Dr. Amishi Jha joins us to speak about mindfulness programs in the military.
Over the course of the past several years I’ve heard and seen some pretty damning opinions of teaching mindfulness to military personnel, active duty or otherwise. Often there’s a false dichotomy subtley posed with contrasting images of soldiers bristling with weapons in a combat scenario, and then an image of a stately monk sitting tranquily in meditation. Of course, you don’t see the soldiers sitting calmly when they’re practicing meditation, nor do you see the monk hitting a nun in full view of his community. Where I find such evidence free criticisms failing is that they completely ignore the body of military personnel, who are, to a soldier, still people. Some of these people may have found there way into service as the only way to get money for college, or to escape crushing poverty and build a life for their family. And veterans, those who may have suffered during their deployments more horribly than many of us can ever understand, aren’t they people too, also deserving of some chance for equanimity?
Dr. Amishi Jha has a Ph.D. from the University of California-Davis, post-doctoral training in brain imaging at Duke University, and was a faculty member at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. Her current post is Principal Investigator, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of Contemplative Neuroscience, Mindfulness Research & Practice Initiative, University of Miami. Her research focuses on the brain bases of attention, working memory, and mindfulness-based training. With grants from the US Department of Defense and several private foundations, her current projects investigate how to best promote resilience in high stress cohorts using contemplative training techniques that strengthen the brain’s attention networks. She was selected as a Science and Public Leadership Fellow by PopTech, and serves on editorial review boards of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Frontiers in Cognitive Science, and Frontiers in Psychology.
Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez
The music heard in this podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. You can visit his website to hear more of his music, get the full discography, and view his upcoming tour dates.