How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
What is Meditation?
How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
What is Meditation?
Benefits of Mindfulness: Mindful Living Can Change Your Life
Mindfulness 101: A Beginner's Guide
Judson Brewer shares how the practice of mindfulness for addiction can also teach us how to untangle ourselves from what is said to be the biggest obstacle to mindful living—our attachment to craving.
Recently I had the pleasure
of interviewing Dr.
Jud is the director of research
at the Center for Mindfulness at
the University of Massachusetts.
And, you know, he's really an
internationally known expert in
mindfulness training for addiction.
He's considered to be a thought
leader in the science of self-mastery.
And he combines 20 years of his
own practice of mindfulness with
his cutting edge research into the
neural mechanisms of mindfulness.
I think you're going to find
these conversation both insightful
and very, very practical.
In this conversation, Jud reveals the
science behind how addictive cycles
begin and why mindfulness can really
help us break free of those cycles.
And we also speak about why human
life is often characterized by a
constant sense of wanting more and
how we can become deeply fulfilled
and content as a way of being in life.
And finally, we also speak about the
four step process that Judson uses
to bring mindfulness to any moment
when a craving or an urge arises.
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dr.
So Jud, thank you so much for taking
the time to share with us here today.
I really appreciate it.
Thanks for having me.
And actually, I'm also going to take
this opportunity to thank you very,
very much for the presentation that
you did for The Mindfulness Summit.
I haven't had a chance
to thank you in person.
It was really insightful
and incredibly helpful.
We have amazing feedback about it.
So thanks for that too.
Great to hear.
So in, in that presentation that you did
for the Summit, you spoke about how your
research into how mindfulness can help
us with addictive urges and, yeah, again,
it was incredibly helpful and insightful.
And I'd like to dig a little bit
deeper into that today, but also
just to talk about some general
aspects of mindful living that you've
picked up through your personal
experience and research along the way.
So first of all, I'd love to
know though how, how your own
journey into mindfulness started.
Was it something that began for
you as a, as a child, or was this
something that unfolded later in life?
Tell us the story about
your own journey there.
It's hard to know exactly because in
retrospect, you know, you look back
and say, oh, maybe that was something,
but definitively I do know that, right.
I was about to start medical school
in the mid nineties and had gone
through a bad relationship breakup
and was having trouble sleeping,
probably for the first time in my life.
And somehow this Jon Kabat-Zinn
book landed in my lap.
And I read a little bit of it
in started, started meditating
my first day of medical school.
I was listening to his cassette
tapes, for those of you that
remember what a cassette tape is.
And started meditating right at the
beginning of medical school and found
that, you know, it was really helpful
for me to work with my mind, work with
stress and even, you know, during boring
medical school lectures, I had lots
of time to sit and pay attention to my
breath as a, as a beginning practice.
So that's when it started.
Ah, and what was one of the first big
aha moments, realizations, insights
that came from your practice that you
feel really had an impact on your life?
A big impact.
That was a while ago so it's hard to say
what some of the first ones were, but I
did start noticing that, you know, during
medical school and during graduate school
that, you know, I really could start to
not be sucked into this or this or this in
terms of my mind spinning out of control.
It was, it was really helpful
in, in those respects.
And then, you know, in terms of getting
out of my own way, whether I was seeing
patients or getting a review from a
reviewer when I had submitted a paper
or submitting a grant or working with
a coworker that just all of these
aspects of my life started showing
up in a way that was very helpful.
So it sounds like it helped you to
break free of being caught up in cycles
of stress and kind of struggle there.
And as you reflect back now,
how many years have you been
formally practicing now?
It's 2016, it's been 20 years.
So as you reflect on that 20 years now,
from where you're standing now, what would
you say has been the biggest challenge
or one of the biggest challenges in your
practice and how have you overcome it?
These are such great questions.
One of the biggest
challenges in my practice.
You know, I'm kind of hard headed, so
I, you know, practice has always been
a real go-to for me in terms of coming
back to the practice and so it's always
been, there've been so many gifts
that I've gotten through practice.
