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Old January 21st, 2013, 23:28   #1 (permalink)
outer being (Offline)
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Default Addicted people can't meditate

Addicted people can't meditate - Satsang with Raitam Kantu
by marshall21 Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:52 pm



I find it hard to meditate, I get bored and then agitated and restless as soon as I begin meditating. This stress compels me to stop.

This is natural, it is great that you admit it. There are many people, even "experienced spiritualists" that overlook this and thus get only more agitated during meditation.

Ironically as it may sound, it means that you meditate correctly, you hit the rock bottom of your psyche, you do not use meditation as some yet another entertainment.

What should I do then to be able to meditate?

First, do not fight this anxiety, just observe it as part of your meditation and in this way your identification with this anxiety will break. Try it now.

It is hard, The anxiety is so overwhelming.

This anxiety you experience is the reason why most people are terrified from the very idea of meditation. Addicted people cannot meditate.

But I'm not addicted.

In the "official drugs" sense you are not. But these overrated official drugs are only a tiny speck of the whole collection of drugs people are addicted to. The most dangerous drugs are those which are hidden, those who you do not perceive as drugs while you are addicted to them. And everyone is severely addicted in this enlarged sense, and I am not speaking metaphorically.

Addicted to what?

Addicted to the excitement itself derived from whatever object, you can call it 'addicted to the addiction'. The precise object of addiction is insignificant. What important is that there will be some sense or mental object there, some entertaining content.

Addiction means 'I must have content'. Content of some sort, entertainment, amusement, catastrophe, eating, sex, love, work, buying, whatever, something that my mind will classify as exciting (good as well as bad) based on its conditionings and therefore instruct my body to discharge the corresponding chemicals to my blood stream that will fill the vacuum, the natural emptiness of being that the mind happens to fight so hard.

This is true for "official drug" addicts and is also true for all of us, as all of us are seriously addicted to content to fill the voidness within us. Again, this is not metaphorically speaking, we are all severely addicted, physically as well as mentally, we show the exact same symptoms of addictions, as for example the severe anxiety you experience when you try to meditate.

Yes, I can see it now.

Merely all your doings, being and identities are driven by your mind's addiction to content or more precisely, your mind's terrible fear of emptiness which is the direct cause of this addiction.

Why does the mind fear emptiness?

Emptiness mean emptiness from something, otherwise the mind would not have bothered with this concept. What is this something? As you are currently the mind, it means emptiness from mind content, which is mental activity: thoughts and feelings.

For the mind, emptiness means non existence. The mind does not exist as a separate independent entity of its own. It is just the collection of mental activities, of thoughts and emotions. And if there is emptiness of them, i.e. they are not, the mind also is not.

This fear of emptiness is the mind's fear from its death (and it does relate to the somewhat different fear from physical death).

This fear manifests as boredom, restlessness or the anxiety you experience when trying to meditate.

Why this addictive aspect of the mind prevents me from meditating?

Meditation is merely voidness of content. This is what meditation truly is. There are many spiritual-related activities that are referred to as meditations, some of them are very beneficial practices but they are not meditations in the pure distinctive sense of no object. Meditation means disconnecting to some degree from content, from objects and abiding in the subject, in the "I AM". Even if you do meditate on some single object, you are still almost completely emptied from objects which bring amusement and excitement to the mind.

This means a danger of emptiness of content which in turn triggers the mind's fear of emptiness, as described before, and thus you immediately start feeling restless when trying to meditate and show anxiety symptoms typical to those who are addicted and are withdrawn from the drug.

Accepting totally what you said, I still feel that I can't meditate.

In order to be able to meditate, you must first handle your mind's addictive nature, its fear of emptiness. You do it by observing your addictive patterns and responses, softly and compassionately without condemning it, accepting that this is currently the situation you have to face. You observe it in formal meditation as well as during your day when you perform your normal daily activities.

This practice may be a bit hard in the beginning and may bring symptoms typical to a withdrawal process of any official drug addiction. Don't push it. Don't deny from yourself the objects of addictions, just observe the process and face the fear of emptiness when it appears.

This actually is one of the top spiritual tasks you can take on yourself. It is far more valuable than formal meditation itself. When you finally trespass this thick mental wall of the fear of emptiness, a fear that you carry for countless lives, this awful emptiness will turn into serenity. Viewed from the new perspective devoid of the fear, it will be experienced as the tranquil quietness of the nothing, the abode of the self, the space beyond the mind.

This also will enable you, for the first time, to act out of true will and love and not to react unconsciously out of fear and distress of addiction.

