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Pleasure, Like and Craving
Dates: Jul 23, 2019 - Jul 28, 2019
Days: Tue - Sun (5 Nights)

Instructor(s): Akincano Weber, Judson Brewer

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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.

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:

Some meditation and retreat experience suggested.

Lottery closes March 15, 2019


Link to Lottery course details
  • Akincano M. Weber is a Swiss scholar-practitioner, psychotherapist, and Buddhist teacher. He has lived as a monastic for 20 years in the Forest monasteries of Thailand and Europe, studied Pali and scriptures, and holds an M.A. in Buddhist psychotherapy. He now lives and practices in Cologne, Germany from where he teaches Dharma, Buddhist Psychology, and meditation internationally.

  • Judson Brewer MD PhD is a thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery”, having combined over 20 years of experience with mindfulness training with his scientific research therein. He is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine. He also is a research affiliate at MIT. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback. Dr. Brewer founded Claritas MindSciences to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for anxiety, eating, smoking and other behavior change into the hands of consumers. 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).