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When Meditation Informs Scientific Research

Dr. Elena Antonova & Scott Snibbe | 26:00


Dr. Anta Nova, it's a pleasure talking to you, and this "Meet the Speaker" interview for Science and Wisdom Live. Thanks for making the time from your very busy schedule. I know how intense it is being an academic, right at the beginning of the year. So thank you so much.

Thank you very much for inviting me for this interview. Please call me Elena.

Surely, sure, sure, Elena. So this interview is very personal, it's actually more about you than all the ideas we're going to be talking about in a few weeks, so that the audience can get to know you a little bit better. And we wanted to start by asking a question about your childhood, if there was some significant event in your childhood that helped you become who you are today?

Yes, it was a difficult one actually, to think about with this sort of idea of a future self, and because no one determines it, and pinpointing a single event. But eventually, after considering a few candidate events, I settled on two things. One was a sort of physical event of visiting a museum of natural history, the equivalent of a science museum with my mother, I was about six or seven. We were walking through different rooms that had stuffed animals and other exhibits of similar sorts. Then at some point, we walked into a room, which wasn't advertised anyway, so neither of us were expecting what we were going to see there. It was semi-dark and full of shelves with brains in jars. I remember very distinctly, my mom reacted with a yuck, and I went, wow. I never remembered that sort of childlike sense of absolute fascination, seeing these brains. I remember my mind rushing through thoughts of what an amazing thing and what does that all mean, and how it relates to who I am.

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