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Pleasure, Liking and Craving: Buddhist Psychological Perspectives

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      Early Buddhist understanding sees the experience of desire (taṇhā, or ’thirst, drought’) as central in the arising of dissatisfaction (dukkha) and its many shades: bodily or psychological pain, loss, tension, stress, frus­tration and disappointment. The apparently unambiguous term ‘desire’ belies the fact that our explicit cravings often mask an underlying existential condition that compels all beings to seek gratification and appeasement in a myriad of ways.

      At a first glance, Buddhist traditions take a dim view of desire and see it as a re­pre­hensible condition. The magnitude of our longing, desire and ambition and the pathos of the ensuing pursuit is, however, complicated by the fact that desire also lies at the heart of motivation and the quest for excellence and liberation. Looking more closely, the old teachings reveal deep insight into the ambiguity of wanting and offer useful discernment and helpful action to transform destructive forms of wanting into constructive ones.

      This practice-weekend is dedicated to clarify the notion and role of desire as understood in Western and Buddhist psychologies. Recognizing that desire cannot be simply negated, we are helped by discerning the interplay of pleasure, like, craving and addiction in our human lives through the lens of Buddhist contemplative traditions, referencing some of their tools to psychological understanding with a glance at recent research in the neuro sciences. 

      The weekend will be held in a 50:50 practice and theory ratio and include periods of discussion as well as still and guided meditation exercises; it aims to offer mindfulness practitioners realistic and transformative ways to meet and engage with craving, its patterns and its conditions.

      This event is run in collaboration with the Centrum voor Mindfulness in Amsterdam

      Event Details

      Fixed fee

      The price is all-inclusive of course costs – no additional dana will be requested

      Additional Information:

      • Non-residential course
      • Suitable for new and experienced Dharma practitioners 
      • Accommodation must be booked independently by participants
      • A vegetarian lunch, and daytime tea and coffee, are included
      • Full Payment required on booking (Deposits cannot be taken for weekend courses)
      • A limited number of Bursary places are available for this course.


      AkincanoAKINCANO M. WEBER is a Swiss Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist (MA). A former monk, he has lived and practised for 20 years in European and Thai Forest monasteries. Particular interests are early Buddhist texts, stillness and contemplative psychology. He is the guiding teacher of Atammaya Cologne, Germany, part of the CPP programme and of several Mindfulness teacher training courses, and teaches meditation and Buddhist Psychology in secular and traditional contexts in Europe and overseas. 


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