10% Happier Road Trip: How Meditation Affects the Brain

ABC News' Dan Harris and meditation teacher Jeff Warren talk with cognitive neuroscientist David Vago at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
49:58 | 01/27/17

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for 10% Happier Road Trip: How Meditation Affects the Brain
Hey it's their parents' day five the cross country meditation tore our slogan is we may never arrive. We have arrived here in Nashville a Vanderbilt University. Specifically where he Goucher center for being good medicine integrative medicine. And I'm waited Jeff Warren is my. Co pilot on this cross country can present happier meditation tour. And Dave whose and it won't what's the right that's right title for him Conroe scientists and the research director. For the Russians higher cognitive neuroscience. You make of that what you will. And so we're here at national team is really one of the leading. Researchers. Neuroscientist looking at what it takes does your print to your brain and we spent this morning. Looking at effect of our audience members was in the in. FMR I'm in memorize and at our I've brain scanner and we're watching it rain what you meditated and then when it looked like what you admitted that he could see images meditating. The parts of the great having to do it attention and focus. Lit up and the part of the brain says it was stressed. Come down moment let's that have hookah and then we heat Dave put Jeff and I through some tests that not right there to to get and it. And current testing who had more focus and attention and who let who had a better sense of what was going on their body any given moment. And happy to report addicts brushed. We'll find out here never let them stallion amenities candy competitors. Hey listen now it got a bunch as a faculty staff community members students from Vanderbilt University. And that what are we gonna. You think that's really was to open up for. Discussion. People's challenges and fears. And starting to make meditation practice personally maintaining a practice. And then has offices wrote the clock missions in our community. This house had a off to encourage them you know when people say how much time to do that or that sounds to woo woo. Know how to how to deal with that kind of response we try to encourage and Mattapan I think. B greats does have that kind of discussion. Here yet and Jeff is gonna do a meditation it might make sense actually start off with a short meditations for everybody zone. Since we're all here said meditation and everything kind going to that. I was thinking he had vote what met occasionally it and about a might make sense to do one that picked up and I think one of the test we're exploring this morning Dan and I was one was. Focused attention of the other is much more about. Body awareness and trips up towards. So I'll lead a simple rough practice that's really about. Seeing how where you can be of these internal body sensations around the the breath in particular but if you've got out. Thing around a breath we don't like working with that you could use another body sensation so this will be reasonably reflect ninety minutes you know like ninety net. 900 minutes. And the -- begun by. A aliens but at least eight. Deaths art buses at 10% adherence that. It's the most ridiculous thing. We wanted to play with the contrast between the grandy us the of the rock star vision and attempt to happier. Thank and you become. Yeah. OK so. Start by keeping a closer riser government half masterpiece just practicing that wave. We'll start by taking a few deeper us. On the inhale you can stretch up your spine a little bit. Steve you can connect to the alertness the refreshing quality of the breath. Andy exhale as the downward motion me. The settling as you released the breath that diaphragm relaxes that are sort of downward settling. Into the cushion. Into the chair. Book and reading in. Stretching the spine. And then on the exhale really. Softening here near arrives here for. You're jawed. Broad shoulders. We could follow that downward motion. Follow the brought down into. Your body with your attention. Make the breath of the primary focus. Although again if you preferred other body sensation you could focus on the warmth of your answer. The a place for your seat contacts chair. Let the breath is a good one. And the sensation of Reading itself this rich. Sensation. More so the more we pay attention. You can have single spot that your sort of paying attention to words if you are comes into the nostrils. Or in this road or in the belly. Or you can sort of languid lead follow the whole. In breath and out breath tracing the whole course of the breath. But the instruction as to really see helpfully you can feel that sensation. And if you will kind of climbing down from the head into the actual. Body itself and not full sensation how. How close can you come to it right up from the edge of it feeling it's. Still penis it's moves in essence rag goodness. Zooming in on the very center of the sensation. Curious about its edges. This contraceptive. Awareness awareness of the body. This body experience. And as best as possible this having a kind of background. Equanimity with distractions and sounds. Ambient noises. Finding a kind of good natured and easy going Nissen. No way we said. Course the mind wonders. Bring it back. It's explore for a little while. The sensation of breathing as their bodies knowing. Bodies knowing of the breath. It's an awareness. Of the breath and they mail there'd be other pieces that you become aware of the siblings quality in the breath extending the exhale slightly. They may begin to do that on their own serious natural slowing down. The whole body affected by the breath. I'm the tricks they're concentration is. Enjoyment. Finding something enjoyable the experience of breathing. Creates a more pleasurable experience