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Dr. David Hendricks is motivated to help others achieve sobriety. He integrates the Buddhist philosophy of mind into his mental health practice, explaining that meditation has a profound impact on the brain, including those regions of the brain affected by childhood abuse (he notes such abuse accounts for suffering of drug addiction or mental illness in adulthood). He cites new research that shows the brain has the capacity to grow new cells, and the role of epigenetics. He says a powerfully focused mind can take conscious control of the brain's functions to heal wounds of the past.
David Hendricks is a board certified physician. In the early 1980's, he took vows as a Buddhist practitioner, and regularly studied with a Tibetan monk and professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In 1989 he met the Dalai Lama who made a suggestion that changed his life. He and his wife, a Buddhist scholar capable of translating Sanskrit and Tibetan, left the U.S. in 2003 for north India and The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, and translated and studied a text on Buddhist psychology. They returned to the United States in 2005, and began a treatment center for substance use disorders and other mental health issues. David is currently writing a book about a new treatment methodology incorporating what he and his wife learned in India, that promises to enhance the success of treatment for these disorders.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx