EPISODE 30: PEAK MIND

The author of Peak Mind, Amishi Jha PhD, joins David for a chat around the perfect marriage of neuroscience and mindfulness meditation.


Amishi Jha, PhD is Director of Contemplative Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami. Prior to her current post, she was an Assistant Professor at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.S in Biological Psychology from the University of Michigan, her Ph.D in Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience) from the University of California–Davis, and her post-doctoral training at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University in functional neuroimaging. Discover her new book, Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day, and find more offerings at Amishi.com

A Perfect Marriage: Neuroscience & Meditation
Welcoming contemplative neuroscientist, Amishi Jha PhD, to the Creativity, Spirituality and Making a Buck podcast, David invites her to expound on the connection between the study of neuroscience and the practice of meditation. Sharing on the rather difficult existential period the world has been experiencing, Dr. Jha describes how ancient mindfulness techniques and modern brain studies are the perfect marriage for this time. To begin, they weave together scientific knowledge with Buddhist wisdom.

“We really are at a moment in time where there is this global crisis we’re experiencing—existential, attentional—and people are looking for solutions regarding what they can do to deal with these overcoming feelings of this particular set of moments that we’re in.” – Amishi Jha, PhD

Control & Attention // Identity, Interdependence & Impermanence (18:01)
Exploring the question, ‘What exactly is controlling our brain?’ through the lens of our it being both singular entity and a community in a relational orchestra, David and Dr. Jha apply concepts like the homunculus (a representation of the characterized body-map in the brain) in attempt to uncover the basis of cognitive control. From here, they dive further down the rabbit-hole of identity, Anatta (no-self), interdependence, and impermanence through the holographic lenses of science and spirit.

“That is what brain science is suggesting, is that the notion that a self is an ever-evolving, ever-changing set of brain activation that can fall into place in a certain way. The brain is organized to have us experience the sense of self, but when you actually look at it at the more fundamental level, it falls apart. There’s nothing there. Interdependence and impermanence is the nature of the brain.” – Amishi Jha, PhD

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