Meditation and sobriety: I do not think, therefore I do not drink?

12 Sep

11:12 pm

I went to the Shambhala center tonight for a group meditation event. It was OK. Nothing mind-blowing. I mean, the “instructions” for newbies (there were four of us) were pretty funny in how basic they were (how much instruction does one need to sit down and breathe?): sit up straight; put your hands on your knees/thighs, palms facing down; and close your eyes slightly but not totally while you focus them downward. Then, sit like that for however long you want, and focus on your breathing.

I believe we all meditate at certain points during the day, so it didn’t feel all that unfamiliar to like, not be thinking. Shoot, I think I spend QUITE a few minutes these sober days with NO THOUGHTS whatsoever; now that I seem to be naturally dazed most of the time, I like to just stare out my window and well, think about nothing. For hours sometimes. Tonight was different in that I was sitting (ouch, I definitely might want to think twice about that vipassana retreat where you sit from 4 am to 9 pm every day for 10 days), was “mindfully not thinking” (whatever that means), and it was with a group. At first, I found all the little swallowing noises and slight exhalations irritating, but then when I had to do it, I realized that they sort of get drowned out by your mindlessness after a while.

The basic concept of Shambhala is that we are all good, and have inherent love and integrity within — this is our true, effortless nature. Meditation helps us to remember/realize this.

There was a talk afterward by some dude who’s been doing Shambhala for 20 years about “drala,” which is the same concept as life energy or chi. He talked about internal and external drala, and how it’s all around us if we choose to interact with it. One guy spoke up and said he felt “good energy” here, in [cold west coast city] (he just moved here from the east coast); he said that it felt alive, whereas parts of the east coast felt dead. Ironically, I feel the opposite (maybe I’m projecting, or maybe our experience of drala is interestingly quite personal). I wanted to pipe up and say that my “drala” here was in the absolute zero zone on the Kelvin scale, but I let it go. I don’t need to win ’em all. ๐Ÿ˜‰

He also mentioned a point that I took home: feelings like anger and anxiety are actually forms of aggression toward yourself. Shambhala teaches that we are good and deserve to be treated with dignity and love, and that it’s completely unnecessary — and counterproductive — to be aggressive toward ourselves. I feel like my self-judgment and aggressive behavior toward myself runs rampant, and has for as long as I can remember. Why did I drink myself into a tizzy for a decade, doing things that were the pinnacle of self-hatred? Not to mention, wallowing in anger and fear/anxiety for many years over a failed relationship, or a move to somewhere new, or even a trip to a meditation center where I’d be bound to meet, gasp, NEW PEOPLE?

I felt welcomed by the dude who instructed us on how to meditate (for some reason, I blurted out to him that I was getting sober, which I think helped us connect more quickly because I was so honest), but otherwise, the place felt stiff. I felt that the overall vibe was very [cold west coast city] — stiff, guarded, angry, and sullen. Of course, not everyone in the room was stiff, but the entire feel of the place didn’t do it for me.

BUT, I liked sitting and meditating. After about half an hour, we got up and did some walking meditation (basically just walking and watching your feet and not thinking), which was good because my right foot was falling asleep.

I felt *something* like calmer toward the end, but for the most part, my focusing on my breathing made it feel harder to breathe naturally, so that was uncomfortable. And, the sciatica pain was there, so I was continually moving around on my cushion (I’m sure I was “that annoying chic over there”). My hands were sweating and it was hot in the room, but I didn’t want to take off my sweatshirt.

All in all, no minds were blown. BUT, it piqued my curiosity — especially the group aspect. Even though there might be some angry people (shit, I’m probably one of ’em), when we’re meditating, there is a different quality to my own state of concentration that I can already tell might help me progress more into the process than if I were alone. Kind of like studying in a library instead of at home.

And the best part? You can’t drink — or think about drinkin’ — when you’re meditating! Day 26. Woot woot!

8 Responses to “Meditation and sobriety: I do not think, therefore I do not drink?”

  1. Imogen at 8:20 am #

    Hey, congratulations on day 26 – it is so amazing to read all your insights as you’ve powered along the path to this point. You are so kicking this.
    Your meditation experience is so interesting. I’ve never done any so it’s a sneak peek into what what goes on. My sister does those 10 days retreats you mention where you can’t speak to anyone the entire time – the sole focus is on meditating all day – and she lives for them now and can’t wait to get back to them. What discipline!
    I agree that we all meditate in our own ways during the day. I spend a lot of time (too much, perhaps lol) staring out the window at the surrounding hills and not thinking about anything in particular. Great post xo

    • Sandeep at 10:54 am #

      Very Quality techniques are used here for meditation. I like these techniques even I tried these techniques and found lot of benefits. During my meditation experience, I felt myself in a totally different world.
      Really very effective techniques..