What's been challenging, cause it hasn't
been, you know, I've been relatively
regular in practicing, so that hasn't
been a problem that some of, you know,
maybe, just the way that, that my mind is.
I had grown up playing the violin,
so had learned that dedicated
practice every day is very helpful
in developing any new habits.
So maybe that was something that
was a little easier for me than,
you know, than some people find.
I'm trying to think what was it, what
has been difficult in practice for me?
Maybe just seeing how the mind, you
know, when, when I'm really, when it's
really clear to me how much suffering
I've been part to, have caused.
It, you know, that's, that's been a
real challenge just to see how there's,
boy I've caused a lot of suffering.
And in that sense, it's very
humbling at the same time.
Another difficulty has been trying to,
you know, early on, I was trying to
really intellectualize the practice
as compared to just practice.
In that sense, loving kindness was a
particularly challenging practice for me.
You know, my kumbaya letter went
off, you know, off the charts.
The woo woo meter.
What is this touchy feely, goofy stuff?
And I promised my teacher that
I would just practice it as a
concentration practice and that was it.
And then I started learning that it
was like just so much more than that.
But it took me years, I think, of,
of dedicated loving kindness practice
to really see the doubt, you know,
this wasn't some woo woo thing.
So that was, that was another one
of the, the big challenges for me
was to get over my own concepts
of what loving kindness was.
So those are a couple of examples.
So I'd love to just dig in a little
bit deeper about your, your work with
addictions and kind of dig a little bit
deeper about some of the stuff that you
spoke about in the summit presentation.
And by the way, for everybody who's
viewing this right now, I'm going
to, at the moment you have to pay to
see Jud's presentation, but I'm going
to open it up for free for a week.
So, and there'll be a link
to it below this video.
So you can go and watch that as a
compliment to these conversations
so that you can kind of dig a
little bit deeper into this.
But in that, in that presentation,
you spoke about exactly how our
addictive patterns arise and
you spoke about habit loops.
So I was wondering if you could
just now again talk about what habit
loop is and also how mindfulness
helps us break those habit loops.
I'd be happy to.
I think of that the habit loop has
been something that's been described
in modern psychology using terms
like positive reinforcement, negative
reinforcement, operant conditioning,
associative learning, all of these
point toward this process that, you
know, basically if you break it into its
simplest parts starts with the trigger.
So let's say we get stress as our
trigger, that leads to a behavior, which
is, you know, let's say that we eat
chocolate or we eat a cupcake, and then
there's a reward that comes from that.
Oh, cupcakes tastes pretty good.
So that habit loop, that's
the simplest form of it.
But we can think of it in terms of
positive and negative reinforcement.
That in the sense that we, you
know, we see a cupcake, our brain
says, oh, that looks pretty good.
We eat it.
We tasted, it tastes very good.
And, you know, we get this sugar rush
or whatever, and then we lay down this
memory, oh, cupcakes tastes pretty good.
And we can also start to
learn to associate positive
mood states with cupcakes.
Oh, you know, if I'm not feeling
good, then my brain says,
oh, I've got a great idea.
Why don't you eat a cupcake?
I can relate to that.
So we move from cupcakes, tasting good
to suddenly a negative mood leading to us
having an urge to eat a cupcake because
we want that negative mood to go away.
We eat the cupcake, that
negative mood goes away.
And then we learn, oh, well just
eat cupcakes when you're sad, when
you're angry or you know, or whatever.
And so we start to form these habit loops
around all sorts of behaviors, whether
it's eating, smoking, using drugs,
yelling at people, going, in, you know.
You can imagine all the different
types of coping mechanisms that we
have in life as a way to deal with
the unpleasantness, make, trying
to make the unpleasantness go away.
And trying to hold on
to whatever's pleasant.
You know, like, oh, it's been a great day.
I'm going to take a picture and kind of,
you know, try to hold on to this beautiful
sunset that I'm watching as it goes away.
