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“If we don’t reconnect with nature, we will just destroy it again.”Zach Bush MD In my humble opinion, Zach Bush, MD isn’t just one of the most compelling medical minds currently working to improve our understanding of human and environmental health. He’s a virtuoso healer. A master consciousness. And a gift to humanity. Today Dr. Bush returns to the podcast (his first appearance was RRP #353 in March of 2018) for a formidable and moving conversation that will leave you rethinking not only how you eat and live, but what it means to be a conscious consumer and engaged citizen of this precious planet we all share. A pioneer in the science of well-being, Dr. Bush is the founder and director of M Clinic, an integrative medicine center in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one of the only ‘triple board-certified’ physicians in the country, expert in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Hospice/Palliative care. How we treat the planet impacts human biology. Intuitively, we understand this to be fact. But what distinguishes Dr. Bush from his medical peers is his rigorous application of science, strength of humanity, and the intelligence of nature to his commitment to transforming our world. A man with a deep understanding of the interdependence of macrocosm and microcosm, Dr. Bush’s brilliance truly shines on subjects like soil degeneration and regeneration. The relationship between intensive farming practices and the rise of environmental degradation and chronic disease. And his vision for a more integrated and holistic approach to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. My initial conversation with Dr. Bush remains one of the most mind-blowing, impactful and popular discourses in the history of this show. Picking up where we left off, today’s episode exceeds all expectations — another conversation for the ages that will permanently alter how you think about everything from health, nutrition, disease, medicine, agriculture and environmentalism to what it means to be a spiritual being in this human experience we collectively share. It’s 2019 people. It’s time to stop screwing around. It’s time to get educated. And it’s time to once-and-for-all take control of our personal health and that of the planet we inhabit. I ask only that you listen keenly. Take notes. And no matter what, stick around to the very end. Zach concludes the podcast with what I can only describe as the most poignant and moving closing monologue in the history of this program – a bold statement I don’t make lightly. If you thought last week’s podcast with David Goggins was peak RRP, think again, Because today, the doctor is in. Final note: the podcast is now available on Spotify and viewable on YouTube at: bit.ly/zachbush414 Final Final Note: My friend and team member David Kahn “DK” joins us this week for an extended introductory segment to discuss his health goals for 2019. I’m interested in your thoughts on having DK pop in from time to time so we can track his progress. Together, let’s help him transform! Tweet @richroll and @daviddarrenkahn with your suggestions and feedback using the hashtag #DKgoals. Peace + Plants

<p>In this book Zen Buddhism becomes the opening wedge for an extraordinarily wide-ranging exploration of consciousness. In order to understand which brain mechanisms produce Zen states, one needs some understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the brain. Austin, both a neurologist and a Zen practitioner, interweaves the most recent brain research with the personal narrative of his Zen experiences. The science is both inclusive and rigorous; the Zen sections are clear and evocative. Along the way, Austin examines such topics as similar states in other disciplines and religions, sleep and dreams, mental illness, consciousness-altering drugs, and the social consequences of the advanced stage of ongoing enlightenment.</p>
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This dissertation uses a Zen koan as a foundation for discussing teacher training and development. It suggests that teacher training attends to issues of theory, pedagogy, and technology, and it contends that teacher training and development does not adequately attend to the intrapersonal aspect of teaching. In spite of the use of reflective techniques in teacher education, teachers are not trained in a significant way to navigate, negotiate, or manage the issues of identity, the issues of self-belief, the patterns of thought, and/or the emotional patterns, which affect their teaching and their classrooms. This work looks at research regarding the importance of the intrapersonal aspect of teaching in relation to teacher effectiveness and classroom climate; it considers current practices in pre-service and in-service teacher training; and it reviews research related to the efficacy of mindfulness and contemplative practices, such as meditation. It argues that the intrapersonal aspect of teaching is relevant to teacher effectiveness and classroom climate; that contemplative and mindfulness practices may offer systems that support and sustain teachers as they navigate, negotiate, and manage the intrapersonal aspect of teaching; and that pre-service and in-service professional development may provide vehicles to deliver this training.