that then in turn enhances their concentration. So deliberately choosing to enjoy. The breasts are of prison into equality. And breathing and feeling it more fully appreciating its fullness. And smoothness of softness whatever. The experiences. Period a couple minutes left. Following a breast all the way down. Following you've been following. If it's another sensation here working with the same principle. Of feeling at. As fully as he can. Here ready we can. Slowly open your eyes and get this conversation. Started. Thank you appreciate it. So the focus of our trip is really defy figure out what. It's either stopping people are meditating or messing up their practice. Having said that. We're open letting. So. I'll throw that out there anybody wants talk about what we called secret fears that he there's nothing for practicing or messing up your practice. But he feel free to ask aptly and it. But you know first. And realistic my name. Me Dennis there may even have been things that happened in the meditation and yes I absolutely challenges in the meditation or you're like oh man. And I forget this always happens I'm meditating and back can be come reason like the don't want to the united stuck differently is. The beach area thank you always takes the first person in the floodgates. What you have. I that's the CEO to present happier about it right he doesn't lots of things like including running around them like the. I think meditating for nineteen years and during that time there's spends obviously quite a bit of have been flow over sometimes I'm really committed special and I first started seven days a week twice today. But I noticed that one of the challenges was when I moved to Nashville that was one of the biggest content. Transitions high in my life I moved from Michigan and it was something that I almost forgot how much. Meditation and a part of my life. And then because it was a stressful transition when I would try to meditate sometimes their thoughts that would come during meditation. Would cause me to. To have to get out of the meditation because it was uncomfortable. So that's something that it had any of you experience sadness so. What have you done to me now I'm back in the my meditation and lead meditations with students at Vanderbilt that's wonderful but. I think that there's also students that are probably going through similar experiences and what are some ways it. You know I can system that. If you say a little more of the experience was that was. What was preventing it from working on her whenever. I think that'd. Part of it was like having that experience a feeling really isolated and not having my friends and my family and not really connecting with. Individuals here yet. And I think that a lot of students attention I think the first your students or transfer students or graduate professional students. Come mean to van about trying to. You know experience. The joy that meditation can bring but while their meditating having those negative thoughts that. Sometimes I'm our can be difficult to break in where the meditation actually fields. I'm. Really hurtful as against a helpful. You know. Let me curious here you guys stop occur I think there's definitely. I know for myself there's been periods in my practice kind of misuse and students where. You're going through really challenging time and there's a lot of the a lot of anxious stuff challenging experiences coming up. And there's different ways to work with that administratively including not taking. So there's ways of working with it waited this directly how looking at the depict the thoughts itself the sensations themselves letting yourself have this experience and and the ideas that you can begin to get a little bit room around a but it often doesn't work especially a lot of really. So some it would say and other strategies to actually focus away just find some very very calming. That's kind of where I would more green sports like Matta practices and more crowded into more that is defined public a loving kindness her practice. But especially I would say. A kind of something very embodied you know very slow movement practice or stuff like that's what I've done in those periods that still considered a meditation. But there's something about Q yeah like a really slowed the audio or tide cheer Pilates or something it's about. You know kind containment. Tracking the movement of the body and it's like to still format it is just so heart medication it's just not that. Sitting still and then here's the Tasmanian battle act. Harrington inside your head you know it's a different the Bakken app might help a man fitting. It should move would say one thing from from east research. Anecdotally at least for example Nestle medical experienced trauma. As a clinician and as a researcher he's noticed. That people who have been a difficult experiences. Often can't get out of their heads and have that trouble getting out. And Sophie trying to force yourself to pay attention that this already helpful and that for those particular. Patients are people in general. That he found exactly what difference saying that the bond that bar and her body movement practice was much more effectively US. Or touchy thing that in matches with going to be special thanks. Anything greater because they're people who had trauma and I don't. Know how you define from my enemy in individual thing you know something that might become as we may not become as you resemble. But then there are people just going through the normal. Vicissitudes of life where you make a move that you missed your friends so the question is. When is it you know when is that right move today you know sort of leaning Jeter and incipient depression or whatever difficulties so that they don't say you can to kind of pick them apart and see that there aren't as big yen as scary as you thought it that you said that there during the rest of your