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