      • Drunky Drunk Girl at 7:07 am #

        I hope so! I think I need to practice a lot more to see any of these benefits. Thanks for your encouragement…

    • Drunky Drunk Girl at 7:06 am #

      Thanks, Imogen! I’m not sure if it’ll help me, but I’m willing to give it a shot! I feel like I definitely need to “make time” to do it, though. I cannot imagine doing one of those 10-day silent retreats! Though, I couldn’t imagine not drinking for a month just a few months ago either! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Belle (Tired2012) at 2:59 pm #

    just checking in. i have nothing profound to say. if you can meditate and not think about drinking, then you may have solved all of life’s problems. me, when i meditate, the noise in my head gets louder…

    • Drunky Drunk Girl at 7:14 am #

      Haha. SO true. I can’t get past the awkward sound of my own breathing yet, so, we’ll see. I feel pretty good these days, nights are definitely the hardest…want to drink want to drink want to drink. I feel like the only person on the planet who doesn’t “have plans” or isn’t “getting drunk.” I could totally go out and meet people, if I wanted, though…

      • Belle (Tired2012) at 9:43 am #

        i do love, though, how want to drink want to drink want to drink is NOT the same as going to drink going to drink going to drink. big difference. huge life changing difference. it’s like yeah, i’d love a glass of wine … not gonna happen ๐Ÿ™‚ Next? Oh a project. learn to make home fries from scratch. how about homemade english muffins? how about …

      • Drunky Drunk Girl at 4:15 am #

        I actually perfected my lentil soup recipe last night! Shazam!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Dogmatic Panic

just a dude writing about being a dude

Violet Tempest

Author of Gothic Horror & Romance

Walking in Sober Boots

Footfalls on a Path of Recovery

Sober Mormon

Navigating life after Mormonism and addiction recovery. (It's a trip.)

Ditching the Wine

Getting myself sober; the ups and downs

The Sober Experiment

Start your journey of self discovery

Devon Maid

Devon Maid is a story about my ongoing wellbeing journey and life in a rural playground

Sober and Well

Live your best life free from alcohol

The Phoenix Files

The Outspoken Opinions of S.M. Phoenix

cuprunnethover

Filling my Cup with what Matters

Lauren Steinheimer

freelance writer. trail runner. relentless savage.

winesoakedramblings - the blog of Vickie van Dyke

because the drunken pen writes the sober heart ...

I love my new life!

Changing my life to be the best me. My midlife journey into sobriety, passions and simple living/downshifting.

Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

Navigating the second half of my life

Sunbeam Sobriety

Just a normal lass from Yorkshire and her journey into happy sobriety

runningfromwine

Welcome to my journey to end my addiction to wine!

Without the whine

Exploring the heart of what matters most

New Beginnings

My Journey to Staying Sober.

Sober Yogi

My journey to wholeness

When Women Inspire

Inspiring women in business, health, and lifestyle

The Sobriety Tree

Putting in roots; mixing metaphors at the leaf level

'Nomorebeer'

A sobriety blog started in 2019

A Spiritual Evolution

Alcoholism recovery in light of a Near Death Experience

No Wine I'm Fine

An alcoholfree journey in New Zealand with a twist

Untipsyteacher

I am a retired teacher who quit drinking and found happiness! After going deaf, I now have two cochlear implants!

Life Beyond Booze

The joys, benefits and challenges of living sober and alcohol free

Functioningguzzler

In reality I was barely functioning at all - life begins with sobriety.

Mental Health @ Home

Building mental wellness on a foundation of strength

Faded Jeans Living

By Dwight Hyde

Moderately Sober

Finding my contented self the sober way

Sober Courage

from liquid courage to sober courage

Musings Of A Crazy Cat Lady

The personal and professional ramblings of a supposedly middle aged crazy cat lady

Life in the Hot Lane

The Bumpy Road of Life as a Woman 45+

Wake up!

Operation Get A Life

doctorgettingsober

A psychiatrist blogging about her own demons and trying to deal with them sober

Storm in a Wine Glass

I used to drink and now I don't

Off-Dry

I got sober. Life got big.

Laura Parrott Perry

We've all got a story to tell.

Finding a Sober Miracle

A woman's quest for one year of sobriety

Dorothy Recovers

An evolving tale of a new life in recovery

Lose 'da Booze

MY Journey towards Losing 'da Booze Voice within and regaining self-control

Laurie Works

MA., NCC, RYT, Somatic Witch

Drunky Drunk Girl

A blog about getting sober

The Soberist Blog

a life in progress ... sans alcohol

soberjessie

Getting sober to be a better mother, wife, and friend

mentalrollercoaster

the musings and reflections of one person's mental amusement park

TRUDGING THROUGH THE FIRE

-Postcards from The Cauldron

%d bloggers like this: