What I’m Thinking
Thinking can get us into trouble. Thoughts without a sTinker is the way of the liberated. When the thought arises, I want a drink, or a line of coke, a cream cake, some porn, another video game, we don’t have to identify with it, we let it arise without a sTinker. When there is nobody to identify with the thought, there is no thinker, no acting out of the thought. This is the awakened path to recovery.
Do Not Suppress Addictive Thoughts Is the title of an article by Lance Dodes M.D where he explores the Heart of Addiction. This is such wise advice. If we don’t suppress the thought, how do we work with those facilitative thoughts that tell us: “I deserve a drink, I’ve had a hard day, Nobody will know if I just have one?” Thoughts will arise out of the heart-mind, it’s what the heart-mind does. These thoughts can be treated in the same way as a television, or a radio playing in the background. If we are working at home and someone has the tv or the radio on what do we do? We continue working, we might stop for a moment because we hear something interesting but we get back to our task. This is the same with thoughts, we can be busy doing something when a thought pops up. We can just treat our thoughts like the tv or radio in the background, turn your thoughts down by not identifying with them, and they will quieten.
What I’m watching
Socio Cultural Trauma by Dr Kenneth Hardy. In this TED talk, he examines the impact of trauma specific to the People of Color communities in North America. And although it focusses on People of Color, this brilliant talks highlights how trauma specific to a race of people, can fragment and dislocate communities. And dislocation and fragmentation often leads to addiction, violence, and ill mental health.
What I’m Obsessing about
Relapse. I’ve witnessed many people relapse, and sometimes the thought of relapse scares me. A reminder for me to let that thought arise and cease. I’m beginning to see that the word relapse isn’t helpful. When we relapse, what we’ve actually done is picked up our choice of distraction in the moment. If we could admit we have picked up rather than calling it a relapse, it may give us the pause to put whatever we picked up, down in the next breath. Simple as that. One breath at a time. One day at a time can be too long for some people in recovery. And long enough for them to slide into a relapse. If we could just say one breath at a time, and remember with every breath we can do something different, this may put the breaks on using. My Teacher the venerable Sangharakshita says: “Every decision is a good decision, you can always make a new decision.”
What I’m Listening to
Chevala Vargas is one of Mexico’s famous singer. Born in Costa Rico in 1919, she was raised by her uncle due to an acrimonious divorce of her parents. Aged 14 she fled to Mexico for refuge and began singing on the streets. Known for dressing like a man in pants and a poncho and singing renditions of Mexican rancheras, she ended up having affairs with celebrities like Frida Kahlo, Ava Gardener and many other famous women. However, her career took a 15-year pause, where she became a gutter alcoholic in the hills of Cuernavaca. Her story a tragic one, her music melodramatic, however she finally abandons alcohol which was one of the loves of her life for over 50 years. In her 70s becomes an international star, performing at Carnegie Hall aged 83. In 2012 Mexico gave Chevala a state funeral.
Something I’m doing I will be in Mexico this month, exploring Compassionate Inquiry, Mindfulness Approaches to addiction and reflecting on the Buddha’s Parinavana. Nirvana after death, a freedom from Samsara (psychological negative mental states) karma, rebirth and the dissolution of the body, feeling tone in the body, perceptions/thoughts, mental activity and formation and consciousness. Breath by breath, is the opportunity for spiritual death and rebirth. Anything can change in just one breath. We do not have to wait until we die to let go.
New Updated Edition of Detox Your Heart – Meditations on Emotional Trauma 2017
For a free sample of the first chapter, book study and 21 meditations of “Eight Step Recovery – Using The Buddha’s Teachings To Overcome Addiction,” please email: firstname.lastname@example.org