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Buddhist Psychology, Neuroscience, and Mindfulness for Habit Transformation

Online Program
Dates: Nov 07, 2023 - Nov 21, 2023

Instructor(s): Judson Brewer, MD PhD

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Program Description:

We are all vulnerable to craving. Whether it’s a compulsion to constantly check social media, overeat, smoke, excessively drink, or any other behavior, we may find ourselves uncontrollably repeating. Why are bad habits so hard to overcome? Is willpower more myth than muscle? Can we learn how our minds work, and even tap into this very process to find a key to conquer the cravings we know are unhealthy for us and foster our natural capacities for awareness and kindness?

Buddhist psychological theories suggest direct and effective ways to work with mental habits. These theories–in which awareness is key to working with craving by becoming disenchanted with an addictive behavior or habit instead of using willpower to overcome it–are now being “discovered” in neuroscience labs and applied in clinical settings.

Drawing from Buddhist psychology, his clinical work, research studies and development of next-generation therapeutics for habit change, Judson Brewer, MD PhD will discuss the underlying behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms of why habits are formed and how mindfulness can paradoxically tap into these very processes to uproot them. As part of this, he will explore the element of disenchantment that the Buddha reported that was key “knowledge and vision” arising. He will also discuss how we can apply these insights to our own lives.

In this experiential seminar, Dr. Brewer will describe how we can tap into the actual processes that encourage habitual behaviors in order to step out of them. In very accessible ways, he will explain the mechanisms of habit and addiction formation, and then teach participants methods to help them experience and learn how the practice of mindfulness can interrupt these habits in their own lives. He will also show participants how to build their own capacities of awareness, kindness, and curiosity leading to greater resilience.

Online Schedule:
This program is hosted on Zoom and closed captions are available. You can check the time of the group sessions in your timezone here: https://www.worldtimebuddy.com. The schedule of Zoom meetings for this program (shown in US Eastern Time) is as follows:

Meeting Time: Tuesdays 6:30-8:00 pm ET

Meetings Dates: November 7, 14, 21

Please note that sessions will be recorded and made available to participants within 48 hours of each session. Recordings remain available for two weeks from the program end date with the exception of one-time events, available indefinitely on our website.

Cancellation Policy:
Registration fees for all online programs are nonrefundable after the program start date. Cancellations prior to the program start date incur a $25 cancellation fee. Application-based and online path programs incur a $50 cancellation fee in 2023 and a $100 cancellation fee beginning 2024.

As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming. Please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.