in different aspects of the mind. But the
regulatory aspect of the mind is in your body and it's in your relationships. The body is
really, really important and your relationships are really, really important, they're not
just coincidental. For any of us who are focused on technology and science like I am too, you
know, we can kind of focus on all the interesting concepts, the data, all the technological
aspects and the scientific findings and we could forget about relationships and forget
about the body. But in fact, they're the essence of health. And so we can make ourselves non-integrated
and do well on these areas. But in fact, it isn't being integrated. Now, once you learn
to monitor with more clarity, you can now modulate toward integration and that's what
the whole Mindsight approach is about which is summarized on this slide just to review
because now we're going to dive in to the practice. Basically, we've defined the mind
even though 100,000 professionals have revealed that even the field of mental health, doesn't
have a definition of mind. You're going to be shocked to find the field of Psychology
doesn't have a definition of mind, the field of the Philosophy of Mind doesn't have the
definition of mind, the field of Cognitive and Neuroscience does not have a definition
of mind, the field of Education does not have a definition of mind. So, mental health is
not alone. It turns out, there actually isn't a definition of the mind. It's kind of wild
and believe me, those are amazing conversations to have with people on all those fields. So
we're offering a definition of mind as an emerging process and I'm going to teach you
how to regulate energy and information flow right now. Relationships and the body are
important. We're going to teach you, I'm going to teach you how to monitor energy information
flow and then modify it and harmony, if you do this practice because I've done this now,
a thousands of thousands of people, this Time In Practice I'm about to teach you creates
harmony in people's lives. And the emails that you could analyze when they come in have
such similar discussions of these kinds of features of how it promotes integration. Okay.
And these are just to remind us that the brain has two halves and it actually works to integrate
both halves as well. Okay. Now, if you say, "Well, okay. What's the bottom line? What
is science tells us is going to improve if I do a Time In Practice?" The middle pre-frontal
areas, it's there right behind your forehead are massively integrative areas of the brain.
And these are nine functions right here that are science proven to be enhanced with Time
In Practices. Now, what's a Time In Practice? It draws on the studies of mindfulness, it
draws on all sorts of studies of mentalization, it draws on the studies of attachment research.
This is the idea that when you mentalize or that is look at the mental side of life, whether
it's in a mindfulness practice or an attachment relationship, these are the functions that
are enhanced. And these--it's an amazing group of nine functions actually. These are the
integrative aspects of middle peripheral function. Okay. So we're going to do monitoring and
modifying. So if you say, "Well, hold on. What did Dan say? The mind is composed of..."
Well, it's regulatory like when you regulate a car, you have to monitor where you're going
and then modify it. You're going to move the steering wheel, you press the brakes, press
the accelerator. So, why shouldn't we train people to develop the skill of the mind once
we've defined as regulatory to literally monitor and modify. Now, what if I gave you a camcorder
and it wasn't stabilized with a tripod and it was all shaky? What would the video that
we got out look like? >> Blurry.
>> SIEGEL: It'll be blurry. Shaky in, blurry out. And how much detail could you see if
it was a blurry video? >> Not as much as you want.
>> SIEGEL: Not as much as you want and when it's blurry, you actually can't do something
very specific with what you see, right? So, if you think about it that way, then what
we want to do is take a Mindsight camera which is basically your mind. And you're going to
develop the ability to build a tripod. So literally, you're going to stabilize this
part of your mental experience that allows you to look at the mind itself so that what
you see is no longer blurry. Now amazingly, this is the first step that allows you then
to modify toward integration. If you can't see clearly, you can't modify it with any
specificity because you can't see anything. So, it's kind of that simple. Now, you're
going to see it and we're going to build on the sense of openness to what is--this is
one leg of the triangle, objectivity that is seen--that a thought or a feeling or even
a sensation in your body, is not the totality of who you are. It's like an object, you're--you
have an awareness. It's like the thing that you know about is not the experience of knowing
and the observation is the fact that there is a you that is observing. So, you don't
get lost in like an impulse or lost in a negative thought. So, that's just a negative thought,
it comes and goes. When people are lost in their negative thoughts, they--it ruins their
day. When someone has this skill, they go, "It's a negative thought. I won't take it
so personally." Right? Now, what are the practices we have? Well, it's basically a way of attuning
to an observing self that this observing self, you activate it and you then figure out what's
an experiencing self going through and you can focus inwardly, that's what we're going
to do. This is the Time In and it's a form of inner attunement. We're going to do these
practices right now; a Breath Awareness Practice and a Wheel of Awareness Practice and the
benefit of doing this is that you will experience right now what we're talking about. So, it
isn't just an idea, you'll actually experience it. Now, you don't need to take notes on what
we're about to do because from my website, for free, you can download digitally into
whatever object you have, the audio recording of these processes. But this will give you
an experience right now of what it feels like to do a time in practice. So, you can see
for yourself and then if you're up for it when we're finished, though you may feel like
not speaking and just letting yourself reflect on what happened by yourself, that's fine.