life and I was controlled by them. And when do you note actually cross the line and you know some sort of trial but actually it's best handled some other way. That's a good question because what some of the affair this here thing but I think it's like you kind of trust your own he had better care giving attitude to how you are. And he release and be paying attention to what's working and what not and what's not working. You know it here sitting down it's just like and opinion just experiencing. All of this agitation and all these upsetting thoughts and you can't seem to gain respect around it. Duke the contrasting conditions do work with the slow mover practice and see how that does. You know that that's the answers like yearly hear your own. Ari to work with somebody who can be doing this for you or be paying attention to before you you have to be paying attention heroes like that's the com but there is it is true that the bigger picture is there are these cycles and practice everybody knows long term practitioner of being like. You know really working and then having always amazing breakthroughs and everything's crap and it's like you've never but it limits hit him right. Beginning believe it and then there's that more physical activity is something feels like it's integrating it. And that's just sort life's those life cycles are similar to the practice cycles and having amateur perspective of knowingly have been here before could have been down here before. Just like I've been here before. And not getting too caught up and what that looks like being in the peak experiences. That's that's that in the name of the games have and a perspective. Then off and you also see to it they think that you're doing it wrong when these thoughts arise when there meditating. And it's I hear that common allotment of July Albion doing it right because I'm having these thoughts. I'm and that are making it difficult to concentrate spoke often that is the point to just be aware of those thoughts something you can invite them bite that. Those thoughts in just that as part of a practice that's here that a lot. Yeah I mean who would broke it open for me and made me realize that I can meditate you. You know really terrible time spent residents not the point isn't the stuff thinking it's evident relationship. That's. And that's the value at off the cushions your attacked by LV Stotts. In your regular life though it's terrible it is you know and because shipment date practice you might notice. Some percent of the time that that's so I'm you know where's my head is giving is terrible idea I don't have to do it. That's that's the point. Could and let's. Coming back. I had a chance my name is Kathleen hall and commoners this year. So I had I went me yesterday and it was a long appointment. Some people here know the story. Wright told this morning. And I was in the ophthalmologist office in my eyes there. Pupils are totally dilated and I know you know knocking village drive and I am waiting and waiting and then my cell phone rings. And it's somebody telling me that my husband. It was cutting wood and neighbor in a friend's house and had an accident. And they were taking the emergency room and they thought his jaw was broken but they it was okay. So. I had and it organ mob captain was well. Because. It was it was cutting up the treat it that big treat it has fallen down and they aren't working man hours cut may be fifty different places. And he apparently. Made a cut. The chainsaw. And the branch that he cut was probably holding down and trapping big branch that. And it's hand. So. A so I had already. Had to calm myself down from being in the ophthalmologist office and knowing that. And other comments to them in the generation I'm it inherited that tendency it's only matter time. And I I was in the chair and I read to hit really get placed in them. So. I say that there for a minute and I thought you know what. I'm two hands like it too much energy right now. Yeah I'm I figured out that I'm not I'm gonna stay here which they say am I people to dial in popularly. That if somebody's there Wear them it's okay. Had a right hand you know I've got to do something about the fact that I'm like that. So I decided I'm just gonna walk me do some walking meditation. And I just got up and of the chaired. And not whoever walks in on me so be. And just briefed and walked in briefed and walked in. Nervous system calm down. And I get back in the chair and ophthalmologist eventually came in Atlanta famines is using. He. Get a huge gash. And that got sewn up last night in the emergency room after many hours I held last night club. Surgeons sewed in my he has a fractured job that shattered actually. And there he'll have surgery sometime in the next couple thing. Our air. They're better in Oklahoma dodge that bullet again. No MacKey regeneration. And I got to the point where I could get it. Couple that's okay. Parades throughout the nation with what's the science that's silly here animosity here do what we saw this morning for example. Where an impression and and says the human. Where the if not first me anyway so that would as energized. As this is the weather on food. Having any activity whatsoever and it practices. Just this is a blank it's still lined signal in my chest suddenly. We'll have to look at the data. And access to keep Linda. In her performance in the scanner because she was meditating and what you saw was the classic. Pattern really strong. Intentional. Network brain regions and actually decreasing and areas in regular. And make a left for the U don't know is an area that's been important. Four salience take affiliates but also. Comes on line when you're having distressed responsiveness and emotionally activity. And I think what what's clear here is that. Just by paying attention by being aware. You're you it's a form of the confuse a form of emotion regulation. You re