The Mindfulness Podcast with Dr. David Black
Episode 17: Immune cell genomic activity, inflammation, and meditation (with guest Dr. Steve Cole)
Released May 3, 2022
My guest is Dr. Steve Cole, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine in the division of hematology-oncology at the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine. His research examines the association between social factors and the activity of the human genome. He has pioneered the use of functional genomics approaches in the social and behavioral sciences, including tests of stress reduction and mindfulness interventions on genomic activity. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and I have been lucky enough to collaborate with Dr. Cole on several research projects that examine genomic activity associated with participation in behavioral interventions.
Cole, S. W. (2013). Social regulation of human gene expression: mechanisms and implications for public health. American Journal of Public Health, 103(S1), 84-92.
Black, D. S., Cole, S. W., et al. (2013). Yogic meditation reverses NF-κB and IRF-related transcriptome dynamics in leukocytes of family dementia caregivers in a RCT. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(3), 348-355.
Black, D. S., Christodoulou, G., & Cole, S. (2019). Mindfulness meditation and gene expression: a hypothesis-generating framework. Current Opinion in Psychology, 28, 302-306.
Cole, S. W. (2019). The conserved transcriptional response to adversity. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 28, 31-37.
Episode 16: Teaching the teacher from the embodiment of mindfulness (with guest Dr. Rebecca Crane)
My guest is Dr. Rebecca Crane, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Bangor University in the United Kingdom. There she directs the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice as a certified MBSR teacher as well as a lead teacher trainer for MBSR and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Her research focuses on clarifying best standards for teaching mindfulness programs as well as implementing evidence-supported programs in the UK health service system. She authored the book "Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Distinctive Features" in 2017, and recently co-edited "Essential Resources for Mindfulness Teachers in 2021. She is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.
Crane, RS, et al. (2019). The mindfulness-based interventions: teaching assessment criteria (MBI: TAC): reflections on implementation and development. Current Opinion in Psychology, 28, 6-10.
Crane RS, et al. (2013). Development and validation of the Mindfulness-Based Interventions – Teaching Assessment Criteria (MBI:TAC). Assessment 20, 681–688.
Crane RS, et al. (2010). Training teachers to deliver mindfulness-based interventions: learning from the UK experience. Mindfulness 1, 74–86.
Episode 15: Daily mindful breathing to aid glaucoma management (with guest Dr. Tanuj Dada)
My guest is Dr. Tanuj Dada, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology and Head Physician of Glaucoma Services at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. He has authorship on over 300 research publications. And has written five textbooks on glaucoma diagnosis and surgery. He is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Current Glaucoma Practice. He serves on the World Health Organization Development Group for glaucoma interventions. He has innovated on several techniques of Glaucoma surgery, and pioneered the research on mind-body medicine for glaucoma management. He has studied the impact of mindfulness training on intraocular pressure and stress hormones among patients with glaucoma.
Dada, T., et al. (2021). Effect of mindfulness meditation on intraocular pressure and trabecular meshwork gene expression: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Ophthalmology, 223, 308-321.
Dada, T., et al. (2018). Mindfulness meditation reduces intraocular pressure, lowers stress biomarkers and modulates gene expression in glaucoma: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Glaucoma, 27(12), 1061-1067.
Episode 14: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for depression (with guest Dr. Willem Kuyken)
My guest is Dr. Willem Kuyken, Ph.D., D.Clin.Psy., Professor of Medical Sciences and Psychiatry at the University of Oxford and a research clinical psychologist. He is Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. He researches interventions aimed at treating depression, specifically Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy or MBCT. He has published this work in top journals including The Lancet and JAMA network. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He co-authored a book in 2019 titled "Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology."
Kuyken, W., et al. (2016). Efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in Prevention of Depressive Relapse: An Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis From Randomized Trials. JAMA Psychiatry, 73(6), 565–574.
Kuyken, W., et al. (2015). Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy compared with maintenance antidepressant treatment in the prevention of depressive relapse or recurrence (PREVENT): a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 386(9988), 63-73.
Kuyken, W., et al. (2010). How does mindfulness-based cognitive therapy work?. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48(11), 1105-1112.
