Monday, March 15, 2010

Neuroplasticity and Spirituality

I wrote this note to a new acquaintance, this morning. She is an oncologist, but also believes that neuropsychology and spirituality have important roles to play in cancer treatment. That was what we discussed when we met. I thought others might be interested in the topic and references as well.

Dear .........,

For some time I have been wanting to share references on neuroplasticity with you, but have not done so. I first learned about this from listening to podcasts of one of my favorite American Public Media radio programs, Speaking of Faith. I have been interested in the relationship between neuroscience and spirituality ever since I read the Dalai Lama’s book, The Universe in a Single Atom and learned about the Mind and Life Conferences, with which you are no doubt familiar. The interview I listened to some time ago, and again this morning, was with Matthieu Rickard. Ricard is the son of the French philosopher Jean-Francois Revel and before becoming a Buddhist monk in his twenties, earned a Ph.D. degree in molecular genetics at the Institut Pasteur. He is a board member of the Mind and Life Institute. A particular passage in his discussion of neuroplasticity is one that I still remember. “A virtuoso violinist practices for years to gain his virtuosity. We can measure the changes in his (or her) brain. A chess master studies for years to gain mastery and we can measure those changes. Why should we think it would be any different with compassion....”

Anyhow, when listening to Ricard earlier this morning, I thought of you once again and have finally gotten around to writing this note. Here is the link to his interview. I prefer the uncut version, which I listen to while cooking, cleaning or taking a meal. However the produced version takes less time and covers the essential points.

With best wishes,


Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home