Sounds True Presents: The Enlightened Brain, Part 2
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Sounds True Presents: The Enlightened Brain, Part 2

Dr. Rick Hanson on the Neuroscience of Spiritual Awakening
5.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
26 students enrolled
Last updated 3/2016
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  • 25 mins on-demand video
  • 5 hours on-demand audio
  • 6 Articles
  • 3 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Deeply understand how the brain works and the impact it can have on your suffering and joy
  • Strengthen concentration and develop a helpful meditative practice
  • Learn how to create stability, inner peace, and equanimity no matter what’s going on outside of you
  • Use neuroscience’s and Buddha’s teachings to discover, understand, and support your true “self”
View Curriculum
  • You don’t need any special equipment or prior experience to take this course. All you need is some time to move through the lectures and practice the meditations throughout the program.

This course is taught by Dr. Rick Hanson, a pioneering neuropsychologist who has been able to teach students how to naturally change the way that their minds work.

Throughout this program, you’ll explore how you can activate processes inside your brain in order to accelerate your personal transformation.

You’ll understand how thoughts affect your brain physically, how to harness the power of positive thoughts and reverse the effects of stress and pain, and how to create a life filled with joy rather than suffering.

Learn Meditative Practices That Will Transform Your Mind and Your Life

  • Discover How to Steady and Quiet Your Mind to Allow Focus and Concentration
  • Understand the Causes of Suffering So You Can Find Joy and Peace
  • Implement Equanimity in All of Your Daily Activities
  • Uncover Your True Self and Enhance Your Life with Positivity

Use Your Brain’s Neuroplasticity to Transform Yourself in a Profound Way

This course focuses on the best of modern science and ancient Buddhist teachings to give you the tools you need to evolve your mind.

In addition to learning about how the brain works, you’ll also tackle how to take advantage of your brain’s neuroplasticity to change the way that your thoughts affect your life.

As you move through this course, you’ll encounter a variety of exercises and guided practices that will allow you to meditate in ways that will truly transform your mind for the better.

You’ll practice mindfulness, weave positive thoughts and emotions into the fabric of your brain, and strengthen your concentration and focus.

Contents and Overview
This course begins with an introduction to concentrating the mind so you can understand what happens in your brain when you focus.

You’ll then move into your first guided meditation. This exercise will help you steady and quiet the mind, before diving into what occurs in the awakened mind and nirvana.

Dr. Hanson then describes the causes of suffering so you can comprehend how your reactions and your brain can actually create unnecessary suffering.

To move beyond suffering and into a state of peace, you’ll tackle the four components of equanimity before diving into several guided exercises designed to help you focus on your personal transformation.

In order to change, you’ll need to open yourself up to a growing sense of serenity and contentment every day, so you’ll discover how to do that with a sense of equanimity as your foundation.  

The final section of this course focuses on discovering what the “self” is. Through a combination of lectures and exercises, you’ll explore what’s existent and nonexistent in your apparent self.

You’ll learn how to take life less personally and how to be a witness of your life rather than a prisoner.

By the time you complete this course, you’ll have a variety of practical tools that you can use daily to positively change your brain’s function and enhance your life in various ways.  

You’ll be able to use the best that modern science and ancient Buddhist teachings have to offer in order to release fear and negativity and create a life that’s less stressful and more joyful

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone who wishes to have a deeper understanding of how the mind works
  • Anyone who seeks to transform their mind for the better
  • Anyone interested in learning about modern neuroscience and its connection with ancient Buddhist teachings
  • Anyone who hopes to activate their brain processes and use neuroplasticity to accelerate personal transformation
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Curriculum For This Course
41 Lectures
Concentrating the Mind
9 Lectures 01:25:36
  • States of deep absorption
  • The importance of building on the fundamentals
Preview 02:51

  • What happens in your brain during concentration
  • Stable attention
  • A quiet mind
  • Singleness of mind
  • Concentrated mind
  • Five factors of concentration: applied attention, sustained attention, rapture, joy, and singleness of mind
What Happens in the Brain during Concentration

