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The second of the four noble truths teaches that craving leads to suffering. But that would be obvious to anyone struggling with addiction.

Psychiatrist Judson Brewer, who is the director of research at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, brings mindfulness practice to the treatment of addiction. He has found in his research that mindfulness meditation actually quiets a network in the brain that lights up when we think of ourselves in the past or future, when we have cravings, and when we feel anxious.

Here, Brewer talks to Tricycle contributing editor Amy Gross about his book, The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love—Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits, in which he identifies a common thread among a wide variety of addictions and discusses ways to combat them based on Buddhist teachings.

Tricycle Talks is a podcast series featuring leading voices in the contemporary Buddhist world. You can listen to more Tricycle Talks on Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

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