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The FitMind Podcast: Mental Fitness, Neuroscience & Psychology Cover
The FitMind Podcast: Mental Fitness, Neuroscience & Psychology Profile

The FitMind Podcast: Mental Fitness, Neuroscience & Psychology

English, Health / Medicine, 1 season, 87 episodes, 2 days, 18 hours, 49 minutes
Expert insights on the science of a fit mind. Topics include psychology, neuroscience, mental health, mindfulness meditation, productivity, brain technologies, Stoicism, happiness hacking, and more. Liam McClintock, the Founder of FitMind, talks with leaders in their fields, from neuroscientists and psychologists to Buddhist monks and professional athletes. At FitMind, we believe that the next great human frontier is the mind. FitMind combines ancient techniques with western psychology to provide mental fitness training that is taught at Fortune 500 companies, addiction centers, schools, government organizations, and on the FitMind meditation app. Liam McClintock received a B.A. from Yale and worked in finance before traveling to Asia to study meditation full-time. He is currently completing an MS in Applied Neuroscience at King’s College London. Liam is an RYS Certified Yoga & Meditation Instructor and has trained in various meditation styles. He has been featured in Time, Vice, Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, NBC, and Men’s Health.
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#93: Neuroplasticity, Meditation & the Predictive Brain - Ruben Laukkonen, PhD

How does the brain work at its deepest levels? And to what extent can we radically upgrade it, creating neuroplastic changes? Ruben Laukkonen, PhD is a cognitive neuroscientist, contemplative, speaker, and poet. His eclectic background includes competing semi-professionally in Muay Thai Kickboxing, founding two businesses (including the first online market for bitcoin in Australia), and intensive meditation training. Dr. Laukkonen is currently a principal investigator and lecturer at Southern Cross University and holds honorary fellowships at VU Amsterdam and The University of Queensland. He uses methods such as behavior, neuroimaging, machine learning, and phenomenology to empirically investigate some of the rarest states of human consciousness. This episode is a full tour of the mind, including a deep dive into some of those rare states of consciousness and what they reveal about achieving the highest levels of human happiness. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:   SHOW NOTES 0:00 | Introduction to Ruben Laukkonen, PhD 2:02 | Early Experience  10:45 | How the Mind Makes Itself 22:18 | Predictive Processing & Agitation 25:30 | Why There's Always Something Wrong 31:28 | Chain of Causality in the Mind 36:00 | The Mind Rebuilding After Deepest Levels of Meditation 38:25 | Meditation for Reconditioning the Mind 52:06 | Doing Nothing Very Well 53:14 | Stages of Meditation & Predictive Processing 1:08:28 | Cessation & Awakening Research 1:17:12 | Jhanas - Stages of Deconstruction 1:24:22 | Rapid Fire Questions   LINKS 
9/6/20221 hour, 31 minutes, 22 seconds
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#92: The Awakened Mind - Delson Armstrong

Delson Armstrong is a meditation teacher and author of A Mind Without Craving. He trained for extended periods in the Himalayas and mastered several systems of yoga, including the ten levels of samadhi (meditative states of absorption). Delson has recently collaborated with leading neuroscience research labs interested in studying his brain. On this episode, we discuss how to conquer a craving mind, cessation and its benefits, the unique way he experiences his inner world, and the studies being done on his brain. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: SHOW NOTES 0:00 | Intro to Delson Armstrong 1:30 | A Mind Without Craving 7:25 | Experience of “No Self” 15:40 | Awakened Mind = Supreme Happiness 20:40 | Daily Life After Awakening 26:03 | Meditation Brain Study 30:15 | Cessation - What Is It & Benefits 34:24 | Experiencing How the Mind Works 37:43 | Deconditioning a Wandering Mind 48:11 | Rapid Fire Questions LINKS Delson Armstrong Website: Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center: Patreon: A Mind Without Craving via Suttavada Foundation:
7/28/202255 minutes, 11 seconds
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#91: The Science of Creativity & Imagination - Anna Abraham, PhD

Dr. Anna Abraham is a psychologist and neuroscientist who investigates creativity and how we can optimize this key trait. She’s also a leading scholar on the study of human imagination. On this episode, we discuss the key ingredients of a creative mind, how to become more creative, and how the brain can tell the difference between real and imaginary worlds. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: SHOW NOTES 0:00 | Intro to Anna Abraham, PhD 1:44 | Imagination More Important Than Knowledge? 4:45 | Imagination Defined 7:53 | How We Experience Real vs. Imaginary Worlds 17:20 | Fiction Crossing Into Reality 21:35 | Overlap of Memory & Imagination 29:28 | Ingredients of a Creative Mind 42:08 | Ways to Build Creativity 48:35 | Predictors of Creativity 58:12 | Rapid Fire Questions
6/21/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 21 seconds
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#90: Master of Sleep - Nick Littlehales

Nick Littlehales has been an elite sport recovery coach for nearly a quarter-century and is the bestselling author of Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps... and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind. On this episode, we uncover the common myths and misunderstandings about sleep. We also discuss the circadian rhythm, chronotypes, polyphasic sleep, and treating sleep as recovery. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: SHOW NOTES 0:00 | Intro to Nick Littlehales 1:42 | Sleep Tips 3:45 | Becoming a Sleep Coach 7:28 | How the Pros Optimize Sleep 9:38 | What to do Before You Sleep 19:36 | Understanding Circadian Rhythm 26:10 | Polyphasic Sleep: Importance of Naps 28:58 | 7 Key Sleep Recovery Indicators 37:27 | How to Improve Sleep 43:54 | Microrest 45:20 | Rapid Fire Questions
5/17/202250 minutes, 22 seconds
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#89: Consciousness, Perception & Reality - Donald Hoffman, PhD

Donald Hoffman, PhD is a cognitive scientist and author of The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes. He is currently a professor at UC Irvine, where he studies consciousness, visual perception and evolutionary psychology. On this episode, we “take the red pill” and hear Dr. Hoffman’s theory on why reality is not what it seems. He explains this complex topic by comparing reality to a user interface. We discuss many topics, such as his mathematical theory of consciousness, questioning beliefs, and how the mind forms new mental models. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: Show Notes 0:00 | Introduction to Donald Hoffman, PhD 2:23 | Why Reality Isn’t as It Seems 7:30 | Reality as a User Interface 13:51 | Adapting to Evolving Technology 16:06 | Creating New Mental Models 18:31 | Moving Beyond Spacetime 23:06 | Consciousness is Fundamental 25:26 | Ancient Wisdom & Science of Consciousness 30:00 | Conversation with the Dalai Lama (starting at 54:40) 30:15 | Reality Transcends Concepts 36:39 | Questioning Beliefs 38:56 | A New Worldview 45:04 | Mathematical Theory of Consciousness 45:39 | Rapid Fire Questions
4/19/202250 minutes, 56 seconds
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#88: Profound States of Mind - Andrew Holecek

Andrew Holecek is an author and meditation teacher with decades of intensive practice experience, including a 3-year silent retreat in the Tibetan tradition. Andrew’s work combines ancient wisdom with modern science. We discuss the insights gained from his lengthy silent retreat, the 2 vectors of enlightenment, how our minds construct our realities, and much more. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: SHOW NOTES 0:00 | Intro to Andrew Holecek 4:55 | In the Presence of Meditation Masters  10:10 | 3-Year Silent Retreat Experience 18:58 | Insights Gained from 3-Year Retreat 22:50 | Unsticking the Mind 30:06 | Enlightenment Defined  38:58 | Waking Up & Growing Up  44:23 | How Our Minds Construct Our Realities  54:20 | Deconstructing Mental Constructs 62:23 | Rapid Fire Questions 
3/15/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 45 seconds
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#87: The Future of the Brain - Miguel Nicolelis, MD, PhD

