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Breaking Free Of Addiction – Dr Judson Brewer & Saki Santorelli

Why mindfulness is a powerful way to help us break free of addiction – Dr Judson Brewer & Saki Santorelli

Judson Brewer is a thought leader in the “science of self-mastery,” having combined nearly 20 years of experience of mindfulness training with his scientific research. He is the Director of Research at the Centre for Mindfulness and an internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addiction. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI,and is currently translating these findings into clinical use.

In this presentation, you’ll explore the science of how we get caught up in cycles of addiction and learn why mindfulness is a powerful way to help us break free of addiction and unhelpful behaviour.

As Judson shares what he learned about the neural mechanisms of mindfulness (which he discovered using standard and real-time fMRI) you’ll gain some valuable insights on deepening your meditation practice.

In the second video, Saki Santorelli guides a deep extended mindfulness practice. Enjoy this longer practice session which gives you a chance to sink in and touch the depths of what mindfulness has to offer.

Listen to Judson Brewer here

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Listen to Saki Santorelli here

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Show Notes

Join The Mindfulness Summit Journey here

Come and join the community discussions at any time on our Facebook page

If you’d like to check out the app Judson created you can check it out here

Lean more about the Centre for Mindfulness (where Saki and Judson both work) here

You can also check out Saki’s book ‘Heal Thyself’ here

Check out Melli’s blog, events and retreats at MrsMindfulness.com




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Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

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Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

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Leave a Comment

128 Responses

  1. Jacqueline

    I just want to make the observation that it has been very helpful towards the end of the course to receive an email facilitating connection. I missed that at the start.

    This whole event is of a remarkble scale and quality as to content that makes it ground breaking.

    With deep appreciation to Melli O’Brien,


    1. Susan Saunders

      Thank you Melli for making all this possible. Thank you to Saki Santorelli for this morning’s meditation. I enjoyed hearing Saki speak at Bangor University last year and being able to experience a truly mindful start to the weekend has been a gift. Thanks to Judson Brewer too. The short session was packed with visual, thought provoking insights. I aim to fit a re-run of both at the end of the day.

    2. ann jones

      Hello from a deaf participant, well I yearn to participate but can’

      t hear videos. I am so thrilled to see an option for transcripts. Why though must I pay full access pass when all my friends are viewing for free? I am happy to buy books etc but feel I am being discriminated against.

  2. liz Mackinlay

    Hello and many thanks Melli, from Scotland. What a huge task and a wonderful achievement this summit is. I have loved this month and am looking forward to maintaining the impetus the summit has created. Many thanks and much love, x

  3. harry mediator

    Thank you Melli for organizing this online conference, I hope it will be available to access in the future, the variety of guest speakers has shown me the broad range of areas that Mindfulness can be applied, my particular interest is is conflict resolution using mediation. Regards Harry Haber

  4. Elizabeth Hitchman

    Beautiful meditation led by Saki. The poem towards the end gently filled my eyes with tears, the beauty found in the words radiates a warm glow within me and around me. Might the poem be shared via a link?

    Melli, you are also playing a huge role in generating accessibility to Mindfulness. I feel fortunate to participate in this summit, which inspires me to practice Mindfullness long after the event has finished.

  5. Nana Nantambu

    Thank you Saki for the wisdom you shared in making the distinction between secular (re: U.S. perspective) and sacred. And thank you for your courage to say it. Peace and Gratitude, Nana

  6. Tatiana Siqueira

    It has been a real challenge to take the summit daily this month, as my life suffered a major change last month, and I’ve been trying hard to be in the present. Very helpful and inspiring. We have the power within ourselves.

  7. Shantelle Bates

    Another informative and helpful session. It was interesting to see how the mind worked in bringing about the addictions through our cravings, highlighting some habits of my own I’m interested in trying to change.
    A beautiful mindfulness practice, wonderful to experience.
    Thanks for another special day

  8. Erline Krebs

    Thank you, Saki, for this wonderful meditation. I’m feeling so peaceful …and quietly alive….
    Thank you, Melli, for creating this magnificent summit….
    I feel so grateful for the for the expanding experiences!

  9. Ruth Keys

    Thank you again Melli and the team for bringing Saki’s meditation to us, so gentle, so touching and tearful. I have learnt so much and feel so much more grounded in my daily practice and as I go about my daily living.

