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Meeting Minutes
Torch Club of the Fox Valley
07 March 2017
Atlas Coffee Mill & Café

Notes taken by: Jude Kuenn, secretary
Attendees:  David Debbink, Marcia Debbink, Mary Flanagan, Jean Hedges, Walt Hedges, Barbara Kelly, Bill Kelly, Jude Kuenn, Cam Maurice, Richard Schoenbohm, Katie Shaw, Webb Shaw, Jan Smith, Bob Swain, Helen Thiel, Peter Thiel, Sofia Wilson

Guest: Sue Bennett


Meeting called to order at 6:35pm.

Business segment adjourned at 6:50pm for dinner.
Mary Flanagan:  Your Brain on Meditation

The last 20 years’ studies have confirmed the brain’s ability to change. With the advent of MRIs in the 1990s, neuroplasticity has been confirmed and documented.

Richard Davidson, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the founder of the Center for Healthy Minds. A closet meditator from the 197Os, Davidson has scientifically studied the meditating brain, proving meditation increases resilience, neuro-pathways, and can slow and stall the normal brain aging process.

NIH (National Institute of Health) also supports meditation studies.

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”  –Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.

Studies have shown we are happier when our mind is focused. Meditation is: breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat. “Joy on Demand” is a concept where we pay attention to thin slices of joy. It is found everywhere and is easy to cultivate if we are mindful. Make this part of a habit:

Davidson’s book “The Emotional Life of Your Brain” defines six emotional styles:
Social Intuition
Sensitivity to Context

Case studies in neuroplasticity can be found in Norman Doidge’s book: “The Brain that Changes by Itself”.

Meta: loving kindness, a strong wish for wellness for others; compassion. This mindset leads to measurable changes in the brain.
The evening adjourned at 8:50pm.

Next meeting is Thursday 4/13/17. Bob Swain’s talk: “The Battle of Grand Chute”.
April meeting will also be a book exchange, so bring one or two to pass along.
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