In the chaos of our everyday lives, we often run on auto-pilot finding ourselves caught in unhealthy habit patterns. With anxiety and uncertainty at an all-time high over the past year, many have turned to overconsumption of food, substances or screen time, and mental behaviors such as worry, overthinking or procrastination. Interestingly, the ancient teachings of the Buddha address these modern cycles of chasing pleasure and avoiding pain. This course is an invitation to explore ways of untangling habit loops through dharma teachings and modern science while socially connecting with a supportive community.
Whatever a person frequently thinks and reflects on, that will become the inclination of their mind.
In studies of the brain, psychiatrist and neuroscientist Judson Brewer, MD, PHD, has uncovered how the brain is wired for this conditioning. The survival region of the brain often drives protective behaviors making them challenging to change. In his lab, Dr. Brewer has studied what the Buddha called “disenchantment”. Disenchantment is key to unlocking conditioned habit patterns and inclining the mind towards actions, thoughts and speech that support our health and wellbeing.
Please join us for this interactive course where we will pair the study of the suttas, with findings in modern science and accessible, daily practices. We will focus on understanding how the mind works to leverage embodied learning. We will hone the skills of embodied awareness and curiosity, that help us tap into internally based rewards that make behavior change sustainable.
This offering is suitable for beginners who would like to develop a daily practice and for experienced practitioners seeking ways to break free of habitual patterns and everyday addictions.
This 6-session program is aimed at teaching you to:
- Understand how habits are formed and perpetuated through ancient Buddhist teachings and modern psychological models, (reward based learning and dependent origination).
- Learn how contemplation practices affect brain processes and the mind/body as a whole.
- Discuss how ancient and modern approaches can help change addictive habit patterns, ( anxiety, stress eating, smoking, social media).
- Identify emotion-driven habitual behaviors and learn to relate to difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance.
- Integrate experiential practices to foster disenchantment and increase freedom of choice from habitual and addictive behavior; emphasis will be on short practices many times.
- Demonstrate how contemplative practice can help us develop resilience as a skill that can reduce the “stickiness” of emotional pain that comes from the mind resisting and ruminating.
- Discuss observations/insights of weekly practices in a supportive community setting.
- Recognize and cultivate skillful, wholesome mind-states and habits.
- Integrate core mindfulness exercises into daily life.
The class meetings will include:
- Mindful movement and mediation.
- Exploring our habits .
- Contemplative practices that lead towards disenchantment / fading of habits.
- Group discussion, and time for questions.
Schedule Tuesdays 4-5:30pm PT / 7-8:30pm ET:
Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind by Jud Brewer
The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love – Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habit by Jud Brewer
Overeating and Mindfulness in Ancient India by Bhikkhu Anālayo
Continuing Education Units:
Psychologists: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
This course offers 9 CE credit. California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. 9 CE credit may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if CE credit is accepted.
Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 10.75 contact hours.