The Factors of Awakening

A Conversation with Rick Hanson

July 11, 2023

Sam speaks with Rick Hanson, a clinical psychologist, researcher, and author. They discuss Rick’s path from sixties counterculture to mainstream psychology; the neuroscience of mindfulness; “the happy medium” between dualistic and non-dualistic approaches to meditation; psychedelics and spiritual development; learning as a two-step process; categories of anxiety; strategies for calming panic attacks; inward- vs. outward-oriented mindfulness practices; the merits and liabilities of the traditional guru-disciple relationship; and other topics.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and New York Times best-selling author. His seven books have been published in 31 languages and include Making Great Relationships, Neurodharma, Resilient, Hardwiring Happiness, Just One Thing, Buddha’s Brain, and Mother Nurture – with over a million copies in English alone. He’s the founder of the Global Compassion Coalition and the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, as well as the co-host of the Being Well podcast – which has been downloaded over 10 million times. An expert on positive neuroplasticity, his work has been featured on CBS, NPR, the BBC, and other major media. He began meditating in 1974 and has taught in meditation centers worldwide.