Apart for the 12 step program of recovery, the other reasons for me still being alive today are my wife and mindfulness meditation.
All the periods I have struggled in my recovery have coincided with me not meditating properly.
I spent a number of years learning and practicing Vispassana meditation, learning the techniques in a fairly expert way at various 10 day retreats.
Vispassana is also referred to as insight meditation and forms the basis of the western version of Mindfulness meditation developed by people like Jon Kabat Zin.
What meditation does to the brain has just started to be be fully explored in the last couple of decades.
I can only speak form my own experience. When I meditate I regulate my emotions than when I do not. My emotions seem more modulated, their intensity is manageable and they are much shorter in duration. My stress and distress levels are also greatly reduced and I have better facility for living in the moment, the now.
In the next few blogs I will be further exploring the use of meditation in the treatment of addictive behaviours.
I would urge every one in recovery to at least explore a meditation class to see if it can benefit their recovery too.
Life is much easier when I meditate, less so when I don’t.
The video below is an introduction to the work of Jon Kabat Zin and The Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine who have been a visionary force and global leader in mind-body medicine for thirty years and more, pioneering the integration of mindfulness meditation and other approaches based on mindfulness in traditional medicine and health through patient care, academic medical research and vocational training, and in society in general through various outreach initiatives and public service.