Hack Your Mind: How Does Mindfulness Meditation Change the Mind and Brain

In the fall of 2014, a group of us met and brainstormed about ways to bring the benefits of mindfulness more broadly to the MIT community. MIT Medical offers programs throughout the year and other “islands” of practitioners offer quiet moments for those who seek to create more calm in their lives. Zan Barry of MIT Medical, Elizabeth Woods, an MIT professor of history and a long-time practitioner, and Robert Plotkin, ’93, patent attorney, a practitioner and founder of Technology for Mindfulness, agreed to help us with program planning. 

Hesitant of the trendiness of mindfulness? We all know that health fads are everywhere — where “science” is boiled down to one technique that is claimed by popular culture to cure us of all ailments, make us more productive or create non-stop "happiness". “Mindfulness” may be a term that can be seen as belonging to this group of popular health fads.

It was decided that we would include scientific background, research and results in the programming, focusing primarily on neuroscience—a field that consistently confirms the benefits of mindfulness—something that yogis have known for thousands of years. Current research supports the effectiveness of mindfulness both amongst the scientific community and in clinical practice. 

This year, in partnership with Community Wellness at MIT, Radius is kicking off our “Hack Your Mind” series by asking the question: How does mindfulness meditation change the mind and brain? We will be hearing from Dr. Susan Gabrieli, a principal research scientist at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and a research scientist at the Gabrieli Lab. Gabrieli will discuss how mindfulness practices can benefit both children and adults and how these practices can suggest treatments for brain disorders. 

Join us Friday, October 6th at 12:00pm to learn how by simply being can alter your brain.