This is the first of two talks on the primary causes of Dukkha, tanha (craving) and upadana (clinging). Tanha is typically translated as thirst, an unquenchable desire, either for pleasant feeling to persist or for unpleasant feeling to be eliminated. Peter talked about craving in the context of addiction, derived from his training as a Certified Addictions Professional, using neurological research results to describe how craving operates in the brain. This was followed by description of how the regular practice of mindfulness of breathing meditation alters the structure of the brain to reduce the urgency of craving, regardless as to whether it is involved in an addictive process or simply applies to everyday emotional reactivity to environmentally stressful circumstances. This explanation was followed by lively and extensive discussion among the participants regarding this topic.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: WORKING WITH CRAVING
Next week’s topical focus will involve upadana, the tendency of the mind to become attached to a particular thought or belief in maladaptive ways.