I can now see my years of alcohol abuse were a symptom and not a cause of my suffering. I drank because I didn’t have a better way of coping with my feelings of alienation in life. I desperately yearned for something that would fill the ‘hole in my soul’, and I never considered the possibility this yearning was the actual source of my suffering.
“This is the very definition of seeking—to push away or cover up what’s actually appearing in favor of looking for something else that we think should be appearing.”
Natural Rest for Addiction is a wonderful book that gives clear answers for not only why we engage in this self-destructive behavior but also how we can stop doing it. Scott Kiloby’s solution isn’t so much to treat the symptoms of our misery, but to dig right down to the source of them. I’ve been waiting for years for somebody to write a book like this, and there were times while reading it that I literally cheered.
Addiction as a Form of Seeking
I view my own alcohol addiction as an overreaction to a problem that never existed. I made desperate attempts to remedy my suffering only to discover it was this seeking that was causing the pain. It took me years of discomfort to come to this realization, yet Scott Kiloby explains this whole process so clearly – addiction and seeking are basically the same thing.
“Do you see the vicious cycle of seeking? It’s the very thought that the future holds our fulfillment that makes the present moment feel as if it’s lacking.”
The reason I struggled for so long to break free of addiction was my habit of replacing one form of seeking with another. I’d stop drinking and become obsessed with personal development or spirituality – basically anything that promised to deliver something better in the future. I just didn’t understand it was this urge to seek that was the real source of my misery, and that any effective solution would need to put an end to this seeking behavior.
I experienced a temporary break from my seeking urges during an intensive meditation retreat eleven years ago. I drank again soon afterwards, but this experience opened my mind to the possibility of real mental freedom. Afterwards, I became obsessed with reproducing the wonderful state, so it became a new type of seeking. It took me years to comprehend the peace was always there waiting for me in the present moment.
Scott Kiloby describes how natural rest “…is found in the present moment—a place where we’re not emphasizing or obsessing on our thoughts”. When we are just experience right now without all that mental-chatter, we discover something truly wonderful, “…by resting repeatedly into the present moment, we can begin to find what we’re seeking.” It turns out that the thing I’ve been trying so hard to run away from was the one thing I truly wanted.
Natural Rest Offers More Than Escape from Addiction
Natural Rest for Addiction provides a solution for those of us who wish to let go of the alcoholic identity. Scott’s approach is not going to teach you how to become a successful ‘recovering alcoholic’ because adopting this label would just be a new identity to protect. In order to be free, I needed to not only give up alcohol but also my alcoholism. Scott describes the situation beautifully when he writes:
“Identifying with labels such as “addict” and “recovering addict” can set us apart from our families and friends, making us feel special and different. This only strengthens self-centered thinking.”
If you are suffering due to any type of seeking behavior, you may find the answer you are looking for in Natural Rest for Addiction. Scott also suggests that anyone interested in this method should join a ‘natural rest’ group – they have online meetings as well (here is a link to the London Natural Rest Group).
You can find out more about Scott’s methods by visiting his website Natural rest for Addiction