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Episode # 340   Mark Waldman

About The Episode:

Today on The Inspiration Show, Natalie Ledwell speaks with neuroscientist researcher, author and spiritual coach, Mark Waldman. Mark joins Natalie to discuss his incredible discoveries about how to reach deep relaxation and disconnect from the thoughts and feelings moving through your mind. Turns out, nearly 99% of your negative thoughts and feelings are simply memories from the past, projected into the present. During the show, Mark also reveals that regardless of your religion or spiritual practice, when you engage in positive contemplative meditation, extraordinary changes begin in your brain. He also, explains what these changes are, and what our brain does when we daydream. Plus, he shares quick and effective techniques to lower stress and enjoy the benefits of meditation in only 2-3 minutes.

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Episode # 340 Mark Waldman

Natalie: Hello. My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is the Inspiration Show. Today on the show it’s going to be more of a science kind of show. We have an amazing person, Mr. Mark Waldman, with me. Hi, Mark, how are you?

Mark: Hi.

N: Now, Mark, you are a neuro-scientist?

M: I’m a neuro-science researcher and I work in collaboration with the neuro-science team that includes Andy (00:29) in Jefferson University and I was the associate fellow in the Center of Spirituality of the Mind in the University of Pennsylvania. I am the MBA executive faculty of (00:41) university.

N: Wonderful. Now, I actually have met Mark before. Mark was doing a lot of work with John Assaraf. As we know, John does a lot of working into the science of the mind, and I love the fact that, Mark is just not working with John but also working with executives and helping to teach them on how to effectively, very quickly get the most out of our brains or get the most out of our minds to get peak performance. Most of our mind movies community we know that we’ve been doing some brain mapping with Dr. Jeffrey Fanning when it comes to watching a mind movie and visualizing. Mark has also done a whole lot of work in that respect as well, especially with brain mapping. So, why don’t we start a little bit about some of the exciting project that you have been working on, Mark, some of the discoveries that you’ve been making.

M: Well, my work with Andy Newbert began about 10 years ago. Andy has just done some very deep (1:43) scans, even deeper than EEG readings. We look very deeply into most regions of the brain and we were looking at what happens when, for example, a Buddhist monk is focusing on pure consciousness and then there’s another study where we look at Franciscan nuns when they’re trying to feel connected to God, what’s going on in their brain, and what was amazing in that study is almost exactly the same thing goes on. So, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Buddhist, an atheist, a fundamentalist, a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim when you engage in positive, contemplative meditation extraordinary changes take place in your brain from the moment that you begin and when you get to the point of about 40 or 50 minutes of some of these meditations, we see a remarkable shift of activity in the brain that your sense of self begins to dissolve and in these moments you will get those aha experiences that lead to basically neurological enlightenment, which is the name of our next book that will come out next year.

N: Excellent. So, we’re talking about when we are in meditative state, our brain going into different brainwave just like theta or gamma or things like that?