If you would like to offer what their experience was as scientists, as technicians, you may
find it actually fascinating to hear what each other spoke--experienced. If you don't
want to do that, that's absolutely fine also. Let me just see first before we get into this
if there are any questions. Does it make sense so far? Yes? Okay, great. So, let me just
show you what we're going to work on. This is what we're going to work on. This is called
the wheel of awareness practice, it was created--if you take the concept of integration and apply
it to awareness, you say, "What is differentiatable in your experience of being conscious or being
aware?" And it says, "Okay. One thing you can differentiate is let's say the five senses
that bring in the outside world," and that you see there in the outer rim, these first
five senses. You also can be aware of what your body signals are, like what's going on
in your heart or your lungs and that's called--in Science, we call that sixth sense or interoception.
There's also what you can call a seventh sense which is your awareness of thoughts or images,
emotions, feelings, memories, dreams, attitudes, ideas. Those will be on the seventh sense.
And there's also an eighth sense which we'll go through, which is your sense of connection
to not only other people but even the whole planet. And in many ways, the work I do in
climate change issues uses time and practices to say, we need to cultivate the eighth sense
in humanity because we've forgotten that we are part of the Earth. And we don't treat
the Earth like a part of our self instead we treat it just like a trash can. And this
is a serious life endangered problem. So, this time in practice not only gives you personal
health but it has the potential to increase kindness to other people but also kindness
to planet Earth. Okay. So what I'm going to ask you to do then, is say, "Well, okay, fine.
I differentiate these things on the rim. I can also differentiate the experience of awareness
from what I'm aware of." Now, you're going to say, "That sounds kind of weird." Well,
you'll experience right now for yourself as we do this practice because differentiating
the hub from the rim, this is the vocabulary we have, empowers you actually to integrate
your life in ways that the emails we get from people are just so rewarding. I mean, you'll
experience it for yourself. I don't need to say more editorial about that. But in terms
of integration of consciousness, we're differentiating elements of the rim from each other and the
hub from the rim. And just that practice alone has profound possibilities for people. Now,
let's begin, I'll walk you through--if there are no questions about this, I'm going to
ask you to image this wheel but we're going to do a basic awareness of the breath practice
to get you ready. And what I'm going to do, if you've never done a reflective practice
before, that's fine. I do this a lot with people who have never done a time in practice.
Never done reflection, they've never done anything. I mean, whether you call it reflection
or mindfulness or being aware of the self or mentalization or whatever, many people
that I've done this with have never done it before. So, you know, no need to be nervous.
I mean, if you're nervous, you're nervous but there's no need to be because I'm going
to walk you through it. So, when we do this in a group, here's what I'm going to ask you
to do. Again, you don't need to take notes because everything we're about to do is available
for free for you to do the time in practices from, you just pull it and
it's yours to use however you want. So, it's good to sit with a straight back, let two
feet be flat on the floor and even though your body is not going to move, you're actually
going to be working out your brain a lot. So it's like a workout you're about to do.
So you want to have a sense of purpose like I'm doing something and some people like to
have their chest, you know, with a sense of dignity like, "Okay. I'm ready to do the work."
So this is not a like hang loose, I'm doing a relaxation technique kind of thing. You
may get relaxed, you may not get relaxed. That's not what we're trying to achieve. We're
not trying to achieve anything except do this integration practice. So, for the first part,
what I'd like you to do, with your eyes open, let your attention come up toward me, let
it come to the middle of this room and then send your attention back to the far wall.
