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Pleasure, Like and Craving

Residential Program
Dates: Jul 23, 2019 - Jul 28, 2019
Days: Tuesday - Sunday
Number of Nights: 5 nights

Instructor(s): Akincano Weber, Judson Brewer

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Program Description:

Tanhā, variously translated as thirst, drought, or desire, is a central early Buddhist teaching in the understanding of the arising of dukkha. It is an existential condition that compels all beings to seek gratification and appeasement. Traditional Buddhist interpretations see desire as a reprehensible condition. The magnitude of the affect and the pathos of the ensuing pursuit is, however, complicated by the fact that desire also lies at the heart of motivation and the quest for excellence and liberation.

This program argues that tanhā cannot be simply negated. We will discern the role of pleasure, like, craving and addiction in our human lives through the lens of Buddhist contemplative traditions, psychology and recent research in neuroscience. This program offers practitioners realistic ways to engage with craving and its conditions. The program is intended for people with a serious meditation practice and will focus on a practical and psychological exploration of the topic. The schedule will consist of classroom discussions, small group discussions, formal practice, and noble silence.

Note: This program will begin with Akincano on Tuesday and on Thursday Judson Brewer will join for the duration of the program.

Learning Intentions:

To understand how the notion of extinguishing desire is an incomplete view in the context of early Buddhist teachings; recognize the role of tanhā in the process of seeking liberation; and become familiar with contemporary neuroscience research on addiction and craving.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Akincano M. Weber is a European Buddhist practitioner, teacher and psychotherapist. A former monk, he practiced for 20 years in Thai Forest monasteries East and West and studied Buddhist Psychotherapy in London (M.A.). He is co-founder of Bodhi College, involved in several MBI teacher and CPD trai­nings and is the guiding voice of Atammaya Cologne. He lives with his wife in the Rhineland from where he teaches inter­natio­nally.

  • Jud Brewer MD Ph.D. (“Dr. Jud”) is a New York Times best-selling author and thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery,” having combined over 25 years of experience with mindfulness training with his scientific research therein. He is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in Behavioral and Social Sciences and Psychiatry at the Schools of Public Health & Medicine at Brown University. A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback. Dr. Brewer founded MindSciences (which merged with Sharecare Inc. in 2020) to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for anxiety, eating, smoking, and other behavior changes into the hands of consumers (see www.drjud.com for more information). He is the author of The Craving Mind: from cigarettes to smartphones to love, why we get hooked and how we can break bad habits (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017), the New York Times best-seller Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind (Avery/Penguin Random House, 2021) and the forthcoming book The Hunger Habit: why we eat when we’re not hungry and how to stop (Avery/Penguin Random House, 2024). Follow him on twitter @judbrewer.