From Craving to Liberation: Understanding Emotions Inside and Out

Buddhist Psychology Meets Emotional Intelligence:

A Study and Practice Daylong with Eve Ekman and Dave Smith

July 30, 2016

10am – 4pm

Santa Monica 


Early Buddhism has no word or translation for our everyday term, emotion.  Paradoxically, modern science and psychology have no definition for the term, mind. Mindfulness practices are shaping the landscape of modern mental health by steering people to the inner life, pointing to a drastic need to understand and heal emotional and mental suffering. How can we develop a practice-based system for understanding the interplay between mind, body and emotion? How can we move from craving and attachment to wisdom and compassion?

If we intend to understand Buddhist psychology, we need to have a foundation for what it is that we are actually hoping to accomplish. The end result of the exploration is to know suffering, its cause, its end, and the path which leads to its end. The “knowing” of this process is to be developed within the framework of mindfulness meditation, in which emotional awareness and ethics plays a key role.

Our emotions can lead us to our greatest joys and most painful sorrows. In their most creative capacity, they are guides pointing us towards who we truly are and what is most meaningful in our lives. At their most destructive, we are caught by them: lost in the grip of anger, sadness, fear, or overwhelm. This suffering is something we have all felt, but we can create more space, choice, and ease in the face of it.

Using classical mindfulness practices interwoven with the traditional Brahma-Vihara practices of (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity).

Participants will:  Build conceptual knowledge of Buddhist psychology, understand the science of emotions, empathy and burnout, recognize and work with emotional triggers, practice mindfulness and compassion meditation and engage in interactive dialog and personal reflections.

Anyone is invited to attend regardless of practice experience. This class is appropriate for beginners or experienced meditators.

COST: Sliding Scale: $35 – $75, plus an offering of dana to the teacher. Please pay at the highest level you can afford to support our programs and pay it forward for those who have less.
Scholarships and work-study are available. No is turned away for lack of funds.

$100 Plus Monthly Supporters attend for no cost. To RSVP as a monthly supporter, click here.
Please Click Here for more info on our Monthly Supporter program.


Eve Ekman is currently a Post Doctoral Scholar at UCSF’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Ekman’s research interests were inspired by her experience as a medical social worker in the emergency department of San Francisco General Hospital coupled with her training in the applied emotion regulation and mindfulness intervention: Cultivating Emotional Balance, CEB. At the Osher Center for Integrative medicine Eve continues to refine the conceptual framework, research and training in the areas of meaning, empathy and burnout. In addition to research Eve provides training based in Cultivating Emotional Balance to a wide array of clients in technology, health care, criminal justice, law and education both domestically and internationally.

Dave Smith is a Buddhist meditation teacher, addiction treatment specialist, experienced speaker, and published author. Dave is trained to teach Buddhist meditation by Noah Levine. As a long-time Buddhist practitioner and recovering addict, Dave has been working closely with recovering addicts for over six years. He has extensive experience bringing meditative interventions into jails, prisons, youth detention centers and addiction treatment facilities. He is the founder of the Against the Stream Nashville Meditation Center and teaches over 300 meditation classes and workshops a year. Dave recently relocated to Los Angeles.

This daylong will be held at 1001a Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA. Click on the address for info on parking around the Santa Monica Center.