From smart phones to smoking – Mindfulness and addictive behaviors

Venue and time:   Sunday May 7, 2017, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Meditation and Discussion), Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada (hosted by Greg).  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday May 9, 8 – 8:30 pm, facilitated by Greg.

Schedule:  Drop-in Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Sunday April 2, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.   The drop-in meditation will have a component related to our discussion topic on mindfulness and addictive behaviors.  Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:40 pm roughly served from our beautiful glass teapot; 7:40 – 8:30 pm – Discussion on the topic:  From smart phones to smoking – Mindfulness and addictive behaviors.  Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.  Attendance is free, and donations are gratefully accepted.  For insurance requirements you need to sign in at the front desk of Moksha.   See you Sunday!

From smart phones to smoking – Mindfulness and addictive behaviors

Addictive behaviors affect us all, and are ever more present in our society, spread through media. How can mindfulness help with such behaviors?
Like last week’s discussion, this week’s discussion is inspired by the conference, A Mindful Society , attended last month by LMC facilitators Greg, Daniel and Kristen. It is in particular motivated by a key note talk by Judson Brewer, perhaps the foremost researcher on mindfulness approaches to addiction. Please note that none of the LMC facilitators are trained in the treatment of addiction; and anyone experiencing severe addiction, should see a qualified professional. Instead the purpose here, is an initial exploration, of the universal role addictive behaviors play in all our lives.

The tendency of addictive behaviors to be sticky perhaps originate in our tendency to engage our auto-pilots. Even though we can only hold a small amount of information in our active memory (the analogue of RAM or fast access computer memory), our mind beautifully enables the learning of complex tasks, by daisy-chaining simpler sub tasks together. By repetition, such daisy chains enables us to perform complex tasks (e.g. driving a car, play a musical instrument, etc) by short circuiting this barrier of limited amount of current memory. Repetition, enables the learning of such tasks. While there are many advantages of this auto-pilot daisy chain behavior, including evolutionary methods, that led to it remaining a prominent feature of our brains, it has a dark flip-side. We also note that the stickiness of addictive behaviors served the purpose of remembering where to find food. Locate food, eat (and remember location), repeat!

Mindfulness emphasizes that addictive behavior is a deep aspect of our being, that can both help us and hurt us. Gaining an understanding of such behavior is important for us all. One reason: advertisers have become particularly effective at penetrating to messaging directly in ways that exploit the stickiness of our addictive behaviors, and also the reward systems of our minds. Another key aspect of approaching difficult addictive behaviors, is not by trying to control them, but instead, becoming curious about them, and exploring the sensations that occur when we experience them.

Suggested preparation: We suggest watching the short TED video by Judson Brewer (it has over 7 million views!):

Or watching say the first 15 minutes of the longer video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-646_TrnZRQ

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts.  Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally.  Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, can benefit from our Sunday Discussions.  These topics are presented in a self-contained way and will be posted on our website (usually by the previous Wednesday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org  (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB).

Peace and Mindful Heartfulness in a Fractured World

Venue and time:   Sunday November 13, 2016, 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada.  Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday November 15, 8 – 8:30 pm.  Hosted by Kristen and Greg.

Schedule:  Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm, with a Peace emphasis.  Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:45 pm roughly; 7:45 – 8:45 pm; Discussion on the topic  Peace and Mindful Heartfulness in a Fractured World.  Participants are welcome to either or both of these events.

Our Sunday Meditation and Discussion is inspired by our Tuesday Meditation for Peace – Bring Flowers,  prompted by the Election in the US.  Mindfulness as wonderful practice to address division and anger is the topic of this evening’s discussion.

Suggested Preparation for Sunday’s Discussion: 

We recommend listening to the 7 minute wonderful Great Bell Chant  – The End Of Suffering:

Read by Peace Activist and Mindfulness Treasure Thich Nath Hanh, Chanted by Phap Niem, video by R Smittenaar, composer/arranger, producer Gary Malkin, with collaborator Michael Stillwater.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) : is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts. Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally. Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, can benefit from our Sunday Discussions. These topics are presented in a self-contained way and will be posted on our website (usually by the previous Thursday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB). Attendance at our meditations and events is free (donations are accepted which go towards buy materials for the studio and learning resources).

*SUNDAY* January 12, 2014: Reading Chapters

Hi Sangha!

For Sunday please read up to the end of the Wise Mindfulness section (through to page 134) in Sylvia Boorstein’s Happiness is an Inside Job.

Its been a few weeks with the holidays since we picked up the book; I encourage you to take a bit of extra time and refresh your memory of the first few chapters of the Wise Mindfulness section.

Hoping you are all warm and well,

Annamarie