“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 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.
Tolerance includes the ability to accept or allow situations, observations, opinions, beliefs, etc. and even other people that you may or may not agree with. The word also refers to an ability of the mind or body to tolerate outside influences such as negative people, disease, abuse, and even mental disorders. For example, the person practiced meditation which helped them to tolerate the results of their PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Other examples are simplistic: we tolerate bitter cold, spicy food, a bug bite, etc., even sounds we identify as annoying can be tolerable. Much of humanity is learning and applying the knowledge of acceptance and tolerance in their dealings with their fellow humans. As we awaken, as humans, we may find tolerance to be an essential key in the unification of humanity.
For some students of meditation there is little need for tolerance. The present conscious mind finds little or no conflict with others, therefore a need for tolerance is unnecessary. This does not mean they allow and accept negativity that harms creation; it means they don’t conflict with people’s beliefs, ideology, theology, etc.
The student sat with the teacher and said “I find myself in a situation. Despite my meditating and love for my fellow humans and creation, I cannot mentally or emotionally tolerate some behaviors and what goes on; mainly, peoples behaviors towards each other and our environment. I do my part when the opportunity arises, I teach the benefits of meditation and its resulting state of present consciousness. Sometimes it falls on receptive ears and brings understanding. Other times I focus on myself as the negativity in me arises, knowing the negative reaction belongs to me and there must be something to learn. Finally, I find moments when I mentally or physically remove myself, especially when the consciousness of others is out of my reach. I tolerate what I can. Remove and protect myself and well-being when necessary.”
The teacher said “Yes, many a teacher has taught us we have options in most situations. If you can tolerate the behaviors or happenings and not lose your peace, so be it. If you are compelled to bring some consciousness to the situation by speaking from presence or enhancing the moment with positive behaviors, do so. If your presence and example of behavior has no impact on the negativity, you can choose to remove yourself. Not surrender, rather remove yourself from that which you can no longer tolerate or educate. Remove yourself from situations that interfere with the quality of your life, using the situation to improve your level of understanding and conscious existence. For some, through meditation they will eventually come to a state of conscious presence where there is only understanding, peace, and love and the need for tolerance no longer exists.”
By continuing meditation practices, throughout your day, through diverse situations, presence comes to the forefront of your life and you no longer find people or things intolerable and you handle things perfectly.
A meditation, try it out here and there, when it comes to mind, or not. When a seemingly intolerable situation arises, when you remember to, focus on something and observe your current reaction, then choose. You may choose to tolerate the moment while handling its negative effects, if any. If the intolerable situation involves another person and if you are so compelled, you may choose to bring conscious thinking to the person and teach them meditation. Observe if the teaching alleviates the negativity in the moment. Finally, you may choose to remove yourself, whether it be from a situation, a person or even an intolerable sound. In many dealings with your mind you have no choice; in some situations you do. Choose or not.
It’s a new day.
Vital energy, depending on who you’re asking, may be defined in many different ways. Some theologians refer to it as the necessary force that underlies all creation. Unquestionable, untouchable, unchangeable. Many a yogi define it as essential energy that dwells deep within the human body, responsible for our physical, as well as, divine or spiritual existence.
Vitalism refers to the belief that the process or unfolding of life itself is neither physical nor chemical and cannot be defined with words. Some believe consciousness is the vital energy which exists under all that is.
The athlete or practitioner of yoga thinks of vital energy as the essential ingredient provided by our bodies for physical function as well as mental function. The student of meditation includes observations of the functions of their minds in regard to the loss of such energy, as well as its formation.
The patient spoke to the doctor proclaiming “I’m so exhausted much of the time, my mind is running non-stop pulling me into thoughts that lead me to so much negativity and distress. Worry upon worry, drama after drama. Many not real happenings, rather fantasies and ‘what if’ thoughts causing me so much suffering. The thoughts suck the life out of me, leaving me fatigued, irritable, and exhausted.” The doctor replied “So if I understand you correctly, your mind is somewhat out of control, bringing you compulsive-obsessive thoughts that have a physical, as well as, emotional impact on your body and mind. And that this stream of thought, which repeatedly pulls you into negativity, is beyond your doing and interfering with the quality of your life. The mental anguish you endure is draining your vital energy and leaving you in a state of exhaustion and even despair.” The patient said “Yes, you understand completely, as if it happens to you.” The doctor answered “Yes.” The doctor then took out his prescription pad and wrote “Meditation as often as possible until symptoms subside.”
