Altering Traits

By Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson

“In the beginning nothing comes, in the middle nothing stays, in the end nothing goes.” That enigmatic riddle comes from Jetsun Milarepa, Tibet’s eminent twelfth-century poet, yogi, and sage. Matthieu Ricard unpacks Milarepa’s puzzle this way: at the start of contemplative practice, little or nothing seems to change in us. After continued practice, we notice some changes in our way…

Meditating Together

By Garrison Institute

As part of the work that she’s leading on the ReSource Project—a large-scale multi-methodological secular mental training program—Tania Singer is studying novel forms of intersubjective mental training practices that are performed with a partner. These contemplative dyad practices are aimed at boosting social closeness and perceived interconnectedness. In this video, Singer, who is the Director at the Max Planck Institute…

It’s Not as Bad as You Think

By Eve Ekman

The author’s recent research suggests that even the busiest, most stressed professionals have more emotional flexibility than they would expect.

Craving Freedom

By Charlotte Lieberman

I’ve always been miffed when I hear the casual confession, “I have such an addictive personality.” In my understanding—and in my own experience—it seems there’s no way to be human without getting addicted to certain behaviors or habits of mind. When I go to my psychiatrist each week complaining about my latest compulsive behavior, she reassures me that addictions—of all…

Seeing the System as a Source of Self

By Dr. Dan Siegel

Imagine if you identified yourself as an oxygen atom. All your life you’ve somehow known oxygen is your identity. Even when you combine with another oxygen atom to form O2, you have no confusion because you and your kin are the oxygen that animals breathe to live. But there’s another kid on the block that is even more abundant than…

Less Empathy, More Kindness

By Paul Bloom

You are likely familiar with the idea that you can feel too much of the suffering of others. This is sometimes called “burnout,” a word that was coined in the 1970s. But it’s not a new insight; the idea has many origins, including, to my surprise, in Buddhist theology. I first learned this from a discussion I had with Matthieu…