The human brain evolved in three stages: reptile, mammal, and primate. Each stage has a core motivation: avoid harm, approach reward, and attach to "us." Modern life challenges these ancient neural systems with bombardments of threat messages, the endless stimulation of desire, and social disconnections and tensions of industrial, multicultural societies. This talk will explore brain-savvy ways to cultivate mindfulness in young people, and then use that mindfulness to internalize a greater sense of strength and safety, contentment, and being loved.
Rick Hanson gave this keynote address for the Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth: Mindfulness in Clinical Practice, Education and Research Conference at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness in February, 2012.