So the interesting, so
that's the habit loop.
And the interesting thing about
this that the Buddhist psychologists
described this 2,500 years ago
in, in basically the same process.
The only thing is they used a couple of
other terms, one including ignorance,
where they said that this process
is perpetuated through ignorance.
And in modern day, we describe
that in terms of subjective bias.
So if I eat cupcakes when I'm sad,
I suddenly start wearing these
glasses that sees the world, I see
the world through, oh, if I feel
bad I should eat cupcakes glasses.
The Buddhist psychologists
described this in terms of ignorance
because we're not seeing clearly.
And what are we seeing clearly?
Well, the cupcakes aren't going to fix
whatever that root cause of my sadness is.
They're just going to give me
a sugar rush and make me feel a
little bit better in the short
term because I'm getting dopamine
released in my brain, as an example.
Yeah, and in the long term, we often,
it's not going to give us, it's
actually going to lead us towards
more suffering and more pain, not
towards what we're really looking for.
More suffering because eating more
cupcakes isn't going to fix it.
It's actually going to give us a stomach
ache or give us diabetes, or, you know,
make us obese, just using that example.
So how does mindfulness, and again 2,500
years ago that not only do they know
those causes, but also they spoke about
how the work that you're doing now, how
mindfulness can break that habit loop.
So can you tell us about that as well?
So it's interesting that they
really focused on craving
as one of the core problems.
So we get caught up in craving.
We crave pleasant things.
We crave for unpleasant things to go away.
And they said, well, if you focus on
the craving, you can start to break down
the craving and see what it actually is.
So my patient, I've had patients come
into my office and say, you know, if
I don't smoke, my head will explode.
And we say, okay, well, when your head
explodes, put the pieces back together
and call me and we'll document it.
Because it feels so bad, but these
are just physical sensations.
So if we can break it down, and that's
what mindfulness is all about, if we can
start to drop into our body and say, well,
what does craving actually feel like?
If we can get curious about that craving
and instead of trying to push it away,
turn toward it, we can notice the
cravings are made up of body sensations.
And for some people there's a, there
are tightness, there are restlessness.
For some people, you know,
there's some mouthwatering there.
You know, it can be all
sorts of physical sensations.
But when we notice that, we
can notice, oh, well tightness.
Well, my head's not going
to explode from tightness.
And we can start to be with these
sensations rather than trying to make
them go away as quickly as possible.
And another element that's often described
in mindfulness practices is curiosity.
So, or interest.
If we can get really interested, what does
interest or curiosity itself feel like?
Does that feel unpleasant like a craving?.
No, curiosity actually feels good.
So we can start to flip the valence
from unpleasant craving to, oh,
oh, oh, what does this feel like?
And we can actually start to be with these
sensations as they come and go and see
that they're not, they don't last forever.
They're not permanent.
And they're just these sensations
that we've become identified with.
So I'm, I'm so glad that you brought
up as well, that, you know, that these
teachings have been around for so long.
And this is something, I think something
that I've often noticed when I speak to
people about something like addictive
urges, it feels very personal and
there's a lot of shame and a lot
of, but you're not alone in this.
This is something really fundamental
about the human experience, so we're
just learning how we can come into
more wise relationship with it.
I would even say that, you know, we all
fall somewhere on this addictive spectrum.
So if you think of addiction, the
far end of addiction being continued
use despite adverse consequences.
So when we're so caught up in something
that we're continuing to do it, we're
eating that fifth cookie, even though we
know it's going to give us a stomach ache.
You know, this is how we learn.
This spectrum is how we learn.
And it was probably set up so
we'd remember where food is.
That's probably how
our brains were set up.
But on every end of the spectrum is, you
know, we learn to form a habit around
tying our shoes, or we learn, if you think
of the caught upness, you know, we get
caught up in daydreaming all the time.
Who doesn't get caught up in a daydream.