And then bring your attention back to the middle of the room and then to about book
reading distance as if you were holding a book or a magazine in your hand. And notice
how you can determine where your attention goes. You can determine that. And now, for
this first initial practice, we're going to do something which is called the breath awareness
practice. And what I want you to do is see if you can sense the breath whether it's at
the level of the nostrils with the sensation of the air coming in and out or the level
of the chest rising and falling and some people like to let their eyes go closed for this
to really let the bodily sensation of the breath feel awareness. The chest rising and
falling perhaps or even notice how you can let the attention move down where--to the
level of the abdomen as it moves in and out. And wherever you feel it most naturally is
fine, let that be the focus of the breath and let me just share with you an ancient
story before we do the brief breath awareness practice. And the story goes like this; it's
been passed down to generations that the mind is like the ocean and deep in the ocean beneath
the surface, it's calm and it's clear. And no matter what the conditions are at the surface
from this deep place, it's possible to just look upward and notice whether it's flat or
choppy waves or even a full storm, deep beneath the surface it's calm and clear. And just
sensing the breath allows you to just notice whatever arises in awareness like brain waves
at the surface of the mind whether it's an emotion or a memory, and image, a thought
and you can just notice it from a place of clarity and tranquility. So, this very brief
breath practice goes like this; I invite you to just sense the breath wherever you feel
it most naturally and then if a distraction comes and takes your attention away from the
breath, that's fine. That's just what the mind does. When you've noticed you've become
distracted, just let that distraction go and return your focus to the breath, in and out,
in and out. Another distraction may take you away and some people like to just name the
kind of distraction like thinking, thinking, or remembering, remembering and for them naming
it, tames it and it let's them drop the distraction and go back to the breath. Other people don't
really want to do that, you can play with that. Let's just do that very brief practice
where you just sense the breath, a distraction comes and redirect the attention. Just like
working at a muscle, you contract the muscle with the focus and the breath, a distraction
is like relaxing the muscle, you refocus, it contracts the muscle. This is working the
muscle of attention, really developing the strength of the mind to focus on a particular
object, in this case, the breath. Let's begin that right now.
[PAUSE] >> SIEGEL: That's great. And now we'll move
from the breath awareness practice to the wheel of awareness practice. So, I invite
you to do is just let yourself ride the wave of the breath in and out. And now, either
picturing in your mind the wheel if you want to open your eyes and just look at it one
more time or just knowing about the structure of the wheel and you--even if you can't picture,
that's fine. Sensing the breath brings you into the hub of the mind where awareness is
represented. And we're going to imagine from this hub, sending out a spoke from the hub
out to a particular point on the rim and let's begin with the point on the first five senses
that represent sound. So, it's the sense of hearing. And let's let sound feel awareness.
[PAUSE] >> SIEGEL: And now moving the spoke over a
bit more to the sense of sight, let any light come in through your eyes or if your eyelids
are closed through your closed eyelids. Let the light feel the sense of sight feeling
awareness. [PAUSE]
>> SIEGEL: And now, moving the spoke over to the sense of smell letting any odors feel
awareness. [PAUSE]
>> SIEGEL: And then moving the spoke over now to the sense of taste, letting any taste
feel awareness. [PAUSE]
>> SIEGEL: And now, moving the spoke over one more time in this area to the sense of
touch, anywhere where the skin is touching things, skin touching clothing or skin touching
And now, taking a bit of a deeper breath, we're going to let these first five senses
to bring in the external world go. And move the spoke over now in your mind's eye to the
next segment of the rim. And this is the segment of the rim that represents the interior of
the body. And let's begin with the facial area, letting awareness become filled with
the sensation of the muscles and bones in the face.
And then, moving to the muscles and bones in the scalp. And now moving attention to
the back of the neck and the throat. And now, letting awareness be filled with the sensation
of the shoulders. And then, letting attention go down both arms to the fingertips. And then, letting awareness be filled with
the upper back and the chest, and the lower back, and the abdomen. And then, moving to the hip area, and then focusing attention down both legs all the way to the toes. And now, moving attention
to the pelvic region, to the genitals; and then letting awareness become filled with the signals from the intestines and the stomach.
And then, moving attention to the interior of the lungs. And then, centering attention
in the heart region. And now, letting awareness become filled with the whole of the body, the interior of the
body, letting the whole of the body filled awareness. And now knowing that Science is
demonstrated with people of known for a long time, which is that the body sends signals
up into the skull, into the brain and the skull that gives us a deep, important intuition
and wisdom. Just sensing the body gives you access to that bodily wisdom. And now, I invite
you to take a bit of a deeper breath and imagine now moving the spoke from this part of the
rim of the interior of the body now to the next segment of the rim. And this is the segment
that represents mental activities. And we'll do this part of the rim review in two aspects.