getting emotion not through suppressing thoughts and some are changing the way you think. Like Dan listening inching their relationship you're erection just. You're you're accepting those thoughts as being cared and you just the Wear them and you're actually regulating your motion just by being where your limbic system that's responsible for promotional activity goes down. And so I would imagine that happens when that system would start to go down actually just by. Being aware of what was happening rather than trying to change that often someone and what about though doubtful locking on to it because of such a good strategy. You know asserts I am I know I'm not sure how this. I mean Google Talk but the third and body approach. Helping. You're sort of augment that sort of attention and awareness. Sometimes by paying attention to. The body and a the body knows in the body generate the sort of that Paris the pathetic or. The rest and digest system kicks in you know more effectively by him. If so what happens when you have a stretch responses that it's all this energy that you rate dislike and zebra loose he confronted with a lie and they have to do something with that energy has the stress response so that it mobilizes the energy for the zebra to run up your pocket or run when you get threats what are you gonna do. You kid just walk can't. And he and I can help but if you just sit there it might be very very could faster idea and then stress response just keeps herself out. I really as a religious. Amy Cindy Lille in them that Tai chi instructor here. At ocean. Some I want to respond to the question that she has. About looking how hunter will put patient well students who don't have. Focuses of attention would mind when this. Seaside teach touching she console up close some bias in movement. But I think that moves that the patient that I what we're here. That some of them they do have the issues. Pate and being. Paying attention to defect cool calming because they have pain. They've saved AT Kitna focus says because they've paying patient mostly the paying some kind and so. And a would that would gentle movement just as simple as using their hand and that he's not the type chief whom anything like that but just simple movement. That bring them focused on the move thing. Question of the hands of their homes are there that the gay east that that. The coordination. Up that kind of cool with them to that and so they can engage. NC as they continue to do so then they and you can't stand that we think Pitt and changed and eighty more able to. Pos and not doing them hand movement and to see and briefing that sense so funded interesting in that and also put those who who practiced month and medications. When they come they so much. Fast in engaging understanding the fog even movement and then they get one out you know almost like open and other dimensions. Thank you. Almost beats the question of how much. Minutes that sitting meditation practice can inform the movement practice and how much those few feed off each other under how often do you confront that kind of and that question of and not only the movement but but what happens in real life you know when you're. At grocery store your boss yells you. Yeah. Well I mean I mean strategies bring your attention and your body you know as a kind grounds it and it Shenzhen what my teachers and take Dave knows him as well. He's here is says there's only so much real estate in consciousness. That is gonna go. There is easy to figure it is like it's besides and it can be squeezed and up here and squeezed over here it's going to be enormous kind of hold it always different directions you kind of rumors it's a proposal squishy toys were you squeeze in the eyeball comic comes as. You just like move at all it's amazing how much attention you can how much conscious people in the smallest little pointer will go over here so it's kind of like you're just. Disturbing it down into the body. And it sort of absorbing. All of and using it metaphorically but. That point people report. I'm Katie imminence practitioner also. We do some for so I cut facilitate. Group where we teach meditation she some people that haven't done before usually haven't before. And anchor facility of the yoga instructor and what she would say if she is here would be that. All of yoga practices to get you ready to meditate and so a lot of times will use movement practice and then approximately movements do. The meditation space and and it makes it a little bit Scripps news that transitional open. But another thing that we do that we actually got from. Michelle is. For those people that are having. Some trouble. I'm staying present is doing that circuit training and a few and talk about more about. Where you're going from a focus practice to an open awareness practice and actor focused practice. Yeah it's it's good stuff because it gives people a little bit of perspective. And and helps them with fat tool. Gaining. More of an awareness around what's happening and making it less overwhelming and one of the ways I often explain it my patience as. You know if you hate your final amount hurts really bad and he didn't know what was going on he'd never heard. That there was a funny bone there's a nerve right there he didn't know the pain and ago you'd think that Hubert. You've got an emergency or in in even in the paint Italy Bulent wilders must be something terribly wrong with me. Because I apparently touched my elbow and was extremely painful. And part of the practice and as to startling I don't know what I rubbed the fifth inning go I know this isn't going to be permanent. And so you know old most of the people to come through here are. Didn't sign up her medication I didn't come here they wanted to learn mindful of and so are in a position of saying hey there's this thing and it might help you. But were doing it through the land. With paint -- insomnia