So you can think of daydreaming being
that temporary caught upness, stress
being something that's a little more
caught up and then addiction being
so caught up that we're doing all
these crazy things, knowing that we
can't, that it's not good for us.
And yet no, that we can't stop.
On your, the CravingToQuit website,
for those of you out there that
CravingToQuit is an app that Jud
has created to help in a time when
you're actually experiencing an urge.
You can use this app to kind of help you
be guided through that with mindfulness.
But on the, on the website, you
wrote that every substance abuse from
tobacco to crack cocaine affects the
same brain pathways, the mesolimbic
pathway that mainly acts through
the neurotransmitter dopamine.
And every single time we do a line of
cocaine or we feel a high from it, a
cigarette when we're stressed out and
then we use the cigarette to feel better
afterwards, we reinforce that habit loop.
So this is something that I really
want to just kind of make clear here.
So every time we give into an urge,
we make the addiction stronger.
Is that true?
So every drug of abuse that's known
to humans, whether it's alcohol,
cigarettes, cocaine, heroin, all of
those, in one way or another effect,
the dopamine system, increasing the
amount of dopamine in our brain.
So is it true then also that with
mindfulness and what you're teaching
that each time we don't play out the
addiction that we weaken, we don't play
out the urge, we weaken the addiction?
Certainly behaviourally we do.
We haven't looked at the neurochemical
level to see how it affects the
dopamine system particularly.
We found that there are certain brain
regions that are involved in kind of
getting caught up in our experience
that are associated with cravings
and with addictions are affected by
mindfulness training, in particular.
We found this in experienced meditators
and whatnot, but we've also found
behaviourally that, that people can
have cravings and that mindfulness helps
them break that link between having a
craving and automatically acting on it.
And that it literally breaks, they
can have a craving be with it and
not act on it by smoking or whatever.
So it's more that it's maybe, maybe the
cravings might still come, but they're
just not really that much of a problem.
Over time, you get more and more skillful
at just going well, it's just a craving.
I can, and I can make a conscious choice
about how I'd like to respond rather
than just play it out unconsciously.
And I just want to highlight one piece of
that is it's not that we're cognitively
saying, oh, that's just a craving.
I don't have to act on that.
You know, if we could do that cognitively,
then we would do it every time.
But it's really, it's really
about two pieces of this.
One is seeing that these cravings are
just body sensations that we can be with.
And the second piece being that when
we really pay attention to the results
of our actions, to those rewards that
we're getting, when we see that they're
not that helpful, we naturally start
to become disenchanted with them.
So for example, with smoking,
people realize that smoking
actually doesn't taste very good.
And so they're naturally moved,
their motivation is heightened
to stop smoking cause they're
like, well, why am I doing this?
We see the same thing now where we
have an eating program now, where
we're using the same practices to
help people learn the rewards that
they're getting from stress eating as
well as learning to ride them out in
very much the same way as the smoking
cessation program, because guess what?
Sugar releases dopamine
just like cocaine does.
I love that you, I love that you
brought up too, that there's, there's
obvious crave, there's obvious
behaviors that we think about when
we think about addiction, right?
There's Facebook and there's, you know,
alcohol and hard drugs and shopping
and sex and all of these that we
think, you know, that's what we think
about when we think about addiction.
But it's striking to me that we,
yes, there's the obvious stuff, but
it seems like human life in general
is characterized for many of us by
a constant sense of wanting more.
Like if the voice of craving could have
a voice, it would say I need something
more than what I have in this moment.
So it seems to me that there is a, that
this is one of, this is not just the
obvious stuff that we're working with
- something much deeper about human lives.
So when I was 19 years old, I worked in a
nursing home as a diversional therapist,
and I was working with people that
were getting to the end of their days.
And, and so pervasive is this part
of human life that many of them felt
really, really disillusioned and
disappointed by the fact that they
had lived their lives as a means to an
end instead of really soaking it up.
And they urged me not to
make the same mistake.