The first aspect, I just invite you to be in the hub and just invite anything whatsoever
to come from mental activities like emotions or memories, images, thoughts, attitudes and
tensions, beliefs, hopes, dreams, anything at all from mental life. Let it enter into
the hub of the mind where you just bring it on and just be aware of whatever is going
on in mental activities. And now, for the second aspect of this part of the rim review,
here's what I invite you to do. Now, just like in the first part, you'll invite into
awareness anything from mental activities. This time, what I invite you to do is to study
the way a mental activity, let's say an image. How does it first present itself to awareness?
Is it sudden, is it gradual? And once it presents itself to awareness, how does it stay present?
Does it undulate? Is it vibrating? Is it continual? How does it feel as it stays in awareness?
And then, how does it leave awareness? Is it again from one side of the other up down?
Does it just suddenly leave? Is it just replaced by another mental activity? And if it's not
replaced by another mental activity, what does the gap feel like between two mental
activities? So now, I'm inviting you to become a student of the architecture of your own
mental life studying the comings, the staying presence and the goings of mental activities.
So let's begin that practice right now. Now, I invite you to take a bit of a deeper breath
and we'll let this part of the rim go for now where we can always explore the architecture
of our own mental life. And now, moving the spoke over one more time to the last segment
of the rim. And this is the segment that represents our sense of connection to others or other
things outside of our bodily selves. And first, what I invite you to do is let yourself become
aware of your sense of connection to people who are sitting close to you right now. And then, let that expand to people who are
near you but not immediately next to you right now.
And now, let's let that sense of connection move beyond these walls to people who you
work with, your colleagues. And then, extending out to friends and family, and then extending out to people who live
in your neighborhood, and then to people who live in your larger community, to people who share your city,
to people who share your state, and people who share your country. And then, allowing that sense of connection
to move out to all people who share this common home, our planet Earth. And then, moving that
sense of connection to include all living beings on earth. And knowing that Science
is now demonstrated with wisdom practices for years of known that sending out feelings
of concern and kindness out into the world actually brings positive changes not only
in the world but even in our own physiological health, invite you to send out compassionate
concern and caring senses of intention and kindness out to all living beings on the planet
and then bringing that sense of kindness and compassion now to your inner bodily self.
We bring a sense of love and kindness inwardly to our inner selves. And now, I invite you
to take a bit of a deeper breath and for many, this would be a good place to stop the wheel
of awareness practice. But people seemed very focus and I could take you very briefly to
one more step but nod your head if you're up for trying it out. And a lot of nods are
going on. Okay, so if you don't want to do this, that's fine. Just keep on, just focusing
on the breath. But we'll try this one more, it's an advance step. So, if it's hard, don't
worry about it it's just the way it is. But let's just give it a try and you can always
come back to this another time. But again, if you're not up for it, just focus on the
breath in and out. But here's how this next step goes, what I invite you to do is, sense
your breath in and out and then being in the hub of the mind, imagine sending this spoke
out again from the hub but this time instead of going to somewhere in the rim, imagine
bending that spoke and sending it back to the hub itself. So, now you're going to focus
attention on awareness and experience what awareness of awareness feels like for you.
Now again, I invite you to find the breath, we're having the wave of the breath in and
out. And now, when you're ready taking it deeper in this time more intentional breath,
you can let your eyes get ready to come open if they're closed and we'll bring this whole
wheel of awareness practice to a close for today. Thank you and welcome back. So, we
have a few minutes left for today and as I mentioned, you may feel like talking or you
may feel not talking. This was the whole wheel of awareness practice, a little bit faster
than normal because we wanted to fit it in the time but if you do the audio practice,
you'll see it's extended out a little bit more. So, you have the feel of it. But is
there anyone who would like to share many thing from their experience? From any part
of it? Yes, please. >> I just notice that for me...
>> SIEGEL: Oh, oh, there's a microphone. Here you go. Thank you.
>> Thanks. I just notice that for me, certain parts were very easy; a certain parts were
not very easy at all, right? For example, when it was time to get the seventh sense,
it wasn't very easy for me. And I think that's probably where I spent most of my time whereas
being aware of like my body or maybe connections around me, that's what like "Oh, I'm challenged
I didn't really think if I'll ask you that. >> SIEGEL: Wow, beautiful.
