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Episode 918th August 2022 • Brain Beat • National Academy of Neuropsychology Foundation
00:00:00 00:43:00

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Jennifer Reuter joins Dr. Heidi Rossetti on today's episode. Jennifer is an expert in meditation and yoga and is currently serving as the Blue Lotus Kailua Wellness Studio Director on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. She has over 20 years of experience leading yoga teacher training certificate programs, meditation, immersions, yoga and meditation retreats, monthly meditation meet-ups, and weekly yoga and meditation classes. Today, Jennifer discusses mindfulness and meditation and their relationship to how we operate.

In the opening segment of the episode, Jennifer narrates her past personal struggles with depression, frustration, anxiety, and stress that drew her to the yoga specialty. She then differentiates meditation and mindfulness, defining mindfulness as more than just paying attention and including traits like kindness, friendliness, non judgment, and receptivity. She compares meditation to yoga since both seek to cultivate wholeness. In addition, Jennifer explains contemplative neuroscience and changes in the body and brain due to contemplative practice. She further highlights the benefits of meditation to improve quality of life, for example, increased attention span, stability, ability to concentrate, physical healing, peace, and decreased metabolism, heart, and breathing rates. Other subjects Jennifer touches on include mindfulness in the age of digitalization, self-compassion, and self-soothing – topics that are both timeless and timely, especially given the many challenges that the world presents us with these days.

Episode Highlights:

  • Jennifer's journey to the Yoga space
  • The difference between meditation and mindfulness
  • The concept of contemplative neuroscience
  • Positive neuroplasticity versus negative neuroplasticity
  • The value of meditation
  • The plight of not paying attention
  • Mindfulness in the age of digitization
  • Defining self-compassion
  • Myths around self-compassion
  • Differentiating self-compassion and self-pity
  • Self-regulating and self-soothing


"Doing what I thought was right was literally sucking the joy right out of my life. And it was then that I discovered yoga, and a whole new world began to open up for me."

"I've been able to uncover and reclaim lost places in myself and develop a greater understanding, appreciation, and compassion for myself. And experientially, I just feel this interconnection with others, the planet, this moment, how it's all woven together, and my sense of belonging to it. And this is that larger perspective I've been able to taste and explore outside my little self."

"When one studies mindfulness and learns that paying attention is only half of the practice, and that's the easy part, the other half of mindfulness is how we pay attention. So it invokes quality of our heart as we pay attention, invoke kindness, friendliness, non judgment, and receptivity."

"Mindfulness helps us shift from reactive states, where we might feel caught up, to receptive and freeing states."

"So mindfulness is this witnessing. It's a quality of consciousness that is kind, receptive, acknowledging what's happening without getting entangled."

"It's possible for the mind, body, and breath to join together in a moment. And when that occurs, there's a sense of being here and now. "

"With meditation and your strategy, whatever tool you're using, it's to let go of the striver, the one that wants to do. So relax back and learn to stop controlling. And so if you can relax with your technique, it gets really good. That takes a lot of practice."

"Self-compassion it's the ability to tune into our own feelings, to feel the feels, resonate with them, and then respond to them."

"If we want a peaceful world, we've got to start with ourselves. Begin taking a break every once in a while, giving ourselves that nurturing and care we deserve. And then we can offer it back out, extend it to the people in our lives, our communities, and our culture."


National Academy of Neuropsychology Foundation website

Jennifer Reuter

Tara Brach, Jennifer's meditation teacher

Jack Kornfield, Jennifer's meditation teacher

Kristin Neff, a leader in self-compassion



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