Guest Blogger Cathy Taughinbaugh is the mother of a former crystal meth addict who has been in recovery for over 6 years. She writes on addiction, recovery and treatment at cathytaughinbaugh.com.
You will notice that the inner space is clear, quiet and undisturbed. It is peace itself. ~ Gail Brenner
Have you tried meditation?
Meditation is an amazing tool for anyone to connect with their inner selves and a way to find some quiet moments each day to renew and allow their mind to rest. In my post on How Running Promotes Long Term Recovery, William Glasser talks about three powerful ways to help you obtain long term recovery.
Running, as we all know is physical, although it is helpful for our minds, it works our body and helps to keep us fit. Meditation is for the mind. According to Glasser, running is the easiest way to physically find a positive addiction, meditation is the most popular way.
Do you remember the Transcendental Meditation or TM movement from the 60’s? Maharishi Mahesh Yogi started the movement and brought it to the masses. Jump start to 2011, and meditation is more mainstream, a respected practice and accessible to everyone.
In his book, Positive Addiction, Glasser interviews and shares how people feel after they meditate, and how it has changed their life. They begin to see things more clearly, their connections with others became easier and they developed closer relationships. Their confidence in themselves begins to grow.
With meditation, we have a regular time each day to notice our breath as we accept what goes on in our head in a non-critical way. Many people meditate in the morning right after they get up. Some prefer to meditate after a physical activity, or later in the day.
The meditator gains more access to his brain, which is not usually achieved if you are not a meditator, and don’t take the time to be non self-critical.
Physical relaxation occurs, because as Glasser points out any mental strength we have is reflected in physical relaxation. One person describes her meditation practice as a “typical relaxed, non-self-critical flow of ideas which come and go effortlessly…”
Other descriptions of meditation are that it is a tremendously unique and very personal experience. It’s almost sacred, but not religious at all. More energy, more determination, and enjoyment of every moment are other words to describe the experience.
Large and clear thinking was mentioned. The experience felt large. The meditator felt he was without his body, knowing that he was inside it, but just not feeling it. It was a glimpse of total limitlessness.
Others mentioned that they get the same relaxed feeling as when they are in a beautiful natural setting, which Glass calls the pleasant, relaxing, non-self-critical pre-PA state.
When the meditators missed their practice, they felt a mild discomfort, a feeling of missing something valuable, a little tension or guilt. Sometimes it’s the same sort of feeling as not brushing your teeth, or bathing, a habit that you are used to.
Some of the meditators that Glasser questioned were heavy to moderate drug users. They explained that the drug experience wears off, the more they used, they less effect the drug had. The difference with meditation is that the experiences were cumulative and carried over into their daily life, even after they had forgotten about their practice.
The group, in general reported that they had a greatly diminished use of alcohol; many have stopped drinking, smoking and using drugs of any kind.
Meditation helps you to gain strength, and has health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and pulse rate, strengthening the immune system, as well as lifting your mood.
I’m fairly new to meditation, having started praticing after taking yoga for several years. What I love about meditation is the calm, relaxed feeling I have. Letting everything just be for a period of time, and as Glasser points out enjoying some non-self-critical moments.
The idea is to let your thoughts just float by and not attach yourself to any of them. There is no judgement, about anything, just sit and notice your breath. Of course, on occasion, I get antsy. I think everyone does from time to time.
The key is to keep at it and persist. You will then develop your practice and it will become part of your life. I believe meditation is helpful to all of us. It allows us to access those inner thoughts that we may not give ourselves time to get to during a busy day.
Here are some quotes sharing the benefit of meditation.
When you learn to immerse yourself in the present moment – whatever it is like – you will experience a deep joy and peacefulness.” ~ Mary Jaksch
The practice comes with a myriad of well-publicized health benefits including increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of happiness. ~ Todd Goldfarb
Meditation is a simple but life-transforming skill that can help you to relax, enhance understanding about yourself and develop your inherent potential. ~ The Conscious Life
One of the coolest things about meditation is you learn so much about yourself, and start experiencing yourself and the world in such a different way. ~ Kathryn Goetze
When we discover that this haven of calm is always available within us, we realize that a moment of stopping and dropping in brings sanity and perspective.” ~ Gail Brenner
Try meditation. You may find that the strength you feel will bring you the peace and serenity you are seeking.
Cathy Taughinbaugh is the mother of a former crystal meth addict who has been in recovery for over 6 years. She writes on addiction, recovery and treatment at cathytaughinbaugh.com.