  • Qualities of rapture
  • How to stimulate rapture
  • Different personality types and rapture

  • The different types of joy
  • The neurology of joy
  • Ways of activating joy
  • Knowing happiness, contentment, and tranquility
  • Singleness of mind
Joy and Singleness of Mind

Guided Meditation: Steadying the Mind, Quieting the Mind

  • Matter and energy
  • Eddies in matter and mind
  • Patterns exist only in the nature of now
  • The four qualities of eddies: impermanence, interdependency, emergent, and unconditioned
  • Thoughts
  • The characteristics of enlightenment
The Common Nature of Matter and the Awakened Mind

  • The eight absorptions
  • The progressive process
  • Fertile noise
  • The bare nature of matter and mind
  • The end of suffering
What May Be Happening in the Brain during Nirvana

  • Eddies in the stream
  • Nirvana or other forms of ultimate awakening
  • What if consciousness is woven into the nature of the universe?
Preview 05:56

Section 1 Study Questions
Balance, Steadiness, and Presence
20 Lectures 02:20:13

  • The three aspects of equanimity: balance, steadiness, and presence
  • The difference between calmness and equanimity
  • The evolution of suffering in the brain
  • The three activities of the brain related to suffering
  • The interconnectedness of everything
  • The impossibility of holding on to pleasure and avoiding harm
  • The roots of suffering
What Is Equanimity?

  • The definition of suffering
  • The chain of dependent origination
  • Original contact
  • Feeling tone
  • Craving
  • Clinging
The Buddha’s Teachings on Suffering

  • The importance of our reactions
  • The unavoidable discomforts of life
  • The three types of reactions to experience
  • An exaggerated sense of threat
  • Paper tigers and real threats
How Our Reactions Create Unnecessary Suffering

  • How the brain regulates emotion
  • Improved ability to change the higher functionings of the brain
  • The amygdala and the hippocampus
  • The stress-response cycle
  • Increased sensitivity to stress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Healing the brain
  • Prevention vs. healing
How the Brain Creates Suffering

  • The four components of equanimity: steadiness of mind, global coherence, understanding and intention, and calm and contentment
  • The need to practice equanimity
  • The importance of neutrality
  • The importance of daily meditation
  • Focused intention and concentration
  • Whole-body awareness
  • Not overreacting
  • The continuity of change
The Four Components of Equanimity

Guided Meditation: Focusing on Change

  • The vast network of causes
  • The parable of the log

Guided Reflection on the Causes of a Present Difficulty

  • Most alarms are meaningless
  • Signal anxiety
Not Being Alarmed by Being Alarmed

Guided Meditation: You’re Alright Right Now

  • Exploring your intention
  • Pleasure and pain, praise and blame, gain and loss, fame and ill-repute
The Eight Worldly Winds

Guided Meditation: Tracking the Feeling Tone of Experiences and Their Reactions

  • Five steps: first aid when you start to feel upset
  • Step 1: Take a sacred pause
  • Step 2: Practice self-compassion
  • Step 3: Get on your own side
  • Step 4: Make a plan
  • Step 5: Take action in thought, word, and deed
  • Tips for relaxing the parasympathetic response
  • Virtue or restraint
  • The benefits of practicing unilateral virtue
  • Contentment
Calm, Contentment, and Virtue

Guided Meditation: Opening to a Growing Sense of Contentment

  • Dr. Hanson’s adaptation of the Serenity Prayer

Guided Meditation: The RAINBOW Practice

Benefits Derived from the RAINBOW Practice

Section 2 Study Questions
Beyond the Self
11 Lectures 01:33:49
Beyond the Self

  • Who are you?
  • The many answers to the question “Who am I?”
  • There is no “self” in the brain
An Introduction to Beyond the Self

  • Buddha’s summary of his teachings
  • The cost of taking life personally
  • The person, the self, and awareness
  • The four attributes of self: unified, stable, independent, and identity
What Is the Self?

