ADDICTION – ADDICTED – ADDICT

“Addicted” is a dependency either physically or mentally to behavior or substances, with an inability, without effort, to stop said dependency. The addict is defined as a being that is repeating obsessive, often negative habits which interfere with the quality of their life as well as the lives of those around them. Addiction is the actual condition of being addicted to something, some activity or substance. For many humans, some addictions have devastating results, lack of function, illness, depression, criminal activities, loss of health and vitality, etc. and, of course, death of the flesh and the mind.

Negative addictions are obvious; the results bear witness to their deformation of the individual as well as society as a whole. There is much discussion on whether to classify it as a disease. Many people struggle with definition of disease, while others consider the origin or “fault” of the behaviors that lead to the results of the addiction. Regardless, addiction is part of our world.

It appears to most the addict chooses, that we all choose, regardless the behavior. The individual never chooses negativity. You do not choose negativity.

Though most define addiction as negative, some believe there are what some may call healthy or better choices for the focus of the addict. You have heard it said, “I’m addicted to this” or “I’m addicted to that.” It appears there are different levels as well as focusses of addiction including gambling, drugs, food, sex, alcohol, repetitive behaviors etc.  By definition addiction appears to be something we all have in common; it is the degree and object of the behavior which becomes the observation of the teacher and the student of meditation.

The student sat with the teacher proclaiming “My current studies have me bringing awareness to addiction. Repetitive or obsessive behaviors that repeat over and over again. As I meditate on myself and others around me I am aware that the majority of us fall into the classification of addict. Though my own behaviors as well as others may not be as detrimental to our well- being as some addictions may be, for instance, drugs, alcohol, self-abuse, the need or desire to hurt others or creatures to satisfy some need in ourselves… I still am acting out on less obvious or more subtle habits and compulsions like nutritional, outside stimuli, repetitive behaviors as well as the emotional state caused by repetitive, compulsive thinking. These thoughts lead me to question the existence of addictive behaviors in all of us.”  The teacher said “Yes, it appears we are all addicts to an extent, or we are not. It is the choice or disease we choose as the focus of our dependence that varies.”

A meditation, try it here and there, or not. Focus your attention on behaviors you possess that may be defined as an addiction. Be aware if self-judgement or what you may call negative observation comes into play. In the meditative state you focus on observation, aware when thought comes in and distracts you. As you observe, bring your thoughts to the similarities of your addictive personality and that of the others around you, taking into account that the severity may be different but the behaviors are ones we all share. Then observe how you view addiction from that understanding.

It’s a new day.

Hurt

Hurt simply means to cause injury or physical pain. It also may refer to damage done or to cause harm in some sort of way to a person, a situation, the environment, etc. Hurt is not only a physical condition or harm, it may also refer to emotional damage caused to someone or even societies.  For instance, “the current weather conditions have put a hurt on the nation’s economy” or “the loss of their leader left the citizens in great despair.” The majority of us try not to hurt each other or the things around us. Unfortunately, we have all found ourselves in situations where our word or deeds have hurt others. It is the accidental suffering we cause each other that becomes the object of observation for the student of meditation.

The student entered the office of the teacher with their head hanging low. “Something troubles you.” The student said “I had an argument over a meaningless thing with a dear friend. Before I knew it I was saying the most dreadful things, which obviously hurt my friend beyond reconciliation. I was hoping to make a point with words of encouragement. Instead, I was cruel and condescending. Unexpectedly the damage I caused bounced back on myself and now causes me great anguish.”  The teacher said, “Yes, often times our careless words create great suffering in others, especially those who are vulnerable to such actions. Fortunately, the situation offers the opportunity for you to learn. The truth of the matter is that you don’t have to help anyone, but you don’t have to damage them either. Embrace your friend, share the experience and allow the happening to move you both toward peace, love and conscious awareness.”

A meditation, try it out here and there, when it comes to mind intentionally or do not. Bring your observation to moments or happenings that went on in your day or to things happening currently. Be aware in this situation that you are using the past, even if quite recent, as a tool for learning. If the observation pulls you into self-judgement or condemnation or the opposite, a stroke on your ego or self-esteem, remember that is more thought, the object of this meditation is to observe the results of your words and deeds. That being said, as you reflect on your actions, acknowledge whether the words or deed had a positive or what you may label as negative reaction by the listener or the world. Did you cause “hurt?” For instance, “I approached the group as they were enjoying (in joy) the moment, when I told a dreadful story which altered the mode of the group and created suffering in their lives.” Or “my careless littering had an overall negative impact on the environment.”  The plan here is to bring your behaviors to conscious awareness, not to condemn yourself, but to set the stage for effortless change. 

