Today’s guest is the most impressive Dr. Dave Vago. I first found Dr. Vago in the Ten Percent Happier Meditation app that I use. In the app, there are several different meditation instructors and courses with educational videos before you get started. I found a course called “Meditation and the Brain” in the app and I was immediately drawn to it. I took a deeper look into Dr. Vago and I learned that he is a cognitive neuroscientist and is the research director for the Osher Center of Integrative Medicine at Vanderbuilt University Medical Center. He also maintains an appointment as a research associate in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory (FNL) at Harvard. If you’re not impressed yet, he held the position of Senior Research Coordinator for the Mind & Life Institute and is currently a Mind and Life Fellow, supporting the Mind and Life mission by advising on strategy and programs. He’s worked with John Cabot Zinn and even the Dalai Lama. Some of his work includes studying brain scans of meditators to determine enhanced areas of blood flow and activity. His interest in meditation began in his early 20s. He went to a 10 day silent meditation retreat at the suggestion of his uncle. His interests in neuroscience and meditation crossed professionally after conducting a study showing that meditation- specifically learning how to regulate attention and emotion helped women with the chronic pain of fibromyalgia.
Topics Discussed in the Podcast
- Why Dr. Vago decided to study neuroscience
- discerning and contextualizing mindfulness & meditation
the science of your brain on meditation & parts of the brain change from meditation
- seeing the Dalai Lama pissed off
- how to manage anger
- does exercise count as meditation?
- flow and meditations
- meditation and sleep
- is there an optimal meditation dosage?
- Contemplative Neuroscience
- link to instructors for sports teams
- David Vago’s TEDx Talk
- Ten Percent Happier App
- Dr. Vago’s interview on the Ten Percent Happier Podcast
- My Interview with Jeff Warren (a friend of Dr. Vago and also an instructor in Ten Percent Happier)