Guided Meditation: Exploring the Experience of Self

  • The difference between more or less self
  • What activates the sense of self
  • Self and the brain
  • There is no location of the “I” in the brain
  • The inherent subjectivity of experience
  • The nonexistence of the self
  • A horse vs. a unicorn
  • Representation and reality
  • The convenience of a sense of self
  • The final state of enlightenment
  • The importance of narcissistic supplies
The Different Qualities of Self

Guided Meditation: Feeding the Hungry Heart

  • Cautions about relaxing selfing
  • The distinction between person and self
  • Notice how the sense of self comes and goes
  • Selfing as a process rather than a fixed being
  • Be mindful of yourself as the main actor in various movies
Taking Life Less Personally

Guided Meditation: Dealing with a Situation Where You Have Personal Investment

Living Less Personally

  • How to pursue personal benefits without ego involvement
  • Your own place in the Allness
The Next Steps on Your Path to an Enlightened Brain

Section 3 Study Questions
1 Lecture 00:33
BONUS: Learn More from Dr. Rick Hanson
About the Instructor
Sounds True
4.6 Average rating
8,037 Reviews
45,754 Students
17 Courses
Publisher of book, audio, and video titles in the fields of self-development, personal growth, and spirituality

Sounds True was founded in 1985 by Tami Simon with a clear mission: to disseminate spiritual wisdom. Since starting out as a project with one woman and her tape recorder, we have grown into a multimedia publishing company with more than 80 employees, a library of more than 600 titles featuring some of the leading teachers and visionaries of our time, and an ever-expanding family of customers from across the world. In more than two decades of growth, change, and evolution, Sounds True has maintained its focus on its overriding purpose, as summed up in our Vision Statement:

Sounds True exists to inspire, support, and serve personal transformation and spiritual awakening.

Sounds True is an independent multimedia publishing company that embraces the world's major spiritual traditions, as well as the arts and humanities, embodied by the leading authors, teachers, and visionary artists of our time. Our approach to publishing is not dependent on a single format or technology—rather, we strive with every title to preserve the essential "living wisdom" of the author, artist, or spiritual teacher. It is our goal to create products that not only provide information to a reader or listener, but that also embody the essential quality of a wisdom transmission between a teacher and a student.

Throughout the years, Sounds True has developed a guiding philosophy that we call "multiple bottom lines." Our dedication to this principle is embodied in our Mission Statement:

The mission of Sounds True is to find teachers and artists who serve as a gateway to spiritual awakening and to produce, publish, and distribute their work with beauty, intelligence, and integrity. We treat our authors, vendors, and partners in the same way we would want to be treated. We work flexibly and efficiently together to create a cooperative, loving environment that honors respectful authenticity and individual growth. We maintain a healthy level of profitability so that we are an independent and sustainable employee-owned organization.

The three essential bottom lines for Sounds True are the integrity of our purpose, the well-being of our people, and the maintaining of healthy profits. All three of these priorities are important in the decisions we make as a company. It is our conviction that each of these bottom lines must be healthy for the company to prosper as a whole.

In our history as a publisher, Sounds True has produced a wide variety of formats in order to fulfill our goal of disseminating spiritual wisdom.

Dr. Rick Hanson
4.7 Average rating
11 Reviews
73 Students
2 Courses

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. is a psychologist, a Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and a New York Times best-selling author. His books include Hardwiring Happiness (in 14 languages), Buddha’s Brain (in 25 languages), Just One Thing (in 14 languages), and Mother Nurture. He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and has several audio programs. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.

Dr. Hanson has been a trustee of Saybrook University, served on the board of Spirit Rock Meditation Center for nine years, and was President of the Board of FamilyWorks, a community agency.

He began meditating in 1974, trained in several traditions, and leads a weekly meditation gathering in San Rafael, California. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR, and he offers the free Just One Thing newsletter with over 111,000 subscribers, plus the online Foundations of Well-Being program in positive neuroplasticity.

He enjoys rock-climbing and taking a break from emails. He and his wife have two adult children.