On addiction

“The teachings tell us that there is suffering.

There is dissatisfaction and frustration. Often nothing seems to go right. There really is a wound. But it is not necessary to scratch it.

Working with addictions is about not just impulsively grabbing for something to stop the itching, not just grabbing for something to fill up the space, not giving in to this impulse to feel okay and just to get comfortable as soon as possible. When we scratch the wound and give into our addictions we do not allow the wound to heal. But when we instead experience the raw quality of the itch or pain of the wound and do not scratch it, we actually allow the wound to heal. So not giving in to our addictions is about healing at a very basic level. It is about truly nourishing ourselves. The view that is presented in the Buddhist teachings is not one of becoming a better person, or finally getting it right, but is a view based on trusting what we already have, of starting and staying where we already are.”[1]

So when we don’t give into our addictions, when we begin to heal at this fundamental level, then we begin to reach the heart of our recovery.

The heart of recovery is the recovery of our empty, open, loving heart, free of the self-centered, self-willed ego.

The heart of recovery is the heart of compassion, the heart of radiant, luminous energy.

The heart of recovery is the heart of freedom and gratitude; the embers of love that are there in each of our hearts ready to be reignited.

[1]Working With Addictions, Pema Chodron