M: Well, actually, that is a technique and a strategy that’s been abandoned by the neuro-science community. Brainwave activity was the first wave, I put on the sensors on different parts of your brain to see what was going on, but this part of your brain (gestures) generates alpha, this part is doing beta (gestures), and this part is doing theta and there’s about 50 different kinds of brain things going on each time and they change over time. So nobody is really able to make much sense how these EEG reading because everybody has a different formula in the hoping to find something. But with FMRI we can get that huge doughnut that you like and it goes bang, bang, bang down. We can actually watch moment to moment what happens when you engage in a particular task but we wanted to do contemplative meditation. We used a different type of technology where we put an IV in your arm, put a little bit of radioactive dye in it and whatever state of consciousness that you’re in that dye will break down on that part of your brain and (4:04), lie down and this camera circulates around your head and we can see what’s happening and amazing things can happen. For example, when people engage in deep forms of relaxation and specific forms of self-reflective exercises and you simply sit there and you watch your thoughts and feelings moving through your mind without judging them, they just come and go, what happens is that you learn how to disconnect from the negative thoughts and feelings that we often think are real, turns out that nearly 90% of all our negative memories are nothing more than a memory from the past and projected into the present moment and future, they are not real. So we are the first individuals to really show how this whole wide range of spiritual practices, including affirmation practices. For example, we light up your frontal lobe can actually increase your consciousness, your ability to concentrate, your ability to become more creative and imaginative and at the same time to reduce the stress levels in key parts of your brain. In fact to some people that we’ve studied, after a long period of time you can actually see the nebula begin to shrink, and that is the part of your brain that generates anxiety, fear and worry, however, all of these mindful practices, most people say you have to meditate for 20, 30, 50 minutes, our brain scan study show that 12 minutes a day is all that you need, but even then if you try to bring this into the business community which is what I do with the executive MBA students, nobody is going to take 12 minutes out of the day out to sit there and relax, and yawn and stretch and to watch our thoughts, so my challenge for the past 5 years was how I can come up with ways to lower stress, increase work productivity, increase the release of dopamine – the pleasure chemicals in your brain so it actually stimulates you to become more motivated in your work in 60 seconds or less. And so far, we’ve come up with about somewhere in between 40 to 60 very simple techniques and these are the things that a busy executive can do. They download a mindfulness talk into their computer and they let it ring three times and so twenty minutes you’ll hear the sound of this bell (hollow bell) and all we ask people to do is yawn a couple of times very slowly, stretch. Most people will move their heads like this (gestures), that’s way too fast. If you move your head this slowly (gestures) or you lift your arm this slowly (gestures) the amount of awareness that pours in to your conscious, very limited forms of memory here in (7:12) cortex, that’s what makes you aware of physical tension. Just that very slow movement will release the tension in your body, the yawning is the fastest way to slow down the metabolism in worrisome frontal lobes is very interesting. Your right pre-frontal cortex can generate negative thoughts and feelings all day long, your left pre-frontal cortex generates optimism, effective decision making but consciously you can only focus on one side or the other and so the strategy we teach you can put you in a brain scan machine, I actually show that activity (7:57) this side of the brain, increase on this side (gestures) of the brain. We can give you tests. Basically, we ask our executive MBA students, just reflect on your deepest, innermost value for 30 seconds once an hour, for 6 years in a row, we then asked what was the effect after doing that for 10 days, their stress level at work went down to almost zero. They can work longer. They became more productive. As one of the people in our class said, a military adviser, at first he said, what was your first experience when asked to yawn and stretch and focus on (8:37) values, what kind of BS is this? And I don’t think he was referring to brain science, and by the fourth day he said, “My God! This exercise has to be taught to MBA students throughout America.” We actually have taken it throughout the world, through universities and our studies were published in the journal of executive education. So, yes, it only takes 60 seconds, once an hour throughout the day to do something pleasurable, even stroking your hands and your arms will turn off the negative emotional sensors in your brain, and if you have trauma, this form of self-nurturing turns out to be one of the most effective ways to relax and actually restructure old traumatic memories. That’s the type of work we do and all of these exercises that I do in (9:31) 101 is just a sum total of those 60 second-ways to change your brain.

N: I know. Isn’t it amazing how very simple things like that, that we can incorporate in our daily routine can make such a massive difference. I do meditate. I love to meditate. An amazing situation where I work from home, I live on my own so I can easily go out into the living room and step away from my work station and do a meditation and I find it so important for me, I don’t particularly get stressed that often but especially when I’m creating something new, I often need to get my ego self taken out of the way and my conscious self out of the way so I can tap into that higher creative and be the conduit for what comes through. So you’re saying that even with these little simple, like you know, these two to three minutes little exercises we can create the same results?

