Learning about the Mindfulness Industry

Fall 2016    - This column written by Gena Bean.


For this quarter, our practice will be the Body Scan.  So, to compliment that, this Learning Page will focus on a star of the mindfulness industry, Dr. Sara Lazar, neuroscientist. 

I chose Dr. Lazar since she focuses on the brain. And I thought that would be a nice compliment to our practice of focusing on the body.  

Also, I have met Dr. Lazar in person.  She and I were both invited to be interviewed on Cambridge Community Television.  So I got the chance to sit with her at the Mariposa Coffee Shop in Central Square for a very nice conversation.  

This video is Sara Lazar's interview.  It is part 1 of the two part series, and focuses on the science behind meditation. 

This video is my (Gena Bean's) interview.  It is part 2 of the two part series, and focuses on the practice itself. 


To learn more:

  • Sara Lazar's webpage
  • The Wikipedia page on neuroplasticity mentions Dr. Lazar's work. 
  • Dr. Lazar's has a TedX page
    It includes this bio about her:

    Sara W. Lazar, PhD is an Associate Researcher in the Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. She is a Board member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and is a contributing author to Meditation and Psychotherapy.
Lazar has been practicing yoga and mindfulness meditation since 1994. The focus of her research is to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of yoga and meditation, both in clinical settings and in healthy individuals. One main focus of her work is determining how yoga and meditation influence brain structure, and how these changes influence behavior.
Her research has been covered by numerous news outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, Time Magazine, CNN, ABC Evening News, National Public Radio, WebMD, the Huffington Post, and is featured in an information kiosk at the Boston Museum of Science.