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Mindful Eating: Buddha’s Teachings on Nourishing Body and Heart with Ronna Kabatznick

Saturday, August 21, 2010, 9am to 4:30pm

Have you noticed that no matter what we eat, how much we weigh or exercise, that feeling of lack, emptiness, the unquenchable thirst for more, eventually takes over? The Buddha observed that the source of suffering comes from craving and the mismanagement of desire. He also observed how to satisfy physical and emotional feelings of hunger and lack that are part of the human condition.

This class will explore why the Buddha declared, “Hunger is the supreme disease” and why he equated hunger for anything outside of ourselves (food, beauty, the end of loneliness, etc.) with craving, the source of suffering. Through a series of experiential meditation exercises, drawing and small group discussions, we will discover for ourselves the Buddha’s teachings on craving, desire and contentment, what fills and depletes us?  What qualities need to be developed and nourished to establish insight into the differences between physical nourishment, which comes and goes, and food for the heart, the only kind that lasts? We will also investigate different kinds of hunger, appetites and what the Buddha meant when he said that “True happiness is the end of craving.”

Ronna Kabatznick is a social psychologist who has been practicing meditation since 1985. She spent nearly two years on a Vipassana meditation retreat under the guidance of two of Thailand’s greatest Forest Masters.  She is the author of The Zen of Eating: Ancient Answers to Modern Weight Problems and a board member of The Center for Mindful Eating, a web-based organization designed to help educate professionals about Mindful Eating. An assistant clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at UCSF, her Berkeley-based private practice focuses on helping people with depression, weight and relationship issues.