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BI**194: Summer 2024 Course Descriptions

Disclaimer: Students may not receive credit for a second attempt of the same topic that was previously completed.

Course BIEB 194 A00 (Summer Session 2)
Instructor Kurle, Carolyn
Title The Biology and Practice of Contentment

Dr. Kurle will present findings from multiple biological disciplines to help students understand the physiological responses in our brains and bodies that arise when we learn to quiet the chatter that dominates our left-brain, logical thinking and start to incorporate other modes of right-brain, intuitive thinking. We will also discuss tools for strengthening one’s capacity to question and calm that chatter and how doing so increases personal contentment.

Among other biological concepts related to this topic, we will explore vagal nervous theory, the default mode and ventral attention networks, the MRI and fMRI science of the “awakened” brain, left vs. right brain thinking, the neuroscience of achieving vs. awakened awareness, Earth and brain alpha waves, parts of the brain related to rumination, depression, and other ways of thinking, and the biology behind the importance of regular connection with nature for increased mental wellness.

Each seminar will begin with an overview of scientific findings (see topics above) related to an aspect of mental well-being by Dr. Kurle, then we will read and discuss how those findings relate to a chapter of Dr. Kurle’s book The Guidance Groove: Escape Unproductive Habits, Trust Your Intuition, and Be True. The book is a practical tool that helps students apply the biology we discuss to real-life as it is a roadmap for people who are used to making decisions while relying mostly on the left-brain-dominated mental stories they have accumulated over years of personal, familial, and societal programming. We will discuss how the science underscores the principles outlined in the book so students will understand why these tools have practical value because of the brain, nervous-system, and other measurable physiological responses that arise when we practice quieting our false mental constructs as we approach the choices in daily life. We’ll examine what it means to be stuck in our false stories of inadequacy, obligation, scarcity, and unworthiness—across multiple life arenas (family, friends, school/work/life, community, and intimate partnerships), how to escape from the automatic thinking that perpetuates these false stories, and how to find, value, and listen to your own personal guidance. In this way, we can approach all choices from a place of wholeness, heightened authenticity, and freedom which increases personal contentment. Groups of students will be responsible for working together to present each chapter for discussion. Please be prepared to be vulnerable and open to sharing with Dr. Kurle and the other members of the seminar. We will create a safe, encouraging, and loving space to share in the wonder of the biology underpinning these concepts and to share our experiences of recognizing and breaking free of unproductive thought patterns to navigate choices from a place of contentment, clarity, and guidance.

Prerequisites Please see the Biology Course Prerequisites page for most current prerequisite information.
Questions? Contact Student & Instructional Services (Pacific Hall 1128) through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) or by phone at 858-534-0557