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  • [ Silence ]

  • >> I want to welcome you to this closing keynote for our first Radical Compassion Symposium

  • at Naropa University and especially welcome people who are watching online.

  • Thanks to our partnership with Yoga Journal, a new relationship for Naropa.

  • I want to thank the Editor-in-Chief, Carin Gorrell and the publisher, Jeff Tkach,

  • who came together with us just a few weeks ago and actually allowed us

  • to livestream some of our symposium.

  • Tonight's closing keynote, Dr. Dan Siegel would be up in a moment and be fully

  • and completely introduced by one of our faculty members who I will introduce in a moment.

  • This is the end, last night, the end is actually tomorrow afternoon for all of you here

  • in a very Naropa style, will actually end with a Naropa like process, little less, blah, blah,

  • blah and a little more interpersonal relating

  • which I think is very good the way we began is kind of the way will end.

  • And I think that's an important part of how we bookend this conference and so I'd encourage all

  • of you that have the opportunity to come and join us tomorrow

  • at noon for the closing ceremony.

  • So, I'd like to introduce to you our Dean of Graduate Education, faculty member,

  • Christine Caldwell who teaches in our Somatic Psychology Department

  • and will introduce Dr. Siegel to you all and I hope you enjoy the evening.

  • [ Applause ]

  • [ Silence ]

  • >> Good evening.

  • I'm going to read because otherwise I just won't get it all in.

  • So, it's really an honor and a trill

  • to be introducing Dr. Dan Siegel to Naropa's extended community.

  • Many different cultures and traditions are currently contributing to our understanding

  • of present moment focus and the power of leading a self-reflective and contemplative life,

  • but perhaps more than any other, Dan Siegel is creating multiple networks for us

  • that link theory to practice, east to west, empiricism to the experience,

  • brain to behavior, and mind to heart.

  • By calling, he is a psychiatrist, teacher, therapist, writer, and researcher

  • and he is helping us to gracefully dance

  • between research labs meditation cushions, playgrounds, and family dinners.

  • His accomplishments are many but I would like to briefly highlight two areas of his work

  • that have been game changers, particularly in the field of psychotherapy and well-being

  • and that he will talk with us about that tonight.

  • As we know modern western psychotherapy was founded on the assumption that insight leads

  • to healing Freud called it the talking cure.

  • The idea was that if we deeply examine what we thought and understood the way

  • that early experience shaped us, we would be free to change.

  • While this view has always had some merit, contemplative teachers

  • and practitioners have always known that there was something more.

  • Wisdom traditions, many of which lie in the east have known for centuries that how we think,

  • how we relate to and engage with our direct present moment experience using disciplined,

  • high quality attention can be much more central to well-being

  • than understanding who did what to whom and why.

  • Dan Siegel has created the language system that helps us to understand

  • that both scientifically and experientially.

  • One of the central terms in his new language system is called Mindsight,

  • defined us more than understanding and more than mindfulness.

  • It involves how we focus our awareness on ourselves

  • and on the internal world of someone else.

  • And then use this focus in the service of therapeutic change that can heal communities

  • and families, as well as individuals.

  • The second concept is Neural Integration.

  • Here we see the bridge that he and others have built between neuroscience

  • of the developing brain relationships and present moment awareness.

  • In this concept, we understand that the brain develops first in distinct sections

  • but then the important work begins when these sections wire together, interconnect,

  • and integrate their information and actions.

  • With this wiring together of various brain areas complex,

  • healthy and relational behavior becomes possible.

  • And possibly if we remember the story that Joanna Macy told us yesterday

  • about the activist protecting trees in the Australian rain forest,

  • this neural interconnection may enable us to realize

  • that we are also connected to others apart of all life.

  • The really interesting issue is that attention is a primary director

  • of the neural growth needed for creating this integrated neural circuits.

  • First the attention and care given to us by others and then the patterns

  • of attention we subsequently develop that direct our adult behavior.

  • Dan has been at the forefront of articulating and extending this concept

  • so that we can understand the neurological processes of attention

  • that underlies states of radical compassion.

  • These ideas and others he has pioneered, articulated in his speeches and writings

  • in a really clear and warm and accessible way shifted the emphasis of psychotherapy

  • so that it now includes an examination not so much of what one thinks,

  • but of how what one is feeling and doing right now and how that present-centered experience

  • when guided with consciousness and compassion, can deeply heal us.

  • The application of these ideas into parenting and family life would allow us

  • to take neuroscience and contemplative practices not only into our hearts and minds but also

  • into our homes and into our interactions with our partners, our children, and our communities.