  10. Oh my gosh, only 2 more days to go! I am going to miss having this beautiful community with me every day. This has been so special and I so deeply appreciate all your kind comments. Tune in for tomorrows question and answers. They are beautiful, deep and heartfelt. Wishing you all an evening of peace and presence.

  11. Carol Piros

    Ditto from me as well. Thoroughly enjoyed the meditation with Saki, time flew! I have learned so very much by attending this summit daily. So many books to read and enjoy. This was exactly what I was in need of. Thank you ever so much. Words are not enough………..

  12. Sandra Maki

    My deepest thanks to all–Melli and Matt and all those offering us their wisdom and experiences, and also to all participating in this wonderful 31 Day world community. I have made notes on the speakers and benefited so much from the meditation practices. I’m so thankful for the many and varied practices and will continue with daily meditation (something new to me) and some of the other means of mindfulness during each day from now on. Saki’s deep meditation especially remains with me as a gentle, calm, grounding soul-treasure. I will continue to speak to my family, friends, and anyone who will listen about this amazing, life-changing experience. Mindfulness and present moment living first appeared in my life when most needed, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer 6 years ago. I had been reading about mindfulness and thinking about it for many years, but when faced with the most real challenge of my life, suddenly I was blessed to be able to do what I called “one foot in front of the other” thinking. Before then I had been depressed and anxiously ruminated over so many minor events. I was surprised by the gifts of awareness and peace and many family members also wondered over such a great change in my approach to life. I am profoundly grateful to all the wise and compassionate women and men who came before us and passed on such lasting treasures.

  13. jeanette

    OK! This was so great that I had to get up super early to watch it again while it was still available, took notes and some snap shots of screens with my phone so I could have a discussion with at least two clients scheduled for today. Brilliant. I cannot wait to look at the app and to have clients start with it. This was worth the 28 plus hours spent in front of the computer.

    This has been such a terrific course! Thank you for doing this. I have been watching from coffee shops while traveling, in airports, at friend’s homes, in my house. I have ordered books, gotten onto web sites, bought an online training, shared this with friends and clients.

    This lesson and many others have stimulated my neucleus accumbens and I liked it 🙂

    Tomorrow we get Jon Kabat-Zin? Can’t get better than this!

  14. John Denley

    WOW, this was a fantastic presentation, it connects up two things that I have been trying to connect for ages, that the question of why people get so caught up in their own thoughts about things that have happened in the past (depression) and/or worry so much about things that might happen in the future (anxiety). I have struggled with why some people (myself included) have a tendency to get addicted to our own thoughts and get stuck in a negative thought cycle (or habit if you like) which seems to lead towards depression and anxiety becoming a problem. I have been working on a theory that people stuck in these negative cycles simply can’t imagine a life without the cycles they have got so used to. I have referred to this as their comfort zone and they are often unwilling to step outside it, and even when they do, the results are not immediately rewarding and thus because it is uncomfortable, they tend to slip back into their unhelpful habits again very quickly, because that is what they are used to and where they feel comfortable. I can now see that it does indeed have a habit forming feedback loop that acts as an addiction, so just like the smoker who says “oh I will just have the one, then give up tomorrow” people with depression or anxiety will have a tendency to say “oh I will just tell my story of woe one more time and ignore all the good stuff, then tomorrow I will do the ‘being positive’ thing”
    Brilliant, I love it!


    Has been a fantastic experience, has allowed me know all these celebrities. I will certainly buy and read many of the books proposed here.
    Thanks very much to all the team, and very especially to Melli, by your proximity , professionalism and judgment.
    From Spain (Madrid)

  16. Gillian Moon

    Thank you Judson – a presentation packed with useful and practical tips about the loop of addiction and how to simply apply mindfulness!

    Unfortunately I missed the meditation with Saki and going from the above comments I did miss out! Had a couple of strange days filled with anxiety and dark thoughts – autopilot living I guess. I swim lengths regularly at a local pool and yesterday my swim really took on a meditative quality – I felt at one with my breath, the sounds of water as my body glided through it and felt a calmness that had been missing for a couple of days. After swimming 40 or so lengths – i simply float of my back and well meditate for a few minutes. The sense of weightlessness is pure magic. I am learning that some days sitting to meditate isn’t conducive so on those days I will swim. I didn’t realise how hard i was been on myself or putting myself under pressure!

    Love and light

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