The Dark Knight

For some, meditation has become more curse than cure. Willoughby Britton wants to know why.

The Craving Cycle

A former addict turned neuroscientist, Marc Lewis describes what happens in the brain when addiction sets in, and how Buddhist psychology helps explain it.

Longing After Loss

Out Of a great need We are all holding hands And climbing. Not loving is a letting go. Listen, The terrain around here Is Far too Dangerous For That. —Hafiz Falling in love can enliven us. Feeling seen and held can ground us; it can put us at ease. Love can also grant us a …

The Pharmacy of Desire

An American success story: A college graduate gets a good job and marries. The couple drives a beautiful car, a consolation for their terrible commute. Work pays well but requires callous decisions. Expensive vacations and a lovely home recompense for the sacrifice not only of time, but also of ideals. Contentment, however, remains elusive; an …

The Anxiety of Happiness

His life is a pursuit of a pursuit forever.It is the future that creates his present. All is an interminable chain of longing.—Robert Frost I’ve long thought that in this section of his poem, “Escapist–Never,” Robert Frost captures a lot of what contemplative traditions describe as craving, a source of great suffering. Craving is distinguished …

Mind & Life XXVII – Session 4

Filmed during Mind & Life Institute’s “Mind & Life XXVII: Craving, Desire and Addiction” on October 31, 2013. Day Four: Contemplative Perspectives World religions have developed their own conceptions and responses to the important issues around desire. This day’s dialogue examines Buddhist and early Christian views on the nature of desire, how it becomes problematic, …

Mind & Life XXVII – Session 3

Filmed during Mind & Life Institute’s “Mind & Life XXVII: Craving, Desire and Addiction” on October 30, 2013. Day Three: Biological and Cultural Views Much has been learned about addiction by examining its causes and effects at both individual and societal levels. In the morning session, Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug …

Mind & Life XXVII – Session 2

Filmed during Mind & Life Institute’s “Mind & Life XXVII: Craving, Desire and Addiction” on October 29, 2013. Day Two: Cognitive and Buddhist Theory Cognitive neuroscientist Kent Berridge begins the day with an exploration of the neural circuitry underlying the experience of wanting, and a description of how this can be studied scientifically. He then …