Early Buddhist understanding sees the experience of desire (taṇhā, or ’thirst, drought’) as central in the arising of dissatisfaction (dukkha) and its many shades: bodily or psychological pain, loss, tension, stress, frustration and disappointment. The apparently unambiguous term ‘desire’ belies the fact that our explicit cravings often mask an underlying existential condition that compels all beings to seek gratification and appeasement in a myriad of ways.
At a first glance, Buddhist traditions take a dim view of desire and see it as a reprehensible condition. The magnitude of our longing, desire and ambition 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. Looking more closely, the old teachings reveal deep insight into the ambiguity of wanting and offer useful discernment and helpful action to transform destructive forms of wanting into constructive ones.
This practice-weekend is dedicated to clarify the notion and role of desire as understood in Western and Buddhist psychologies. Recognizing that desire cannot be simply negated, we are helped by discerning the interplay of pleasure, like, craving and addiction in our human lives through the lens of Buddhist contemplative traditions, referencing some of their tools to psychological understanding with a glance at recent research in the neuro sciences.
The weekend will be held in a 50:50 practice and theory ratio and include periods of discussion as well as still and guided meditation exercises; it aims to offer mindfulness practitioners realistic and transformative ways to meet and engage with craving, its patterns and its conditions.
This workshop is organized in collaboration with Bodhi College Bodhi College, a European institute that has as its objective to make early Buddhist teaching available for today. The teacher, Akincano Weber, is a faculty member of Bodhi College.