Episode 13: Optimizing mind-body treatment for low back pain (with guest Dr. Natalia Morone)
I speak with guest Natalia Morone, M.D., Physician and Associate Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center. Her research career focuses on drug free interventions to treat chronic low back pain. Her clinical trials show that meditation can reduce pain in older adults with chronic pain. Results from this work informed the American College of Physicians Guidelines to add meditation to the menu of treatments for chronic pain. Her research portfolio also extends into mindfulness delivered via electronic Health (eHealth) and telehealth. She is the Principal Investigator of the NCCIH-funded Optimizing Pain Treatment In Medical settings Using Mindfulness (OPTIMUM) pragmatic clinical trial, which we discuss.
Morone NE, Greco CM, Moore CG,…Weiner DK. (2016). A Mind-Body Program for Older Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 176(3):329-37. PMID: 26903081.
Luiggi-Hernandez JG, Woo J, Hamm M,…Morone NE. (2018). Mindfulness for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Qualitative Analysis. Pain Med. 2018 Nov 01; 19(11):2138-2145. PMID: 29025059.
Episode 12: The Inner Resources program for counseling stress and trauma (with guest Dr. Lynn Waelde)
Lynn C. Waelde, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus in the Psychology Department at Palo Alto University; Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine; and founder and Director of the Inner Resources Center, a center for mindfulness and meditation intervention, training, and research. Dr. Waelde is the developer of the Inner Resources for Stress program. She completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master's degree in anthropology at Louisiana State University. She received a doctorate in psychology with an emphasis in developmental child clinical psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She completed a predoctoral internship at the VA Medical Center in New Orleans, where she was trained as a specialist in posttraumatic stress disorder. She is on the editorial board of Journal of Traumatic Stress and an Associate Editor of Mindfulness. Her clinical and research interests focus on manifestations and treatment of stress disorders and therapeutic applications of meditation and mindfulness. She is a New Orleans native who is a lifelong practitioner of yoga, mindfulness, and meditation.
Waelde, L. C. (2021). Mindfulness and Meditation in Trauma Treatment: The Inner Resources for Stress Program. Guilford Publications.
Waelde, L. C., Meyer, H., Thompson, J. M., Thompson, L., & Gallagher‐Thompson, D. (2017). Randomized controlled trial of inner resources meditation for family dementia caregivers. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73(12), 1629-1641.
Episode 11: App-based mindfulness for revising bad habits that impact health (with guest Dr. Judson Brewer)
I speak with guest Judson Brewer, Ph.D., M.D., Associate Professor and addiction psychiatrist in schools of Public Health and Medicine at Brown University. He is the director of research and innovation at the Mindfulness Center at Brown. His research focuses on addictions treatment and development of app-based interventions for smoking cessation. He has authored multiple books, including The Craving Mind (2017) and a New York Times best-seller Unwinding Anxiety (2021). He has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using fMRI and EEG neurofeedback. Dr. Brewer founded MindSciences (which merged with Sharcecare Inc. in 2020) to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for anxiety, eating, smoking and other behavior change into the hands of consumers. We discuss the application of mindfulness for the addictions broadly and app-based approaches for smoking cessation more in detail. He guided the development of the Craving to Quit (C2Q) app for smoking cessation and we discuss the research that backs the program.
Brewer, J. A., et al. (2013). Craving to Quit: Psychological Models and Neurobiological Mechanisms of Mindfulness Training as Treatment for Addictions. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(2), 366–379.
Brewer, J. (2017). The Craving Mind. Chicago: Yale University Press.
Brewer, J. (2021). Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind. New York: Avery.
Episode 10: Mindful walking to address gait freeze in Parkinson's disease (with Dr. Gammon Earhart)
I speak with guest Dr. Gammon Earhart, Professor of Physical Therapy with appointments in neurology and neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She is the Director of the program in Physical Therapy. She is a Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association. Her research focuses on movement in people with Parkinson's disease (PD). She directs the Movement Science Research Center. Her work ranges from basic neuroimaging studies aimed at understanding neural control of movement to clinical trials that compare the effects of different forms of exercise on physical function and PD progression. She and Dr. Kerri Rawson have been granted a new research award from the National Institutes of Health to develop and test a mindful walking program for adults with PD. We discuss the PD symptom "freezing of gait," the mobility and psychological challenges it poses, and adaptations to MBSR focused on walking that may improve quality of life for those with PD.
Moving mindfully: MBSR-centered approach to freezing to Parkinson disease. NIH/NCCIH award 1R34AT011015.
Horin, A. P., Harrison, E. C., Rawson, K. S., & Earhart, G. M. (2020). People with Parkinson disease with and without freezing of gait respond similarly to external and self-generated cues. Gait & Posture, 82, 161-166.
Lam, C. N., Silke, O., Itamura, J., Salem, G., & Black, D. S. (2020). Mindfulness Training by Telephone Before and After Orthopedic Surgery: A Feasibility Study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 26(3), 249-251.
Episode 9: On the origins of mindfulness research: Part 2 MBSR as a health care model (with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn)
I continue a conversation as Part 2 with guest Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded its world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Clinic in 1979. The program continues at the clinic, and now in clinics and community centers around the globe, 42 years later. Jon is the author of many well-known mindfulness meditation books, including Full Catastrophe Living, the classic Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) manual, which is published in 10 languages. We discuss the pioneering research on MBSR that served as a new vision of health care delivery to address the cracks in mainstream medicine. We examine early MBSR studies that evaluated patient adherence, chronic pain, and anxiety disorder.
Kabat-Zinn, J., Chapman-Waldrop, A. (1988). Compliance with an outpatient stress reduction program: Rates and predictors of program completion. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 11(4), 333–352.
Kabat-Zinn, J., Massion, A. O., Kristeller, J.,... Santorelli, S. F. (1992). Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Am Journal of Psychiatry, 149(7), 936–943.
Miller, J. J., Fletcher, K., Kabat-Zinn, J. (1995). Three-year follow-up and clinical implications of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Gen Hosp Psychiatry, 17(3), 192–200.
Episode 8: Integrating mindfulness in a Hong Kong primary care system (with Dr. Samuel Wong)
I speak with guest Dr. Samuel Wong, Professor and Director of the School of Public Health and Primary Care at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He serves as head physician of the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Healthcare. In 2018 he founded, with a major gift, the Thomas Jing Center for Mindfulness Research and Training. He directs the Jing Center, which has served 15,000 people with various mental health needs. He has earned awards totaling $125 million for developing primary care models for older adults with multiple chronic conditions and mindfulness interventions for primary care with a recent focus on older adult social isolation during the COVID-19 crisis. His research examines mindfulness interventions in primary care. He holds authorship on over 250 research articles, many in leading medical journals.
Sun, Y., Wong, S. Y. S., Zhang, D.,... Yip, B. H. K. (2021). Behavioral activation with mindfulness in treating subthreshold depression in primary care: A cost-utility and cost-effectiveness analysis alongside a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Psychiatric Research.
Ho, R. Y. F., Zhang, D., Chan, S. K. C.,... Wong, S. Y. S. (2021). Brief Report: Mindfulness Training for Chinese Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Parents in Hong Kong. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Episode 7: On the origins of mindfulness research: Part 1 The making of MBSR (with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn)
I speak with guest Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded its world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Clinic in 1979. The program continues at the clinic, and now in clinics and community centers around the globe, 42 years later. Jon is the author of many well-known mindfulness meditation books, including Full Catastrophe Living, the classic Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) manual, which is published in 10 languages. It was first published in 1990, and now with a new edition out in 2013. He created the MBSR program, and over 700 medical centers and clinics now use the MBSR model. His curriculum and early research inspired my early career.
Episode 6: Designing a prosocial classroom for child and teacher (with Dr. Tish Jennings)
I speak with Dr. Patricia (Tish) Jennings, Professor of Education at the University of Virgina. She served for over 20 years as a teacher, school director, and teacher educator. Her research places a specific emphasis on teacher stress and how it impacts the social and emotional context of the classroom, as articulated in her highly cited theoretical article "The Prosocial Classroom." Jennings led the team that developed CARE, a mindfulness-based professional development program shown to significantly improve teacher well-being, classroom interactions and student engagement in the largest randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based intervention designed specifically to address teacher occupational stress. She was awarded the Cathy Kerr Award for Courageous and Compassionate Science by the Mind & Life Institute in 2018. She has authored 5 books and her most recents being "The Mindful School" and "Teacher Burnout Turnaround: Strategies for Empowered Educators."
