ZEN AND ADDICTION
Having studied addiction from inside out, meaning being addicted, going into remission, and working with people who suffer from addictions. And. My long term history of studying Zen I decided that the link between Zen and what people call recovery needs some exploring.
In general people do recover by themselves. I know that there will be some interior feedback from those of you who have recovered via "systems" but the truth is that you recover from the inside out despite having anyone else in your life who supports you. I would concur that we all need that external support and encouragement to sustain our lives. It's just that no one, absolutely no one, can recover for you.
As a counselor I would sometimes be praised when people would manage to stop using heroin, for example, and blame me for their recovery. No way. I had nothing to do with it. The truth is that they were ready. Synchronicity occurs and I was there. It could have been me or anyone else. If you check this out over time you will find that the "recovered" person will realize sooner or later that everything around the recovery was a result of them making the decision and commitment.
So people ask me why practice Zen meditation?
Because it is about you and you. Your remission that is. And you probably haven't spent a whole lot of time with your mind. So now you ask why should I do that? I mean here I am in my "recovery" and doing fine. Why mess it up?
Well. You don't have too. No one is saying that. But if you really want to commit yourself to "knowing" you then I would encourage you to meditate.
We all have what the mental health people refer to as the "unconscious mind.' It really isn't unconscious at all. It's relatively noisy for those of us who sit with it. I prefer to think of it as sub-conscious. Lurking just under the surface. If you sit, with a little discipline, you will start to recognize the amount of information that the subconscious is constantly feeding you. It 'talks" all the time. It directs you down paths that you might not take if you were aware of it. It's influence is awesome. The reason is that we rarely pay any attention to it. We just follow along.
A prime reason why lots of people give up "meditation" is because the sub mind will tell them it's useless, annoying, they can't "do it", or they will try at some later date when they are "ready." That later date rarely comes.
When we start meditating the sub mind will want you to quit immediately. If not sooner. Why?
It's been running the show for such a long time it will fight for it's survival. Once you know it's there and what it's doing you will have a hard time letting it run the show and/or ignoring it.
What's this have to do with addiction? Everything. It's the thinking part that over rode what we knew all those years. At a certain point the rational mind is highly aware that what ever addiction is present is not in our best interests. Yet we continue to use.
It's time to shine a light on the sub mind. Time to let the genuine you come forward.
You may notice that much of what makes up you original mind is non-verbal. This can come as a slight shock at first. Much of what people are aiming for in meditation, or at least Zen meditation, is the ability to live in the pre-verbal state.
Living in this per verbal state will pretty much anchor you in the moment. And, will definitely help you to stay free of addiction status.
Still working on a video blog. Perhaps next week we can address more concerning addiction and the pre verbal state.
Any and all comments or perspectives are welcome.
Be kind and keep going.