M: Absolutely. I just finished making thirty-five thousand studies conducted over (10:37) and about three thousand studies over the last 5 years on the neuro science of consciousness and awareness and we could put them in basically 6 categories. You have your instinctual awareness where your emotional reactiveness is, you have your visual forms of behavior, then you have the everyday consciousness that you and I already engage in right now but this next level of creative awareness, if you and I just sat right back and we were to close our eyes and yawn and stretch, do anything very quickly to go into this very deep sense of relaxation, what happens is our frontal lobes begins to become more and more active and we go into a default mechanism of the brain and I didn’t realize this until about 5 years ago, when you are doing nothing, when you are relaxing your mind starts to wander and daydream and it turns out that you consciously daydream and to watch yourself as you consciously daydream is the fastest way to learn anything new, develop a new habit. So, we’re introducing a conscious daydreaming as an activity that we should do for 60 seconds once an hour. That is one of the most incredibly important and overlooked aspects of how the brain form these new memories and thoughts, reconsolidation and interaction with yourself.

N: I know and you know what you are also doing? You are scientifically explaining why neural practices, how they work. Why we should be incorporating them in our day as well.

M: Right. For example, here’s a particular neural scientific fact, our human mind – for example, if I were to ask you, I’d like you to repeat a single sentence of anything that I’ve said so far, can you do so?

N: Nope. (laughs)

M: (laughs) Can you remember anything that I have actually said?

N: Yeah, I know what you’ve been saying but to repeat this in verbatim I would find difficult to do.

M: So, here’s a technique we discovered. We found out in our research that the human consciousness can only hold about 10 words in conscious memory at one time. So we ask people to hold up their hands (gestures with both hands up) you can remember what I am saying, try it now.

N: You can remember what I am saying, try it now.

M: Perfect, a hundred percent. When you use more than 10 words and most people will speak for about two minutes before they become quiet and let the other person respond, the other person is only going to remember one-twentieth of what you said and I don’t know about you but I guarantee you if you ask your spouse she’s going to tell you it was the wrong (laughs)

N: (laughs) Exactly. You never listen to me. (laughs)

M: We all talk too much. We think we have to get all of these words to explain. So this is a neural wisdom technique and this is also what we teach. It’s called compassionate communication. It’s what we teach to our executives. You sit here and you speak to each other and (gestures on the neck), the other person responds and in 3 to 4 minutes you end up with some of the most profoundly intimate conversations. You end up resolving conflicts before they begin and when the conflict comes up. We have business problems or solutions. You can actually work an entire game plan in twenty minutes that normally would take you two hours to do. So we teach this to attorneys, to mediators, to everything else. All you have to use is your finger and not the middle one. (laughs)

N: (laughs) Alright Mark. We have run out of time today but how can someone find out, how do they work with you? How can they find out about this amazing information and learn these techniques?

M: What I would suggest is you go to and if you go to my web page first of all, I want to offer you, anyone who wants to go there a free e-book. It’s called ten mind blowing discoveries about the human brain. They are some  of the most amazing things that Andy Newbert and I discovered, for example, everything that we see is not real. Our mind is completely creating this inner reality when we can use that to become more motivated, to literally manifest our dreams once we understand how these simple mechanisms work. And along that website you can also click through the neural wisdom program or you can go directly to It is all in my web page. There you will find more information about what that particular program is because I found, I do what’s called a neural coaching, and I find that individuals who used neural wisdom program which includes all of the key elements from mindfulness training or meditative research, positive psychology and some of the core keys that you’ll find in cognitive behavior therapy. These are the simplest techniques that has the most rapid effects in your brain that will change your brain in ways that improve empathy, cooperation, keeps you grounded, when negative thoughts come in you can nearly override it with the positive feeling. You can reflect on the memory of something wonderful in the past that creates this mona lisa smile which triggers neurological trust to the other person’s brain that’s what neural wisdom is filled with. It’s just the sum total of the last ten years of our research

N: (laughs) All in one wonderful program, awesome. Thanks again, Mark, for joining me. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you here.

M: Thank you so much for having me.

N: Perfect. Now guys I encourage you to share this video. Get the word out about Mark’s amazing work that he’s doing. You can do that by clicking on the Facebook and Twitter share buttons on this page. Also, make sure you download the app so you can watch the shows on the go and make sure you leave your email on the box on this page because I would love to send you the manifesting with the masters video e-course. It’s actually valued at $87 and I would love to send it to you for free. So until next time remember live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We’ll see you soon.

Mark Waldman



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