The benefits of meditation when dealing with addiction and alchemy of transformation

Meditation is not just for new age spiritualists or oddballs but should be seen as a practice for everyone, even for children. It is easy and simple and can be done anywhere. Meditation is a powerful antidote to the threats posed by addictions.

There are many great resources on the Internet and from books on how to meditate and on the benefits of meditation.  See the list of resources at the end of the post.

Addiction has nasty associations these days.  However, it originally merely mean’t something you liked.  It was only in the 20th century that it became to be known as a slave to drugs. Addiction is a devotion to yourself.  We are really attached to ourselves but in a dangerous way.  Recuperation, or recovery, comes from the Latin word “recupare” meaning “to regain.” Through meditation we can regain consciousness and reach a certain peace with ourselves.  When we are hooked we lose consciousness, as we become obsessed with ourselves. To recover is to push back the border of our consciousness, to know more and to regain interests in relationships. We begin to feel more present and happier in the here and now,

The important aspect of meditation is to do it on a daily basis.  Here, the fidelity of the practice is important.  Do it even when you don’t want to do it.  It is by the practice of a good habit that gradually outweighs the power of a bad habit. You don’t even need belief, just faith,  to do the practice.

Despair and Acadia will try to tell you to give up hope, that you are no use at the practice. Acadia had been one of the deadly sins but did not make the final 7. You should not, however, look for anything dramatic in meditative practice.  Instead, concentrate on the daily practice without expectation.

Meditation has given me glimpses of a new way of being.  Through the alchemy of transformation I can uncover a lot of my negative past or my shadow in the nigredo stage, similar to undertaking personal inventory work, and through to a brighter stage of albedo. Citrinas is largely unconscious and rubedo is an emerging new life. I have spent most of life struggling in nigredo and flipping between one addiction to another.  I have received glimpses of albedo through therapy and meditation but sometimes it can be fleeting and any attempts at acquiring serenity can feel like pushing water uphill. For me, personal transformation is predicated on the willingness to “let go”.  How can I achieve this if I am nursing unhealthy fantasies and active addictions? I do not have much experience of mastering.  In my meditation I can feel great resistance as my ego defences are very solid. Mastering for me would represent being able to sit with my feelings and not have some manic activity consuming my attention. Is this what we are all searching for?  A peace to be with our own feelings and not having to have any manic activity going on?

My own personal therapy is a journey of letting go, acquiring a new rhythm, keeping an open mind, trusting the process and developing new layers of honesty with my therapist. Freedom is when we are free of our history, or at least when our personal history is not the primary reference in our lives. We no longer react in the instance but can provide a considered response to the events in our lives.

Meditation calms you down.  The practice of meditation eases you into a new state of calm mindful being.  It helps in brain training. However, the higher benefit of meditation is that we are led to the ultimate truth of our own being. Try it.  It might even work.

Resources
Learning to meditate Practical guide
Meditation books Useful list of books on meditation
21 Awake Explores authentic 21st century meditation practice, written by a London Insight regular
AA Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism
GA Meetings for problem gamblers
Narcotics Anonymous non a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. Recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean
SLAA Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous is a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition-oriented fellowship based on the model pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous
Silence in the City Meditation in London
The 12 steps of recovery

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