judson brewer

judson brewer

intro’d to Judson here (huge resonation once he gets to.. curiosity(cure)(city)cure ios city; incuriosity; et al):

tedmed nov 2015 – A simple way to break a bad habit

why is it so hard to pay attention..

what’s going on – we’re fighting one the most evolutionarily conserved learning processes currently known in science… back to most basic nervous system known to man – reward based learning process – pos/neg reinforcement

we lay down this context dependent memory and learn how to repeat next time… trigger/behavior/reward… becomes a habit

now with these brain trained learning habits… we’ve gone from learning to survive to literally killing ourselves with our habits..

feedback loop is broken

what if instead of fighting our brains… forcing ourselves to pay attention.. we instead tapped into this natural reward based learning process.. but with a twist… what if instead we just got really curious about what was happening in our momentary experience…

3 min  – in mindfulness training.. we dropped the bit about forcing and instead focused on being curious..  ie: go ahead and smoke.. just be very curious about what it’s like when you do…

helps moving from knowledge to wisdom.. from knowing in your head to knowing in your bones.. become disenchanted w/behavior

prefrontal cortex.. understand on intellectual level we shouldn’t ie: smoke… cognitive control… unfortunately.. first part of brain that goes offline when we get ie: stressed… when pc goes off line we fall back into old habits..

this is what mindfulness is all about.. becoming disenchanted on a visceral level.. enough to let go

paradox.. mindfulness is just about being really interested….  willingness to turn toward our experience.. which is supported by curiosity.. which is naturally rewarding.. it feels good..

7 min – when we get curious… we step out of our old fear based reactive habit patterns and we step into being.. we become this inner scientist..

posterior cingulate cortex – activated by not by craving itself.. but when we get caught up in it.. in contrast.. when we let go and just be aware of what’s happening.. it quiets down…

8 min – tap into this natural capacity.. be curiously aware of what’s happening in that moment……chance to perpetuate endless habit loops. or step out of it

notice urge, get curious, feel joy of letting go… repeat..

let go


2013 – You’re Already Awesome. Just Get Out of Your Own Way!:TEDxRockCreekPark

i wasn’t there yet there i was in one of the most awesome events of my life.. this was flow.. and it was delicious

if this is so great.. why don’t we do this all the time..?  – we get in our own way

it’s not that she was thinking.. it’s that she got caught up in her thinking..

yale – 50% of time we get caught up in regret et al.. they concluded that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind..

? – wandering… could be part of flow.. depends on defn..

on cravings..

getting caught up in.. resisting… flow is just being with these things..

5 min – on looking at brains of people that are good at just being… regions get really quiet… back part of brain that gets activated when anxious/craving… gets esp quiet

real time fmri feedback

8 min – the diff between thinking about breath and feeling breath…

reality is so much more delicious than our concepts of it..

start to pay attention… what’s it like.. rather than just noticing cravings/body sensations…


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Director of Research, Center for Mindfulness, UMASS; Founder, Claritas Mindsciences; Addiction psychiatrist; How do we help ourselves and others wake up?


c (dot) app story

curiosity – and fitting in – Godin

curiosity app

app/chip update ideas

cur i osity pitch