|Dr Matthieu Ricard|
|Dr Wendy Farley|
Day Four of Mind and Life XXVII - Matthieu Ricard discusses From Craving to Freedom and Flourishing: Buddhist Perspectives on Desire and Dr Wendy Farley talks about Contemplative Christianity, Desire and Addiction.
DAY 4 AM - Matthieu Ricard
From Craving to Freedom and Flourishing: Buddhist Perspectives on Desire
- Sustained efforts are required to bring about neuroplasticity
- Neuroplasticity is slowed down
- Motivation is weakened
Contemplative Christianity, Desire and Addiction.
Dr Farley introduced two lesser known forms of contemplative Christianity - the desert ascetics who were intoxicated with the idea of love, and withdrew into the desert to contemplate love. The other group is the women contemplatives - the 12th century Beguines who wanted to be able to live in the world but be contemplative. This did produce some profound and beautiful Christian texts.
She gave the following quote from Isaac of Ninevah as an example of what these Christians hope for:
"What is a merciful heart? A heart burning for all creation, for human beings, for birds, for animals, and even for demons. It cannot endure hearing or seeing any injury or slight sorrow to anything in creation. Because of this, great compassion offers tearful prayers that every being be guarded and forgiven"Dr Farley gave an outline of her talk, which has three main headings:
- Christian interpretation of different dimensions of desire - healthy and distorted
- Parallel between dynamics of craving and addiction
- Supporting practices to restore healthy desire and heal from craving and addiction
- Mind is hidden from itself
- There are false objects of relief and happiness
- This undermines relationships
- There is bondage to this
- The habits are embedded in bodies and minds
- Watching the mind
- Compassionate Action
- dissolution into love
There was a discussion around the avoidance of nihilism and how to safe guard against this. Dr Farley described how Jesus saw the divine in all beings.
She concluded by saying thank you to the lineage of contemplatives and the conversations between Buddhism and Christianity.