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The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

Feb 9, 2021

Contemporary neuroscience is an essential ingredient in our understanding of human development, including our capacity for greater happiness and wisdom.  The past three decades have seen the study of the brain and its relationship to human experience move forward with more vigor and enthusiasm than any other scientific field. 

In this podcast, author and educator Jim Hickman, explains how our evolving understanding of neuroscience gives credence to the value of certain forms of spiritual practice. The relatively recent scientific consensus that the neural networks in the brain can change through growth and reorganization means that cognition is malleable: not only for children (as was previously believed), but for adults as well. 

Certain meditative practices have been shown to alter the way the brain functions, and thus affect practitioners' ability to better adapt to stress and reduce anxiety. "It's is not just mindfulness, Hickman said. "Kundalini Yoga, for example, has been shown to decrease arousal when dealing with unpleasant situations: in other words, it affects the limbic system."

In this podcast, Hickman explains how his early research into parapsychology and concurrent personal immersion into meditation practice led him "to understand that our choice of attitudes and beliefs are the determinants in our experience of success and happiness."  This foundational belief led him to the study of neuroscience and its practical applications.

Hickman teaches a regular course in Applied Neuroscience at Ubiquity University, which explores "the history of neuroscience ...  and how a neuroscience informed personal practice can assist in dealing with the unpredictable challenges that accompany increasing hypercomplexity in the 21st century." 

"There's the social side," Hickman said,  "where dramatic changes are occurring within our own culture and other cultures around the world. And at the same time, our brain is opening parts of itself to opportunities for change that we didn't know were there." 

Hickman is Board Chair and Professor of Neuroscience at Ubiquity University.  After his first trip to Moscow in 1972, Jim was active for the next 35 years developing economic and professional relations between the US and the USSR/Russia.  For the past 15 years, Jim has been a student of contemplative practice and neuroscience.  He has written numerous articles for such publications as the Wall Street Journal Europethe Moscow Times, and Inc. Magazine.  He is currently writing a book on how the latest discoveries in quantum physics, epigenetics, and neuroscience, when combined with the teachings of the wisdom traditions, inform us about successful Living in turbulent times.