This is a new episode in our monthly podcast series, Upaya Conversations, a collaboration with Upaya Zen Center.

 Richard J. Davidson received his Ph.D. in Personality, Psychopathology, and Psychophysiology from Harvard University. He is currently Director for the Laboratory of Affective Neuroscience as well as the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research is focused on cortical and subcortical substrates of emotion and affective disorders, including depression and anxiety, using quantitative electrophysiology, positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging to make inferences about patterns of regional brain function.

He has also studied and published several papers on brain physiology in long-term Buddhist meditators, and in persons receiving short-term training in mindfulness meditation. Among his several books is “Visions of compassion: Western Scientists and Tibetan Buddhists Examine Human Nature” (2002, Oxford University Press), co-edited with Anne Harrington, and (with Sharon Begley) “The Emotional Life of Your Brain”.

Richard speaks with Joanna about cultivating resilience to navigate the challenges of life with more equanimity, grace and compassion; the “kindness curriculum”; contemplative training: nourishing the seeds of compassion; a historic meeting of scientists and Tibetan contemplative practitioners; compassion practices and neuroplasticity…


”I Can’t Sit Still”, original music by Evarusnik