Thursday, December 06, 2007

Meditation and addictions

Today a medical person asked me about using meditation as part of a treatment plan for people suffering from addictions. What, in fact, could a person expect from meditation instruction? I found myself answering with the following:
1. New strategies for dealing with cravings
2. Increased distress tolerance
3. Increased self-awareness and acceptance
4. New strategies for pain management
Typically, people in the throes of addiction have a compulsion to change the way they feel. Meditation helps us realize that all feelings are impermanent by their nature. The cultivation of compassion is also fundamental to the meditative process and that includes compassion for oneself. Such compassion makes it less likely that we will beat up on ourselves and then try to feel better by indulging in an addictive substance or behavior.

Recovery is possible. Meditation can help.

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