Bridging Neurobiological and Buddhist Views

Dr. Deana Bodnar, a PhD in Neurobiology, Social Worker, practicing Buddhist, and steadfast recovery advocate will run a two-part seminar entitled, Bridging Neurobiological and Buddhist Views on Craving, Addiction, and Recovery

Two Saturdays in July – the 15th and 22nd. Each 3 hrs    9:00am-12:00pm CT

Sponsored by a collaboration between Dawn Mountain, Institute for Spirituality and Health, and Council on Recovery 

Treatment of substance use disorders requires a multimodal, interdisciplinary approach that tends to the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of personhood. Perspectives and practices grounded in world religious traditions are valuable resources that can complement evidence-based approaches in recovery. The concept of craving is a key concept in both scholarship relating to addiction and recovery as well as in Buddhist frameworks relating to suffering. This two-part virtual seminar, led by Dr. Deana Bodnar, will explore craving, addiction, and recovery by putting contemporary neuroscientific understandings in conversation with Buddhist beliefs and practices. The target audience includes professionals who work in the field of addiction and recovery who want to expand their understanding of these dynamics, as well as individuals who are in recovery and who can benefit from perspectives and practices that address the challenges of craving and addiction.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this two-part seminar, participants will have gained increased awareness of:

  • How neurological and Buddhist views on craving can inform the treatment and experience of substance use disorders.
  • The neurobiological and philosophical underpinnings of Buddhist contemplative practice, as they relate to craving, addiction, and recovery.
  • Strategies based in neurobiology, experience gained in the recovery community, and Buddhist belief and practices that help address substance use disorders.

Deana Bodnar has a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from UC Berkeley and was a research associate in the Section of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University for 11 years. She then made a change in career and became a Licensed Master of Social Worker. She worked for about three years in substance use disorder treatment. For the past 17 years, she has worked in social services that includes doing administrative work with programs that serve individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders. Deana routinely reads research literature on neuroscience of various meditation practices as well as mindfulness based interventions used with substance use and mental health disorders. She has been a student and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism at Namgyal Monastery for over 20 years. Deana has listened to numerous lectures by Western Scientists and Buddhist Scholars and Practitioners given at Mind and Life Conferences that HH the Dalai Lama offers every year that discuss the advances in science and how that fits into the Buddhist paradigm.

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