  • Dr. Siegel is currently clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine

  • and co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center.

  • He has written such best-selling books as "The Developing Mind," "The Mindful Brain,"

  • "The Mindful Therapist," "The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology", "Mindsight",

  • "Parenting From the Inside Out", "The Whole Brain Child", and "Brainstorm".

  • Dr. Siegel has lectured for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II,

  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, London's Royal Society of Arts,

  • and TEDx and now he can add Naropa to that August list.

  • [ Cheers & Applause ]

  • Please join me in welcoming Dr. Dan Siegel.

  • [ Cheers & Applause ]

  • [ Silence ]

  • [ Applause ]

  • >> Thank you so much.

  • It's a real honor to be here with you.

  • I'd like to thank Naropa University for hosting this incredible birthday party in general

  • and the honor I have of participating with you.

  • And Yoga Journal Life for streaming this out to the world and making that happen

  • and all the people who've supported the work that you're doing here.

  • We get the joy of spending almost two hours together.

  • Really diving deeply into issues related to internal practice

  • and our interpersonal relationships and our relationship with the planet.

  • And so what we're going to do in this time is begin with the inner world and so in thinking

  • about how we would spend our time together, I felt it would be really important

  • to actually start with a practice.

  • So you've heard the world I live in which comes from both academics and from clinical practice.

  • It's a field called the interpersonal neurobiology,

  • which combines all the different disciplines of science together into one framework

  • and we're going to talk a lot about that as we go.

  • But let's begin first with an exploration that comes from this field

  • of interpersonal neurobiology and the central idea of integration.

  • So, instead of giving you kind of the-- all the science behind it and the clinical implications

  • of it before we do it, let's just dive in and do it.

  • So when I ask you to do since probably most of you are very familiar

  • with contemplative practice because it's the center of Naropa University's early origins

  • and certainly it gives us time to say,

  • well what is this inner world of our mental life really like?

  • Let's dive in and explore it.

  • So what I ask you to do is just put your stuff down.

  • Let's make sure all our phones are off and even turn them off from vibrate if you can and as,

  • you know, get yourself ready, so sitting up straight like any reflective practice.

  • This one is called the wheel of awareness practice and what it entails is an exploration

  • of different aspects of our inner and interpersonal lives.

  • And to begin with, just to give a little framework to the focus of attention

  • which we'll be really playing with and exploring in just a moment, before we close our eyes,

  • get ready for an inner practice, we do bless you.

  • In fact, let's have a bless you, for everyone who's going to sneeze for this evening.

  • There you go so feel free to sneeze.

  • So, let's just have with your eyes open, let your visual attention come to the middle

  • of the room around here and if you're out in the online world, just let your focus come

  • within the screen to where you imagine in the middle of the world -- room would be.

  • And then send your visual attention back to the far wall here.

  • And now, let your attention come back to the middle of the room

  • and then bring your visual attention to about book reading distance as if you had a book

  • or magazine in your hands and just notice how you can determine where attention goes.

  • And just like the common practice of focusing on the breath,

  • let's just now let our attention find the breath and just do a short bit

  • of breath awareness practice, the basic mindfulness practice

  • of strengthening our attention, sometimes called the Shamatha

  • but it's really a universal practice not just in Buddhist practice to focus on the breath.

  • And let's sense the breath wherever you feel it most naturally, whether it's the air coming in

  • and out of your nostrils or your chest rising and falling or the abdomen moving out and in.

  • Just let your attention ride the wave of the breath, even the whole body just breathing.

  • Let's spend the moment now just ride in the wave of the breath in and out.

  • [ Pause ]

  • And just sensing the breath can bring us to a deep place beneath the surface

  • of all the chatter of our thoughts, and memories, and images, and feelings

  • and for people who feel safe in the water, this can be a useful analogy

  • to going beneath the surface of the ocean.

  • We're deep beneath the surface, it's calm and clear.

  • And from this deep place of tranquility and clarity, it's possible to just look upward

  • at the surface and notice whatever conditions are there.

  • It might be flat.

  • It might be rough waves.

  • It could even be a full storm and no matter what those conditions are,

  • deep beneath the surface, remains calm and clear.

  • And so, we know from all sorts of studies that simply focusing

  • on the breath can bring a deep sense of clarity and strength as it stabilizes our minds,

  • and we'll talk a lot about that later on, but for this practice we'll let the breath go

  • and I'd like to introduce to you to a practice if you've never done it before that we do

  • at the Mindsight Institute called the wheel of awareness.

  • And the idea that is simply this, if you can imagine in your mind's eye