So I feel like, you know, you just
spoke about before, how the Buddha
said something, you know, I think
he's attributed to saying, you
know, that the root of all suffering
is the attachment to craving.
So what do you, what do you,
what are your thoughts on that?
What are your comments on that?
Well, I agree and our data tend to
support that where, you know, that every
time we get caught up in a craving,
we perpetuate that habit loop cycle.
And, you know, it's endless.
So the early Buddhist psychologists
described it in terms of,
they used the term Samsara.
Which literally when translated
means endless wandering.
And so I wonder if the folks that
you're describing from the nursing
home, you know, at the end of their
life, they'd realized that they
had been endlessly wandering and
were urging you to stop wandering.
Now it's interesting somewhere, and
this probably has happened, you know,
throughout humanity, but somebody
described to me that somewhere in
Shakespearian times, the excitement was
started becoming equated with happiness.
And you can think about this in terms
of how these, this endless wandering
it's perpetuated in our daily lives
now where we're constantly bombarded
by advertisements that say, you
know, you're not enough, or you could
have more of this, or, you know,
increase your desire or whatever.
That's based on this notion of this,
this excited, you know this excitement
being happiness, whether we're on
a rollercoaster, eating chocolate,
having sex, whatever, and not stepping
back and saying, you know, is there
actually a greater level of happiness
that's not based on this treadmill.
And when we step back and just rest in
being rather than doing, we start to
see, oh, this is actually pretty good.
And even in a, if you want to bring
it back to psychology, you know, in a
Skinnerean sense, and so this guy, BF
Skinner is famous for these Skinner
boxes, where you put a rat in a, in a
box that's this color versus this color.
And then you shock them in this box.
So suddenly it becomes more painful
to be in this box than this one.
So they prefer this box over this one.
Well in the same way, if we only know
happiness as being excitement and
suddenly we realize there's another
box such as peace and joy, and just
an awareness where we're not caught
up in things, we can start to find
the situations and the conditions
that support this as compared to this.
It seems like it, it seems like a
strange paradox in a human mind to
say that finding a deeper level of
fulfillment means actually stopping
the seeking because we so strongly
associate the seeking to the happiness.
But yeah, I think that that was the
Buddha's really great insight back then.
It was actually, you could get
off the treadmill if you want,
and actually find out for yourself
by going within and just resting.
That there is a deeper level that
actually happiness isn't kind of,
I don't even the word happiness
is a kind of, I think fulfillment
resonates more with me, a deeper sense
of fulfillment that you can have by
just resting in your own beingness.
And you can, even in that sense, you
can, we can even start to differentiate
the type of seeking that most of us
are conditioned to do, which often
is described as sensation seeking.
Like looking, you know, looking for
something novel, looking for something
new, looking for more looking for
this as compared to the seeking that
many of us have that's like, oh, this,
this isn't quite doing it for me.
So that's when we start turning
inward and that seeking becomes
a more of an exploration, and
again, a curiosity, a question.
And those answers come from not
getting, but just noticing how our
minds work and resting in what is
as you're, as you're describing.
And you're saying that the research,
that the current research out there also
supports that what we're saying here?
There's a lot of research, and
it's still pretty early stages,
so there's nothing definitive.
So I'll just speak a little bit to
some of the research that we've done
and some of the work that's been
replicated, because I think it's
important to be able to replicate
results to know if they're they're real.
There seems to be, for example,
a brain region that's associated
with kind of getting caught up.
So when we get caught up in excitement
or get caught up in anger or
rumination or craving, there's this
brain region called the posterior
cingulate cortex that gets activated.
And the same brain region gets
deactivated when we are concentrated on
our in breath awareness, doing loving
kindness meditation, choices awareness,
you know, just an open awareness and
even during curiosity or different
Christian contemplative practices.
So it seems that there's a
common element here where this
getting caught up in experience.
Now the opposite happens when we
are getting out of our own way, if
you want to think of it that way.
When we're not caught up in that
excitement and just resting in a
more of a boundarylessness where
there's just awareness, just being.
