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Paper Tiger Paranoia

July 17, 2011, 2:30 pm - 10:00 pm PDT

The Buddha taught that ignorance–not seeing the truth of things–is the root cause of suffering, and it’s woven into the brain’s innate negativity bias, which looks for bad news, reacts intensely to it, and stores it in memory for lightning-quick retrieval. Consequently, your brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones–which causes suffering and harm for yourself and others.

In particular, Mother Nature has made us highly threat reactive. She wants us to be alarmed at a thousand paper tigers in order to avoid missing a single real one about to pounce.

This “paper tiger paranoia” makes us routinely overestimate threats, and underestimate opportunities and resources. As a result, we overreact to others, feel needless anxiety and anger, muzzle honest self-expression, stay guarded and superficial in relationships, and play small in life.

We’ll begin by surveying the evolutionary basis of the brain’s threat reactivity. Then we’ll explore brain-savvy methods for feeling stronger and safer, seeing the world clearly (both real tigers and paper ones), and pursuing wholesome aspirations without feeling like it’s “threat level orange.”

Teachings are appropriate for health care professionals and CE credit is offered.


July 17, 2011
2:30 pm - 10:00 pm PDT


Spirit Rock, Woodacre, CA
United States

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