The early Buddhist sutras–scriptures attributed to the Buddha–speak of how attachment or craving constitute a primary source of our suffering, and how true freedom from suffering emerges through letting go of attachment or craving. Underlying these statements is an important psychological insight that draws an intimate connection between our perceptions of the world and the experience they give rise to on the one hand, and the arising of craving and how this leads us to act in a particular way on the other. This understanding is characteristically formulated in the early texts as the following: “Conditioned by contact there is feeling (experience); conditioned by feeling there is craving; conditioned by craving there is grasping; conditioned by grasping there is becoming.” In this presentation, Jinpa briefly outlines a standard Buddhist account of the causal and dynamic interconnections between the key elements that are part of the psychology of craving as formulated in the above quotation, namely: contact, experience, craving, grasping, and action. From the Buddhist psychology point of view, Jinpa argues how desire, craving, and addiction may be understood in terms of a spectrum rather than as categorically distinct states. Finally, Jinpa identifies specific insights we might draw from this classical Buddhist understanding of the psychology of craving and bring them to bear upon two topics: our current scientific understanding of the pathology of addiction, and the possible development of non-pharmaceutical interventions for its treatment.
- Dialogue 2711 sessions
- October 29, 2013Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India