The Curse of Being Human: Attachment, Addiction and Other Learned Behaviors

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  •  February 16, 2018
     7:00 pm CST - 9:00 pm CST


CEUs: 2

Instructor: Sensei Mui, DBS, PhD

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.” C.G. Jung

 Neuroscience agrees with C.G. Jung and the Buddha, who aptly defined the human condition as dukkha: mental suffering caused by “attachment.” We often call attachment “addiction,” which is a loaded word. We tend to treat it as if it were a “medical condition.” Neuroscience demonstrates that attachment/addiction is a learned behavior. Attachment is an exaggerated sense of “not wanting to be separated from someone or something,” giving the “something” an inflated value in our lives. When we cling to what we value, we suffer during life’s inevitable process of change which separates us from those things. Freedom from suffering comes when we are able to sever our attachments to the transient things of this world. The medical treatment model for attachment/addiction has a demonstrably poor track record. There are other models that have been shown to be much more effective and are supported by the current neuroscience.

Attachment may appear to be less destructive than anger and hatred but it can be a much bigger problem. Attachment is a misunderstanding of reality that can hold us prisoner in the constant ups and downs of daily mood swings.

About the Instructor
Shaku Mui, Sensei, was ordained in 1971 as a forest monk in Thailand. Since then he has studied and been ordained in Sōto Zen, Tibetan Buddhism, Esoteric Tendai and Pure Land Buddhism. He was awarded a Doctor of Buddhist Studies (DBS) degree with a psychology specialty and PhD in literature and languages with a specialty in psycholinguistics. He is currently a teacher with Hongaku Jōdo, an organization of Buddhist teachers and clergy in the Western tradition. He also works as a Buddhist counselor and therapist utilizing cognitive and meditative therapies. Sensei Mui’s style is to clearly present the teachings found in the early Buddhist scriptures as well as the writings of the Mahayana traditions making even the deepest concepts accessible to people in the 21st century.


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