Even it's hard, it's hard to
describe because it's not about me.
It's not about the self.
It's not about any of that, you
know, that taking things personally.
It's just being deeply in touch
with the unfolding present moment.
So I'd love if, if you could actually
walk us through, give us a kind of a
simulation as if we had an urge right
now in this moment, and maybe some people
watching do have an urge in this moment.
So congratulations if you do.
Because you have a four-part
process, don't you a four-part way
of guiding people using mindfulness
through an urge, the RAIN process.
Would you be able to give us
a taste of what that's like?
And this was, I think, first
attributed to Michelle McDonald,
who's a Western Vipassana teacher
or an insight meditation teacher.
And we've modified it slightly based
on some of the Burmese teachings.
But basically it's the
four, the acronym is RAIN.
So, and I can, so what's your favorite
sugar sweetened thing that you
might have an urge for when you are
stressed out or something like that?
Or maybe that doesn't happen...
Oh, it happens.
So what's your pick?
We can use that object,
so give me an example.
For me, it's dark chocolate.
So I don't have a huge sweet
tooth, but dark chocolate.
Well, dark chocolate is a good
one because anything above 70%
is considered a health food.
But yeah, well if you tell
yourself that, that's dangerous.
You see, that's what I found.
You tell yourself it's a health food,
and then you can eat more apparently.
That's what my mind said.
So let's say, let's say that we,
hypothetically speaking, we've
had a rough day and we come home
and we're tired and our, you know,
it just does not feel very good.
And so, you know, we're not really
hungry, but our brain says, you know,
why don't I eat some dark chocolate?
And so, you know, we see this chocolate,
we look at the chocolate, it looks at us.
We may have, it's like
we have this connection.
It says, you know, and I say,
yes, you are, you are what I need.
So at that moment, we
start to get enchanted.
It's like the chocolate is playing
its little soothsayer, you know,
the pipe or whatever to us.
And we start getting
enchanted, oh chocolate.
Yes, that's what I need.
In that moment, the first thing that we
need to do is recognize that we're caught
up in that craving, because if we can't
recognize it, we're going to just go along
in that trance and eat the chocolate.
We might eat one, two, nibs
or eat the whole bar without
even paying much attention it.
So we have to recognize,
that's what the R stands for.
And I even suggest that we relax
into it because this isn't about like
forcing ourselves not to do things.
It's just about like, okay,
this is what my brain is doing.
This is what my mind is doing.
So let's have fun with this.
The next step is the A, which is
to allow or accept or acknowledge
that this craving is there.
So typically cravings are unpleasant.
So we want them to go as quickly as
possible and we'll say, okay, craving.
What do I, what do I do?
What do I need to do?
Just tell me what I need to do.
And it says, eat the chocolate.
So we say, okay, you know.
So instead of just, you know, downing
the chocolate to make that craving
go away or trying to like stuff that
craving into our closet, we just
step back and allow it to be there.
Like, okay, this is what's happening.
And that's really helpful because
we can't get intimate with our
cravings if we tell them to stand
on the other side of the room.
You stay over there.
I'll stay over here.
We'll be cool, okay.
We don't know what the craving's
like, so how can we work with
if it, if it's way over there,
if we're kind of suppressing it.
So really we have to allow it to be there.
The next step is where it gets really fun.
So the I is for investigate.
So instead of pushing that
craving away, we say, okay, What's
happening in my body right now?
And we get really curious.
It's like we put on our Sherlock Holmes
cap and we pull out our magnifying glass
and we just start looking just by noticing
whatever the sensations are in our body.
The key with the investigation
is to get curious.
Oh, what does this feel like?
And then the N, which is often described,
described as non identification,
as a not taking things personally.
We've simplified that in a sense
that just simply noting whatever body
sensations are present in any one moment.
So we might note that there's
tightness and then the next
moment there's the tension.
And then there's, my mouth's watering
because I'm thinking about that chocolate
or my shoulders are slightly tight.
