My worldview regarding addictions was shattered when I saw my psychotherapy clients cease addictive behaviors spontaneously. This was unexpected for several reasons. First, the established paradigm is that addictions cannot be healed. Second, our work was targeted towards their anxiety; and third, this shift often happened after less than six months of treatment.
I was already working outside of established psychotherapy methodology with a new approach that I call Traya. Traya means three in sanskrit and one of the reasons I call it that is because it incorporates mind, body and spirit. The foundation of Traya is the discovery that the subtle body and the chakras are the operating system of the mind and there is a way to interact directly with it. All of the functions of the mind can be traced to one or more chakras and when there is a malfunction it can be located and corrected. Yes, the mind can be healed.
My client’s addiction energy diminished as we healed the chakra functions related to fear, willpower, control, isolation, impulsivity, decision-making, balance, choice, and reality testing. It is well known that those struggling with addictions have difficulty with these characteristics. The addiction energy diminished even though we were focused on anxiety because all of these psychological functions are located in the same chakra as the anxiety.
We also discovered the sources of the chakra malfunctions. In Yoga psychology memory imprints in the mind are termed samskaras. Negative experience imprints can be compared to viruses in software programs. If we look at each chakra as a software program that operates a part of the mind and the negative samskaras as viruses in those programs, we can see that for the program (chakra) to operate as designed, the samskaric viruses must be located and removed. Traya techniques can readily identify the experiences producing the negative samskaras and I was able to identify specific types of experiences that produced the addiction energy and then remove the associated samskaras.
This was empowering for the clients who realized their addiction did not come from weakness or an innate genetic design malfunction but that a specific part of their mind was not operating as designed due to circumstances beyond their control and could be corrected.
Take choice for example.
If you have difficulty making choices in your life now, take a look at your childhood experiences with choice.
Did you have too many choices or were you too young to be making choices?
Were choices made for you?
Did you make the wrong choices?
This may seem simplistic but when you think about it, addictions are all about the loss of choice. One can no longer choose to engage or not with a substance so if choice energy is impaired it may show up in our lives as a component of an addiction.
If it is difficult for you to accept the concept that willpower and choice are forms of mind energy, try this experiment.
The next time you are in a supermarket start your shopping at the opposite end of the store where you would normally begin and notice if it is easier to resist items you sometimes have difficulty with. Marketers often know more about us than we know about ourselves and they use it to full advantage. They know that choice and willpower are energies that diminish with use. For this reason the healthier items such as produce are presented closer to the entrance relative to the unhealthier items such as ice-cream and cake which are located at the other side of the store closer to the exit. And of course the candy is located at the check-out counter—the last choice. These items are placed strategically to allow you to use up your choice and willpower energy as you move through the store and make choices over and over until you have little left to resist the items that are not so good for you. If the candy, cake and ice cream were placed near the entrance you might more readily sail right by it.
With addiction energy it is not enough to understand the source of the issue. The energy driving it contained in the samskaras must be released by the mind. Tray a allows us to do that so that the balanced “choice energy,” for example, can be reestablished.
Trish O’Sullivan leads Chakras, Samskaras, and Addiction: A Psychospiritual Approach to Healing Addictive Behavior.