Be Mindful: Your Pot of Gold Could be Your Grave, with Jon Kabat-Zinn

Be Mindful: Your Pot of Gold Could be Your Grave, with Jon Kabat-Zinn

If you put people in a scanner and tell them
to just do nothing, just rest in the scanner, don’t do anything at all. It turns out that
there’s a region in the midline of the cerebral cortex that’s known as the default mode
network that just lights up that all of a sudden gets very, very active. I mean you’re
told to do nothing and then your brain starts to use up energy a lot. A lot of ATP in this,
you know, activation in the medial frontal areas. And that’s called the default mode
network because when you’re told to do nothing you default to activity in this mode and when
you inquire what’s going on there a lot of it has to do with my wondering and just
daydreaming. And a lot of that has to do with the self-referencing our favorite subject
which is me of course. So we generate narratives. I wonder how long I’m going to be in this
scanner and I’m feeling a little bit contracted, you know, because it’s claustrophobic. And
these magnets are banging like crazy or whatever it is. You’re thinking in terms of your
you – past, present and future and you’re developing narratives where I’m going to
go to lunch when this is over or whatever it is. And those narratives are a form of
self-reference. And that’s called – as I said I mean it’s also called the narrative
mode network or the narrative network. And it’s the story of me. When you train people
in MBSR you find that another area of their cortex lights up more lateral after eight
weeks of training in mindfulness. And that that area is associated with a region called
the insula and that doesn’t have a linear time based narrative. It’s just the experiencing
of the present moment in the body breathing in, breathing out, awake, no narrative, no
agenda. And the interesting thing and this is the study. When they put people through
eight weeks of MBSR this narrative network decreases in activity and this experiential
network increases in activity and they become uncoupled. So they’re no longer caught together
in such a way. So this one can actually attenuate and liberate you a little bit from the constant
thinking thinking a lot which is driven of course by anxiety and what’s wrong with
me. The story of me is often a depressing story. And a fear based story. We’re like
driving the car with the brake on, with the emergency brake on. And if we learn how to
just kind of release it everything will unfold with less strain, with less stress and with
a greater sense of life unfolding rather than you’re driving through it to get to some
great pot of gold at the end which might just be your grave.


  1. I'll keep this in mind. This is a very good video. Liberating the default mode network of the posterior cingulate cortex would be a huge relief. Thing is, that's easier said than done when a person is going through an observably horrible time.

  2. In London, it translates as "having me Head up me Arse", please forgive the coarseness. The driver of Anxiety and Fear was very interesting. The uncoupling of Cortices was also helpful. Good vid. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This guy is fantastic! Not quite as mesmerizing as the other video with him, but still damn good! I recommend watching the lectures that are posted on youtube, they're very good.

  4. I used to think that once I accomplish x I will be happy, which I guess is true, but I think I can allow myself to be happy and enjoy the present moment aswell. Everything is awesome… 😀

  5. Good video. And interesting study he mentioned.
    But where is the relation between the Videotitle and the Videocontent?
    I can´t figure out what this states of mind have to do with a pot of gold and it´s danger.

  6. Hey not in the topic of this video. Is it possible for an alien race with years of superiority of intelligence over the human race, be in the form of one of our own less intelligent species here on earth? If possible how might they react to the way we humans rule over the species below?

  7. I’ve found meditation to be helpful but also
    regular exercise,proper nutrition,adequate rest,reading,listening to music,socialising with friends all help with being more present

    Lol it’s effort and a habit

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