Today’s Mindful Moment: Dr. Daniel Siegel on “Mindsight” (or “Seeing the Mind”)

Hello all! Hope you all had a great weekend.

Recently, I came across the below video featuring Dr. Daniel Siegel, a medical doctor, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and co-founder of the Mindful Awareness Research Center.  In it, Dr. Siegel discusses something called “mindsight”:

Mindsight?  What is that?  I was intrigued.  I had not heard of or come across this word in my recent research into mindfulness.  So, I purchased Dr. Siegel’s book on the topic.  As it turns out, Dr. Siegel coined the word ‘mindsight’ several years ago.  He explains, in general terms, that mindsight is a tool he teaches to his patients to have more awareness and insight into themselves, so that they may ultimately have more integration in their lives (I am of course loosely paraphrasing here). This, explains Dr. Siegel, is the way that one may create more secure attachments with their families.  He opines that integration in the brain is the fundamental basis of self-regulation and well-being.

Mindsight has three dimensions:

  • insight into oneself
  • empathy to understand others; and
  • integration (both within oneself and between oneself and others).

Dr. Siegel also notes that mindsight has linkages to mindful awareness.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

I am very curious to read more of Dr. Siegel’s works on mindsight and the science of mindfulness generally. Perhaps some of you might already have heard of mindsight before; if so, I would welcome your thoughts and comments.

As I mentioned above, Dr. Siegel is currently clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he is on the faculty of the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center.

Some of Dr. Siegel’s other recent works include:

  • The Developing Mind, Second Edition: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are (Guilford Press 2012)
  • The Mindful Therapist: A Clinician’s Guide to Mindsight and Neural Integration (W.W. Norton 2010)
  • The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being (W.W. Norton 2007)

On an unrelated note, this weekend I tried my first ‘hot flow’ yoga class through Yogalife studios and really enjoyed it (contrary to several of my colleagues’ opinions).  I’m glad I stepped out of my usual yoga practice and tried something new.  It was well worth it, and I’ll definitely be back next week.  Then, the week after it’s off to San Diego for some needed relaxation, sunshine, and the beginning to the next chapter of my journey in mindfulness.  If it’s anything like these past eight months, I cannot wait what the future (that is, now!) holds.

The light in me salutes the light in you, always.

Namaste, Alex

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