Be Compassionate Towards Your “Stupid Friend”

Eckhart Tolle says that many people live with this terrible judge in their minds, that’s forever tormenting them with all kinds of negative evaluations. Some of you say, “I just don’t want that anymore.” But consider that the inner judge, that negative self-talk, actually helped you survive. It helped you survive, because when you are a child and stuff is happening to you that you suffer from, what you cannot do is to fight back against the environment, because if you do you’re going to get pulverised. It’s that simple, you’re going to get pulverised. You don’t have the strength, you don’t have the power. The child, therefore, as a matter of survival, makes themselves wrong. Says, “The environment can’t be wrong, because if it was I’d have to leave it, …

On Gratitude and Forgiveness

“May you be here now in gratitude. As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.” -  Siddhartha Gautama Last night, en route to teach a Beyond Addiction workshop in New Mexico, summer storms made flying unsafe and I had to sleep in the Dallas Airport. In the face of this “first world problem” I was grateful for the teachings of Kundalini Yoga and the principles of the Beyond Addiction program. When my flight was cancelled, I observed my own drive to have things go “my” way and my desire to impose my will on others to have them behave as I wish. I then softened into acceptance. As Gabor Maté says, “I am here now in this.” There’s nothing any of us …

Move Beyond Addiction: Come Home to Your True Self

To move beyond addiction, it's essential that we come home to our True Self. One way of understanding the separation between our human and spiritual selves is to compare our “soul” or “essence” to our “personality”. Our “essence” is whole, beautiful, undamaged, ever-present, loving, linked to all that is, intuitive and connected. Our personality forms in infancy and childhood in response to the people and environments around us. When our “essence” isn’t received, cherished, loved or acknowledged, our personality creates armour and coping mechanisms to protect it. The personality is created to help us survive. It’s a set of reactive behaviour patterns that have become a habit, and includes feelings, body sensations, particular thoughts, words we use to define ourselves, images that occur in our minds, memories, projections and reactions. From the …

Anatomy of a Shopping Addiction

by Hari Miter Kaur Part One It’s been a rough week. I’m overwhelmed at work, a dinner I had been looking forward to with a friend was cancelled and “he” hasn’t texted in 4 days, 3 hrs and 15 minutes. I had planned to clean out the laundry room this weekend but now that Saturday has rolled around, I’ve decided to take it easy. I pause intermittently from my House of Cards marathon to take bathroom breaks. During one of these breaks I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and stop take inventory of my reflection. My roots are showing, this old t-shirt is making me look frumpy and my skin is dull – I’m getting old; I’ve worn “this” so often. This image of myself is getting old. I …

Seven Breathing Practices to Help Overcome Addiction

  Breath, Thoughts, Emotions Our breathing patterns are intimately linked to our thoughts and emotions. Shallow breathing generates anxiety; slow deep breathing induces calm. Left nostril breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and promotes relaxation; right nostril breathing activates the sympathetic nervous system and energizes. When we bring awareness and mastery to our breath we: promote health and vitality; expand the range and flexibility of our emotions; more easily regulate our moods; develop concentration; and feel more connected. When we breathe consciously on a continual basis it is easier to direct our lives and achieve our potential. All of these outcomes help us to decrease addictive behaviour. Ultradian Rhythms and the Nasal Cycle We have a physiological need to relax and breathe deeply at least every 2 ½ hours throughout the day. Ordinarily we …

Yogi Bhajan on Forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of the keys to healing and recovery. Yogi Bhajan writes: All healing is based on a relationship. The fundamental relationship is to your Self and Soul. You are missing nothing. You are complete within yourself. Whatever you have asked for is given. But we learn fear (or to fear ourself). We learn that we are incomplete. We learn that we are flawed, bad, wrong, or ineffective. The fastest route to healing and to the experience of happiness is to forgive completely and limitlessly. Forgive, release, learn, love, and excel! What is there to forgive and release? The hundreds of inner tapes, patterns, and feelings that had you live as if you are limited and inadequate. Regardless of the source of those patterns, they must be forgiven and released from the very …

Dr. Gabor Maté on Attachment and Addiction

When it comes to addiction, I’m going to introduce the word ‘attachment’ to you. Attachment is an interesting word, because it has two meanings. If you want to talk in terms of negatives and positives, it has the negative meaning of clinging, or craving, or grasping onto ideas, behaviours, substances, relationships, or situations that are negative for us. In fact, that’s the definition of addiction; any behaviour that gives you temporary pleasure, relief, that you crave, that you cling to despite negative consequences, is an addiction. In other words, addictions are a form of what the Buddhists call attachment. We’re just too attached, or we’re attached period. Whenever it talks about clinging or attachment, it’s to everything; our form, our bodies, our flesh, our ideas, our perceptions, and our relationships. It’s …

Dr. Gabor Maté on “Life is a Conversation”

Life is a conversation. Life is a conversation that begins the moment you’re conceived, and as soon as you’re conceived the world sends information your way. The nature of that information, how it’s delivered, how you receive it, how you interpret it, and how you respond - that’s your life. So life is a conversation. We tend not to perceive that; we tend to think that life just happens to us, when really it’s a responsive, interactive process which we create. But we don’t realize that we create it; we don’t realize that we’re the source. There’s a good reason that we don’t realize it. We don’t realize it because how we create it, what we create it from, is determined by so many influences that predate our conception, so it’s much …

Dr. Gabor Maté Speaks About Trauma

  The essence of trauma is that, as a result of the overt abuse or neglect, or because of the relational trauma, we lose the connection to our essence. That’s what the trauma is. The trauma is not what happened; the trauma is not that I was raped, the trauma is not that I was abandoned, the trauma is not that I was hit, the trauma is not that my parents didn’t know how to listen to me. That’s not the trauma; the trauma is that, as a result of that, I lost the connection to myself. Hence, I lost the connection to my essential qualities: my joy, my vitality, my clarity, my wisdom, my power, my strength, my courage. That’s the trauma! The good news is, THAT can be healed, because if …

What is Addiction and How Do We Stop?

What is Addiction? Perhaps, like me, you've indulged in some unhealthy habits over the holidays that were or still are difficult to stop. Does this mean you are addicted? My nemesis was the shortbread cookies. Thankfully they are all gone. What was yours? When we are addicted, we surrender a piece of our autonomy to a substance or behaviour that then has power over our feelings, thoughts and actions, with negative consequences. Addiction is the strong physical, emotional and/or psychological dependence on a substance or behavior (such as alcohol, drugs, sugar, coffee, gambling, sexual obsession, shopping, overwork, exercise, the internet, Facebook, video games or television) that has progressed beyond voluntary control. All addictions arise from uncontrolled thought patterns and unmet needs. Addiction can be a chronic and progressive condition, with genetic, neurobiological, …