Clearing the path. Addiction, Zen, and Connecting.


     I have always had this exquisite sense of being alone. Isolated on an island. Much of my life was spent in a constant addiction mode. And, in failed attempts trying to get connected to others. I caused a lot of harm and hurt others that way. There was never any actual connection. I was never aware that I wasn’t connected to myself. I was only trying to connect with my ideas and projections of what I thought should be. I would take what I thought I should be and attempt to connect to others. A sad process at best. 

     Later when I was in remission from chemical addiction and battling an eating disorder I was concerned that this sense of isolation was the sign of a severe emotional problem and sought counseling. Through what I viewed as an excellent counselor, I came to have more belief that this sense of isolation was not at all uncommon. That most of humanity will, at times, stand at the edge of an ocean, looking up on a starry night, on a cliff, under a tree, or the middle of Times Square on New Years Eve and sense a core part of them being totally alone and apart.

    Later still I realized that this sense was going to be a mainstay in my spiritual journey. I seems that so much of all we have done in human relationship has been tied to finding ways to ignore, defy, deny, deflate, abate, and pretend concerning the existence of this eternal hole that we are born with.  The idea of embracing this hole is the scariest thing imaginable. it’s like we are embracing our own death while we live. 

     Which, to my understanding, is not a bad idea. The Samurai epitomized it. Many people of many organized religions embrace it. And, when you think about it, what if you lived your life in full awareness that  you could die any second? How would you respond to others knowing that they could die any second? How would a self imposed permanent awareness of this change you? I’ve had people flat out tell me that they “Couldn’t imaging living like that all the time.” I find that idea is not realistic in terms of it ever becoming a permanent mindset. What I am suggesting is a greater awareness and perspective of the reality of our position. Right now we treat this like we are falling at a thousand miles an hour to our certain death and yet our priorities are on  what TV shows to watch, what the neighbors are doing, who did what to who, the big who won?, and who sits next to who at dinner. We seem to find this is important.


     In light of all this I have a book I would like to recommend. It’s a book that was instrumental in helping me develop a clearer view of how relationship worked. It was a difficult book to take in and although clearly written I had a most difficult time in absorbing the truthfulness. Reading this book I realized more than ever that my primary addiction was my need for people to accept me just the way I am. Not the someday I will be perfect person but the person right now. And, I understood that I wasn’t doing that for others. There was too much in the way. 

     The book is called “Way to Love” by Anthony D’Mello. What I received from the book is this message:

     If between you and I there lies our, prejudices, projections, concepts, needs, attachments, categories, and the labels our conditioned ego paints each other  with and this means we never see each other. We only see our projected ideas of each other. 

If I cannot see you how can I love you? 

     To see clearly I will need to let go of my need for Approval, Appreciation, Attention, Success, Prestige, and Power. If you want to see clearly you will need to do the same.

     This means letting go of all those conditioned attributes that our cultural and social norms have been built upon. OUCH. I had been working on my conditioning for a few decades but Anthony’s explanation seemed to cover all the bases and direction needed. The only other person I have seen process this to a great depth is Cheri Huber. And, perhaps in reading it from another source it helped me realize how profound and necessary this undertaking of letting go is going to prove. 

     What is the result of allowing ourselves the freedom from conditioning? It’s not the philosophic freedom so many people search for, it’s not a personal “free from” things we talk about. 




There is much in this book about awareness and relationship. It is a book about getting clear of the messy stuff that gets in the way of clarity. I value this book and read some of it weekly. 

Take a look and let me know. I would love to hear what you think. 























Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: