The clearest description of how the brain functions comes — for me — from Jill Bolte Taylor. Her book, My Stroke of Insight, gives wonderful insight into the right brain, which has been so neglected in our left brain culture.
Archives for 2013
THE BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF: STORIES OF PERSONAL TRIUMPH FROM THE FRONTIERS OF BRAIN SCIENCE, by Dr. Norman Doidge —
Toronto psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and explorer of brain plasticity — was published in 2007 to worldwide acclaim. It remains one of the most important books in its field, in its demonstration of the seemingly miraculous ways that the brain can be rewired through thought processes and mind training. Doidge shows the efficacy of talk therapy, quoting Columbia University’s great neuroscientist Eric Kandel, the Nobel laureate, who said that “psychotherapy can result in detectable changes in the brain.” fMRI brain scans of anxious patients showed reduced abnormal activation of the brain following psychoanalysis. Click on the link to CBC-TV’s documentary with Norman Doidge, following his research path.
Summer of 2015…..a lovely time to be present in the moment, listening to the sound of the wind in the trees.
I’m preparing for the fall session of LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE AND YOUR BRAIN at Ryerson University’s LIFE Institute. The 8-week program starts at the end of September, Wednesday Sept. 30, and this time around I’ll be doing a couple of classes in a lovely studio at the Ryerson Athletic Centre, where we can practice mindfulness while we stretch out on mats and exercise, incorporating some Feldenkrais moves. Enjoy the summer. Inhale,”Here” and exhale, “Now.” Breathe and pause. Again. Nowhere else to go. Just this moment. Now. Encode. Now.
NEW POST — June 2014
I want to let you know that I’m returning to Ryerson’s Life Institute in September 2014, for an 8-week session of LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE AND YOUR BRAIN. I think we’ll be starting on Tuesday morning, Sept. 23, but check with the LIFE INSTITUTE.
I’m extending the sessions by two weeks so that we can strengthen our practice, learn more skills and techniques, and focus on developing daily habits to enhance mindfulness, find inner peace and contentment, and understand how we get triggered.
I learned a lot from last winter’s Ryerson sessions, and I will be bringing back some of the scientists and guests who enlightened us with their knowledge and insights. I keep on being amazed at how naturally most people take to my guided meditation. All you have to do is sit in a chair, close your eyes, breathe and follow my voice. It’s easy. We’re building neural structures, opening neural pathways, and nourishing our brain.
IF YOU’RE A MEMBER OF THE GRANITE CLUB, I will be leading sessions there for 4 weeks in November, 2014.
IF YOU WANT TO START A MEDITATION GROUP DOWNTOWN, I have space to work with one more group. My long-running home group — nearly four years — is going strong. We’re gratified by the transformations we feel within ourselves and see among our fellow meditators. It’s a great gift we give each other: our concentration, our commitment to being present in the moment and holding the space for each other.
Join Judy Steed at Ryerson University’s LIFE INSTITUTE for the launch of her new six-week course, LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE and your brain!, starting Friday January 31, 2014. (www.thelifeinstitute.ca) on the Ryerson campus south of Gerrard St., between Yonge and Church streets.
Judy’s classes run for six consecutive Fridays starting at 10:10 am until just before noon. Participants must join the LIFE INSTITUTE to take part in its programs. The fee is $80 and offers access to a rich array of activities and events.
“Judy Steed is a gifted, empathetic teacher and
“Meditation with Judy, has been transformative for me. It has helped me to lean into some issues, and put them into perspective.” Colette B.
About the LIFE INSTITUTE: “Our members don’t just develop lifelong learning, they develop lifelong friends. True friendship comes from learning together, doing together and building together. When you participate in LIFE’s programs, you broaden your horizons alongside like-minded individuals. There is so much more to LIFE than the obvious! Spend a little time with us and you’ll learn why we’ve earned the reputation as a friendly 50+ learning program. And, yes, membership has its benefits! Your annual LIFE membership entitles you to: Access Ryerson University facilities, including the Library, Sports Centre and cafeterias. Receive our newsletter, LIFElines three times a year. Register for in social events, clubs, walks, outings and travel opportunities. Take computer courses and access our dedicated LIFE computer education lab (CEL)
Rick Hanson is the author of the New York Times best seller Buddha’s Brain the practical neuroscience of happiness love and wisdom.
Leading Edge Seminars recently brought Rick Hanson to Toronto for a two-day session that quickly sold out. The audience consisted mostly of people in the helping professions — the majority were therapists — for whom learning and teaching mindfulness are key factors in their approach to well being.
Hanson started by drawing our attention to the brain itself: “three pounds of tofu-like tissue containing 1.1 trillion cells, including 100 billion neurons.” Chemicals called neurotransmitters enable neurons to receive signals telling the neurons to fire. When they fire, they send signals to other neurons….and as the famous saying goes, neurons that fire together wire together. Which is the good news and the bad news.Continue Reading
For a journalist with close to 30 years experience in the trenches, writing features about everything from canoeing the Nahanni River – on the border of the Yukon and Northwest Territories — to Nanasivik, the coldest mine on earth – on Baffin Island; try visiting in winter! — to the Harvard Business School, MIT and many other seats of higher learning. To Jamaica — I interviewed Michael Manley — then at sea with Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd Society saviour of whales), then off to the rain forests of Costa Rica, and dropping by helicopter onto an offshore oil rig after the Ocean Ranger went down…Quebec politics and feminism (special interests), sports (I played hockey on a boy’s team when I was a kid) and delving into the toughest topic of all: child sexual abuse. My book OUR LITTLE SECRET grew out of cases I wrote about for the Toronto Star…..politicians, business leaders, local heroes, the struggles of people, giving a voice to people who felt they had no voice, contributing to the shaping of public opinion….it was a very rich and meaningful life.Continue Reading