PodcastProductivity & Lifestyle

How Spirituality, Mindfulness, Psychedelics, & Religion Alter Your Brain & Performance w/ Neuroscience Researcher Mark Robert Waldman

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“God is whatever you need to create it for. If you create a negative version of God, it’s very neurologically destructive. If you create and maintain a totally optimistic version of God, all of our research shows that’s very neurologically and psychologically enhancing.”
— Mark Robert Waldman

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today, we are joined by author, neuroscientific researcher, therapist, and the world’s leading expert on spirituality and the brain, Mark Robert Waldman. Mark is faculty at Loyola Marymount University and author of 13 books, including Words Can Change Your Brain and How God Changes Your Brain, the latter of which was nominated as a “must read” by Oprah Winfrey. He’s also just published a new book on January 31st, called Neurowisdom.

Mark’s body of work is a formidable cornucopia of knowledge on the brain, and how we can influence it’s development and behavior with something as simple as thoughts and beliefs. But don’t worry, this isn’t going to be another episode where I go off into energies and woo-woo… Mark is a very respected researcher in the field of neuroscience, having had his work published in peer-reviewed journals worldwide, and publications ranging from Time Magazine to Forbes and The New York Times.

In this episode, we talk about… god, neuroscience, psychedelics, spirituality, yawning, communications, guided meditations.

This episode is brought to you by my premium online training – The Become a SuperLearner Master Class. To learn more or check out a FREE trial with no credit card required, simply click the banner above!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What is the fastest way to wake up your entire brain? (surprising and quite interesting)
  • How did Mark Robert Waldman get into neuroscience?
  • How do meditation, prayer, and God influence your brain? Is it positive or negative?
  • What are the health and cognitive benefits of having a spiritual practice?
  • How can you immediately “turn off” your ability to feel anxious?
  • What is “practical neuroscience,” and how can it improve your life?
  • What is spirituality? How do we define it?
  • A real-time mindfulness exercise for focusing the mind and understanding spirituality
  • Where does mindfulness and spirituality actual reside inside the brain?
  • Is it worth developing a spiritual practice, even if you don’t believe in “God,” for the health benefits?
  • How did Mark Robert Waldman go from being an ordained minister to a researcher and university lecturer
  • What did Mark learn from reviewing over 300 books on neuroscience?
  • What does Mark say about psychedelics? Would he recommend them to his own children?
  • What happened when Mark Robert Waldman “overdosed” on DMT, an extremely potent hallucinogen?
  • How can you practically take advantage of the neuroscience, even if you don’t believe in God?
  • An interesting discussion of communication skills, and how they align your brain with other peoples’
  • How can a simple meditation and contemplative practice improve sales, productivity, and performance?
  • How much meditation do you actually need to do to see the benefits?
  • 10 easy micro assignments for you to do over the next week

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Mark Robert Waldman:

“The more you turn off the emotional centers in your brain, the more you turn off your ability to be observant, logical, rational, or reasonable – and vice versa.”
“When you anchor yourself in any of those inner-value words, you’ll feel the stress drain away from you, and for the next hour of work, you’ll be more productive.”
“That is our definition of spirituality: Your deepest, inner-most values that give your life meaning and purpose.”
“I graduated from UC Santa Cruz with, basically, a degree in psychedelics.”
“That was the first time I moved from being helpless and dependent on other people telling me what was wrong with me and how to fix me to starting to trust my own intuition.”
“We now know that intuition is a specific neural circuit that you can arbitrarily tap into to solve problems more rapidly.”
“When you take a psychedelic, it opens up all those parts of the brain that are normally inactive when you’re awake… so you’re in your dream state and your awake state…”
“We’ve done interviews of thousands of people, and it turns out that nearly everyone has a totally different definition of God.”
“If you even just spent 60 seconds each morning thinking about what your deepest value should be, to anchor yourself for the rest of the day, in 90% of our students, stress levels went down, work productivity went up.”
“That’s what we do. We teach people how to have instant, mini-enlightenment experiences.”



Jonathan Levi is an experienced entrepreneur and angel investor from Silicon Valley.

After successfully selling his Inc 5,000 rated startup in April of 2011, Levi enlisted the help of speed-reading expert and university professor Anna Goldentouch, who tutored him in speed-reading, advanced memorization, and more. Levi saw incredible results while earning his MBA from INSEAD, and later went on to teach a best-selling online course on the subject. With this unique skill, he has become a proficient lifehacker, optimizing and "hacking" such processes as travel, sleep, language learning, and fitness.

  • Robert Lohmer

    This is one of the best Podcast episodes i have listened to in a long time. Finally, I get how mindfulness can be achieved and help in my every-day life. This episode was not only fun to listen to, it was right-out enlightening. Especially, with the scientific backgrounds and explanations it all starts to make more and more sense. Thank you, Jonathan and Robert!