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.