Enlightenment is like reaching a higher plane of being. In a way, you have evolved to gain a greater understanding of yourself and the person you are. You find this sense of peace and deep revelation through your own experiences and self-knowledge, having gained the maturity to explore your inner consciousness on your own, without a guru or mentor to guide you. Sound amazing but unattainable? Enlightenment may be closer than you think through meditation.
Meditation is an ongoing mindfulness practice of setting aside the distractions that can consume you and focusing on being intensely present in the here and now. It is quieting the mind and the body, stilling your thoughts as best as you can and meditating upon your rhythmic breathing, the sensations of your body or a mantra that is a word or phrase.
As you move further along in your meditation practice, you will become more adept at broadening your consciousness and heading down the path towards enlightenment. That profound sense of self you will gain can be a great help in recovery. As you get to know yourself, you will understand more deeply the triggers that used to drive your addiction—and how to respond to them in a healthy way.
The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation, and the resulting mindfulness you develop has many benefits for life in recovery. You are learning how to adapt to stress; meditation is a wonderful coping technique as it calms the body with deep, cleansing breaths, relaxation of tense muscles throughout the body and lowering blood pressure.
You are also learning to quiet the mind in meditation. That can help not just with stress, but also with increasing your focus. That sharpening of your concentration can help you with work or school, as well as times when you need to crowd out the negative thoughts that may play on your addictive cravings and tempt you to relapse.
Meditation is, in fact, great for developing a more positive mindset. While starting a meditation practice, you may have a stray thought or two (or more) cross your mind. And that’s OK—meditation is all about learning how to tame those thoughts, and when they come your way, simply observing them and letting them go, without judgement. This can also help you be more forgiving of yourself during those times you may feel overwhelmed. You won’t be as tempted to give up on your sobriety, but can keep moving forward with greater resolve because you are showing yourself grace and mercy. You may also find it easier to extend that same forgiveness to others, which can help with relationships that were strained by your addiction.
Meditation is also a healthy habit, and as you continue to do it, it can reinforce the importance of having other healthy habits in your life, such as eating well, exercising, meeting with a support group, and investing time in worthwhile pursuits. This can be restorative if addiction has taken a toll on your health.
As you strengthen your aptitude for mindfulness, your meditation sessions may bring you to amazing new levels of deeper consciousness. Some people who have experienced these moments liken it to an out-of-body situation that transcends time and space and becomes something more all-encompassing. It can give you a greater understanding of who you are and the world around you. This type of enlightenment can give you a perspective that can help you rise above your circumstances—you are not as dependent on people, places or things to make you happy, because you are finding fulfillment within yourself. This kind of experience can be transformative for you, physically, mentally, and especially, emotionally.
Finding Emotional Balance through Meditation
Enlightenment is a form of emotional balance, and meditation is a great way to attain that balance. You are not escaping with drugs, alcohol or other types of addiction—you are spending time with yourself and getting to know yourself, giving you a better understanding of what makes you tick. You will have greater insight into your emotions, and how they can affect your sobriety. If you have a particular fear that makes you crave a drink or drugs, for instance, you can explore where that fear came from, and get the tools you need to counteract that fear, to recognize the situations that spark that fear and learn the proper ways to deal with both the situations and the fear.
Mindfulness meditation can also ensure you stay even-keeled emotionally. With addiction, life is a series of highs and lows; once you are in recovery, you need to adjust to a different rhythm of life. Meditation centers you and can bring great peace. It’s also a useful tool for those times when your emotions may feel overwhelming—meditation can be practiced practically anywhere and anytime, so even just a few minutes of it can restore emotional balance and help you work through a troubling situation. As you strengthen you meditation practice, you may also find your temperament changing. Studies indicate that regular meditation can change the brain’s structure and diminish feelings of anxiety or depression. It’s the difference between riding huge waves and trying not to sink and drifting gently on a burbling river.
Finally, if you are experiencing moments of enlightenment while meditating, you can use the resulting insight into yourself to track why you are feeling certain emotions. Exploring the origins of negative emotions and how you translate them into positive feelings will be helpful for maintaining emotional balance no matter what may come your way.
If you are craving enlightenment in your life, and you are ready to look at what’s triggering your addictions, contact Casa Palmera. Our experienced staff members can collaborate with you to develop the skills you need to work on your addictive behaviors and move towards a deeply satisfying emotional balance that will profoundly change your life for the better.