Miguel Nicolelis, MD, PhD is a Brazilian neuroscientist and physician famous for his pioneering work in the field of brain-machine interface (BMI) technology. Dr. Nicolelis’s extensive research with brain-machine interfaces blurs the lines between real life and science fiction.  In the episode, we discuss neuroprosthetics, monkeys controlling robots, brain-to-brain communication, and the key implications of these wild, futuristic technologies for us all. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: SHOW NOTES 0:00 | Intro to Dr. Miguel Nicolelis 4:20 | Monkeys Controlling Robots 10:30 | Mirror Neurons & Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) 13:02 | Advances & Applications of BMIs 17:50 | BMIs for Parkinson’s Disease 21:36 | Upgrading the Human Mind? 24:50 | Why Machines Will Never Think Like a Human 29:56 | Brains are Changed by Digital Systems 32:50 | Limitations of Computers 37:07 | How Nature Shaped the Brain 40:15 | We Only Experience a Sliver of Reality 49:45 | Viruses of the Mind 59:30 | Rapid Fire Questions
2/15/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 43 seconds
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#86: The Science of Spontaneity - Edward Slingerland, PhD

Edward Slingerland, PhD, is a Professor of Philosophy and Associate Member in the Asian Studies and Psychology Departments at the University of British Columbia. He's an expert on the cognitive science of ancient philosophies. On this episode, we discuss the science of ancient concepts like Wu Wei (”effortless action”), hot vs cold cognition, ways to alter consciousness, the paradox of trying not to try, and much more. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: SHOW NOTES 0:00 | Intro to Edward Slingerland, PhD 1:39 | Wu Wei & Flow State 9:34 | Hot vs. Cold Cognition 13:45 | How to Get into State of Wu Wei 17:35 | When to Not Use Wu Wei 19:30 | Paradox of Trying Not to Try 26:40 | Wu Wei in Daily Life 30:10 | Microdosing Psychedelics 32:28 | Alcohol and Ways to Alter Consciousness 38:06 | How Much Effort is Needed to Become Effortless? 40:00 | Rapid Fire Questions
1/18/202245 minutes, 32 seconds
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#85: Neuromagic & Illusion - Stephen Macknik, PhD & Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD

Dr. Susana Martinez-Conde and Dr. Stephen Macknik are neuroscientists who specialize in the science of magic and illusion. Both are professors of ophthalmology, neurology, and physiology & pharmacology at the Downstate Medical Center. Together they pioneered the study of various aspects of magic such as perception, cognitive illusion, and attentional misdirection. On this episode, we discuss how magic tricks fool the brain, why everyday life is an illusion, what neuroscientists and magicians can learn from each other and much more. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: Show Notes 0:00 | Intro to Stephen Macknik, PhD & Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD 8:00 | How Magic Hacks Our Minds 13:00 | What Neuroscientists Learn from Magicians 15:54 | What Magicians Learn from Neuroscientists 17:24 | Testing Attention Manipulation  22:25 | Cognition & Calculation 25:36 | How Our Brains Construct Reality 28:27 | Vision Produces Our Changing Realities 29:53 | Microsaccades Explained 32:58 | Brain on Autopilot 35:50 | Expertise as an Unconscious Process 40:46 | Magic for Kids vs. Magic for Adults 43:43 | Is Magic Still Enjoyable When You Know the Tricks? 48:24 | Rapid Fire Questions
1/4/202254 minutes, 7 seconds
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#84: The Brain of a Mental Olympian - Elena Antonova, PhD

Dr. Elena Antonova is a neuroscientist and senior lecturer in psychology at Brunel University London. Her research focuses on the effects of long-term mindfulness meditation practice in the hope of promoting mental wellbeing in the general population. On this episode, we dive into the different approaches to meditation and the 4 levels of meditation practice development.  We also discuss what goes on in the brains of elite meditators and what it takes for the average person to reap the benefits from a meditation practice.  FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: Show Notes 0:00 | Introduction to Elena Antonova, PhD 4:28 | Categorizing Meditation Practices 7:15 | Why Breath Focus is Fundamental 10:19 | Constructivist vs. Innateist Approach to Meditation 12:08 | 4 Levels of Meditation Practice Development 17:12 | Mental Fitness Defined 20:19 | Brains of Mental Olympians 24:10 | Default Mode Network Differences 32:00 | Field of Awareness Described 35:45 | Habituation of the Attention System 46:45 | Eye Movement Paradigm Study 54:00 | Balancing Brain’s Predictive Nature with the Present Moment 57:10 | Measurable Changes with Just 10 Minutes a Day 59:14 | Rapid Fire Questions
12/21/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 26 seconds
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#83: Origins of the Mind - Antonio Damasio, MD, PhD

Dr. Antonio Damasio is a neurologist, psychologist and best-selling author. He's the Founder & Director of the Brain and Creativity Institute, which researches human emotions, memory, communication, and decision-making, and is regarded as one of the most influential psychologists of the modern era. On this episode, we discuss the evolution of the mind, the surprising role of feelings in consciousness, and why we have a brain in the first place. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: Show Notes 0:00 | Introduction to Antonio Damasio, MD, PhD 2:07 | Why Do We Have a Brain? 4:00 | Brain & Nervous System Are One 6:08 | Evolution of the Mind 10:28 | Minds are Representation Machines  16:51 | Distinguishing Between Feeling & Emotions 19:04 | Feelings are the Beginning of Consciousness 22:38 | Nervous Systems Produce Feelings/Consciousness 29:30 | Understanding Feelings is of Utmost Importance 34:34 | How Feelings Impact Culture, Politics, Relationships, & Everything Really 39:37 | Building Conscious Machines with Vulnerability 43:30 | Rapid Fire Questions
12/7/202148 minutes, 8 seconds
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#82: Sleep & Dreams - Sidarta Ribeiro, PhD

Dr. Sidarta Ribeiro is an award-winning neuroscientist, author, and Founder of the Brain Institute at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil, where he is also a professor of neuroscience. In this episode, we discuss how dreams have influenced human evolution, the connection between sleep and learning, and how to cultivate a rich dream life. He gives his top tips for how to get a better night’s sleep and stresses the importance of sharing our dreams with others. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: Show Notes 0:00 | Introduction to Sidarta Ribeiro, PhD 3:09 | History of Sleep and Dreams 5:56 | Problem with Not Paying Attention to Dreams 7:27 | Purpose of Dreams 13:45 | How Sleep Made Humans a Dominate Species 22:17 | How to Cultivate a Dream Life 27:38 | Interpreting Meaning of Dreams 36:23 | Collective Dreams Have Changed During Covid 37:48 | Sleep Tips - How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep 41:43 | Are Naps Good? 42:55 | Connection Between Sleep, Memory and Learning 46:13 | Too Much Sleep? 49:51 | Rapid Fire Questions
11/23/202157 minutes, 23 seconds
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#81: Mind Control & Brain-Computer Interfaces - Ramses Alcaide, PhD

Ramses Alcaide, PhD is an electrical engineer, neuroscientist, and CEO of Neurable, an innovative brain-computer interface company. At Neurable, he is the inventor and primary developer of a brain-computer interface technology that is designed to turn human biometrics into actionable insights. On this episode, we discuss his work at Neurable, how thoughts can be read by machines, and the benefits, ethical concerns, and future of brain-computer interface technology. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: Show Notes 0:00 | Introduction to Ramses Alcaide, PhD 3:20 | What is a Brain-Computer Interface? 5:34 | How a Brain Interfaces with a Machine 9:48 | How Thoughts are Read by Machines 13:48 | Enten EEG Headphones - How They Work 23:18 | Addressing BCI Concerns and Ethics 26:30 | Future of BCIs 35:28 | Can People Become too Reliant on BCIs? 40:33 | Rapid Fire Questions
11/9/202146 minutes, 28 seconds
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#80: The Power of Focus - Amishi Jha, PhD

