Self-Transformation Through Mindfulness | Dr. David Vago | TEDxNashville

Published 2017-04-24
How is the Self represented in the brain and how is it sculpted through our everyday moment-to-moment perceptions, emotions, and thoughts? Cognitive Neuroscientist, David Vago demonstrates that a systematic form of mental training involving meditation and mindful awareness has the potential to transform our self and our mental habits in a positive way. Learn more about how every moment is an opportunity to change our brain and strongly influence our health & longevity at both conscious and non-conscious levels.

A Cognitive Neuroscientist by training, David Vago has close to 20 years of experience with mindfulness practice and teaching, and over a decade conducting translational neuroimaging, cognitive, and clinical research on the basic mechanisms and therapeutic relevance of mindfulness and associated meditation/contemplative practices. Through his research, Dr. Vago focuses on one basic question – “What are the basic neurobiological and physiological components that constitute adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in psychiatric settings?” In addition to being an expert in the emerging field of contemplative neuroscience, David has studied the neural mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disease and chronic pain using fMRI and is translating these findings into biologically-based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for alleviating suffering. He is the research director at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a research associate in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

All Comments (21)
  • @TheShuryansh
    I attempted suicide because of my anxiety, depression and broken heart. But due to mindfulness meditation I'm now free from negetive patterns and my life has been transformed into new one.
  • @hannahg39
    The power of mindfulness and simply living in the present is so powerful!It has helped heal from being labelled with numerous mental health issues,drug addiction,and living much of life as my own worst enemy. I am now 46 years old,am fully present for the first time in my life,and am in love with life as well as myself!I meditate every day,do yoga,journal,exercise,and spend time in nature every day.I limit my screen time,don't watch the news,and I am no longer anxious or depressed as I no longer live in the past or worry about the future!It's never too late to change!
  • “You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this and you will find great strength.” — Marcus Aurelius
  • @ginag.4064
    I was diagnosed w a life threatening illness over a year ago. I didn't know how I could go on with my life. I began to meditate and practice mindfulness, and I'm not afraid anymore, and I can sleep!! It's helped me tremendously. Without this and my wonderful doctors I could not live a happy and healthy life.
  • @Emma13684
    I have trauma brain from childhood abuse and neglect. Mindfulness is changing my life. Thank you 🕊🙏🏻
  • @whitemoon5752
    I had attended 10 days vipassana meditation, it was truly an experience. It was not easy to keep silent for 10 days and meditate for hours, but I am glad I did it and will do it again soon.
  • @jeansmyth262
    I suffered from agoraphobia for many years and only left my home for emergencies and accompanied by partner. After meditating twice a day for four months it seemed quite normal to go out and post a letter on my own and now two years later I can move freely and have no problem going abroad on holiday. One top psychiatrist told me two years ago that he could do nothing for me as I had seen many professionals without any improvement and it was 'too late'.
  • Brilliant presentation! I've listened to this talk about 5-6 times over the last month while driving and today was the first time I had the chance to actually watch it. I started practicing yoga regularly and meditating at least 20 minutes a day a little over one year ago and the results so far have been life changing! I've faced some major setbacks and challenges over the last few years and because I would spend all my waking hours ruminating and dwelling on these past mistakes it created a lot of anxiety, stress and ultimately severe bouts of depression. But with my mindful practice I'm happy to say I've made an 180 degree turn and have lately been filled with more awareness, patience, compassion and contentment than I know what to do with! Because of neuroscientists like Dr. David Vago I believe the world is definitely on track to becoming a more happy and peaceful place.
  • @kimdeane3145
    I've been a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism for 20 years. What a wonderful talk!!
  • @sharonjudd7786
    Practicing mindfulness will heal anxiety, depression, will even heal a broken heart
  • @roquesanta9769
    Investing time in activities, or better say, non activity like meditation, has been some of the most profound and fulfilling moments in my life, definitely life changing
  • This makes sense to me after taking time to think about it on a deeper level. I am a believer in transforming my mind in dealing with my pain, anxiety, and depression. Meditation is so rewarding for me.
  • @ngwekhant7383
    Positive attitude create positive mindset! So I always try to think positive all the time!
  • @joseperez2515
    Meditation is great. The best thing about meditation is that once you learn to control your breathing and your mind, you can do it all day. I mean, you can meditate while driving your car and it will make you a better driver because you will be at the wheel most of the time. You will not drive on auto.
  • @bunsnbeans
    Does anyone notice the link between mindfulness and Stoicism? Marcus Aurelieus said we cannot control what happens to us, the only thing we can control is how we react to it, sounds a lot like the nonjudgmental attention of mindfulness to me!
  • @Nitrate12
    Sir David, i aspire to be like you! I find studying the "mind" is interesting Thank you for being what you are and for the work you are doing! 😊 💐
  • Excellent. Thank you Dr. Vago. Please continue with your presentations!
  • Great talk Dr. Vago! Love how you mix science with spiritualness. <3
  • I could listen to it every day.(ted x) - giving 365 a day. thank you so much for helping to make this world a better world. God Bless. you are definitely doing, what the purpose of Life should be.