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If meditation didn’t exist, would scientists have had to invent it? Dr. Daniel Siegel is a scientist by training and disposition who found his way, unbeknownst to himself, into creating a powerful, innovative meditation technique that is now used by many thousands of people. As he discusses with Ken in today’s episode, Dan came to it as a psychiatrist with no prior experience of meditation. But his study of the brain and body and how to treat his suffering patients led him to develop a set of practices that he calls The Wheel of Awareness. After the fact he discovered that the Wheel weaves together the three pillar meditation practices that have been studied by scientific researchers into a single exercise — focused attention meditation, open awareness, and compassion training.

Dr. Daniel Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, a founding co-director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and the executive director of the Mindsight Institute. He is the NY TImes bestselling author many books, including Brainstorm and Mindsight, and co-author of Parenting from the Inside Out and The Whole Brain Child. His new book, Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence, is a hands on guide for the groundbreaking meditation practice, The Wheel of Awareness, and looks in depth at the science that underscores meditation’s effectiveness.

You can find out more about Daniel Siegel and his work at