Francesca Maximé – BHNN Guest Podcast – Ep. 27 – The Science and Practice of Presence with Dr. Dan Siegel

This week on the Be Here Now Guest Podcast, Francesca Maximé shares a conversation with Dr. Dan Siegel about embracing possibility and the science behind mindfulness practice.

Dr. Dan Siegel, MD, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which focuses on the development of mindsight, which teaches insight, empathy, and integration in individuals, families and communities. His New York Times bestsellers include Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, The Yes Brain and the newly released AWARE: The Science and Practice of Presence.

Links from this episode: The Wheel of Awareness Dr. Dan Siegel | Wise Girl Podcast

Show Notes

The Wheel of Awareness (Opening) – Francesca opens with a conversation about The Wheel of Awareness mindfulness practice developed by Dan. Dan speaks with Francesca about the mechanics of the practice and the science behind how it works in the brain.

“The integration of consciousness should be a way that you can intentionally create change towards health and happiness. Where attention goes, neural firing flow and neural connections grow. From a brain point of view, it is very possible that you can use the focus of attention to actually stimulate the growth of integration in the brain.” – Dr. Dan Siegel

Embracing Possibility (17:50) – What is it that keeps us stuck in the same patterns? Franchesca and Dan talk about the mental plateaus that prevent us from engaging with unknown possibility. They discuss the isolation that develops when we turn away from what is possible.

“What is uncertain is where possibility comes from. You may have a reaction to that that is a learned plateau that says uncertainty is bad, try to avoid uncertainty.” – Dr. Dan Siegel

Embodied Mindfulness (37:00) – How can we use the practices proposed by Dr. Siegel to respect our uniqueness and also integrate the reality of our shared existence?

“I love brain science, but If you stop with the brain to try and understand the mind you don’t find the bridge to spirituality or poetry.” – Dr. Dan Siegel

Listen to Sharon Salzberg’s conversation with Dr. Siegel about the neuroscience behind love, relationships and awareness on Ep. 64 of the Metta Hour Podcast.
Art via Antonio Guillem