It’s a new day. Your day.

More

“More,” essentially, is the addition to something, whether it is in substance, quantity, measurement, volume, emotion, degree, etc. You can see more, pretend more, imagine more, believe more and probably, most importantly, to the student of meditation, you could love more.

The student spoke with the teacher, “Teacher, I find myself struggling to understand a parable from ancient text. The story is of a father with two sons who left their father’s side to venture out into the world. One son found worldly success and an awareness of conscious presence; while the other squandered his time and wealth, falling into anguish and suffering. If I understand, when the second son returned his father loved him more.” The teacher lovingly replied, “Yes, it appears we do not choose suffering. That said, the majority of our fellow humans are driven by programmed, obsessive, compulsive thinking, like you and I are at times. Thinking that comes to mind and moves us in a certain direction or mindset which may lead to behaviors that interfere with the quality of our lives as well as those around us. It may appear humans are choosing the negative things they do. It appears their actions are purposeful, and in their control. They are asleep. Conscience presence is not in the forefront of their lives. We are all doing it… acting out. Some behaviors are accepted by some while at the same moment intolerable to others. Condemnation is not the cure for the woes in the world. Love is.  Not surrender, not vulnerability, not blind acceptance. Love. The father loved his son more because that’s what he needed.” The student replied, “I shall love them more.”

A meditation, try this on purpose, with intention; or don’t. Keep in mind, when you think of planning to put time aside for meditation you can do it now. Little or lengthy moments here and there to use meditation practices to bring you present. That said, a “love” meditation would consist of telling yourself you love you, once or a thousand times. Focus your attention on the reaction in your mind and body to the practice. Then tell yourself you love those beings and the situations around you. For instance I love so-and-so or I love this thing and that thing. Even those things you despise. You’re not changing your disgust or disappointment for a person or happening, you’re adding love and observing the results.

It’s a new day. Your day.

Embrace

“Embrace” has several meanings; the first, of course, is to hold, cuddle, clutch or hug someone or something lovingly or affectionately in your arms. You can also embrace something in your heart or mind, as with taking on an idea or an affection with your thoughts and emotions. As in “I embrace this moment fully,” to say I accept and love all the content the moment contains. We embrace many things, cultures, habits, ideals, theologies, situations, change, each other… The word holds what we think of as positive connotations. A deeper hidden meaning which includes thoughts and an awareness of feelings of love and acceptance. In most cases, it implies a state of present-moment activity, meaning when we embrace something it is more than likely happening in the now. We can say “we embraced that in the past,” or “I can’t wait to embrace them in the future;” yet, more often than not, we embrace things in the moment. It is these such moments that become the object of observation for the student of meditation.

The student sat with the teacher focusing on what they considered a road block on their journey to conscious awareness. The student said “Teacher, I find myself in the midst of many a conflict as I observe and digest the goings on around me. When it rains, I watch for the sun. I constantly desire things I don’t have while I am overwhelmed with abundance. I look for behaviors in people, society, or the world, which these things do not possess. And in my searching, my looking, my desire, I miss the splendor, wonder and joy the moments hold.” The teacher looked lovingly upon the student with compassion and understanding of their plight, and replied “Yes, desire, want, and longing have their place. Most often, a place in need of observation and understanding. These thoughts and their accompanying emotions are often a trap of the conditioned mind. I’m here, yet preoccupied by a desire to be there, like standing in the midst of a beautiful forest, yet wanting and longing to be at the beach. As a student and a teacher we learn to embrace the moment. Acknowledging the thought stream as it whirls by with its distractive thinking while we bring our attention to that and even who that is before us in the present moment. Focus attention on the moment; lovingly embrace what it contains. Even the things we may label as negative are much better handled when we accept them for what they are. Embracing the moment when our lives truly unfold is an important step on our road to conscious aware presence.” 

A meditation, try it out here and there when and if it comes to mind, or do not. Start off with a present moment meditation (acknowledge each thing and happening as you become aware of it). For instance, I heard an animal making a noise, I just thought of a friend, I feel my feet, I heard a sound, saw something move, etc.  Then, or simultaneously, bring your thoughts to embracing the moment and all it contains. Don’t merely observe, but purposely embrace everything going on around you. Be aware if desire steps in, observe that, then return your focus to lovingly embracing all the moment has to offer.

It’s a new day! Your day.