Buddhism and Addiction

During this talk, Peter described the characteristics of addiction, emphasizing the similarities between the functions of addictive behavior beyond substance abuse and the Buddhist realization of the power of craving and clinging to produce suffering.  A graphic illustration was provided to describe the onset of stress and the effects of  stress, compared to the onset of an addictive behavior and the distracting or emotional effects of the behavior.  This linking represents craving and clinging, and the application of the Four Noble Truths were described as a way to reduce and eventually eliminate the need for addictive behavior.  The key factor in this process is to focus on the feeling of stress, disregarding the narrative that comes with it, prior to the activation of the addictive behavior.

The next posting will include the notes prepared for this talk, including the draft showing the link between the experience of stress and the experience of mood altering behaviors.

Next week’s talk will focus on how Buddhist practices can enhance the quality of relationships across the range of casual, momentary encounters to life-long relationships.