<p>"This sequel to the widely read Zen and the Brain continues James Austin's explorations into the key interrelationships between Zen Buddhism and brain research. In Zen-Brain Reflections, Austin, a clinical neurologist, researcher, and Zen practitioner, examines the evolving psychological processes and brain changes associated with the path of long-range meditative training. Austin draws not only on the latest neuroscience research and new neuroimaging studies but also on Zen literature and his personal experience with alternate states of consciousness. Zen-Brain Reflections takes up where the earlier book left off. It addresses such questions as: how do placebos and acupuncture change the brain? Can neuroimaging studies localize the sites where our notions of self arise? How can the latest brain imaging methods monitor meditators more effectively? How do long years of meditative training plus brief enlightened states produce pivotal transformations in the physiology of the brain? In many chapters testable hypotheses suggest ways to correlate normal brain functions and meditative training with the phenomena of extraordinary states of consciousness."--Jacket.</p>
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<p>Some common conceptions of Buddhist meditative practice emphasize the elimination of emotion and desire in the interest of attaining tranquility and spiritual perfection. But to place too strong an emphasis on this is to miss an important social element emphasized by major figures in the Mahāyāna and Chan/Zen Buddhist traditions who are critical of these quietistic elements and who stress instead an understanding of an enlightenment that emphasizes enriched sociality and flexible readiness to engage, and not avoid, life’s fluctuations in fortune and essential impermanence. It is argued here that these criticisms of quietism are bolstered by recent advances in the philosophy and psychology of the emotions that highlight the role of emotions in framing the context of decision making—that is, in sorting out the relevant from the irrelevant, identifying salience, and directing decisions when uncertainty prevents definitive judgment. This research makes clearer why self-liberation is fundamentally a matter of liberation from judgmental habit and inflexibility, and lends support to a view of enlightenment that emphasizes compassionate engagement with others. It also provides for a more plausible picture of the cognitive transformation involved in liberation and sheds light on the rationale for certain traditional Chan and Zen teaching tactics, such as those involving koan introspection.</p>
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39 graduate students enrolled in counseling courses participated in an experiment designed to learn if practicing zazen could assist counselors to improve their empathic abilities. Experimental Ss, who volunteered for meditation, practiced zazen 30 min. each weekday over 4 wk. Of 2 control groups, which did not meditate, 1 consisted also of volunteers for zazen and 1 of meditation refusers. Tests of affective sensitivity (empathy), of openness to experience, and of self-actualization were administered to all Ss before and after treatment. Experimental Ss improved their empathic abilities significantly; control Ss did not. The effect is greatest in persons with low initial abilities. Both openness to experience and self-actualization are positively related to empathic ability. Depth of concentration reached in zazen is positively related to openness to experience

Central pain syndrome (CPS) is a debilitating condition that affects a large number of patients with a primary lesion or dysfunction in the CNS. Despite its discovery over a century ago, the pathophysiological processes underlying the development and maintenance of CPS are poorly understood. We recently demonstrated that activity in the posterior thalamus (PO) is tightly regulated by inhibitory inputs from zona incerta (ZI). Here we test the hypothesis that CPS is associated with abnormal inhibitory regulation of PO by ZI. We recorded single units from ZI and PO in animals with CPS resulting from spinal cord lesions. Consistent with our hypothesis, the spontaneous firing rate and somatosensory evoked responses of ZI neurons were lower in lesioned animals compared with sham-operated controls. In PO, neurons recorded from lesioned rats exhibited significantly higher spontaneous firing rates and greater responses to noxious and innocuous stimuli applied to the hindpaw and to the face. These changes were not associated with increased afferent drive from the spinal trigeminal nucleus or changes in the ventroposterior thalamus. Thus CPS can result from suppressed inputs from the inhibitory nucleus zona incerta to the posterior thalamus.

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