Practice Challenge: Expand the Circle of Us

With Rick Hanson, PhD

Explore how to live harmoniously with those in our world today by feeling connection and commonality with others.

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About Rick Hanson, PhD

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 26 languages and include Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakeable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness, Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and has numerous audio programs. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he’s been an invited speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR, and he offers the free Just One Thing newsletter with over 120,000 subscribers, plus the online Foundations of Well-Being program in positive neuroplasticity that anyone with financial need can do for free.

Learn more about Rick at his website.

What do you think?
Leave a comment below!


  1. Alejandra October 24, 2019 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Muchas gracias por compartir su conocimiento y me pareció muy didáctico

  2. Lucie Jiraskova October 22, 2019 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Merci beaucoup

  3. Susan M Wisdom October 22, 2019 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Thank-you so much for your mindful moments during this seminar. They have enlightened me greatly. I am a retired school counselor and I am anxious to find a way I can continue to use my knowledge to make ripples!

  4. Nadine Kutz October 22, 2019 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for your words. These little morning practices really inspired me!

  5. Tom Luken October 22, 2019 at 10:26 am - Reply

    It’s a nice, sympathetic message. It’s good to consider other, even distant humans as ‘us’. BUT I think the message is a bit too much directed at humans. I would prefer if plants and animals were more considered as parts of us. Humans are too much considering their selves as us and are so much focused on their security and interests, that other forms of life are more and more under pressure.

  6. Patricia Zacarias October 22, 2019 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Very interesting, I really appreciated these moments of mindfulness. Tanks a lot.

  7. Robyn Young October 21, 2019 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your wonderful perspective and the reminder that little practices do add up.Wise thouhts indeed.

    • Sue October 22, 2019 at 10:52 am - Reply

      Thank you for all of these special moments of Mindfulness and expansion. I have enjoyed all the presentations. Appreciation from a grateful heart 💖 love your way of being and presenting, Rick

  8. genevieve October 21, 2019 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Bonjour à tous,

    And it is all coming back to you who are us.

  9. Dr Latha Hapugoda October 21, 2019 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Hello Rick,
    Really happy to meet you again online & consider it a privilege to have got this opportunity. I wholeheartedly agree with all what my fellow colleagues have said about you. You are a role model & gift to this world to help & support people like us to learn this beautiful knowledge & wisdom at a time when its most needed. I look forward to continue to learn from you to continue my service to those in greatest need, in the best way I can.
    My gratitude to you & the organizers of this very well thought out, excellent summit
    Wishing good health & strength to all
    Founder President Mindful Lanka Foundation

  10. Gena Galenski October 21, 2019 at 10:37 am - Reply

    I know you’re supporting through the ignited fuel of hatred and greed lit by our current administration. You politely introduce this exercise as such. I know anxieties have escalated over recent years. I don’t (yet) understand how to include powerful beings in the highest office of our land fueling hate and cruelty all over the world. While I understand the human level of ‘he cares and loves his young son, older children, and wife, ‘as we all do,’ I cannot or do not know how to get passed these feelings of deep soul and gut sadness, and concern for our democracy, and disgust and many other negative feelings for him and his tribe. I have always strove or held a consciousness of supporting self-actualization as when one person is lifted up, all of us are. What you teach reminds me of Marshall Rosenberg’s work in Compassionate Communication aka Non-Violent Communication – find the areas of respecting an other’s humanity. Find common ground. While I may be able to do this, our democracy is seriously threatened and people are dying around the world and in our own neighborhoods. Racism. I can’t even talk about it anymore. It is overwhelming. I know I need to stay grounded, feel/develop a sense of equanimity. I used to know there are two feelings or stances: how I feel about myself inside and how I feel about ‘life,’ outside. These two have merged more often than is healthy for me. Thank you for your introductions this week. I only had time (made time…) to watch you Rick and I am so very grateful to you.

  11. Jill October 21, 2019 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Thank you for all the lovely practices/challenges.

  12. Svjetlana October 21, 2019 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Thank you, Dr. Rick Hanson.
    I enjoyed all your talks
    Svjetlana (Croatia)

  13. Suzie October 21, 2019 at 5:22 am - Reply

    Dr Hansen – thank you for all you give, you share so much and allow us to learn and to pass that knowledge on. Thank you.

    • Byron October 21, 2019 at 9:44 am - Reply

      Dr Hansen, Thank you. I particularly appreciated framing our challenges in humans through a biological and evolutionary lens. It allows me to push myself and also be generous and understanding as I struggle to meet my goals

  14. Prince Goodluck OBI October 21, 2019 at 12:13 am - Reply

    Lovely Great work you are doing Hansen phD

  15. Prince Goodluck OBI October 21, 2019 at 12:10 am - Reply

    Great way of summarizing even in practice the 5 busy days one can say!
    Dr.Hanson is really a moving encyclopedia in Mindfulness and related themes!
    I would like to ask for complimentary copies of all his presentations and in fact other presenters
    to enable me develop the culture of Mindfulness in Nigeria in particular and the wider Africa in general .

  16. Kathy October 20, 2019 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    A big “Yes!” These very short but powerful exercises over just five days were reaffirming proof-positive of “a little IS a lot! (repeat!)”. I appreciated the balance of necessary words and being guided into the individual, yet common to all, knowing-apart-from-words….wholeness and calm. Thank you!