A meditation, try it out, here and there, when it comes to mind, or not: As with most meditations, focus your attention on an object or sound, while you observe your stream of thought. When possible, or purposefully, observe how certain thoughts impact your body and mind. Be aware of judgements or when you get pulled in. Come back. Point out to yourself the physical and mental drain the thoughts are putting on you. Be aware of the energy loss. If the thoughts provoke a positive physical/mental reaction be aware of that also. Remember the plan is to observe. The part of you making the observation is you, not the thoughts.
It’s a new day.
Thought defined is the result of thinking or what thinking is itself. An idea, assumption, observation, experience, memory, etc. produced by thinking or a result of brain activity that just pops up in the mind beyond the control of the thinker. The action of thinking can be purposeful; for instance, if someone asks what is one plus one, you think, the thought comes, you answer two. We spend a lot of time with that type of thinking. The accumulation of knowledge put through the thought process has lead humanity to the majority of the advances we have achieved today, which includes those accomplishments we label positive and negative. The negative results are often caused by knowledge which has resulted from inaccurate information or negative programming or conditioning.
As students of meditation we will focus on the compulsive thinking. That which comes to our mind on its own. The thinking that comes without our conscious desire or permission.
Through meditation practices we learn or rather train ourselves to observe the stream of thought. Through observation we automatically, almost effortlessly, drop our identification with the thoughts that come to mind. You are not the stream of thought. (See Meditation at http://www.wakingupwithpatrick.com.)
To be clear many of the thoughts that come to mind do not lead to negativity. The majority of the thoughts that pop in there which lead you into mental fantasies or mental movies of the past or present or future do. The compulsive often obsessive thinking that interferes with the quality of life are what the student and the teacher choose to observe. It can become worse as we identity ourselves and others by the thoughts coming to mind. You are not these thoughts, yet you may identify yourself with what they are telling you. You are not in control of these thoughts. If you were you would stop them and find true peace.
The student of meditation learns that by observing the stream of thought without interference, judgment, condemnation, flattery, etc. everything changes. You allow the stream, stop fighting it, observe it, observe as you pile more thought on top of the thoughts. That’s when you separate from it. That’s when you effortlessly begin to realize that the part of yourself observing is you, the true self, unblemished by the workings of your mind. With practice (meditation), your conscious self comes to the forefront of your life and a truly incredible human being emerges.
Practice meditation until you don’t have to anymore. You will know when. It will be the time you spend peaceful, feeling love and joy. Presence comes to the forefront of your life and present conscious awareness becomes your normal state of being. Focus your attention on an object or sound, observe non-judgmentally the thoughts flowing through your mind. Repeat the practice, repeat it a thousand times until you are free from the confines of thought.
It’s a new day.
Trust defined is the faith or belief that things are going to happen a certain kind of way. For example, that people are going to be loyal, or stand by their commitments. In relationships, trust often becomes a defining factor to the success of the pairing. We may trust in things, hold things in trust, trust in each other, etc. Like faith, trust often refers to the unknown, as with “we trust everything will be okay.” Trust can also be a controlling kind of thing as when we trust each other with truths or behaviors that fit our agenda. For instance, “I’m trusting you not to fail me” or “I’m trusting you to be true, or not lie.”
Often times our rules of love are based on trust. Many people fall “out of love” when they feel their trust has been betrayed. (See Love at http://www.wakingupwithpatrick.com).
As presence comes to the forefront of our lives, we begin to see trust differently. We come to the knowledge that trust is a bit of an illusion. The majority of us are entrusted with this wonderful life we have been given. Entrusted with this physical form, body, temple, whatever you want to call it, yet fail ourselves by not doing everything in our power to honor, and take care of ourselves as we should; yet, we make expectations of others when we entrust them with the secrets, our observations, and our hearts. We want to trust them yet we can’t trust ourselves to take care of us.
