Yoga and Addictions

The following post is by Carson Kadatz, the founder of Blissed Yoga, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Per his post, Carson has had deep personal experience with successfully making the journey from the nightmare of addiction, to enjoying Living Unbound, in reality. Thank you,  Carson, for sharing your beautiful wisdom with us all.

Many of us know what it is like to feel addicted to something. But what often comes to mind when the word “addicted” is said, is a mental picture of a junkie, strung out, trying to find a way to score his next hit. In reality, most of us are addicted to something in one form or another. Addictions are not limited to substances like heroin, crack or methamphetamine. We can be addicted to money, to television, to our job, to sex, to lying to ourselves, to our thoughts and to hundreds and hundreds of other things, situations and concepts. Addiction comes in all flavors and varieties and we have all suffered from them to one degree or another.

So how does one overcome an addiction? Most would think that it would be obvious that the solution for a person who suffers from a drug addiction, would be totally different from the solution for a person who is addicted to television or to their job. Nothing could be further from the Truth. There is only one thing that can universally help anyone who suffers from any addiction, and that is a personal connection to Inner Silence. But before we can truly understand what this means and how Inner Silence can help save us from our addictions, it will be important to understand what causes addictions.

So…. what causes us to be addicted to something? The answer to that question is: Misidentification. Thinking that we are something we are not. Believing the thought that we are our body, that we are our thoughts, our beliefs, our ego, our job, our house, our relationships…… that we are something other then the consciousness that underlies all form. This misidentification causes us to feel “un-whole” and feel like there is a void inside that needs to be filled. We try and fill that void with all sorts of things…. with money, with sex, with toys, with drugs, with anything that will temporarily distract us from the reality that we don’t feel Whole inside. In the words of Greg Baer in his “Real Love” series of books, these are all forms of “Imitation Love”. They give us a brief period of relief when we partake, but soon after, we are back feeling “un-whole” again. And often the next time we partake we need just a little bit more of whatever we are addicted to, to help us feel some relief again. This easily and very quickly becomes an endless cycle…… a cycle that leads into a deeper and deeper sense of despair and hopelessness, as we continue looking for something that will fill that void indefinitely.

What yogi’s and other mystics worldwide have come to realize, is that if we can learn to connect to that which we truly are, we can step out of that feeling of un-wholeness into the bliss of Reality…. we can become that which we truly are; Pure Bliss Consciousness.

So how do we learn to connect to Pure Bliss Consciousness? The answer to this is very simple….. Deep Meditation and other yoga practices. The practice of Deep Meditation, when undertaken in a consistent and self-regulated way, will bring us out of the cycle of needing different forms of Imitation Love for relief, and into the Reality that we already are that which we have been seeking all along…. that we have been looking for God with His own eyes. A consistent, twice daily practice of Deep Meditation allows us access to Inner Silence, which as we continue to practice, begins to leak out into our daily lives. We begin to notice that everything is perfect just the way it is….. even the stuff that used to cause us endless suffering, is perfect. We begin to notice that we have more “space” in our daily lives, and that the things that used to bother us, the things that used to trigger us to run to our favorite form of Imitation Love, no longer bother us so much anymore. We are able to see things from a completely different perspective. A perspective from which we can love things just the way they are, no longer feeling un-whole inside.

Now, you may be saying to yourself…. “This guy doesn’t know what he is talking about! How is Deep Meditation going to help me stop needing to have sex or do drugs or work 80 hours a week or watch 6 hours of TV a night? He probably has no clue what it is like to really be addicted to something.” Well friends, nothing could be further from the truth. When I first came to yoga I was addicted to heroin, methamphetamine, methadone, marijuana, sex, anger, fighting, control and just about every form of Imitation Love known to man. When I first started practicing yoga it was right after ending an 8 year relationship, my career, and being forced into bankruptcy, all in the same day, and then deciding I wanted to end it all by trying to kill myself with an overdose of heroin. It took time, and a bit of flailing for a while, but eventually I found the practice of Deep Meditation, and once I did, things started to change, and fast. Within 14 weeks of starting a twice daily practice of Deep Meditation I had downdosed off of my methadone prescription without feeling any opiate withdrawals (which is not biologically possible), I soon lost my desire to fight reality and anything that wasn’t the way I figured it “should” be, I learned to truly Love my ex (and all) unconditionally, I lost my need to have sex several times a day, I lost the desire to change the way my family relates to each other, I became content with my job, I no longer had a temper, and I began to help others find peace and silence through meditation and yoga as well. Now, I can say from personal experience, that everything you could ever want, everything you could ever desire, you already have…. you already are. It is all inside, waiting for you to touch, waiting for you to embrace, waiting for you to Be. Learn to silence the mind a few times a day, every day, and soon you too will find that all these forms of Imitation Love that you have been addicted to for months, weeks, years, decades, just aren’t necessary anymore…. that everything is perfect, just the way it is.

May all your Heres be Now.

Namaste.

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-Article by CarsonZi

Founder of Blissed Yoga – Finding the Guru in You


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