Mindsight and Blue Man Group: An Interview with Daniel Siegel, M.D.

Today I bring back Dr. Daniel Siegel  to show us his comedic side, while explaining the concept of mindsight’s connection to a sense of resilience, compassion and well-being. Dan received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry.  He is the co-editor of a handbook of psychiatry and the author of numerous articles, chapters, and the internationally acclaimed text, The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are. He has also published a wonderful book on parenting with Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., Parenting From the Inside Out. His breakout book in the field of mindfulness is The Mindful Brain, which explores the application of this newly emerging view of the mind, the brain, and human relationships. His newest book which I am thrilled about is Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation.

Dan has been invited to work with some esteemed people as a result of their interest in his work including: the U.S. Department of Justice, The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, Microsoft and Google, early intervention programs and a range of clinical and research departments worldwide. He has been invited to lecture for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

He has done all this and yet, if you know him, you know he remains so personable and accessible.

Elisha: You are involved in a really comedic video explaining Mindsight with the Blue Man Group that I’m posting below. I’m going to have the readers take a look and then have you give us a glimpse into your experience here?

 

 Dan: The world of seeing and shaping the mind, of mindsight, is relevant for a wide array of our human endeavors, from education and clinical work to organizational functioning, policy formation, and the story-telling process of entertainment.  In my journey, I’ve had the good fortune of being asked to consult to a number of organizations, including the “Blue School” created by the founders of the Blue Man Group entertainment company.  Their brilliant creation of a multimedia rhythmic comedy live performance inspired them to think deeply about how people learn and cultivate their creative capacities.  As their own children grew toward school age, they started a pre-school that now has been growing into a primary school focusing on developing social and emotional intelligence in a supportive and creative environment in New York City.  

Mindsight is a natural fit for their goals, and I have been serving as an advisor to the school on how to promote the skills of reflection, resilience, and relationships in addition to the usual “three R’s” of “reading, riting, and rithmetic.”  After they read the manuscript of the book, Mindsight, they were generous to offer to create a short “comedy” of the topic with me interacting with the Blue Men.  In that video, which had a framework but was in great part spontaneous in its emergence, you’ll see and hear the fundamental principles discussed and revealed.

Just the day before we also did a more serious set of talks at the TEDxBlue event, which can also be found on the web at YouTube “Mindsight Siegel”.   There our talks were focusing on the potential to re-think how education might be revamped to embrace our new knowledge about the brain and the need to support mindsight growth in kids so that on the personal level they are more resilient, on the interpersonal level they are more compassionate and empathic, and on the planetary level they can be more proactive in embracing the interconnected nature of our home on this fragile and magnificent Earth.

Thanks again Dan for all your great work. As always, please share your thoughts, questions and stories below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

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