with anxiety. And so I feel like I often thing. All of these different things that we're doing here from patchy T yoga it's acupuncture to heart rate variability biofeedback. Teaching breath practices is really sort of eight different ways to get to the same life. Which is not embodied experience. And so wet and eyes are generally care which one it. It's tough to be the ones it resonates with them. And then when they hit a wall at switching up right and trying a different. Let's pieces. Equanimity issue here talking matter there right so. A lot of times people. Let's think that you're not supposed to have some intense emotion when you meditate. Hey we hear that offer him. Oh but I got angry. Nothing meditation right earth sometimes I get that from my last house if I get angrier. Frizz your meditation now. Integration that she does to have ring less than I do good. Because I get that's. New equipment and meditate is he'll call you Hayworth in addition. But it is happening now it. But the idea that. You're not supposed to have that intense emotion I think is often. Misunderstood. I always tell a story about the Dalai Lama seeing the Dalai Lama get angry and I think it's a good popular. Angered. But the point being that you you can get angry placated if there's enough. Actually. And mangled the CEO pissed him off and some later took responsibility is to be be be. Took off who the labels of water bottles. In his residents because we're filming. And you know in India waters flick secret if to make sure that's not contaminated. He's always concerned about the as having proper water that's not poison in some way. And he noticed that somebody took it off without asking him as his living room Miller and and he just got really angry. And called without him and every with general with dead silent. And then. Absent sari and think OK let's continue. And it is like within seconds he was that actually it was dawn. I. That's the class having an acronym it is that people often take a community to confuse it with indifference you know that it's a kind of flat lining but actually it's more like a black affection. So you're just completely allowing whatever to come up whether it's love whether it's anger or whether it's Communist this comes up but because there's no. Friction around it comes up passes and moves through. And moving through it mean in in. Emotion regulation search you see. It's it's not that you. That you have some sort of intense emotion are intense stress response that's. This is area. Bad. But it's actually very healthy to have a lot of variability in your heart rate goes up it goes down. Now we have a stress response the only thing that we look for its recovery time how quickly you can recover friends structures that's what's key. I just want to respond to what you just one thing quickly said that I was really interesting and very perceptive. They're being all of these different tools that you guys use here. Because I'm really interested in this like what are these. We have always different kinds of practices how low. Power they are working are they complementary in what's going on. And it seems like one of the things you said as they calls they all point to kind of a kind of embodiment even meditation practices. Heat one of the arc CC and practitioners over time is more more in their bodies more it's natural. Supplementing your skin feeling so that seems to be one of the things that these all have in common but the other what I would say is awareness and it's being. Aware of what's happening in those experiences that you commuting a tight she practice or cheat on I've got a little bit tight she and it's very much about. Noticing the feeling of the energy moving in through the body of the hands of the move the movement these subtle movements of the body. It's very. It seems to be based there all kind of mindless practice their own way and I'm not totally sure where they oh crossover but I mean experiencing question him. And Savion should be hearing people's thoughts are your guys thoughts on. Two. Oceans and has this practice called auto lock after he heard the same things or you get what you learn how to just be aware why you just walk. And pay attention you interact with people if there's one hardest things are so that people think though I hear so often it's. Let's critic in practice on a cushion. What happens when I'm you know. Back column my family and my two kids are screaming and I'm trying to cook dinner or I'm on the highway someone cuts me off. Or online grocery store and you know someone gets in front of me. Here's what they do it but we were referred to as informal pact. And how often can be heard who have engaged in that way am and that's the challenge. And all those every hero he's physical practices actually are higher level of talent away and just sitting in Alia culture around so its its training you to work with ever greater. Situations and a challenging it said. And avail so the question. Okay. Just wanna take comment on lingered mentioning Katie about. Utilizing different Toulouse and and then just had a quick question. I think one thing that I've found for myself and I think that we and play with their patients as well. It is. Offering them multiple tools and they may not you they may use one tool at one time than their life and another time in their life. Another one make might make more percent cap and so offering options this isn't the toolbox at your building it's not static. So it I've I've found from my own practice and when and if pollen off the wagon many times. That knowing a that well maybe this is the time that day. Under utilized. More of a movement practice more of a yoga practice rather than as heated meditation. So being cognizant of of becoming a guess more aware of your own body and mind in knowing a wait a second I have to choose a different tool. And missile capacity for. In LA mayor having this