>> So, that's pretty interesting. >> SIEGEL: That's very helpful to say. And,
you know, how we practice attention drives energy information flow through our nervous
system. So, if you spend a lot of time doing the seventh sense, it will be like a very
well developed muscle so, you're kind of finding, "Wow, that's an area of my rim that it might
be good for me from an integrated, there's the honor to differentiate parts, develop
connections to other connections of my body." So, it's a good invitation to practice that.
So it's great, thank you. Thank you. Anyone else would like to share? Some people often
ask, "What is the hub?" And I'm going to just show you because I have two minutes left if
unless there's someone who wants to share something. I'm going to show you one scientific
proposal for what this was all about. What you were saying is, you know, we can look
from the neural side that if we need to have certain circuits developed, we can find it's
harder and those are as well developed. And the great news is the brain is always changing
as we focus attention down it. In the next slide, which is--this is a metaphor, the wheel
of awareness. In this slide which you'll find in the book called, "The Mindful Therapist,"
this is basically saying if we've define the mind as a process that's both on body and
relational that regulates energy and information flow, it takes the science of energy which
is basically as you know, the science of probabilities not Newtonian absolutes. And it says, "Wow,
if the mind is truly regulating energy flow, then maybe it's actually regulating degrees
of certainty." So, for example, if I say, "Let's all go to dinner and have salmon for
dinner," right? That was an absolute statement I said. And on this graph, it would be a peak.
I've said salmon, and maybe you say, "Well, I'm also in the mood for dinner but let's
go to have Italian food or something," it will be another peak. And together, we might
have a mood of eating which will be a plateau of probability. And finally, we've decided
to eat somewhere so we'd pick a particular peak and we'd eat. That shows the distribution
from absolute probability, we're eating salmon to we're in the mood or primary ourselves
to eat, that's a plateau. What I want to suggest to you is, those are our thoughts up with
the peaks or mood, that's a plateau. But you can drop yourself to this open plain of possibility
where you're moving energy distributions to zero probability, which means infinite possibility.
And so, how many of you did it when you did the hub on the hub part felt this sense of
expansion? Anyone feel that? >> I actually got more centered.
>> SIEGIEL: More centered, okay. But anyone else want to share any--what they felt like?
Well, for many people, they talk about not only being centered but feeling like at home
or at peace or in clarity. So, what I want to suggest you is that this is one scientific
proposal for the how the hub--when we say, "Let's build the hub of your mind with the
time and practice." Basically, you're gaining access to this open plain. So, let's say you're
someone who's, you know, prone to be worried about a lot of things or, you know, have negative
thoughts about a lot of things. Those are a bunch of peaks that are driving you mad.
When you develop this time and practice, you're basically strengthening the capacity of your
mind by building certain circuits in the brain to actually bring you from those points on
the rim down to the open plain. So, in a nutshell, what I want to leave you with is a closing
remark, is that if you can build up through a time and practice, the capacity to move
yourself in different--differentiated circuits of your brain, you literally going to integrate
not only your nervous system but all the study show that when you can do this you become
more open, literally the open plain of possibility to what's going on inside of other people,
so you it's, your relationships will be improved; you'll increase creativity because rather
than being stuck on a certain pattern, you'll say literally, "Okay, this was the plan I
had. These are the peaks and plateaus of trying to solve this problem a certain way. I dropped
myself to the open plain, that's the hub, and from that spaciousness I can move over
to another set of peaks." So, literally, creativity, connection, a sense of coherence, stability
and clarity, these are all available to us. Now, the wonderful thing is, if in a place
like Google, or any of us who works to influence education, or families or the whole of our
human family, we have the opportunity actually to create not just inner health but health
among all of us in this planet which we live. We can create more kindness, more compassion,
more integration because ultimately, if you think about it, what is integration made visible,
it's kindness and compassion toward the self and towards others. What is health? Health
is integration. So, if we can get together and create a time in movement, facilitated
literally around the planet, I believe very deeply that we can create more well being
for all of us. So, thank you very much for your attention. It's a pleasure to be here
with you today. And I look forward to more time in together. Thank you.
>> You mentioned the definition of mind and I thought that was pretty interesting. The
definition of the brain seems very clear to me. The brain plus the nervous system...
>> SIEGIEL: Yes, that's an over analysis exactly. >> Yes, but I was--could you make a reiterate
what the definition of mind was because from my prospective, I'm not sure how to tell that
it [INDISTINCT] >> SIEGEL: Yes. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely,
let's go back and just--luckily, it goes fast. You know, this definition of mine there, when
you look at systems science, there's something called, "An Emergent Self-Organizing Process."