The student of meditation comes to the understanding that laying the burden of trust upon another is more about control than anything else. If I tell you I’m going to trust you not to tell this story or that story or entrust you to follow through on a mission or desire of mine, I’m really seeking a bit of control over you. And watch out if you fail my “trust!”
You may think of trust as a bit of an illusion. See yourself clearly, see others clearly (not as you think they are) and the need to trust will fade.
We should be able to trust that people will stand by us; do as they say, be loyal, etc.; yet, we really are not seeing the nature of others. If we did we would not be putting such great responsibilities on each other.
We set each other up to fail. If you betray my trust (fail my attempt to control you), I will shun you and separate myself from you. As we see each other more clearly we find as much as we want to trust, we are all subject to fail the expectations of others.
You can remove many aspects of the need for trust from your life. If you don’t want it repeated, don’t say it. If you say it, be prepared for it to come back to you. If you want trust in a relationship, go for it, but be prepared in the event of its failure. Take the responsibility off of others to meet your expectations; see them as they are. Move towards the positive, remove yourself from the negative. If another fails your trust, or expectations, learn, grow, decide and move forward if necessary.
A meditation, try it out here or there, when it comes to mind or not. Focus your attention on something as you would during meditation. Consider in the moment your dealings with others, mainly putting expectations on them in areas of trust. Digest what your mind is telling you; don’t judge the thoughts, just observe. Observe if the words “can I trust” or “I’m trusting you” lead to emotions that resemble control or putting expectations on others that will set them up to fail. Bringing conscious awareness to the thoughts may very well change your desire to continue to play the trust game. Not because you chose to drop this controlling behavior, but rather it fades on its own as presence and understanding come forward in your life.
It’s a new day. Your day.
Recovery has several definitions that we acknowledge as we apply it to our meditation efforts and studies. We may think of it as recuperating from an injury or an illness that returns us to a state of normality; keeping in mind that the word “normal’ is subject to interpretation, and that recovery doesn’t always mean we will return to the state prior to injury. It often refers to a state better than the one from which we are recovering. Recovery also may be defined as the return of something lost or taken from us or even the process itself. In meditation studies we may think of recovery as the retrieval of something that we once possessed or that was destined for us, which we hadn’t realized was lost. Our true state of divine being.
Thanks to the efforts of countless humans, (perhaps you, yourself), the planet appears to be recovering from years of abuse and neglect. As the planet recovers it returns to conditions of health and vitality previously possessed. Although the majority of the earth’s redemption may not lead it to where it was, but rather to a new place of healthy normality.
As the teacher, and more importantly, the student of meditation, we realize we can recover from a great deal of the programming and conditioning that has been imposed on our minds by society, our education, the mental evolution of humanity, etc. By waking up to the reality of the functions of our minds, we can begin to regain that which has been lost. Mainly, our ability to experience a natural unblemished state of peace, love and joy. Like the earth we can regain some of what’s been lost and find a new normality for positive things that are the best they can be now. Just as the earth can recover from its plight with our love and assistance we can join in the redemption through the practices of meditation. Meditation practice (observing the stream of thought) sets the stage for a return to good mental health or the opportunity to experience a positive state of mind for the first time in our lives. Meditation is the cure that leads to your recovery from the negative impact created by the stream of thought. Many students have an understanding that we and the earth (and all that exists for that matter) are one. Existing in the same moment as one ultimate creation.
As we assist the earth in its recovery it is prudent we do the same for ourselves. Through recovery of the confines created by the negative impact of our minds, we lift our own consciousness which aids in the healing of ourselves, those around us, and this place we call home.
A meditation, try it out here and there, when it comes to your mind, or not: bring your awareness to the healing aspects of your meditations. For example, say to yourself “as I observe the thoughts going through my mind, exposing them to the non-judgmental, love-filled, joyful, conscious observation, I feel the healing aspects of this awakening and recover from that which I once was.
It’s a new day. Your day.