  17. Ale October 20, 2019 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Dr. Rick Hanson.
    Beautiful ending. I enjoyed all your talks! With gratitude

    Ale from Chile

  18. Rashmi October 20, 2019 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Thank you for a wonderful session.

  19. Maria Ruiz-Blanco October 20, 2019 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    This was just lovely! It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you!

  20. Anne October 20, 2019 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Thank you. A great week.

  21. Lynne October 20, 2019 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Thank you for true true,big heart. I have seen many podcasts of you and always feel better after. Your true presence is much appreciated, you are what you teach. Thank you for your example. When I am grumpy or out of sorts, I choose to listen to you rather the other fantastic teachers you have a way of calming me.
    With Gratitude,

  22. Valerie Kelly October 20, 2019 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Great to see you once again. I appreciated all of your knowledge you imparted during my own journey through the Year Long Certification process program at Mindful Schools. Deepest gratitude for your knowledge and message. Mindfully inclusive.

  23. Ana Cristina Perez October 20, 2019 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Muchas gracias Dr. Rick, sus palabras fueron muy interesantes y agradables.

  24. Sherein October 20, 2019 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Thank you!

  25. Karla Gonzalez October 20, 2019 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Thank you for reminding us that there are time in which we need to stop and place ourselves in a different perspective. This way we can be able to unite as one.

  26. Meymuna October 20, 2019 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    This was great to listen to and wonderful to practice. Thank you so much.

  27. may zaw naing October 20, 2019 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Thank you. Love this so much

  28. Berenice Sansone October 20, 2019 at 9:01 am - Reply

    My heart is so grateful for this practice! 💟 Dr. Hansen the world really need this, thank you!. Every time I get a chance I teach the following: “If you are well, I am well, and that’s because we are all one” 🙏

  29. Marie October 20, 2019 at 8:59 am - Reply

    A big step for humanity . Thank you for opening my mind to new understanding and new perspectives. You offer the possibilities of a new world by extending the circle of us .
    So many of us suffer exclusion , and we practice exclusion without even realizing it …
    I wish the entire planet 🌎 would listen to your kind voice .
    Gratitude for opening our mind .

    • Kathy Kituai October 20, 2019 at 11:42 am - Reply

      I didn’t know that I practiced exclusion until listen to you Dr Hansen. I have enjoyed al your talks. How simple your words, how wise and inclusive they are.Thank you also Marie for putting these thoughts into words.


  30. Erika October 20, 2019 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Thank you doctor Hanson for your guidance and ending this fifth chapter with such a powerful reflexion on us.

  31. Marisa October 20, 2019 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Absolutely LOVED this. Going to bring it to my school and my life!

  32. Genie Albrecht October 20, 2019 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Thank you Rick for your powerful voice (calm and soothing and aware) and the mindfulness you generate and expand.
    I am so pleased I popped into your workshop and learnt so much. The world is a much better place now because of you.
    A zillion thanks.

  33. Ünal Usta October 20, 2019 at 7:58 am - Reply

    You give hope. Tremendous hope. Thank you Rick Hanson. I wish I could share this practice with the whole world.

  34. Katie October 20, 2019 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Thanks for the meditations and guidance

  35. Syeda October 20, 2019 at 7:44 am - Reply

    Thanks so much Rick Hanson.
    Please accept my gratitude. You are making this world beautiful.

  36. Blanca October 20, 2019 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Gracias, muchas gracias Rick por compartir tu sabiduría acerca de la Unidad, “Somos Uno”, y el anhelo de vivir la conexión consigo mismo, con toda la humanidad, con el universo. Es muy poco lo que logro en inglés y agradecería que los audios tuviesen subtítulos en español. Además de sentirme agradecida, me siento contenta, gozosa por el eco que tiene y seguirá teniendo Mindful E.ducation… ¡un mundo mejor!

    • Berenice Sansone October 20, 2019 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Hola Blanca, que lindo tu comentario. Este summit es maravilloso. Yo estaré preparando meditaciones y ejercicios en español en mi podcast muy pronto. Si te interesa escríbeme en my website, y te mantengo al tanto. Así es somos uno! Namaste 🙏

  37. Edna October 20, 2019 at 7:31 am - Reply

    I really enjoy these meditations. They have faced me with my humanity and the humanity of others. I can see how at the long run this practice can help us feel more connected and at peace with the human experience. Thank you Rich Hanson.

  38. Andrea Hufschmidt October 20, 2019 at 6:49 am - Reply

    Thank you, Rick, for your wonderful moments of mindfulness and wisdom. Feeling it comes really froyour heart, encourages me and opens my heart. Thanks for your great work and beeing there.

    • Irene Kenison October 21, 2019 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for your simple but profound practices and calm demeanor. Drop by drop may we fill ourselves with good for the benefit of all of us and for our world.

  39. Andrea Hufschmidt October 20, 2019 at 6:48 am - Reply

    Thank you, Rick, for your wonderful moments of mindfulness and wisdom. Feeling it comes really froh your heart, encourages me and opens my heart. Thanks for your great work and beeing there.

  40. Maria Mavri October 20, 2019 at 6:06 am - Reply

    like me…
    I m going to use it more often
    thank you!

  41. mary ryan October 20, 2019 at 5:31 am - Reply

    Thank you a beautiful way to conclude

  42. Mirjam October 20, 2019 at 3:40 am - Reply

    Thank you for this true words and the energy of us, coming through connection with the same wish we have, to be seen from the heart and see from there. I unterstand from the heart und share it from my heart.

  43. Tanya October 20, 2019 at 3:38 am - Reply

    Love this.

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