This talk explored the addictive aspects of contemporary consumer culture and what the principles and practices of the Four Noble Truths has to offer in addressing these problems, personally and socially.  As a Certified Addictions Professional, Peter discussed addictive processes as manifestations of craving and clinging, the essential characteristic of the First and Second Noble Truths.  During the discussion, Peter described the strongly irritating nervous energy that permeated his body for much of the prior 45 minute meditation as an example of being directly aware of dukkha, the urgent aversion to the experience and the practice of mindful discarding of any clinging to ending the sitting practice as a way to overcome distress and confusion, creating serenity and minimizing the likelihood of any maladaptive addictive avoidance. He also related mindfulness meditation as supporting the intention of the 11th Step of AA and other recovery movements.

This was followed by discussion of the issues of an addictive culture and appropriate self care.  One participant quoted an excerpt from  Refuge Recovery (a contemporary Buddhist alternative to 12 step groups) views about addiction that is similar to what the current discussion addressed.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk: BUDDHISM AND ADDICTION NOTES

Next week’s talk will focus on how contemporary eating habits affect one’s personal well-being as well as how the increasingly destructive agribusiness practices are harming the environment.  The emphasis of the talk will be on how the Four Noble Truths principles and practices can be applied to “wise eating”, having compassion for oneself as well as the environment.