Addictionland - Addiction Recover Blog
We are all addicts. This is true whether we've ever touched, heroin, alcohol, tobacco, cocaine or any other substances associated with addiction. The human ego spends its time clinging to comfortable, familiar and pleasant experience. It also flees from uncomfortable and unpleasant experience.
An extreme example of the latter is buried traumatic memories in the case of warfare or rape. While in some cases this is a healthy process, it mainly amounts to addiction.
A lot of spiritual literature emphasizes the art of nonattachment. You'll notice that Buddhism places a huge emphasis on this, and it's the same with a variety of other wellness traditions both spiritual and secular. In many of these cases, you may notice that meditation is recommended as a training vehicle for learning nonattachment.
What I'm saying here is that meditation is the art of addiction recovery in the most fundamental sense of the term. Meditation is the long term antidote to the "Great Addiction" - the desperate grasping of the ego.
When you can calmly observe your moment to moment experience as a detached observer, then you can gradually dissolve all the problems of the addicted mind at their roots. The more present you can be with your thoughts and experiences without addiction, the more efficiently you "digest" them. This means emotional healing and recovery from not only addictions, but from all types of tension that the Great Addiction creates.
Notice the last time you had an uncomfortable encounter with another person. Your breathing was restricted, and you really didn't want to be there. Therefore, you weren't being present, right?
Your addiction may tell you to resent the situation, whip out your middle finger and then try real hard to forget the pain. Such resentment often makes the situation worse because the resentment then becomes mutual and the participants become more polarized. You also spend a much longer time dwelling on the experience and feeling the pain because you didn't digest it properly in the moment.
It's the addiction to "feeling good" and the resentment for "feeling bad" that prolongs the pain. Meditation teaches us how to breathe properly in all situations so that we can process the present moment and deal with it in the most appropriate manner.
This is not to "leave the world" of action. You can be joyfully present with your experiences without addiction, even in the heat of passion or anger. Though meditation dissolves tension, it does not turn you into a jellyfish.
When you free up your chronic tension that is caused by the Great Addiction, you have a broader range of choices in the moment. When you're tense, it becomes a choice instead of a chronic condition. When you're calm, it's because you can be. Meditation does not equal mellow passiveness.
Meditation is a long term addiction recovery process that takes place one day at a time. The key is to keep up a daily momentum of peace in your addiction recovery program. This means a daily meditation habit at a particular time is essential. Even if you only have five to ten minutes to devote to this, the consistency of practice will still propel you forward.
Another way to keep a momentum going in your meditation is to have some type of integration strategy for making meditation easier. Make a list of activities that are grounding, relaxing and centering. This can be deep breathing breaks, offerings of gratitude, prayer, song, calming visualizations or many other things. Add a few stretches, shoulder rolls and head rolls to the list.
Try to slip these things into all the down times of your day, even the 30 seconds in the elevator. 30 seconds here and a minute there will add up to a profound sense of peace that will make meditation easier.Try the above tip for a full month, and these little actions will add up to profound results.
You also want to find a meditation technique if you haven't done so already. There are many simple meditation techniques out there with varying objects of focus. An object of focus can a visualization, a phrase, a line of a song, a deity, a body sensation, your own breath and many other things both devotional and secular.
Find a simple meditation technique with an object that invites a state of deep loving absorption and stick with it. You can learn a few of these at my website, in my book and audio course and on many video sites on the internet.
Once you find a meditation technique you are compatible with, set up a time each day to devote to your mindfulness based addiction recovery program. Over time, you will melt away addictions you never knew existed. Meditation and addiction cannot exist at the same time.
Tom Von Deck is an international corporate meditation trainer, speaker and author of