When we meditate with the Profound Meditation Program, we are consciously engaged in the process of evolving and healing our brains in an integral and holistic way. Unfortunately, this type of healing technology has not been available until very recently, and many of us are suffering from neurological deficits and emotional wounding based on our past experience. As Abraham Maslow taught in his hierarchy of needs, there are certain basic foundational needs that must be fulfilled before we can move on in a stable and healthy way to express our higher human capacities, such as expressing our individual talents, our compassion, our creativity, our love, and our purpose in the world.
In the process of meeting our basic survival needs (or not meeting them, as the case may be)—food, shelter, sex, clothing, and belonging, as laid out by Abraham Maslow—essential parts are often neglected early on. For whatever reason, our development can become stunted so that our motivations center only around getting our basic survival needs met. This can often lead to compulsive and addictive acting out behaviors, such as drug addiction, sex addiction, power addiction, money addiction, and control addiction, as in “I’ve got to have more control.”
As we attempt to satisfy these holes in our developmental foundation through unhealthy means, it can lead to progressive stages of vacuous-ness, emptiness, and suffering, which can become a neurologically embedded addiction, where one compulsively tries to re-experience the thrill to get the spike of the perceived relief and pleasure. One does this over and over again.
Unfortunately, in this addictive process, the highs get lower and the valleys between the highs also get lower, so that any pleasure received is diminished to the point of non-existence, and one is now simply trying to avoid the depth of the valleys of despair. In this process, in an emotional and a spiritual sense, we basically lose access to our humanity and our soul.
When we are able to repair our brain through our ongoing Profound Meditationpractice, these primitive survival needs and foundational deficits begin to heal and no longer control our lives. With our daily meditation practice, the management of these powerful survival needs and foundational deficits is moved from the reptilian brainstem up to the more evolved frontal lobes and frontal cortex, where they can be channeled and dealt with in a healthy, life-enhancing, and morally appropriate manner. Then pleasure starts to come from the things that really matter: loving, helping, supporting, being a good parent, creativity, art, spirituality, music, and literature. We start moving into the level they call “authentic happiness” in Positive Psychology.
When our brains are healed, our pleasure no longer comes from little addictive spikes, but from an ongoing sense of satisfaction, peace, connection, and purpose. Despite all the suffering that is involved in living—stuff happens, right?—it’s still a whole different game. No longer do we go from one addictive fix to another, one obsession to another. Instead, we move from a place of connection into deeper and deeper unity and love. Then, when we’re at the point where we are getting ready to lay down our body, we pass on to the next experience with a sense of completion, satisfaction, great peace, and great love.
Of course, this is not only a neurological matter, although that is a major component, it is also about character building, about doing the right thing, about knowing what the right thing is, and about working on that. When we’re not used to doing the right thing, to start doing the right thing feels pretty foreign. But if we begin to practice doing it, it begins to change the way we operate; it changes what we’re attracted to, changes the neurological wiring in our brain, and our whole reward system.
In recovery, we have a saying, “Easy now, hard later.” When we take the easy way out to spike our dopamine—with drinking, inappropriate sex, violence, control, gambling, or whatever the addiction may be, it’s going to get harder and harder and progressively worse. However, if we are willing to do the hard work of getting our act together, doing the practices, working on our inner self, working on our spiritual connection, on our awareness, doing our daily meditation, going back to the well every day, working on our body and our physical health—the whole integral enchilada, if you will—then the hard work gets easier, and as you move into it, life gets better and better. Despair evaporates, and hope, connection, and purpose become very apparent, not simply as intellectual ideas, but as a deeply felt connection with our time, our culture, our people, all life, the planet, everything.
Paintings by Cecilia Rivera de Bueso
Adapted from iAwake Technologies’ free coaching call on March 6, 2013.
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John Dupuy is the CEO of iAwake Technologies and the founder of Integral Recovery, a holistic addiction treatment approach inspired by Ken Wilber’s Integral Model. As a pioneer in the use of brainwave entrainment in therapy and personal development, John has dedicated his life to helping others deepen their spiritual practice and transform their lives.