This is a useful conversation with the Dalai Lama moderated by Dr. Norman Doidge.
Dr Stephen Porges
Poly Vagal theory - this is one of the most brilliant postulations about the down-regulation of over-stimulation and the 3 stages or phases of stimulation of the autonomic nervous system - the fight, flight and freeze stages / phases. It helps us understand why some people remain aroused (in physiological terms) or can regulate arousal.
Dr Herbert Benson wrote about the Relaxation Response some 30 years ago. He was a pioneer in the field of neuroplasticity way before he or anyone knew any thing much about the human brain. Everyone was operating from a mechanistic model of the human brain - that it was hard-wired by end of childhood and nothing new could be learned or fostered. There were skills to chunk stuff together such as the very early memory aids. So to postulate that something you practised for 20 minutes twice a day for 40 days with the same ambience could be accessed at any time it was called on was revolutionary! It was in the early days of biofeedback models. Herbert Benson was on to something big - something very big. One of the revolutionary things that he demonstrated was the change in genomic responses.
It is this training of the brain / mind that we draw on to embed or hard-wire our mindfulness training. It is like a body builder, a swimmer, a tennis player, a gymnast or anyone who wants to 'learn' something new - practice is the answer. In mindfulness terms it is the training of alert attention and non-attachment that we are moving towards.
The curious thing is - as we practice diligently and relentlessly the mindfulness practice starts to spill over into our daily life. We find more refraction time between incoming data and our motor responses. Particularly in human relationships we are moving towards being able to select our response to incoming data.