"The habit of escaping one's pains"
Addiction is defined here as a habit pattern that is seemingly impossible to break.
Such habits can include doing drugs, alcohol, spending money and so forth.
In this article, we will look at what addiction really is, how it's created in the mind, and the ways to address addiction at the deepest level of the mind.
Addiction In Depth
The word addiction implies that there is a problem within that needs to be resolved.
And as it's the tendency for most people to only see the problems in their life once it has grown out of control, i.e. when it begins to affect their physical mental and financial wellbeing, addiction is often only recognized when it is in its most extreme condition.
Thus, seemingly small habits such as eating delicious foods, procrastinating before work, drinking coffee etc are often not regarded as problematic habits that one needs to address.
But at the end of the day, a habit is a habit whether it is big or small. When one find themselves unable to pull away from a particular habit, it simply means that one has become addicted to that habit pattern. That is why developing self-awareness is important, as all unbreakable patterns can lead to addiction-like behaviours.
What is the cause of addiction?
Habit patterns will always begin in the mind, generated from our reactions, i.e. thoughts and desires, which begin from the seed level of beliefs.
The addiction to doing certain things in life thus is simply a projection showing the shadows of what is really happening inside. So, when addressing addiction, one needs to also to turn their attention to the world inside so that they can find the deeper cause.
Exploring the deepest cause of addiction will often take one to arrive at the suffering states of mind—the states of physical, mental, and spiritual pain. Through this viewpoint, one will begin to understand what their addiction really is: a means to escape these pains.
Importance Of Addressing Addiction
To address an addiction, one first needs to have the intention to address it. Thus it's important to become aware of how destructive the state of addiction is to one's quality of life.
So, let us look at the ways addiction can affect our body, mind and life in a negative way.
Addiction can lead to an ungrounded mind. When one is addicted to doing certain things, one can find their mind constantly generating thoughts about those things. This can lead one to constantly dwell in the state of thinking and daydreaming rather than simply enjoying the present moment that is in front of them.
Addiction can also make one angry and impatient especially in times when they are faced with a situation or person who are standing in their way of their mental desires. Thus addiction can be destructive not only to one's relationships, but also to their enjoyment of life. In extreme cases of addiction, one can become so focused on their addictions that everything else in life becomes dull, boring, even to the point of being depressing.
In the state of addiction, the mind (the habit patterns) is in control of oneself rather than the other way around. It's only when one tries to pull themselves away from their addictions that they can realize this reality, to see that their addictions had always been the driver of their life.
Path Of Creator
Addiction In Relation To The Path Of Creator
Addiction In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The journey of transforming and releasing addictions begins with developing Self-Awareness and Self-Acceptance. Without self-awareness, the "problems" within cannot be seeing, and without Self-Acceptance, it cannot be accepted and thus worked on. Thus the journey can be especially difficult for those who do not spend time to reflect upon their lives, and those who fear seeing imperfections in the mirror.
That is why the practice of meditation can be helpful, because one cannot help but see oneself through the practice.
The truth is everyone has addictions. So, instead of feeling ashamed like you have a problem that someone else doesn't have, just realize that everyone has the same problem but different in size and type.
So a good step to begin is to just accept that it's ok to have a problem since everyone has them and realize at the same time that you have also the power to address them.
This article will just dive into the self-transformative aspect of releasing addiction.
Just a note, although it is possible to transform your own addiction patterns by the power of your own will, it often is much easier to do it with the help of other people such as doctors or experts in the field of addiction. So this article is just giving you some additional things you can do for yourself, to help you to understand the nature of your addictions in a different light, which hopefully can use to help you to speed up your progress.
To address addictions, we have to first understand the way we react to our pains at the deepest level of the mind. That is why it's very important to practice meditation is to develop such a self-awareness. Without the practice of meditation, one can dwell in the guessing game of what their mind is like. It's only when one sits very still, up to an hour, that one can begin to become aware how they are reacting to their pains at the internal level. With time, one will eventually become aware of the habit patterns of the mind i.e. how one is reacting to the painful and pleasurable sensations as they crop up in the meditation practice. The practice of meditation thus will help you to see your addictions at the reaction-level rather than the action-level, which can be quite transformative and insightful.
The practice of meditation thus can be helpful for one to develop such a self-awareness, especially Vipassana types of meditation as these types focus on developing body-awareness.