unconventional divorce yourself a target Zack cutting yourself accords and standard out of your fifth meeting in Madrid over here exactly my brain to perform well on the scanner. Clearly not. Doing well something camera. Exactly yet. A my question was. Around. A barrier that I've often come up against I'm in my own practice. And I would love to know. For I think this is an important tool for clinicians in general and in medical practice to learn and use for themselves as weird I'm well aware of the risk of burnout. Amongst many of us. And that's the moment when I think we need it most. It's the hardest to employ it's true so how old. How do we get through that barrier. As a rate yes and hisses as a river that's a very good question. How does that fit into our current topography. That's good fears that very moment. When you most need the practices are actual hardest time to do it is almost like. It's Oscars you least it would help yourself in that moment to. Just off the top my head things I can think of is certainly for me. Having a community that I can practice with really helps because it's a regular thing every week ago it was said. You know IA and act so I have a whole community that is sort of like reinforcing the importance of sitting in. That as a hat so that's structures there aisles of a partner whose love sitting too so she helps me. Kind of when that happens for me you know things that you be busy meets it seems acute relieves and his teachers and a half. There might love. Quiet. Version. So that's. And then you can even have you know you can begin to learn to recognizing yourself. The place when you get when your most overwhelming your most hurting his kind of this signal. Yeah okay this is you know I need to. This is and I need to sit right now and what happens to you for you in that moment I work what is actually museum in. When I'm not sure. Yeah it kind of in that moment I know I need to do something but what do I do yeah we're not doing. Ray. I think. This like we were talking about before Kathleen with the energy that you can feel inside of you. That you know it you know it needs to move in some way. Whether you choose in that moment to move it. You you can ignore it but it will not go way so I think that at some point you reach that. That moment where you decide I must do something. I'm because I cannot sit with this feeling in. And that's. I don't know what at what point it reaches that kind of activation energy Ewing you go I must move I must do something and find a tool. But there is always that moment and I didn't see that often with our patients to Wear it why is it that they come to us at a certain time. Maybe they've dealt with something for 25 years so why did they walk through your Dillard. Today. It's the it they've reached that that moment that they can't that is more painful. Tend not to use something that it is her it's more painful yet to to sit with it. And it is actually choose to make a choice in chains I think it's that same. Moment when you're sitting with yourself. Making that that challenging choice as it is you know it's the same thing for patients amp. It's a very. And news I think there's another approach. Still moment when you've frightening you feel like that you something this is this is too much. I usually tell people that's your red flag on the field it means stop the action. And learning over time through the help of meditation filing the brass to stop. Take a brown turned towards what's happening with kindness. Here. And explore it for a few minutes Lalime made Agilent calms down. And then make a choice about what you want and do. But this turning towards my own suffering. That's that's what I find is the most helpful damn thing to teach patience is and I turned tore it's it. Be kind takes some brass and then Leno I what's going to be helpful in the initial. Teaches there and gets her courses here. Hyannis yeah. I I'm Mary AG and actually the time my infamous coordinator at a local K through twelve independent school would have mine was very near since. 2010 which is really exciting. It didn't have been teaching mindful parenting classes. For about five years and so I love everything that I have been hearing and I feel like. You know when you have. Parents to our most of misty failed to appearance working. They've got you know very busy lives and says the idea of sitting on a cushion for ten minute today as. It's not realistic in the beginning. Didn't and so I've always talk to him about. Just waiting this informal practices into when you're waiting in that that the pick up line at the end of that afternoon unit to pick the kids up. Does moments Regis start dropping in and let's a year I don't know if there's research on because I feel like to me. I feel like it's so important is give them invitation. And that tops and about setting yourself up for success so that you're not. You know trying to meditate tenants and day realizing your failing out and then walking away from it sent up to hear some thoughts about. I was skeptical they say they say. By they're all suffering and really motivated and and I feel like I mean it's beautiful haven't we had a community that meets every week at gathering that offer and just yesterday just a couple of that parents shared how. What a shift they have felt an near. Equanimity. Around. Experiences in their life and it's just that slowly started with probably just. A minute you know every loss on when they remembered in the hook up on that than they've built this kind of so it's been beautiful to see that trajectory. Mindful. I think he gave the exact right advice which is people think they don't have time. But they're making time for other things that we did is no point pointing that out I think. I think. Making it as easy as possible as saying look just do a minute here a minute there it back house then they start. Is he is little benefits in the cause