Are You Addicted To Meditation?

Hello, my name is Alycia Hall and I am a meditation addict. 

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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Posted on: 4 Comments

4 Responses

  1. Cat says:

    I knew I would find something on addiction to meditation. I let a friend stay with me who was in a bad situation and most of the time she meditated in my spare room and went to yoga sometimes twice a day. She is 50 and has all kinds of experience but is still underemployed and not making what she is worth. I always wondered about that until I see how much escapes into meditation and yoga – and how much time it all takes! She is in a situation that requires her to go and buy pepper spray. I felt like saying that maybe she would feel safer if she did some more thinking and less meditating.

    • Alycia Hall says:

      Hi Cat!

      Yes it’s so common to get really into these types of activities as a way to escape other things. I can completely understand as I spent quite a bit of time myself in that type of place. Sometimes a little escapism isn’t the worst thing ever; I did learn so much from that experience myself… I hope your friend looks back on her situation one day in the same positive way 🙂

      Thanks for your comment!
      Xo

  2. Joy says:

    Hi,

    My husband HAS to meditate. He also spends much of his time learning and studying and reading Buddhism literature. He does not cry, or show emotion of any kind. When I ask him about it he says “just because I don’t react, doesn’t mean I don’t feel.” He does not make love. Chistmas causes him anxiety. He is a good man, It’s as if he cannot be vulnerable. Yet he continues to meditate?? What can I do?

    • Alycia Hall says:

      Hi Joy,

      That sounds like a hard situation to be in. Unfortunately he has to be the one who wants to change, not you. You can mention that you are concerned and give him your reasons. Maybe that will help..

      It’s a common trap to be in, I’ve been there myself…

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