(From "A Spiritual User-Manual for the Skeptic Human Mind" by Riktam Kantu)
 
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 17:40   #2 (permalink)
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I am addicted to content, though im aware of it. And i feel quite capable to meditate. :P
 
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 19:38   #3 (permalink)
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Brilliant.

Be well.
 
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Old January 24th, 2013, 06:06   #4 (permalink)
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The mind does not fear being empty. It operates according to associations. The problem people have with their mind is that these associations cycle and that they are habitually running their understanding through an abstract memory process to convert it to a communicative level. When translating understanding into thought, it distracts the mind from the senses and leaves the vast majority of humanity in a state of being semi-conscious. People don't know what they don't know.
 
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Old May 30th, 2013, 01:29   #5 (permalink)
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(I think) The mind certainly fears being empty, being that the mind is the ego. It fears being empty because if it was empty then it would not exist. SO what meditation implies is that we empty our mind. I like to see this as becoming aware that the thought in our mind is a thought and what results is the thought loses its power and fades away (until the next thought comes). Emptying the mind, the thoughts fading away, same thing, and the mind or the ego fears this because like I said without thoughts, without anything to give it substance it disappears.
 
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Old May 30th, 2013, 01:36   #6 (permalink)
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Meditation is more about letting go, then holding onto any ideas (like emptying the mind, which is impossible anyway imho).
 
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Old November 19th, 2013, 16:23   #7 (permalink)
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I would like to reply to this message, but I would like to first consider it as I have questions about it. Off the top of my head I would first wonder if the addiction(s) in question are the "scarier" kind such as crack or cocaine or the more "everyday/acceptable" ones such as coffee or cigarattes. I'll bookmark this to give it some thought.
 
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Old June 17th, 2014, 11:09   #8 (permalink)
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Unhappy I'm an addict and I have trouble mediating..

I'm addicted to heroin and have been on and off for the last 10 years of my life. I'm 26 now and I can say the times that I was completely sober- I was happy and I could easily fall into mediation. Now- I am struggling with my addiction and I can NOT for the life of me fall into mediation. I deeply regret starting my addiction back up after I fell into a depression that concluded with me using. I'm now constantly negative, depressed and always looking for a fix... I wish I could "just stop" but it's not as easy as it sounds- sometimes I think I don't want to quit. And that I enjoy having an addiction.... I truly hope that someday in my near future I make the final CHOICE to stop hurting myself and those around me that care... Once I can put my heroin addiction behind me and work on myself again- I'll never be able to mediate. I truly miss mediation and I am very aware at the damage being done to my mind and spirit. This is just my addition to this post... My apologies if it's too much.
 
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Old June 18th, 2014, 02:29   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Rozezena,

Some mountains are difficult to climb. But each of us has our own mountains to climb.

For me my journey has taught me the importance of being strong. Strength is something we have to cultivate over time. Strength in my body, strength in my mind and strength in my spirit. These words flow easy but the act of actually doing - the action is the moment-by-moment test.

Some days I fail. Some days I succeed.

I know however deep with-inside me at my core that I will be the best version of myself that I can. This is not a destination but an evolution.

Each day I do what needs to be done, as best I can. At the end of each day it is done and is where I am at. Tomorrow is a fresh new day and I then set about that day - being present to what I need to do and focused on getting done what I need to do that day.

Some days I make good progress up my mountain. Some days I slide down and have to start over. but each day when i wake, I just start where I am and move forward to be better today than I was yesterday. I don't need to prove anything to anyone. Just be true to me.

I wish you well (and strength - strong body, strong mind and strong spirit) on your journey.

Don
 
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Old June 19th, 2014, 15:42   #10 (permalink)
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Hi Rosezena and welcome to the Project Meditation community,

You've already identified one key thing about your addiction... and that is that to stop it has to be YOUR choice. You say:

I truly hope that someday in my near future I make the final CHOICE to stop hurting myself and those around me that care...
So... the question is... what's stopping you from making the choice to stop right now? why does it have to wait for the future?

I wish I could "just stop" but it's not as easy as it sounds- sometimes I think I don't want to quit
Keep in mind the following (it may seem trivial, but the way our mind works plays an important role in this)...

Quitting is about failing or giving up something. Naturally our mind doesn't like the concept of us giving up something as it feels it's going to lose some of it's identity with it.

Stopping is not the same as quitting or giving up. Anyone can stop doing something anytime they really choose to, and they're not losing or giving up something in the process. The mind is happy with that.

It's a common differentiation made when people want to stop smoking. Someone feeling they are giving up smoking will find it harder than someone who chooses to stop. The same applies to any addiction.

So, you haven't got to give up your addiction, but you can make that choice to stop... anytime, including now, and not let it rule your life.

Hugs

Giles
 
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