April 19, 2017

Why we can Never Let Go of Addiction.

Gathered together for a wisdom talk with Anand Mehrotra at Sattva Center in Rishikesh.


A student asks, “I’ve been stuck in addiction for so long. I’ve been to many treatment centers and tried many approaches. What can I do to let go?”

Master teacher, Anand Mehrotra, tells a wonderful story about children from a small village who create a makeshift soccer ball by tying together many pieces of fabric into a tightly-wound ball.

They are so pleased with their ball that they would be happy to continue playing with it forever.

One day a visitor to the village who happens to have a real soccer ball, throws it onto the field. Without thought or hesitation the kids abandon their homemade ball in favor of the new one they have been presented.

In active addiction we repeat old, tired experiments, which net the same results. Consciously or unconsciously, we hold ourselves in place. This is to deny the natural evolutionary impulse of the universe and it always brings pain and suffering.

Then, we seek to get out of our pain and suffering. We try to muscle our way through to better outcomes, but the outcomes never seem to create the reality we desire. The harder we try to let go the more we feed the beast.

The simple fact is we can never try to let go of an addiction. We have all tried and personally experienced the futility of this.

We hold onto what we know only because we have not yet experienced something greater. We have not yet experienced an “upgrade” because the ego is invested in staying right where it is. There is a part of us, perhaps, that is still served or perceives that we are benefiting from things remaining the same.

No matter how many times we try to let go from the same state of consciousness, it will always get us what we’ve gotten before.

Yet, the second we are shown an upgrade, we experience the irrelevance of the thing that once had a hold on us. Then the letting go process happens quite naturally.

Therefore, rather than seeing letting go as something we must do, we should try thinking of it as a transcendent state of consciousness.

Something must change about the way we perceive things in order for things to change.

This will happen when we engage in practices and make choices that bring about a new state of consciousness. In this newfound consciousness, we perceive the upgrade to the way things have been and we allow the natural flow of positive change that takes place.

Thus, as we develop as a human being and grow spiritually, the letting go happens to us.

Meditation session at a Durga Temple in the Himalayas during the Recovery 2.0 India journey.

This is called the “miracle” of recovery, but it is not a miracle at all.

It is available to everyone the moment we take different actions that will lead to greater awareness and the blossoming of our consciousness.

To the person that has relapsed many times or has been to many treatment centers, there is still something within you that is stuck in the old pattern and conditioning that perpetuates addiction. Change the way you approach life. Adopt a program of recovery and make it the priority each day. Get around positive, loving people. Start practicing yoga, meditation, and work with a teacher directly where possible.

Do not ever give up on yourself.

Just because you have not yet seen or embraced the upgrade, doesn’t mean it is any less available to you.

Hang in there.


Author: Tommy Rosen
Images: Author’s own
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

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