In this interview with Judson Brewer MD PhD, Andrew and Dr. Brewer take a close look at the nuts-and-bolts of addiction, and how it relates to non-lucidity. Judson shares the recent work of his lab, and the neuroscience that helps us understand how we get hooked into virtually anything, including our dreams. We’re addicted to thinking, to distraction, to ourselves, to technology, even to love. The conversation moves to a look at the swept up continuum, a scientific description of how we get sucked into things (including non-lucid dreams), and how to pull ourselves out.
In addition to the famous default mode network, this interview with Judson Brewer discusses other parts of the brain that play an active part in our craving, and how meditation plays a leading role in transforming craving and addiction. Awareness practices hit the “pause button” in the machinery of addiction, and can radically transform previously intractable cravings. Using tenets talked about by the Buddha, the discussion turns to how ancient teachings (like the 12 links of dependent origination) have modern applications. Learn how ignorance in the past expresses itself as craving in the present – how craving is “applied ignorance.” Judson says that “Willpower is more myth than muscle,” and that one of the best ways to work with any form of addiction is to first relate to it, and to discover that the best way out of craving is to go into it. Dr. Brewer is a rare scientist who joins the best of the West with the best of the East, augmenting the discoveries of the wisdom traditions with contemporary science.
About Judson Brewer
Judson Brewer MD PhD is a thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery”, having combined over 20 years of experience with mindfulness training with his scientific research therein. He is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University. He also is a research affiliate at MIT. Dr. Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, trained US Olympic coaches, and his work has been featured on 60 Minutes, TED (4th most viewed talk of 2016, with 10+ Million views), and others. Dr. Brewer founded MindSciences to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for anxiety, eating, smoking and other behavior change into the hands of consumers (see www.drjud.com for more information). He is the author of The Craving Mind: from cigarettes to smartphones to love, why we get hooked and how we can break bad habits. Follow him on twitter @judbrewer.