Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dan Siegel on Mindsight

I have over 20 pages of notes from a recent workshop by Dan Siegel. I will post a few notes at a time. Here is the first installment. I encourage you to read the book!

Mindsight lens = empathy and self-understanding.

It really is about starting with ourselves to change the world, to be the change we want to see. Personal transformation leads to us feeling interconnected.

Dan likes to dance because of how it feels versus how it looks from the outside (according to reports, apparently not very good).

In his medical training, he encountered doctors who were not given the tools to know their own mind and then went on to obliterate the mind of others. When he began to do this in order to conform and succeed in medical school, he felt dead inside.

Most of us have never been given a definition of the mind. Mind philosophers say the mind is not definable. It is made up of elements, such as: thoughts, emotions, cognitions, etc. Mind scientists refused to define the mind and stated, "that is why we're studying it." "Mind" was a placeholder for the unknown.

Mindsight lens can be developed (hope!) and turned off and on (as in the case of doctors in training).

When confronted with fear, brain increases assessment of people in front of you as "in-group" (similar) or "out-group" (not like you). This is a form of terror management. Our brain activates a fear response without our knowledge. Mindsight circuits get challenged by fear. Fear decreases compassion.

Cultural practices change synaptic connections. We have the capacity to intentionally shape cultural evolution!

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