One engine often drives a long train of addictions. Problem
drinkers "cure" their drinking and become overeaters, and then
cure their overeating and become compulsive gamblers or workaholics. Each
addiction has different symptoms, but often a single cause.
LOCATING AND ELIMINATING
THE PATTERN OF ADDICTION
Imagine the mind-body system as a conveyor belt. It starts
at the Self and has workers stationed at different points. Each worker
(level of the mind-body) fabricates whatever comes along the belt. The
product of the assembly line is your behavior. If you find out what is
going on at the earliest stages of the process, you will understand why
you get the end result. You will understand your behavior. If you change
what is happening at the start, what is assembled at each stage will be
different, and so will the final product.
On a deep level, the pattern of disruption of the flow of
intelligence is similar for all a person's addictions. What is necessary
is to locate where the problem first occurs. But how do you look for the
cause when your attention is completely caught up by the changing symptoms?
You need a technique.
YOUR AYURVEDIC PULSE
When you go to the doctor's office and get a physical exam,
the nurse measures your heart rate and takes your blood pressure. Why?
Because these tell the doctor a lot about the state of your body and mind.
In ayurveda, we also take the pulse. However, ayurveda doesn't count heartbeats;
rather, it pays attention to the quality of the beats.
Try it yourself, right now. Take your pulse anywhere. You
could try on your wrist, or if a pulse there is hard to find, then try
the carotid artery, toward the top of your neck, about two inches before
the end of your jaw, and about an inch or so down. Use more than one finger,
Once you've located a good solid pulse, take a full minute
and feel it. Don't count the beats. Pay attention instead to the speed,
smoothness, regularity, and intensity -- the "shape" of the
beats. What you are feeling are the effects of the doshas: the proportions
of vata, pitta, and kapha.
Now try to figure out which dosha or doshas are present.
Here is a summary of what each one feels like:
Vata pulse is like the pitter-patter of the feet of a small
animal, which is startled and running away. Vata pulses are tremulous,
quick, erratic -- moving here and there, without intense force to each
Pitta pulse is like someone pounding on a door -- banging with
their fist, demanding to get in. It has power and insistence. Pitta
pulses are dramatic and full of energy.
Kapha pulse is majestic. It is like the motion of a large ship
gracefully rising and falling on ocean swells. It is closest in form
to a pure sine wave. Kapha pulses are like big bellows slowly and rhythmically
opening and closing.
According to ayurvedic theory, the pulse is a miniature hologram of
the body and mind...