Dr. Amishi Jha is a neuroscientist and professor of psychology at the University of Miami. She's the Director and Co-Founder of Contemplative Neuroscience for the Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative. Dr. Jha leads research on the neural basis of attention and the effects of mindfulness-based training programs on cognition, emotion, resilience, and performance, working with the military, educators, elite athletes, and children. We discuss the 3 main subsystems of attention, the evolutionary reason for mind wandering, and recommended practices to sharpen your attention. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website: 0:00 | Introduction to Amishi Jha, PhD 4:48 | The Attention Problem 6:30 | 3 Main Subsystems of Attention 11:06 | How Subsystems of Attention Work Together 13:20 | Meta Awareness and Meta Cognition 15:30 | Evolutionary Reason for Mind Wandering 18:58 | What Makes a Thought “Sticky” 24:18 | High Stress and Attention 31:33 | Can You Undo Benefits of Mindfulness? 36:28 | Different Definitions of Mindfulness 40:18 | Recommended Practices to Train Attention 43:58 | Rapid Fire Questions
10/26/202149 minutes, 59 seconds
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#79: Pain & Placebo - Apkar V. Apkarian, PhD

Apkar V. Apkarian, PhD is a professor of physiology, anesthesiology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. He has been studying pain for more than two decades and is a pioneer in the use of fMRI to study the neurochemistry of the brain. Dr. Apkarian's research has increasingly focused on chronic pain, including the strategic use of placebo treatment. In this episode, we discuss the placebo effect, how pain works in the brain, and susceptibility to chronic pain and placebo response. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
10/12/202152 minutes, 54 seconds
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#78: Neuroscience, Consciousness & Nonduality - James Cooke, PhD

Dr. James Cooke is a neuroscientist, writer and speaker, focused on consciousness, meditation, psychedelic states, and science. He studied Experimental Psychology and completed his PhD in Neuroscience at Oxford University. He holds research positions at University College London and Trinity College Dublin where he investigates how the brain creates our experience of the world. In this episode, we dive into the concept of nonduality, why our brains construct an ego, the nature of consciousness, psychedelic states and much more. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:  
9/28/202155 minutes, 51 seconds
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#77: The Science of Compassion - Shauna Shapiro, PhD

Shauna Shapiro, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, bestselling author, and an expert in mindfulness and self-compassion. She has spent two decades studying the benefits of mindfulness and compassion. Her TEDx Talk on this topic has been viewed over 2 million times. Dr. Shapiro is a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University. She graduated summa cum laude from Duke University, and received a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona. She's published over 150 journal articles and 3 books. Her most recent book is Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity, and Joy. We dive into the science supporting self-compassion, the exciting overlap between modern neuroscience and ancient wisdom, where the mindfulness movement might be headed, and much more. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
9/14/202141 minutes, 23 seconds
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#76: Peak Performance Mindset - Elliot Roe

Elliot Roe is a leading expert in mindset optimization for high performers. In just the last 3 years his poker clients have won over $150,000,000 and nearly every major tournament title, including the World Series of Poker Main Event. His clientele also includes Olympic medalists, UFC Champions, Hollywood actors, business executives, and Wall Street traders. He also Co-Founded the mobile mindset app Primed Mind and hosts the A-Game Advantage Podcast. Elliot holds a graduate degree in Clinical Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. We discuss his work with the world's top poker players and other mental peak performers, the psychology of hypnotherapy, and his advice for forming your own optimal mindset. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
8/31/202148 minutes, 10 seconds
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#75: The Stoic Philosophy - Massimo Pigliucci, PhD

Dr. Massimo Pigliucci is Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York, former co-host of the Rationally Speaking Podcast, and one of the most influential modern Stoics. He's published several books including How to Be a Stoic, Nonsense on Stilts, and A Field Guide to a Happy Life. Professor Pigliucci has a PhD in Evolutionary Biology and also a PhD in Philosophy. We go in-depth on Stoicism, what it is, and how to apply it in everyday life. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
8/17/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 20 seconds
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#74: Sublime Qualities of Mind - Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg is a world-famous meditation teacher and NY Times bestselling author. She's largely responsible for popularizing mindfulness in the West. Sharon co-founded the Insight Meditation Society with Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein and has been leading meditation retreats around the world for over three decades. Her books include Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, A Heart as Wide as the World, Real Happiness - The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program; Real Happiness at Work, and Real Change. We discuss her training with legendary teachers in Asia, the most sublime states of mind and how to achieve them, handling the "inner critic," the psychology of real love, and how this differs from conditional love. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
8/3/202144 minutes, 16 seconds
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#73: Hacking of the Human Mind - Robert Lustig, MD, MSL

Dr. Lustig is an endocrinologist, professor emeritus of pediatrics at UCSF, and bestselling author of Fat Chance. He also wrote The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains. Dr. Lustig holds a BS from MIT, an MD from Cornell, and a Masters of Studies in Law from UC Hastings College of Law. We discuss the basic brain mechanisms behind various addictive products that are hacking our reward centers, the 7 key differences between pleasure and happiness, neuromarketing, and what to do about all this. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
7/20/202149 minutes, 34 seconds
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#72: Altered States, Shamanism & Beliefs - Roger Walsh, MD, PhD

Dr. Roger Walsh has a unique background that makes him one of the world's leading experts on the mind. He graduated from Australia's Queensland University with degrees in psychology, physiology, neuroscience, and medicine and then came to the US as a Fullbright Scholar. He's now a professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology at the University of California Irvine. Dr. Walsh has written several books and collectively, Dr. Walsh's writings and research have received over two dozen national and international awards and honors, while his teaching has received one national and six university awards. He's a close friend and confidant of The Dalai Lama, Ken Wilber, Stan Grof, and other legends in the field. We discuss altered states, stages of adult psychological development, shamanism, the power of rituals, and much more. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
7/6/20211 hour, 59 seconds
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#71: The Distraction Crisis & Brain-Enhancing Tools - Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD

Dr. Adam Gazzaley is a neuroscientist, author, photographer, entrepreneur, and inventor. He's the Founder and Executive Director of Neuroscape, a lab that bridges technology and neuroscience to enhance brain function. His team invented the first video game approved by the FDA as a medical treatment. Dr. Gazzaley is also the David Dolby Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Physiology, and Psychiatry at UCSF. He's the Co-Founder and Chief Science Advisor of Akili Interactive Labs, JAZZ Venture Partners, and Sensync. In addition to entrepreneurial endeavors, Dr. Gazzaley's also an active scientist, having authored over 150 scientific articles. He holds MD and PhD degrees in neuroscience from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He's been profiled in the NY Times, The New Yorker, WSJ, TIME, and many other publications. We discuss the current distraction crisis, Dr. Gazzaley's video game for improving ADHD, the new psychedelics division of Neuroscape, and much more. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
6/15/202151 minutes, 39 seconds
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#70: Your Microbiome & the Gut-Brain Connection - Robynne Chutkan, MD

Dr. Robynne Chutkan is the Founder of Gutbliss, an integrative gastroenterologist, microbiome expert, and bestselling author. She did her undergrad pre-Med at Yale and went on to get an MD from Columbia. Here we dive deep into a relatively recent discovery and surprising area of mental fitness—your second brain, the gut. Dr. Chutkan describes the incredible research showing just how intimately connected our mental health is with the bacteria in our guts. She also gives her top tips for creating a healthy microbiome. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
4/27/202154 minutes, 49 seconds
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#69: Mental Energy & Taoist Sex - Mantak Chia

Mantak Chia is a Taoist meditation master who has taught millions of students worldwide for over 45 years. He's authored 57 books and founded the Universal Healing Tao Center in Thailand. Master Chia has also studied Western anatomy and medicine. In this episode, we discuss the ancient tradition of mind training called Taoism and its methods, like meditation and dark rooms. Master Chia explains how to stop wasting mental and sexual energy and start cultivating more of it for a happier and healthier life. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
4/13/202141 minutes, 41 seconds
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#68: Nutrition for the Brain - David Perlmutter, MD

Dr. David Perlmutter, is a world-renowned neurologist and 5-time NY Times bestselling author, including #1 NY Times bestseller Grain Brain. Dr. Perlmutter has received the Linus Pauling Award (Institute for Functional Medicine) and National Nutritional Foods Association Clinician Award. He serves as a medical advisor for The Dr. Oz Show and Men's Health. We talk about the connection between your gut and brain, the best foods to eat for a healthy microbiome, why our brains need a detox, and much more. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:   Website: 
3/30/202152 minutes, 23 seconds
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#67: Sustainable Happiness - Bhante Vimalaramsi

Bhante Vimalaramsi is a Buddhist monk and renowned meditation teacher. He founded the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center and authored several books on meditation with over a million copies worldwide. We go into Bhante's fascinating background, the mechanics of deep meditation, whether lasting happiness (nirvana/nibbana) is possible, and his practice advice. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:  Website: 
3/16/202145 minutes, 22 seconds
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#66: Neuroscience, Work & the Future - Tara Swart, MD, PhD

Dr. Tara Swart is a neuroscientist, medical doctor, bestselling author, peak performance coach, and former psychiatrist. She holds positions as a Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan, Chief Science Officer at Heights, Neuroscience and Psychological Advisor at To Be Magnetic, and Chief Neuroscience Officer at Arowana International. Dr. Swart received a PhD in Neuropharmacology and BS in Biomedical Science from King's College London, and a BM BCh in Medicine from Oxford. Topics in this episode include the law of attraction, autopilot thinking, organizational plasticity, and the exciting/scary intersection between neuroscience and technology. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
3/2/202152 minutes, 53 seconds
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#65: Lucid Dreams & Dream Yoga - Charlie Morley

Charlie Morley is one of the world's leading experts on lucid dreaming and dream yoga. Charlie has been practicing lucid dreaming for over 20 years and was "authorized to teach" by Lama Yeshe Rinpoche in 2008 within the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. He has also written multiple books on the topic, delivered talks at Oxford and The Houses of Parliament, and is a black-belt in kickboxing. In this episode, we unpack the science of lucid dreaming and then get into its wild potential for exploring and transforming the mind. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
2/16/202157 minutes, 39 seconds
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#64: Fasting, Shamans & Facing Fear - Dave Asprey

Dave Asprey is the Founder of Bulletproof, a 3x NY Times bestselling author, and regarded as the father of biohacking. Dave's an expert on peak mental and physical performance. He also founded a neuroscience company called 40 Years of Zen and has been featured on several programs, including CNN, the Today Show, and Dr. Oz. In this episode, you'll hear about Dave's wild adventures with shamans, fasting for mental benefits, and how to face your fears. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
2/2/202123 minutes, 35 seconds
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#63: The Psychedelic Renaissance - Rick Doblin, PhD

Dr. Rick Doblin is the Founder and Director of MAPS, which has raised over $100 million for supporting psychedelics research.  Rick is one of the key leaders of this current psychedelic renaissance. He received a doctorate in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.  Topics include Stan Grof's theories, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, and the journey towards the legalization of psychedelics. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:  Website:
1/19/202148 minutes, 54 seconds
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#62: Your Brain in Flow - Steven Kotler

Steven Kotler is the bestselling author of Stealing Fire and Founder of the Flow Research Collective. Steven is a leading expert on human peak performance. His work has appeared in over 70 publications, including The New York Times, National Geographic, Wired, and Time. This episode centers around the neuroscience and psychology of flow states, as well as the future of flow technology using machine learning. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:  Website:
1/5/202157 minutes, 14 seconds
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#61: The Science of Breathing - James Nestor

James Nestor is a science journalist and bestselling author. His most recent book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, explores the fascinating evolutionary biology and ancient practices of breathing. He's also written about freediving, created an Emmy-nominated documentary, and been on various shows, such as The Joe Rogan Experience. Topics in this episode include nose breathing, surgical breath interventions, elite athletic respiration, advanced yogic breathing techniques, and the relationship between breath and mind. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:  Website:
12/22/202057 minutes, 10 seconds
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#60: Self-Directed Neuroplasticity - Rick Hanson, PhD

Dr. Rick Hanson is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and New York Times bestselling author. He’s lectured at NASA, Google, Oxford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. An expert on positive neuroplasticity, Dr. Hanson's work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, NPR, and other major media. He also founded the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. Topics in this episode include neuroplasticity, negativity bias, the HEAL model, our internal good and bad wolves, and so-called "neurodharma." FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:  Website:
12/8/20201 hour, 6 minutes, 19 seconds
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#59: Yoga, Zen & Tibetan Training - Cyndi Lee

Cyndi Lee is a world-famous yoga and meditation teacher, Founder of the OM yoga center in New York, and a renowned author. Cyndi is the first female Western teacher to fully integrate yoga with Tibetan practices. She has trained thousands of yoga teachers across the world and appeared on a number of TV shows. Topics in this episode include misconceptions about yoga, some advanced breathing methods, the relationship between body and the mind, and integrating Tibetan meditation techniques. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:  Website:
11/24/202039 minutes, 35 seconds
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#58: Mindset of a Navy SEAL - Commander Mark Divine

Mark Divine is an ex-Navy SEAL Commander, serial entrepreneur, and NY Times bestselling author. Mark, a self-described "warrior monk," is a master of human performance, both mental and physical. As you'll hear he started out on Wall Street before getting into martial arts, entering the SEALs (where he was the Honor Man of his class), and starting multiple million-dollar businesses, including SEALFIT. Topics in this episode include Zen, Navy SEAL training, mental toughness, and his unique model of training that combines principles from martial arts, yoga and CrossFit. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:  Website:
11/10/20201 hour, 15 minutes, 18 seconds
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#57: Psychedelics & Microdosing Research - Harriet De Wit, PhD

Dr. Harriet De Wit is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago with a PhD in Experimental Psychology. She has been researching psychoactive drugs for over 40 years. Dr. De Wit takes a cautious, scientific approach to these potent compounds. She's excited about their transformative power, but not caught up in the hype. Topics in this episode include MDMA and LSD research, microdosing, potential pitfalls, and the future of psychedelics. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:  Website:  
10/27/202027 minutes, 18 seconds
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#56: A Liberated Mind - Steven Hayes, PhD

Dr. Steven Hayes is one of the most cited psychologists in the world. He was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 30th “highest impact” psychologist worldwide and is the author of 46 books and nearly 650 scientific articles. His career has focused on an analysis of the nature of human language, cognition, and the application of this for the understanding and alleviation of human suffering. He's also the developer of Relational Frame Theory, an account of human higher cognition, and has guided its extension to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a popular evidence-based form of psychotherapy that uses mindfulness, acceptance, and values-based methods. In this episode, we discuss the importance of psychological flexibility, why mental suffering is optional, how our minds have created a virtual reality, theory of mind, psychedelics, lucid dreaming, utopias, and of course his famous form of psychotherapy, ACT. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:  Website:  
10/13/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 34 seconds
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#55: The Power of Habits - Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the New York Times bestselling author of several books about happiness, habit and human nature. Her books, including The Four Tendencies, Better Than Before, Happier at Home, and The Happiness Project, have sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide. Gretchen also has a popular blog and podcast, called Happier. Previously, she received a law degree from Yale and clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.  Topics in this episode include happiness engineering, how to make and break habits, why habits are highly personal and Gretchen's four tendencies framework, willpower, and the effects of clutter on the mind.   FitMind App:  Website:
9/29/202051 minutes, 58 seconds
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#54: Brain Stimulation Technology - Jay Sanguinetti, PhD

Dr. Jay Sanguinetti is a scientist and technologist trained in philosophy, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology. Jay's SEMA Lab is researching ways of using noninvasive brain stimulation to enhance cognitive function and wellbeing. For example, he's working with one of the world's best-known meditation masters, Shinzen Young, to create a neuromodulation device for augmenting mindfulness meditation practice. Topics in this episode include how noninvasive brain stimulation works, neural changes associated with mindfulness, and a rare disorder that led to some fascinating scientific breakthroughs.   FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:  Website:  
9/15/202057 minutes, 13 seconds
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#53: The Science of an Optimal Mind - Dan Brown, PhD

Dr. Daniel P. Brown is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and Senior Meditation Master in Indo-Tibetan Bon & Buddhism, having been given secret practices directly from the Dalai Lama and teaching for nearly 50 years. The Tibetans have in fact asked him to translate several sacred texts on meditation. Dr. Brown is also a world-renowned forensic law & western psychology expert, a peak performance coach to CEOs, a hypnotherapist of 40 years, and the author of at least 15 books on meditation and psychology, including Pointing Out the Great Way. Topics in this episode include the neurocircuitry of performance excellence and flow states, Tibetan maps to awakening, the first brain scans on people with this level of attainment, training a mind devoid of all negative mental states, true "Inner Fire" or Tummo breathing practice, supernatural abilities of the mind, and common mistakes that westerners are making in their meditation practices.   FitMind App:  Website:
9/1/202053 minutes, 7 seconds
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#52: Brain Fitness, Biofeedback & Nootropics - Andrew Hill, PhD

Dr. Andrew Hill is a neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and biohacker. He's the Founder of Peak Brain Institute, a brain fitness center, and Lead Neuroscientist at TruBrain, a nootropics company. Dr. Hill holds a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCLA and is best known for his mission to bring the brain-hacking technology of neurofeedback into mainstream practice. His community-oriented company Peak Brain Institute teaches brain-training from a fitness perspective and uses EEG neurofeedback and QEEG brain mapping designed to help people enhance cognitive performance. Topics in this episode include neurofeedback, a NASA study on cat brains, how brainwaves work, debunking the stoned ape hypothesis, the "god spot" in the brain, aging well, altered states of consciousness, brain gyms, the future of neuroscience technology, and why Elon musk may be wasting his time trying to get to Mars.  FitMind Neuroscience-Based App:  Website:
8/18/20201 hour, 15 minutes, 21 seconds
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#51: Neurotech & PTSD with a Navy Surgeon - Dr. Erik Won

Dr. Erik Won is a Harvard-trained doctor and the President of Wave Neuroscience, a biotechnology company developing innovative solutions for mental disorders like PTSD. Dr. Won served as a U.S. Navy Flight Surgeon for Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 and became CTO of medical at Boeing before joining Wave Neuro. He also has an MBA and has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. In this episode, we talk about the tragedy that led to Dr. Won's interest in treating PTSD, unpack a promising technology called magnetic e-resonance therapy (MeRT), and discuss the future technology in this field. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:  
8/4/202042 minutes, 36 seconds
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#50: Clinical Psychology, Meditation & Sleep - Tucker Peck, PhD

Dr. Tucker Peck is a meditation teacher, clinical psychologist, and founder of He holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus on the scientific study of meditation’s effects on the mind, brain, and body. Tucker began training in meditation in 2005 and has studied with Sharon Salzberg of the Insight Meditation Society and Dr. John Yates of Dharma Treasure, a previous guest on The FitMind Podcast. Tucker was awarded a research grant from the Mind and Life Institute, which he has used to study the effects of meditation on the sleeping brain. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
7/21/202050 minutes, 4 seconds
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#49: How Porn Rewires the Brain - Donald Hilton, MD

Donald Hilton, MD is a neurosurgeon and internationally recognized expert on the neuroscience of pornography. Dr. Hilton is currently listed in Best Doctors of America and serves as a clinical associate professor in the Department of Neurology at UT Medical School. He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in biology from Lamar University and cum laude with a medical degree from UT. In this episode, we discuss the magnitude of the porn problem, the neuroscience of porn addiction, and potential solutions to the issue on both personal and society-wide levels. Explicit Content Warning: Includes detailed descriptions of pornographic acts. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
7/14/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 15 seconds
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#48: From Businessman to Monk - Sean Fargo

Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, where he has taught meditation to some of the top executives in the world at companies like PG&E, Reddit, and DocuSign. Sean is a meditation instructor at Google and advisor to technology startups like Elevate Labs and He was formerly a Buddhist monk for two years and worked at the famous Spirit Rock Meditation Center with Jack Kornfield and other world-renowned meditation teachers. In this episode, we talk about how he went from being an international businessman to becoming a monk with no possessions, the details of his training as a monk, why he decided to leave and reenter the western world, and how to deal with difficult emotions. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
7/7/202038 minutes, 27 seconds
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#47: Taking Control of Your Brain - Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist with the 7th most viewed TED talk of all time, titled "My Stroke of Insight." She's been named by Time Magazine on a list of the 100 most influential people in the world and was the first guest on Oprah's SoulSeries show. Dr. Taylor founded the nonprofit Jill Bolte Taylor Brains, Inc. and is the national spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center. She received a PhD with postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. She's also the author of the bestselling book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientists' Personal Journey. In this episode, we talk about the brain hemorrhage that led to her stroke of insight and one of the most viewed TED talks of all time, her tips for taking control of our brains, how to switch from doing mode to being mode, becoming your best self, and how consciousness works. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
6/30/202044 minutes, 58 seconds
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#46: The Mind of a Memory Champion - Nelson Dellis

4x USA Memory Champion Nelson Dellis tells us how to remember (and forget) anything. Nelson Dellis is an American memory champion, mountain climber, and consultant. He has won the USA Memory Championship four times and is an official Grandmaster of Memory (for which you must: memorize 1,000 random digits in one hour, memorize the order of 10 decks of cards in 1 hour, and memorize the order of one deck of cards in less than two minutes). Nelson runs a nonprofit, Climb 4 Memory, which helps combat Alzheimer's disease, co-founded Memory League, and authored Remember it!. As a memory athlete, he has broken several memory records, including memorizing a shuffled deck of cards in 63 seconds and memorizing 339 digits in 5 minutes. Nelson has been featured in documentaries, programs, and shows like Today, The Dr. Oz Show, and Nightline. In this episode of The FitMind Podcast, we discuss how memory works, tips for improving your memory, creating a memory palace, how to learn a language fast, speed reading and how to remember what you read, the future of brain training, his favorite brain foods, and how to forget bad memories. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
6/16/202051 minutes, 5 seconds
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#45: Deep Mind Training - Michael Taft

Michael Taft is a meditation teacher, bestselling author, and podcaster. He teaches meditation at top tech firms like Google and is a core faculty member of Wisdom Labs in San Francisco and an official advisor to the Therapeutic Neuroscience Lab. He has served as editor-in-chief of Being Human and long-time editorial director of Sounds True. Having meditated in various traditions and techniques from Zen temples in Japan to yogi caves in India, Michael has a ton of experience (over 35 years) in training his mind. He also interviews top teachers on his popular podcast Deconstructing Yourself. In this episode, we talk about Michael's journey to the east and through advanced meditation practice, worldviews and frameworks for understanding the mind and meditation, the trials and potential pitfalls of adapting ancient methods for a modern context and the future of meditation in the West, and his general advice for finding the right meditation practice and refining it And if you enjoy this podcast with Michael, which I think you will, then I encourage you to check out his books The Mindful Geek, Nondualism, and Ego. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
6/9/202038 minutes, 38 seconds
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#44: The Science of Happiness - Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD

Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD taught the most popular course in Harvard history and helped give rise to the positive psychology movement with his research into happiness. He lectures and consults globally for multinational corporations, Fortune 500 companies, and educational institutions and has appeared on major television, like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Tal is also the Co-Founder of Potential Life, a company that provides leadership programs based on the science of behavioral change to organizations, schools, and sports teams around the world. Tal has a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University and has authored six books including international bestsellers Being Happy and Happier, which have been translated into 25 languages. This episode of The FitMind Podcast, as you might've guessed, is all about happiness. We talk about the hamburger theory of happiness, Tal's counterintuitive tips for finding true happiness, the most common misunderstanding about happiness, the #1 predictor of happiness, how to implement these methods and experience happiness during the COVID-19 pandemic, the relationship between wealth and happiness, what we can learn from the happiest countries in the world, and two things Tal would change about our society to help us lead happier lives. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
5/26/202035 minutes, 31 seconds
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#43: Martial Arts, Neuroscience & Mindfulness - Tamara Russell, MSc, PhD, PsyD

Dr. Tamara Russell is a clinical psychologist, martial artist (with a black belt in Shaolin Kung Fu), and neuroscientist. She's the Director of the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence in London and a visiting lecturer at King's College London in the Neuroimaging Department of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. Dr. Russell's clinical and academic research explores the link between movement, mind, and the brain. She practices and teaches Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Qigong, and other martial arts. Dr. Russell holds a BS in Psychology, a Masters in Neuroscience, a PhD in Psychology, and a Doctorate in Clinical psychology. She is also the author of two books: What is Mindfulness? and Mindfulness in Motion. In this episode, we talk about Dr. Tamara Russell's martial arts training in Shaolin kung fu, spotting mental patterns, using western psychology and neurocognitive models to understand eastern practices, the relationship between the brain and consciousness, transpersonal and clinical psychology, neuroscience research into meditative states, and the challenges with bringing eastern techniques into a western secular context. This is a very timely conversation given the current pandemic and her applicable system called Body in Mind Training (BMT), which blends neuroscience, martial arts, and mindfulness. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
5/12/202050 minutes, 19 seconds
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#42: Nutrition & Behavioral Change - Michelle Zellner, MSc

Michelle Zellner is the Founder of Better Beings and the author of The YOU Revolution. She's a former competitive gymnast and holds a Master of Science in Kinesiology, which has helped inform her work as a wellness coach and personal trainer. Michelle's company Better Beings hosts corporate workshops, retreats, and other programs for promoting wellness and motivation. In this episode, we talk about behavioral change, starting with "why," how to think about nutrition for an optimal mind, and integrating different lifestyle factors for general wellness. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
5/5/202024 minutes, 58 seconds
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#41: The Psychology of Self-Transcendence - Steve Taylor, PhD

Dr. Steve Taylor talks about self-transcendence and peak experiences (terms famously coined by Maslow) and gives a psychological view of what causes them to occur. Steve is an author and psychologist who comes highly endorsed by leaders like Eckhart Tolle. He is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University and the author of several bestselling books on psychology and self-transcendence. He is the current chair of the Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society. His books have been published in 20 languages and include Waking From Sleep, The Fall, Out of the Darkness, Back to Sanity, The Calm Center, and The Leap. His latest book is Spiritual Science: Why Science Needs Spirituality to Make Sense of the World.  Steve's research has appeared in The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, The Journal of Consciousness Studies, The Transpersonal Psychology Review, The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, as well as the popular media in the UK, including on BBC World TV, The Guardian, and The Independent. In this episode, we talk about the science behind self-transcendence, a term used by psychologists to describe peak experiences but also enduring states of what some call "awakening." Steve has extensively researched what causes this to happen and also draws upon his personal experience to give a pretty incredible account of what the mind is capable of and how we might improve our chances of experiencing the world in this way. And if you stick around for the end, Steve shares some powerful poems from his book that express his own experience of self-transcendence. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
4/28/202040 minutes, 31 seconds
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#40: Creating a Stress-Proof Brain - Melanie Greenberg, PhD

Melanie Greenberg is a clinical psychologist and consultant who wrote the bestselling book The Stress-Proof Brain. An expert on stress management and general wellbeing, she draws on neuroscience, mindfulness, and positive psychology in her work, blending western science with eastern wisdom. Melanie also writes the popular "Mindful Self-Expression" blog for Psychology Today, which has over 8 million page views. She's been featured on CNN, Forbes, BBC, AVC News, Men's Health, HuffPost and a long list of other media. With over 50,000 followers on Twitter, Melanie has been named one of the 30 most prominent psychologists by the British Psychological Association. In this episode, we talk about getting off of autopilot, the neuroscience of stress, the role that evolution plays in all of this, and some direct tips for creating your own stress-proof, or at least stress-resistant, brain. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
4/21/202031 minutes, 50 seconds
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#39: The Science of Transcendental Meditation (TM) - Bob Roth

Bob Roth is a famous American Transcendental Meditation (TM) teacher, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, and the Director of the Center for Leadership Performance. In 1972 Bob began to study TM with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Beatles' guru, a physicist, and founder of the TM movement. Nicknamed "Meditation Bob" by David Letterman, he has now taught TM for over 40 years, including to numerous celebrities like Tom Hanks, Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Martin Scorsese, Katy Perry, and Russell Brand. Bob's non-profit foundation has brought meditation to over 1 million kids and serves at-risk students, military veterans, and women and children who have experienced domestic violence. He has also written two books, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation and Strength in Stillness. In this episode, we talk about how Bob started teaching meditation to celebrities, the underlying psychological mechanics of TM, and the scientific research findings regarding TM's effects on the brain. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
4/14/202047 minutes, 23 seconds
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#38: Inner Exploration - Laura Bakosh, PhD

Laura Bakosh is the Co-Founder of Inner Explorer, which has brought meditation to over 1 million students in grades PK - 12. Previously, Laura worked in GE's healthcare division for 13 years before co-founding her meditation and mental health organization and has spoken at major venues like TEDx and Wisdom 2.0. She has a Ph.D. in Psychology and was trained as a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor through the Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School.  In this episode, we talk about how mindfulness is being taught to kids, the amazing early results of those programs, as well as some of the scientific research on how mindfulness changes the brain. Laura mentions guided meditations for kids from her program, which you can find on the FitMind website. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:    
4/7/202038 minutes, 49 seconds
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#37: Meditation Mastery, Pragmatism & COVID-19 - Daniel Ingram, MD

Daniel Ingram, MD is a meditation master (and self-described Arahant, meaning one who has fully awakened) with decades of experience training and teaching around the world. Daniel wrote Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha: An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book, widely regarded as one of the most complete meditation books ever written. In this book, Daniel lays out in very rational terms the exact series of steps that can lead to the profound transformations that he has attained. He also criticizes current western meditation as often “hiding the ball” about awakening and being too caught up in psychological material, rather than practical training. An emergency room physician, Daniel co-founded the Practical Dharma Movement, with the objective of “stripping away dogma and unhelpful taboos, having people share with others in ways that are down-to-earth, helpful, and pragmatic, and the vision that it can be done, rather than a dharma world that is mysterious, artificially hierarchical, dogmatic, and secretive.” When secular meditation is more mainstream and developed in the West, Daniel will someday be appreciated as a true genius when it comes to training and understanding the mind. In this episode, we discuss what it feels like to be in this awakened or self-actualized mental state, what's feasible for an everyday meditator in terms of meditation progress, more effortless Dzogchen and Mahamudra techniques, the evolution of meditation teaching, how to pragmatically navigate a meditation world that's full of dogma, and neuroscience studies being done at Harvard on Daniel's brain. If you're thrown off by the Buddhist terms that get thrown around in this episode, you can think of Buddhism as a meditation system for training the mind. In fact, we talk about the different frameworks for pragmatically understanding the mind in this podcast interview. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
3/31/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 44 seconds
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Mind Nugget 6: The Ego - Shedding Harmful Stories

Mind Nuggets are mini-episodes on how the mind works and how to apply it for the best life possible. They are taken directly from the FitMind meditation training app.  The Ego talks about how we can begin to let go of constructed "self" images that cause us a great deal of suffering. Topics covered: • How we form an Ego • Why Ego stories are often harmful • The default mode network (DMN) FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
3/24/20206 minutes, 22 seconds
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#36: The Spectrum of Awareness - Diana Winston

