Richard Mendius

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Richard Mendius, MD, is a neurologist and co-founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. He trained at UCLA as an epileptologist and neurobehaviorist. He has been on the teaching faculty of UCLA, Oregon Health Sciences University, and Stanford University. His meditation practice began in the 1980s with Shinzen Young and continues at Spirit Rock Meditation Center with Jack Kornfield and Ajahn Amaro. He teaches a weekly meditation class at San Quentin. His daughters, Courtney and Taryn, and his son, Ian, are three of his main teachers and companions on the path.

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Richard Mendius: Neuro-Dharma

Tami Simon speaks with Richard Mendius, a neurologist, meditation teacher, and the cofounder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. Along with Dr. Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius is the co-author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom, as well as the Sounds True audio-learning program Meditations to Change Your Brain. Richard discusses the anatomy of the brain and the emerging field called Neuro-Dharma. (76 Minutes)

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Ep 6: The H-Word

When it comes to the state of our world, the concept of hope can feel elusive. Joanna teaches Jess that the future may be uncertain, but that means that there’s still room for something beautiful to happen. This episode offers insights into embracing uncertainty, cultivating joyousness, and understanding the intricate interplay between hope, courage, and action.

In this episode:

  • “Active hope” is about acting in service of the future we hope for
  • Whenever Jess asks about hope, Joanna talks instead about courage 
  • When hope eludes us, courage and our devotion to life remain steadfast

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

Ep 5 Bonus: Breathing Through

This bonus episode will support you to take the main insights from Episode 4: There is No Future if We Go Numb and Episode 5: This Pain Is Not for Nothing, deeper into your life. 

Both of these episodes are about the second phase in the Spiral of the Work That Reconnects, Honoring Our Pain for the World. This bonus is a recording of Joanna leading a meditation called Breathing Through, recorded at a retreat in 2006. In it, she’ll guide you to create space to acknowledge and honor the pain for the world that you carry without numbing or getting overwhelmed. All you’ll need for this bonus exercise is a place where you can close your eyes and relax.  

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

 

Ep 5: This Pain Is Not for Nothing

Now we get to what may be the toughest part of reckoning with our planet’s situation: dealing with numbness, grief, and despair. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the many crises around us, and natural to want to numb ourselves to the pain. 

Joanna and Jess speak with great vulnerability and candor about what it takes to navigate our darkest feelings—and the strength and beauty that can be found when we honor our pain. 

Trigger Warning: In this episode, we discuss suicide.

In this episode:

  • When it feels like our pain could swallow us whole, it helps to remember that all feelings come and go
  • Desperation can take us to dark places, but we are more than our despair
  • Numbness—Jess opens up about her familiar tactic for escaping pain
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  • Bonus Exercise: Breathing Through

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

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