Is it possible to be addicted to meditation? Sure is. This is coming from an experienced meditation addict who spent hours in daily practice. When we hear of addiction we think of alcohol, drugs, food and sex but we can be addicted to anything… even meditation.
Addictions are motivated by not wanting to feel or experience something that is uncomfortable. Pain and not-so-nice-emotions are no fun so there is a strong need to push it away and seek something more enjoyable. This is normal but it is very important that we are aware of it happening otherwise it will totally control us. Awareness is our key to freedom here and when we are aware of this tendency it no longer has the same power over us.
During my practice I was meditating to get something specific out of it like: peace, calmness, ‘spiritual-highs’, a still mind, relief, etc… I was escaping from my life.
I remember getting very disappointed when I didn’t get my desired state of mind. I felt cheated, angry, and upset with myself – after a whole hour of meditating I still felt like crap! This pattern went on for 4 years (I’m not the fastest learner btw).
One day it occurred to me that I wasn’t using meditation to connect with myself deeper but to escape from myself. After 4 years of committed practice I didn’t feel very good and my same problems were there along with my same ineffective way of coping with them. Something needed to change…
After teaching meditation for the past 4 years I have seen that I’m not the only one who experienced this. Many people mistake meditation practice with escapism. We all have to be very honest with ourselves if we are to overcome this need to escape in meditation (or anything else!).
Meditation and mindfulness are amazing tools for personal growth. But like all things it’s not what you do – it’s why you do it that means everything.
Hello, my name is Alycia Hall and I am no longer afraid to face myself.
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