Chönyi Taylor presents a meditation to familiarize yourself with the triggers that set off addictive behaviors.
The triggers for our addictions are those things or thoughts that set off an automatic reaction in such a way that we find ourselves in our addictive pattern without knowing how we got there.
Meditation for Finding Triggers
This meditation focuses on what happened just before you indulged in your addiction so that you can identify the immediate trigger.
Try to build up a vivid awareness of your surroundings at that time. Imagine this past event as a present experience. Where are you? Are there people around or are you alone? What can you see? What smells are there? What taste is in your mouth and what sounds can you hear? Is your body aching, or numb? Are you comfortable or uncomfortable? Any of these things might be an external trigger. View the trigger with equanimity. Stay with your awareness of this for as long as you can.
Continue by building up a vivid awareness of what was happening in your mind at that time. Did you have any pain? Were you stressed? Were you winding down? Were you winding up? Had you just had a fight? Were you lonely? Had someone disappointed you or had you disappointed yourself? Was there someone or some people you were trying to impress? Did you feel cheated by life? Were you unable to cope? What else?
Closing the Meditation
Allow yourself to abide in the energy of pure compassionate wisdom. Imagine this energy being absorbed into your body and healing all hurt and pain and sickness. Allow your body to feel relaxed, at ease. Imagine this energy of pure compassionate wisdom being absorbed into every part of your mind, healing all negative emotions and leaving your mind peaceful and calm. Rest in that state as long as you can.
Take pleasure in what you have achieved in this meditation, even if parts of what you remembered were painful. Make a conscious choice to use the energy that comes from this pleasure to continue making positive changes to your life.
Further Work on Finding Triggers
This meditation needs to be repeated often if you want to get a better feeling for the addiction triggers. As you become more aware of the moments before you fall into your addictive pattern, you can more easily change the pattern. As you repeat the meditation, take it back to just before the moment that preceded the addictive behavior, then a fraction earlier than that, then a fraction earlier still, and so on. As you do this, you gain more power to protect yourself from the compulsiveness of an addictive pattern. You can keep uncovering levels of dissatisfaction and pain. Having done that, you can start to find other ways of dealing with dissatisfaction and pain.