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Rick Hanson: Psychologist, author, neuroscientist and wisdom teacher
Nov 4, 2017: Hardwiring Happiness -- Rewiring Our Brain to be More Compassionate and Happy



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Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author.  His best-selling books, available in 26 languages, include Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence; Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom; Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time; and Mother Nurture. Growing up in Los Angeles, Rick was always younger than his peers, developed a self-described “shy, dorky, nerdy” temperament, and frequently experienced being left out or put down by other kids in school. In college, he took in all the small positive moments, such as a smile from a friend, and stayed with those See full.
Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author.  His best-selling books, available in 26 languages, include Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence; Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom; Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time; and Mother Nurture.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Rick was always younger than his peers, developed a self-described “shy, dorky, nerdy” temperament, and frequently experienced being left out or put down by other kids in school. In college, he took in all the small positive moments, such as a smile from a friend, and stayed with those moments to feel good. Years later as a neuroscientist, he realized that what he did in college not only changed his mind, but his brain. For decades, he has been studying the intersections of the three circles – brain science, psychology, and contemplative wisdom – and has developed many practical tools to transform our hardwired negativity bias into the source of happiness by rewiring our brain. He explains that we can use the mind to change the brain to change the mind for better. 

Founder of Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, a non-profit corporation, Rick offers edits the bimonthly Wise Brain Bulletin to offer skillful means that anyone can use in daily life for greater happiness, love, effectiveness, and wisdom, and for changing the brain to benefit all beings in a world that cries for more harmony. As he puts it, we can actually deliberately stimulate parts of our brain to do good things, thereby, strengthening them...to grow the good stuff from the inside out, and to overcome the evolved hardwired negativity bias of the brain.

Rick also offers the free Just One Thing e-newsletter with over 120,000 subscribers which suggests practices grounded in brain science, positive psychology, and contemplative training, and the online Foundations of Well-Being program in positive neuroplasticity that anyone with financial need can do for free. He began meditating in 1974 and has studied and practiced in several traditions, including serving on the Board of Spirit Rock Meditation Center. A graduate of the Community Dharma Leader training program, he also leads a free weekly meditation group in San Rafael, CA.

A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, Dr. Hanson has been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and has taught in meditation centers worldwide. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR.

Join us in conversation with this compassionate neuroscientist, psychologist and wisdom teacher and learn to rewire your brain for more compassion and love in life.


Five Questions for Rick

What Makes You Come Alive?
Everything! Including being with my wife and children, looking out the window, being in nature, being helpful, learning new things, seeing pictures of galaxies colliding, etc. etc. etc.

Your Greatest Inspiration?
Encountering contemplative practice at 21

An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
A teacher in high school who saw the good in me -- recognized that I was isolated and troubled, and he reached out to me and talked with me in simple kind ways.

One Thing On Your Bucket List?
Walking on the moon or Mars - or both! More realistically . . . seeing our first grandchild (our adult kids better get going!)

One-line Message for the World?
Cling less, love more


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