So, that isn't a phrase I made up because of California, that's actually a mathematical
term. So, think about like a classroom, you know, that kids like each other, the teacher's
boredom of the kids, the kids are exploring new things, there's the openness to be wrong
and people are people are creating together, they're collaborating. And you walk into the
classroom and you say, "Wow, the morale in this classroom was really high." Well, you
never point any individual and say, "That's the source of morale." It's An Emergent Self-Organizing
Process of high morale, that's arising from the interaction of the elements of the system
this case and this in the classroom. So, what I was thinking was, you know, I know that
people don't think this way but if the systems actually energy and information flow, that's
the key to look--think of this way. Where does energy information flow? Well, it's absolutely
flowing in your body; the whole nervous system is electrochemical energy flow. And so, you
say, "Okay, fine." But it doesn't end there you see, it's happening right now between
the two of us and among all of us and all of us everywhere and certainly Google is influencing
it everywhere. So, when you really brace the issuant certainly, you know, I work close
with an anthropologist. They love this definition because for them they study culture and Google
is shaping culture. And culture is about energy information flow patterns and how they're
shared not only now across, you know, people within the society but across generations
that's what culture is. So, in this way, mind becomes about energy information flow patterns
that are both embodied and relational and there's--and you say, "Well, how does that
happen?" It's An Emergent Self-Organizing Process that people get upset about this,
they want to own their mind. They said, "No, no, no, my--this is my mind you know." And
you say, "Well, look, do you have a relationship with someone?" "Yeah." "Well, that's--your
interaction with that other person in relation affect you?"
>> Yeah. >> SIEGEL: You're well. You know, we're not--we
don't just come out of nowhere, we're relational. And in fact, our whole incredible movement
as a human species is we don't have, you know, big claws, we don't have big fangs, we actually
have achieved what we've achieved because we collaborate. So, you really understand
the mind as a relational process, literally process. So, you can just drop the emergent
self-organize if it makes you feeling uncomfortable as we do in the definition process. But basically
you say, "Where is that word process come from?" It's literally a mathematical property
of interaction of elements of a system. The elements of the system are the nodes of which
energy information is flowing. Now those nodes can be distributed as Google nodes, just look
at screen when you speak of all these people is doing this thing. We're all interconnected,
that's the thing about it and this just gives you the scientific view so it's not metaphysical,
it's not, you know, any kind of anything, it's just straight science. I'm a scientist
who practice as a clinician, you know, this is a scientific proposal, you know, and that
it fits with, you know, what the test researchers like or anthropologist or contemplative practice
people. We work in a field called consilience as we try to bring in all different ways of
knowing. And we're very happy that we could have people in various religions talk to each
other and we let people in various sciences talk to each other, we can have people who
are just out on the field trying to make kids in schools have a better time. So, we're happy
that we can communicate with everybody, or Interpersonal [INDISTINCT] basically a concealant
feel we'll invite everyone in to join together because, you know, our species had so much
wonderful potential if we awaken our minds literally in this way. And then when you go
from this, you know, definition of mind to health then you've got the whole thing onto
a slide you know. Then you say, "Okay, fine, I got a monitor to modify health toward integration,
toward integration, toward integration." And that's why I really wanted you to do the wheel
practice with you because it's, you know, you can see it right there. I know it was
a little fast and I want to apologize for that but, you know, you can see it's literally
integrating consciousness. So, we don't want to be vague about this. I mean, I'm being
super scientific about this that sometimes people say, "You're way too scientific." I
say, "Well, that's where we should start, everything we should do--everything we do
should be based in science." And then, we need to go out to try to help the world be
a better place but it's got to be consistent with because that's how I stand as a scientist,
that's what I feel very strongly. Does that make sense?
>> It does. Kind I try and re-state something in one sentence?
>> SIEGEL: Please. >> And tell me if this--you think, this is
accurate or this is inaccurate? >> SIEGEL: Go for it.
>> So, brain would be, you know, my brain plus my nervous system.
>> SIEGEL: Yes. >> But mind as you're defining it would be
a system or systems of brains and nervous systems exchanging information with each other,
is that correct? And themselves. >> SIEGEL: That's correct and--so, I'm going
to add to it. If you think about the internet dots, you know, it is affecting your mind.