So I just start noticing, oh, there's
this now there's this now there's this,
now there's this from moment to moment
as I notice what my body sensations
are that are making up that craving.
And in that sense, if I can follow
the algorithm, R-A-I-N, so recognize,
allow it to be there, get curious by
investigating and noting it, I can
start to see, oh, these are just body
sensations that are driving my life.
They come and go, they come and go.
And I don't have to actually
get sucked into them.
So that disenchantment, kind of
that spell of ebchantment is broken.
So when, with the noting, would you,
would you kind of maybe even stand
there, you don't really have to close
your eyes, but would you, you would
stand there and actually mentally
say to yourself, ah, tightness in
the belly, ah, heart's racing, ah.
You know that, so you would actually
kind of step through and, and mentally
note every, just the raw body sensations
that you're feeling in that moment.
And by doing that, there's
a deep personalization.
You suddenly realize, oh, it's
not this craving for chocolate.
It's actually this sensation,
that sensation, this sensation.
In that sense, you can think of like,
whatever these sensations are, and this
is us, they've taken us for a ride.
But if we note, oh, this sensation,
tightness, tension, burning, suddenly
there's just this and awareness of this.
And by definition, by observing it, we're
already changing our relationship to it.
So we start to see that there's space to
respond rather than just being sucked in.
So that just reminded me of that, that
famous Viktor Frankl quote, what is it?
There's a space in between
stimulus and response.
And in that space lies
our power and our freedom.
So this is really what we're doing
here, opening up a space for that
power and freedom to make choices.
Well, that's where freedom comes is
when we're not sucked into our habits.
And the, so the CravingToQuit app, if
people want to actually be guided by
you through those in real time in those
moments, in the CravingToQuit app,
they can, they can use it like that.
You will actually walk them through the
RAIN process whenever they have an urge?.
Yes, we have in both of our apps,
so the CravingToQuit app and the
EatRightNow app, which is more
focused on things like chocolate.
Yep, I have to get that one.
We have a, we have a button in
there called the 'want to' meter.
So anytime I want, you know, like I'm
craving a cigarette or in the eating app,
I'm craving a chocolate, then I can click
on there and I can see, it first walks
me through how strong is that craving.
So I drop in and start to notice,
oh, this is how strong my craving is.
And then from there it can walk me
through the RAIN exercise so I can
really pay attention and ride it out.
Now, alternatively, because for
example, we all have to eat to live.
You know, if I'm really trying to
change my relationship to eating
and not getting sucked into stress
eating, we also have in the EatRightNow
program, mindful eating exercises.
So people can stop and start to really
pay attention as they consume that food.
Because, you know, they might
actually be hungry, which is slightly
different than cigarettes because
we don't need cigarettes to survive.
But both of the apps have that
RAIN exercise in them so people can
really, really have the tools and
learn these skills so that then they
don't even need the apps anymore.
It's more of a skill generating process.
So I just have one more question
for you before we close up.
And, and that is, if you could go back now
with everything that you know now, all the
knowledge and wisdom that you've developed
through your practice over the past 20
years, and you could go back and give
your former self that was just sitting
on the cushion for the first time just
one piece of advice, what would that be?
I would say, notice what you're
actually getting from your habits.
Pay attention and just see what you're
actually getting from what you're doing.
That's what I would tell myself.
And I still tell myself.
Thank you so much, Jud.
Is there anything else that you
would like to share with our viewers
before you, before we close up?
I don't think so.
I think I'll just say, you know, folks
are interested in playing with some of
these practices, whether your addiction
is smoking or eating or anything in
between, you know, you can play, we make
some of these, the versions of our apps,
you know, available for people to try
them out for free for a couple of days.
So I would just say, you know, the
CravingToQuit or the EatRightNow
programs give people a chance to start
to play with some of these practices.
Jud Doug, thank you so much for your time.
I really appreciate it.
I really enjoyed this conversation.
Oh my pleasure.
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