Episode 5: Mindfulness added to the culture of a university (with Dr. Allen Weiss)
Released Sep 24, 2021
I speak with Dr. Allen Weiss, Professor of Marketing in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He is founding teacher and Director of Mindful USC, and senior teacher at InsightLA.org where he has taught mindfulness classes for the past 14 years. He completed the Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP) at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in 2008. For Mindful USC, he guides the teaching of mindfulness throughout the university and has taught mindfulness to physicians and surgeons in the various hospitals, including Children’s Hospital, the Keck School of Medicine and the Los Angeles County Hospital. On the USC main campus, he has taught mindfulness to a wide variety of groups, including veterans, incoming freshman, undergraduate and graduate students, administrators, staff leadership, and faculty in virtually every department on campus.
Episode 4: Meeting pain with mindfulness practice (with Dr. Christiane Wolf)
Released Sep 13, 2021
I speak with Dr. Christiane Wolf, physician and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher trainer. She is a senior teacher at the InsightLA program in Los Angeles, and the lead trainer for the Veterans Affair's national mindfulness facilitator training. Her books include “A Clinician’s Guide to Teaching Mindfulness,” and just recently published title “Outsmart Your Pain: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion to Help you Leave Chronic Pain Behind.” We discuss her journey from licensed physician to senior MBSR teacher of teachers, and we explore her new book on chronic pain and how we can deeply care for ourselves even when facing the challenges of pain and discomfort.
Episode 3: Mindfulness from Eastern and Western perspectives (with Dr. Seth Segall)
Released Aug 30, 2021
I talk with Dr. Segall, Zen priest, about the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, the bridging of mindfulness in Eastern and Western thought, and about the concept eudaimonic enlightenment. Seth Zuihō Segall is a Zen priest and psychologist who is the science writer for the Mindfulness Research Monthly and a contributing editor to Tricycle Magazine. He is a retired member of the clinical faculty of the Yale School of Medicine (for 27 years) and a former Director of Psychology at Waterbury Hospital. He is affiliated with White Plains Zen and Boundless Way Zen of Westchester as a Zen Buddhist Priest. He received shukke tokudo in the White Plum Asanga and Zen Peacemaker Order lineages in 2016 from Daiken Nelson, Sensei. He is the author of Buddhism and Human Flourishing: A Modern Western Perspective, Encountering Buddhism: Western Psychology and Buddhist Teachings and Living Zen: A Practical Guide to a Balanced Existence. Visit his author page at sethzuihosegall.com.
Episode 2: Applying mindfulness in clinical psychology (with Dr. Jeffrey Greeson)
Released Aug 16, 2021
Many individuals struggle to navigate the challenges of life alone, and others will face mental health disorders at some point in their lives. Clinical psychology offers a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches to help individuals address stress, depression, addiction and other struggles and life circumstances. I explore the use of mindfulness practices in clinical psychology with guest Dr. Jeffrey Greeson. Dr. Greeson has 16 years of clinical psychology practice experience and is a licensed clinical psychologist. He is also an Assistant Professor of Rowan University College of Science and Mathematics, located in New Jersey. He earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Miami and completed advanced training in Health psychology from Duke University Medical Center. He is a fellow of the Institute for Itegrative Health. His research program focuses on the use of mindfulness training for stress-related disease. Learn more about Dr. Greeson at
Episode 1: Elevating wellness after cancer (with Dr. Linda Carlson)
Released July 29, 2021
Cancer is often a life changing event. Dr. Black discusses the utility of mindfulness training for adult cancer survivors after the passing of his father during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and seeks to uncover the potential benefits of mindfulness with Dr. Linda Carlson. Dr. Carlson is Full Professor of Psychosocial Oncology in the Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She is the Director of Research and works as a Clinical Psychologist at the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. Her research on Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery has been published in many high-impact journals, and she published a patient manual in 2011 entitled Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery. She has published over 200 research papers and book chapters. Learn more about Dr. Carlson at https://www.ucalgary.ca/people/linda-carlson/home [The sound quality was not optimal this episode and we are working on fixing this issue.]