Diana Winston is the Director of Mindfulness Education at the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She co-authored with Susan Smalley, Ph.D. a book called Fully Present, the Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness. Diana has practiced mindfulness for over three decades, including spending a year as a Buddhist nun in Burma, and she has taught meditation for over two decades in hospitals, universities, corporations, non-profits, and schools throughout the U.S. and Asia. She's been called by the LA Times "one of the nation's best-known teachers of mindfulness." Diana is also a founding board member of the International Mindfulness Teachers Association and a member of the Teacher's Council at the famous Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Northern California where she was trained to teach by Jack Kornfield. She's been mention in the New York Times, O Magazine, Newsweek, Women's Health, and a variety of other publications. In this episode, we discuss how Diana became a nun in Burma and then realized her meditation practice needed a big change, the concept of "enlightenment" and how it can be harmful, natural awareness, personalizing your meditation practice, and the infusion of meditation into the modern world. Diana also leads a powerful guided meditation. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
3/17/202036 minutes, 50 seconds
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Mind Nugget 5: Mental Programs - How the Mind Works

Mind Nuggets are mini-episodes on how the mind works and how to apply it for the best life possible. They are taken directly from the FitMind meditation training app.  Mental Programs talks about the three programs that determine all thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Understanding this will give you more control over your mind as you recognize the forces that are driving it. Topics covered: • Evolutionary psychology • Neuroplasticity and self-directed neuroplasticity • Reprogramming your mind with meditation FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
3/10/20206 minutes, 1 second
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#35: Mindfulness & Addiction - Judson Brewer, MD, PhD

Dr. Judson Brewer, MD, PhD is a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, author, and Founder of MindSciences, Inc. Dr. Jud, as he's known, has spent over 20 years at Yale, MIT, and Brown University researching how the brain forms negative behavior patterns, bad habits, and addictions, and has developed meditation-based techniques for creating lasting change. His work has received funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Heart Association (AHA). He is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University, as well as a research affiliate at MIT. Dr. Jud has been featured on CNN's 60 Minutes, Forbes, TIME, NPR and has the 4th most popular TED talk of 2016 with over 10 million views. He also wrote a book called The Craving Mind, which I highly recommend and has trained US Olympic coaches. In this episode, we talk about thought addiction, using mindfulness to treat anxiety, eating disorders and smoking addiction, the neuroscientific mechanisms of addiction, subjective bias, and the latest cutting-edge research into the neuroscience of mindfulness. Dr. Jud's mindfulness-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety are apps called (respectively) Craving to Quit, Eat Right Now, and Unwinding Anxiety. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
3/3/202027 minutes, 30 seconds
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#34: Self-Inquiry & Living in Flow - Jiro Taylor

Jiro Taylor is the Founder & CEO of the Flowstate Collective, a company dedicated toward helping leaders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs achieve self-mastery. He spent two years studying Zen Buddhism in Japan and instead of becoming a monk went into the corporate world where he was making millions in London and Hong Kong. Jiro's path took another radical turn when he reached a breaking point in 2008 and left his very financially-rewarding career. He then wandered the earth for 11 years exploring happiness through meditation, surfing and learning from masters of presence and flow. In this episode, we discuss Jiro's journey from great financial success and drug abuse into an eventual breakdown that led him to forge a radically new path in life, the shift from a life of doing to a life of being, self-knowledge, meditation, flow states, and breaking out of cultural narratives and conditioning. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
2/25/20201 hour, 1 minute, 10 seconds
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Mind Nugget 4: Inner Chatter - Mastering the Voice in Your Head

Mind Nuggets are mini-episodes on how the mind works and how to apply it for the best life possible. They are taken directly from the FitMind meditation training app.  Inner Chatter talks about that voice in your head that can prove so challenging sometimes, offering a skillful method for understanding and relating to it. Topics covered: • Mind-Wandering • Where do thoughts come from? • The first obstacle in meditation FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
2/18/20204 minutes, 43 seconds
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#33: Can Meditation Be Harmful? - Willoughby Britton, PhD

Dr. Willoughby Britton is a neuroscientist at Brown University studying the neurocognitive effects of mindfulness-based interventions for mood and anxiety disorders. She's currently the Director of Brown's Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory and has research service awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As a clinician, Dr. Britton has been trained as an instructor in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and has taught mindfulness to both clinical and non-clinical populations, as well as in federally-funded clinical trials. She also runs an organization called Cheetah House, a non-profit that supports meditators in distress. In this episode, we discuss the potential dark sides of meditation practice. In a western world where meditation has been taken out of eastern traditions and spread widely in a secular context, we need to be pragmatic and aware of the risks. Dr. Britton's research has demonstrated that some meditators experience adverse side effects as a result of their practice, and she helps us understand how to avoid such pitfalls. For example, she talks about the specific meditation techniques one should employ and also avoid if they have a history of trauma. It's important to note that this shouldn't scare you away from meditation, but rather help you to understand that meditation is fundamentally reordering of the mind, a delicate instrument that determines our realities, in ways that we can't take lightly. Dr. Britton's work is important because it challenges dogma and seeks to help a minority group of meditators who are experiencing some life-threatening adverse phenomena. And while she admits that there's much more research to be done, her early findings are both fascinating and essential knowledge for any meditator. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
2/11/202045 minutes
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Mind Nugget 3: Modern Survival - The Struggle for Fulfillment

Mind Nuggets are mini-episodes on how the mind works and how to apply it for the best life possible. They are taken directly from the FitMind meditation training app.  Modern Survival is all about our newest challenge as a species: the struggle for fulfillment. Topics covered: • Innate psychological needs • The modern meaning crisis • The evolution of happiness • Meditation as an antidote FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
1/21/20204 minutes, 32 seconds
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#32: Neuroscience, Meditation & Elite Performance - Ash Sangoram, MD, PhD

Dr. Ash Sangoram is a neuroscientist, neonatologist, former assistant Stanford Golf coach, and the founder of GoaLoGolf, an elite performance training company. Ash trained under two National Academy of Science neuroscientists and implemented this understanding of the brain into his golf practice to drop his handicap by 15 points while rehabilitating from a spinal cord injury. Ash is also an experience insight meditation practitioner, and he is currently working on bringing neuroscience and meditation principles into the Stanford golf program. Ash believes that meditation and elite athletic performance are inextricably linked, with neuroscience providing the glue that grounds how to go about practicing for elite performance. This is a wide-ranging conversation on how the mind works and how to optimize it. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
1/14/202039 minutes, 8 seconds
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Mind Nugget 2: Attention Economy - Skillfully Applying a Valuable Resource

Mind Nuggets are mini-episodes on how the mind works and how to apply it for the best life possible. They are taken directly from the FitMind meditation training app.  Attention Economy is all about the value of attention and how to use it skillfully throughout the day. Topics covered: • Attention engineers • Subconscious programming • Attention Deficit Disorder • Eliminating low-quality, dopamine-rich information FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
1/7/20209 minutes, 47 seconds
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#31: Brooklyn Mahamudra Nondual Meditation - Loch Kelly, M.Div., LCSW

Loch Kelly is a meditation teacher and psychotherapist who combines western science and psychology with ancient eastern methods for training the mind. He's the Founder of Open-Hearted Awareness Institute and author of Shift Into Freedom and The Way of Effortless Mindfulness. Loch served on the New York Insight Teachers Council, studied extensively with Mingyur Rinpoche, and was invited to teach by Adyashanti, two very famous meditation teachers. Given his extensive experience meditating and decades studying with teachers in Sri Lanka, Nepal and all around the world, Loch was asked to collaborate with neuroscientists at Yale, UPenn, and NYU in the study of how meditation training can enhance the brain. In this episode, we discuss flow states, non-duality, and how to shift out of a thought-based operating system, and Loch leads a powerful guided meditation. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
12/31/201946 minutes, 21 seconds
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Mind Nugget 1: Pleasure vs. Fulfillment - Lasting Happiness in an Age of Instant Gratification

Mind Nuggets are mini-episodes on how the mind works and how to apply it for the best life possible. They are taken directly from the FitMind meditation training app.  Pleasure vs. Fulfillment is all about why we ought to aim for lasting happiness in an age of instant gratification. Topics covered: • Psychology of YOLO • The Downstairs Brain • Struggling for fulfillment FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
12/17/20194 minutes, 52 seconds
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#30: Neuromyths, Productivity & Cognitive Biases - Anne-Laure Le Cunff

Anne-Laure Le Cunff is the Founder of Ness Labs, a venture studio dedicated to products that help people be happier and healthier. Previously Anne-Laure worked for Google on their digital health products team, and she is currently completing a Master of Science in Applied Neuroscience at King's College London. Her work has been featured in WIRED, Forbes, The Rolling Stone. Anne-Laure is also a certified Mental Health First Aider and member of the Society for Neuroscience. In this episode, we discuss burnout, imposter syndrome, neuromyths, the cobra effect, overcoming cognitive biases, joy triggers, FOBO, time anxiety and more. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
12/10/201934 minutes, 42 seconds
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#29: The Science of Blue Mind - Wallace J. Nichols, PhD

Dr. Nichols is a scientist, activist, community organizer, and author of the bestselling book Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do. He is a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and his work has been broadcast on NPR, BBC, PBS, National Geographic and Animal Planet and featured in Time, Newsweek, GQ, Scientific American and New Scientist, among others. Dr. Nichols' most recent work has been on BLUEMiND: The Mind + Ocean Initiative, merging the fields of cognitive science and ocean exploration. In this episode of the FitMind Podcast, we discuss blue mind vs. red mind, overstimulation, the scientific effects of water on the mind, neuromarketing, float tanks, surfing as therapy, and aquatic ape hypothesis, among other topics. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
11/26/201956 minutes, 2 seconds
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#28: Attention Diets - Neil Pasricha

Neil Pasricha is the bestselling author of six books including The Book of Awesome, The Happiness Equation and most recently You are Awesome. His books are New York Times and #1 international bestsellers and have sold millions of copies across dozens of languages. He also has a 100 million-hit award-winning blog called 1000 Awesome Things, a very popular TED talk, and has spoken at places like Google and South by Southwest. We talk about his path from Harvard Business School to working at Walmart and eventually researching and writing about happiness, why he likes hanging out with 3-year-olds, attention diets, quitting social media, untouchable days, echo chambers, resilience, and failure budgets. Neil gives some great direct takeaways for improving your mindset. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
11/13/201945 minutes, 12 seconds
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#27: The Bodybuilding Yogi - Ben Pakulski

Ben Pakulski, a.k.a. BPAK is the CEO of Muscle Intelligence and a former IFBB professional bodybuilder who won the Mr. Canada competition in 2008. In this episode of the FitMind Podcast, we discuss how Ben got into yoga as a 320-pound muscle man, achieving mental fitness through meditation, covert influence, the attention economy, and tips for optimizing the mind. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
10/29/201942 minutes, 15 seconds
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#26: Psychology of the Internet & Social Media - Keely Kolmes, PhD

Dr. Keely Kolmes is a psychologist with over 20 years of experience providing psychotherapy. They are also the founder of Bay Area Open Minds and consult nationally and internationally on digital ethics and technology issues for clinicians. In this episode of the FitMind Podcast, we talk about the psychological impact of the Internet and the nuances of forming genuine relationships and community in this virtual ecosystem. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
10/22/201936 minutes, 5 seconds
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#25: Recipe for a Healthy Mind - Elizabeth Frates, MD

Dr. Frates is the Founder of Wellness Synergy, an award-winning professor at Harvard Medical School, and co-author of Life After Stroke. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and then Stanford Medical School. We discuss a family tragedy that led Dr. Frates into the wellness field, taste bud rehab, the Harvard healthy plate, the sugar cycle, how to make a healthy habit change and, overall, the importance of nutrition, exercise and sleep for achieving a healthy mind and body. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
10/8/201940 minutes, 53 seconds
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#24: Upgrading Your Mental Software with Meditation - Dr. Home Nguyen

Dr. Home is the Founder and CEO of MindKind Institute and has over 20 years of experience in personal leadership, mind-body practices and executive coaching. He is a consultant at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and teaches MBAs at Columbia and Yale. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
10/1/20191 hour, 5 minutes, 18 seconds
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#23: Teenage Brains & Parenting in the Digital Age - Laura Kauffman, PhD

Dr. Kauffman is a licensed psychologist with a PhD in counseling psychology from Stanford. She specializes in working with kids, teens and parents. We talk about the challenges of raising children in the digital age and the effects of technology on a developing brain. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
9/24/201936 minutes, 33 seconds
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#22: Biohacking, Amazonian Tribes & the Evolved Human Mind - Jevan Pradas, MA

Jevan earned a masters degree in Mind, Brain and Behavior Research, worked as a brain trainer and lived with indigenous Amazonian tribes. He wrote The Awakened Ape: A Biohacker's Guide to Evolutionary Fitness, Natural Ecstasy and Stress-Free Living. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
9/17/201931 minutes, 16 seconds
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#21: Virtual Realities & the Mind - Jayne Gackenbach, PhD

Dr. Gackenbach is a dream researcher whose focus is lucid dreaming and other altered states of consciousness. She holds a Ph.D in Experimental Psychology and her most recent research focuses on video game players and the development of consciousness. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
9/10/201930 minutes, 16 seconds
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#20: Headless Way Meditation - Richard Lang

Richard Lang is the primary teacher of a popular meditation technique known as Headless Way. He was a close friend of Douglas Harding, the philosopher who first invented this method, and is also coordinator of UK charity Shollond Trust. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
9/3/201938 minutes, 3 seconds
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#19: Science, Meditation & the Mind's Full Potential - Cortland Dahl, PhD

Dr. Cortland Dahl is a leading scientist at The Center for Healthy Minds, the top meditation research lab in the world. He also has decades of meditation experience and is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Tergar International, a global network of meditation groups and centers. We talk about what science has to say about unlocking the mind's full potential through meditation. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
8/27/201945 minutes, 41 seconds
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#18: Meditation & Non-Dogmatic Spirituality - Tami Simon

At the age of 21, Tami Simon founded Sounds True, a large multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She is also a renowned meditation instructor and wrote Being True: What Matters Most in Work, Life, and Love. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
8/20/201935 minutes, 55 seconds
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#17: Evolution of the Self - Mark Leary, PhD

Dr. Mark Leary is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University who has made significant contributions to his field. We discuss when and why self-awareness evolved in humans and how this causes problems today. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
8/13/201941 minutes, 46 seconds
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#16: Lucid Dreaming - Robert Waggoner

Robert Waggoner is an expert on the science and practice of lucid dreaming. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
8/6/201957 minutes, 16 seconds
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#15: The Zen CEO - Marc Lesser

Marc Lesser is the CEO of ZBA Associates, the author of four books and holds an MBA degree from NYU. He was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years and helped develop Google's mindfulness and emotional intelligence program. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
7/30/201941 minutes, 37 seconds
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#14: Depression, Social Media & Curiosity - Scott Ste Marie

Scott Ste Marie is the founder of Depression to Expression, a mental wellness company that has reached over 20 million people. We discuss the impact of social media on mental health, how to deal with depression, the importance of curiosity and more. Scott’s research and work makes it clear that we need inter-personal connection in order to thrive psychologically. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
7/23/201950 minutes, 29 seconds
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#13: Surfing & Flow States - Garrett "GMAC" McNamara

GMAC holds the record for surfing the largest wave in the world. We discuss flow states, what it's like surfing a 100-foot wave, and how to execute on a vision in life. FitMind Neuroscience-Based App: Website:
7/9/201931 minutes, 30 seconds