there aren't enough there isn't and then you get later in the issue of consistency who have fallen off the wagon and then. Cameron said that earlier but for the followed up the wagons and starting again and that's assessor kind of related but separate issue but I think that's the way for those who have told themselves the story that they don't have time for this. That and the other thing we're learning is that you can. Point out to people that there are points in the days where it fits seamlessly and like you have to go to bed. So maybe right before bed even under lying down or you know you have to brush your teeth so. Image right after that are wherever. Or even I mean you know. Mine fully brushing your teeth actually after having the experience of tasting the toothpaste. Feeling the experience of the team. At what one thing you raise a question is you know me in there is a way in which you can have people. Save OK we'll if you can't carve out an editor to formal practice then just try. You know my progress here T secret ever I was at some question my mind about whether. You know these daily practices like brushing your teeth are we gonna try to be my apple between meetings. How much juice to get out of them if you don't actually have a baseball practice and William Willett will it did have viable strategy is direct. To recommend that as the as. Camel's nose and if it. Right I think that it. It doesn't build like I feel like what happens for me when when I started building irregular practice that built this reservoir. That I can count dropped in to win. Something throws me off kilter and I think if you're just doing as short on mr. Reza forest not very. Full right but it's started I mean you got some drops in there. And are harder to his realizing that there are so many kinds of meditation. And there are so many kinds of things you can focus on things you can notice and so I take a teach a course and in Toronto that really goes through. All these different very different techniques were human ambient sound working their thoughts were with bite feelings. Change the body will with a look at the breath equipment and and people are always you can use. He could do better or violently like this are basic find some corner of their experience that they actually fight now actually pleasurable. At and they may have a person's another place any kind of being it to learn and then you can see absolutely is you're allowed to easily light and a Nagin and it's like there's. Gift inevitably find that Barry had an inclination now way they can start working Smart and filling it in. And similarly there's also just really creating associations with I think with meditations beings made it can something be very pleasurable. That you look for places of natural pleasure and an aunt in your luck in your day but it's falling asleep or just waking up or. A positive settling back or just arriving here sitting down here are settling back before you. Whatever it is just use those as cues and and parents get to reinforce that quality. And his can you know there are those periods could might start to open up that Hastert particular bit more time here. It's not just like an eating my vegetables as a team we've been working with them meditation. It's like. I love my vegetables campaign and enjoying vegetables are not just good for me with it tastes pretty delicious. The exactly yeah. Exactly do you guys think then that. That it's a viable strategy for somebody who wants a that if they meditate but can't get over the hump. Today you know say just doing brush your teeth their revenues in the car can that get them over the hump orient I've some skepticism around. I need to get skip some have because honestly. You know it's the same with a physical muscles that you if you if you're mentioning you know building up muscle except for example and you go to the gym. And you do you know two week training you're gonna see some changes for eight but if you you know pick up failure. Your pencil and her legs. You have thing throughout the day and trust you think there's an elevator did mice there dynamic is that. It's certainly that Howell but if you have a goal of the strengthening of physical muscles. Same with the mental muscles you know we have to really think about meditation practice as a it's systematic form of mental training camp. And it you want to flex that man's colossal you have to put some effort into it sustained. Periods of time it so yes every little bit helps I would say even every breath. Helps because every breath becomes an opportunity to two effectively changed your mind reacts to things. But. So at the doorway being. If you really want sort of see benefits what we see. Is the correlations of these you know patterns of brain activity matches more with how much time he formally sit on a cushion. Rather than and how you even subjected we think you're mindful assistant. We're really glad the chip so badly. Yeah fantasies. Meanwhile is crushing amount might voters powers of concentration. I think I had her need for it but yeah okay. Came out of body and I was actually victorious. Any kind of I think it. I think we were at the end of our times that really want to thank all of you for now we appreciate think anything that you get games into the epicenter of the appreciated and just to tell the live through books that will be on this tour for. Sorry to say seven more days. And every day will be like and so you can hear.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"49:58","description":"ABC News' Dan Harris and meditation teacher Jeff Warren talk with cognitive neuroscientist David Vago at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. ","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Health","id":"45076413","title":"10% Happier Road Trip: How Meditation Affects the Brain","url":"/Health/video/10-happier-road-trip-meditation-affects-brain-45076413"}