Freeing Ourselves With Mindfulness - with Tara Brach
Using mindfulness and meditation to heal harmful habits, attachments, and addictions
- Understand where harmful habits come from and how they become entrenched
- Pause and sense what’s going on when a craving arises, instead of battling it or giving in to it
- Step out of the cycle of hating, blaming and shaming ourselves
- Come back to connectedness
- Sustain positive change
- Really be here for the moments of deep beauty in life that make it all worthwhile
- There is no prerequisite to taking this course.
Often when our basic needs and desires are not met, we pursue substitute gratifications. Craving and fixating on these substitute gratifications is what drives addictive and compulsive behaviors.
Overachieving, overextending ourselves, trying to check more and more things off the list: these substitutes are largely socially-accepted. Some private habits, like obsessive thinking or spending many hours every day gaming or browsing online, may go unnoticed.
Other behaviors draw more disapproval (causing us to work harder at keeping them hidden), because everyone can see the damage they do: addictions to alcohol or other substances, gambling, shopping, sex, overeating, violence, and so on.
Whichever attachments we find ourselves caught in, as long as we keep pursuing them and shaming ourselves for doing so, we can’t free ourselves in a deep way.
The good news is that the way we pay attention dramatically affects the structure of our brain and the function of our body, mind and heart. Any time an obsessive thought or a craving arises, if we can learn how to pause just long enough to attend to the feeling of it, we can step out of its trance.
Mindfulness meditation directly de-conditions habitual grasping - the “hungry ghost” syndrome – and allows us to reconnect in a healthy way with the energy of desire that makes all life possible… and joyful!
- Anyone with a strong, habitual attachment that causes them pain
- Anyone who struggles with an addiction or habit they just can't break (opioid or other drugs, smoking, sugar, ... etc.)
- Anyone suffering from obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors, including eating disorders
- Anyone who feels out of control in some aspect of their life
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