If you think about--like I have a dear friend named John Adane who died a couple of years
ago, he writes--wrote beautifully and his audio program still affect people. So, in
this ways, it isn't just limited to a nervous system, the internet is not composed of neurons
you know what I mean? And you guys are really influencing the minds of people. So, I would
just stick with energy information flow and say for sure, the nervous system plays an
important role but you can have fiber optics that are contributing that role too. And,
you know, when we see whatever ones doing linking each other, what's really being linked
is energy information flow patterns. And, you know, with the 186,000 miles per second
that, you know, the fiber optics allow things to go--I mean, I have this online things I
do where I'm talking to someone in Iran and South Africa and Australia, all at once, there's
no lag. I mean, we're literally having this community that's created that because of that
speed of light thing. I mean, it's as if I was right there with them like I am with you
and with all of you. I mean, so we have this opportunity then to connect all of us. But
of--yes, so that's why they word embodied is there. For sure the brain and the whole
nervous system, the whole body itself is really, really important but it's not just about that
it's about our way of sharing energy information flow however we could share it. And the internet
is a huge impact from the human mind because you have such a profound influence on how
energy information flows big share. Does that make sense?
>> Yes, it does. I'm still interested in that how are you [INDISTINCT]. You could--that
seems like a fair definition but then you keep using minds thorough which seems like
a little bit of [INDISTINCT] or because you just say any given system is a mind like there's
like human mind which is this for humans. >> SIEGEL: Yes.
>> I don't think and I don't think [INDISTINCT]. >> Yes. Humans and minds, yes.
>> The definition doesn't jumps what it is. I think the definition [INDISTINCT].
>> Right. >> More, like so it doesn't matter what is
it that you might not understand of what it is.
>> SIEGEL: Well, this is a really important point. So, the mind has subjective experience
but this is the regulatory aspect of mind. But absolutely, the mind has--nobody knows--what
is subjective experience from a scientific point of view, we have no idea. From a subjective
point of view, of course we know what it is. From a scientific point of view, we can--we
have nothing to say. Awareness, same thing, awareness like no scientist even though they're
looking for neural correlates of consciousness, nobody knows what awareness is. We know it
has the subjective quality of knowing which is really fantastic. We have the subjective
texture of that which is known which is beautiful, red is red and wine taste like wine and you
really go swimming in a beautiful lake, it's gorgeous. So, absolutely right. We don't know
what those aspects are. But in terms of the regulatory aspect of minds not the whole thing.
What this helps us with rather than having no definition but it helps in the work in
internet, where the work in therapy or work in education or the parenting. Here's what
helps us do it says, "Let's teach people to monitor with more stability and modify toward
integration." So, for sure we can't say what subjectivity is and awareness, we don't know,
nobody knows, we may never know. But that doesn't mean we can't define one aspect of
mind and then once we have a definition say, "What's the healthy aspect of mind?" And then
go with it. And so the great thing is, it's like you know, the Willy Sadden's story. You
know, Willy Saddens is the guy who robbed the bank and so, they put them in jail, they
caught them. And then they put on a cell and they said, "Willy, Willy why'd you robbed
the bank?" And he goes, "That's where the money was." You know so; it's the same kind
of thing. If we got one aspect of the mind that directly impacts health of our individual
lives, of our collective lives, of the planet's life, let's go for it. Let's actually, you
know, bite the bullet, let's do the Willy Sadden rule, if that's where it is, let's
promote integration and let's do it by teaching people to monitor with more stability and
to modify toward integration and bam, you got it. So, I think we--I think it's time
we can do this. If we do this together--and as what I said, like a human mind, it is as
an open system, there are lots of layers have dividing it up because there are lots of parts
and stuff. So yes, you have your mind, I have my mind but then, we influence each other
like I probably will never forget you, right? You'll influence me forever and so now you're
literally--I mean, when you like it or not you're now a part of my mind, right? So, this
is how we have to influence each other if we do it in a positive direction, you know.
I mean, think about it, if integration is health and integration is also the source
of kindness and compassion, you got a win-win situation. You going to get people healthier,
you'll get people nicer to each other, you're going to make people have more meaning in
life, more flexibility. Let's do it, it's just a matter of like doing it. So, time in.
Good. Thank you. Any other questions, or thoughts, comments? Okay, wonderful. Well, thanks a
lot; I look forward to hearing from you whenever. Thanks.