Full text of neuroscientist Sara Lazar’s talk: How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains at TEDxCambridge 2011 conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: MP3 – How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains by Sara Lazar at TEDxCambridge 2011
Good morning. So when I was in graduate school, I was a runner, and a friend and I decided that we’re going to run the Boston Marathon. And so we started training and we overtrained, and I developed knee and back problems.
So I went to see a physical therapist, and they told me that I had to stop running and instead I should just stretch.
As I was leaving the physical therapist office, I saw an ad for a vigorous yoga class that promised not only to promote flexibility, but also to promote strength and cardiorespiratory fitness. So I thought, oh, well, this is a great way that I can stretch, but also remain in shape, and maybe I could even still run the Boston Marathon.
So I went to the yoga class and I really enjoyed it, except when the teacher would make all sorts of claims, you know, all sorts of medical claims, but also claims about, oh, yes, it will help you…you’ll increase your compassion and open your heart and I was just like…I remember my eyes would roll and…I think, yeah, yeah, yeah, I am here to stretch.
But what was interesting was that after a couple of weeks I started noticing some of these changes, I started noticing that I was calmer and I was better able to handle difficult situations, and indeed, I was feeling more compassionate and open-hearted towards other people, and I was better able to see things from other people’s point of view.