Realize that in every moment of an experience, whether that experience is big or small, your mental self, emotional self, and also your physical self will react to what you are experiencing in that moment. What this means is that whenever you experience pain on the body you will also generate emotional and mental reactions to that pain. Also, every time you react emotionally and mentally, the body will also react to your inner reactions; the body reactions will come in the form of physical sensations happening throughout the body
What this means is that if you are experiencing physical sensations, whether it is a pleasurable sensation or a painful sensation on the body, the deeper cause of those sensations will be from your emotions and your thoughts, whether they are deep or shallow, subconscious or conscious, in addition to the sensations caused by external force happening outside body.
Thus meditations that help to develop awareness of their own body sensations will be useful for one to address their addictions because as one passes their awareness through the different areas of the body, one will begin to become aware of the ways in which they are reacting to the experience.
How The Mind Reacts
One will discover that the reactive Mind will respond to painful experiences in two ways—One of which is to react negatively to the experience by generating more unpleasantness, and the other way, which is to escape into the wandering thoughts of the mind as a way to escape the pain.
One will also become aware of the two ways the Mind can react to the pleasurable experiences—One of which is to react pleasurably to it by generating more attachment, and the other would be escape into the wandering thoughts of the mind to dwell in the pleasurable thoughts even more.
If you contemplate about the way the Mind reacts, what you will realize that all forms of reaction will eventually lead to addiction because through constantly reacting in the same manner as before, that reaction will become justified and enforced by the mind. Thus to transform one's habit patterns is to learn how to not react, of course not robotically, but rather at the level of wisdom. I.e. using life experiences to learn why one should not react.
This can be a lengthy process to explain, but it's discoverable by oneself if one simply tries to hold the intention to overcome their addictions. One way is to develop the attitude of going towards one's pain rather than running away from it. This will prevent one from developing the habit of escaping it all the time, thus addressing the addiction / reactive mind.
Another way is to develop the desire and acceptance towards the mundaneness of every day activities, which is done by learning to focus on daily tasks with their utmost attention. This will help one from distracting oneself from the reality of the present moment through seeking more stimulating things.
The journey of transforming one's addiction will take time as it involves developing Self-Awareness and Self-Awareness. But it can also be quick if one encounters a meteor-sized experience of calamitous proportions from life to force one to change their habit patterns, perhaps through enduring a serious form of disease, bankruptcy, the leaving of loved ones and so forth.
Thus life-catalysts can be used to speed up the process.
Gradually moving towards the pains experiencable in everyday life can also help greatly. As you learn to accept a bit of pain each day, it will affect you less next time, thus make you want to escape life less, which will help you to address your habit patterns.
That is why the practice of Vipassana can be helpful in curing addictions as it's a 10 day course of intense meditation where one can really feel and become aware of the deeper pains that is happening inside, and through learning to observe them in the 10 days, one is essentially learning to accept them rather than escape from them. Thus it's not unusual for stories of people coming out of the 10 day course with their addictions alleviated.
Take a Vipassana course here
Finally, whether one wishes to address their habit patterns, it's simply up to one's decision. There is no right and wrong, but simply a choice of what kind of life one wishes to live.
However, the journey of being the Creator is about learning to create life in the way you truly desire. And for one to achieve this will require one to develop the Self-Knowing of what habit patterns is currently driving their lives, so they can address it and become the master of their own lives, of their own mind.
Then one can truly experience greater freedom and happiness from within.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Begin welcoming the sensation of pain into your life. So, whether you are experiencing pain whilst exercising, or feeling the pain of procrastination when faced with a daunting task, learn to just go forward to embrace the pain. At first, the pain will feel more intense than before, but with time what you will realize is that pain will gradually disappear.
Life is full of opportunities for you to master your own mind!
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
It can be difficult to "not react" in the meditation. Because how can you not react to a reaction?
Thus when you meditate, try not to move your posture throughout the meditation, and try your best not to think at all. This will help your mind and body from subconsciously trying to escape the mental and physical pains experienced within the meditation, helping you learn how not to react and simply observe them.
And like life, continue to accept the pains experienced in the meditation with open arms. Instead of trying to make it disappear, let it grow until it can grow no more, then by simply observing it with calm and acceptance, the intensity of that pain will gradually disappear with time.
Know and Transform The Self!
Try the 22 Days Creators Meditation Course to develop Self-Knowing of who you are, of your deepest fears and desires so you can transform them and create greater happiness in life.