The Homa Therapy in-residence drug/alcohol de-addiction program.

Teachers Guide

Class 3: The Senses and Habit Patterns

What are the senses and their relationship to mind?

The mind is a dictator. It is a tyrant that likes sense satisfaction.

(Give analogy of old Roman king who has before him all of the sense gratification one could possibly want, but he wants more and more and more. He cannot be fulfilled so he gets angry.)

But the mind (like all dictators) isn't really all that bright. Because we know that satisfaction of senses brings about only temporary happiness and that temporary happiness or negative change of mind is followed by an even lower state than when we started.

So couldn't we say then that drugs and alcohol don't make you high, they make you low. They only temporarily please your senses and therefore, your mind gets what it wants and not what you want. You want to be happy.

First step in becoming subtle enough to even deal with the mind is to refuse to search for happiness through the senses, because we know it's a dead end. So we do not need to equate happiness with sensation. I have spent a lifetime searching for happiness through the senses.

The Senses

A look at the senses:

Collectively any of the faculties such as sight, hearing, smell, taste or touch by which man and animals perceive stimuli originating from outside or inside the body. A faculty or function of the mind analogous to sensations.

Trying to become happy through constant pleasurable sensation is like feeding a two headed monster one raisin at a time. It's never going to be enough. Even if you feed the two headed monster constantly what happens eventually is he gets tired of it or he overdoses. Drug s and alcohol are the same -- our attempt to please the two headed monster. What happens if you do nor stop drinking, shooting, eating or having sex constantly? You either get sick of it, pass out or die.

To take this a step further in the search for happiness, man likes to accumulate things to make him happy. Those of us who have accumulated things can tell you it doesn't make you happy. Those who do not have material wealth can tell you how much time is spent wishing for material plenty, but if we take a closer look at some of those who have attained wealth, they will tell you that they did not become happy because of the wealth.

For example: Elvis Presley -- He had it all, fame, fortune, career success and sex, but it wasn't enough. In a desperate search for fulfillment he finally turned to drugs which killed him.

We need to make up our minds that sense gratification at all levels is not going to make us happy and for now all we need to think about is a substitute. Up until today all we have known is sense satisfaction. WHAT ELSE IS THERE? And once we know there is a way to become happy, how do we get out of the state we are in?

Trying to stay happy on drugs is like trying to get your car out of the mud by stepping on the gas as hard as you can; the wheels spin and you go deeper and deeper into the mud. When we take drugs the mind gets its way but you get nowhere. You try harder and harder to be happy or content and you go further and further into drugs and alcohol.


Habit Patterns

Habit patterns are a source of stress and tension on the mind.

We are in grooves of habits and if those grooves are negative then it is a drain on mind energy.

Habits have a grip on the mind. If we can loosen this grip, the mind becomes unburdened and we can begin to know happiness.

If you are driving a car and you want to stop, you put your foot on the brake and you stop. If you are riding on a horse you may pull on the reins, but the horse may not stop. Similarly, when dealing with the mind you have to take note that mind has its own energy and that it is powerful energy. So, to train the mind we have to make use of the mind. List Habits (Regular patterns that were learned.)

Biting your nails
Brushing your teeth
Combing your hair
Coffee with newspaper
Shower in morning
Orange juice with breakfast
Shopping on Saturday

What are drug/alcohol habit patterns?

Drinking on the way home
Drinking at parties
Drugs on Saturday night
Drugs on Sunday morning

After a while the mind becomes accustomed to these things and if it doesn't get what it is accustomed to, it acts like a spoiled child.


"I wanted to quit smoking so each day I bought one pack of cigarettes so I could quit that night and not have a carton of cigarettes to tempt me. Each day I pulled into the 7-11, to buy cigarettes, before going to work, and each day I would say that I am not going to pull into the 7-11 and get cigarettes today, but somehow my car seemed to automatically pull into the 7-11 no matter how much I wanted not to. I had developed chronic bronchitis and it still took me 1 1/2 years to stop. Did the chronic bronchitis stop me -- no. New habits, a clear mind and a healthy diet allowed me to gain control over my mind and drive past the 7-11."

The mind acting like a spoiled child, wanting everything, will jump after this and that like a wild monkey swinging from branch to branch. The mind will go in all directions all the time and it is never still, unless we train the mind to do what we want.

Thoughts as well as actions create these grooves of habit, whereby, there is a tendency for future thought and action to flow in a similar pattern. This puts a great burden on the mind.

It can be as simple as allowing yourself to get angry because the traffic light turned red before we wanted it to. We get angry because we are in a hurry. Why are we angry? Because something blocked us from what we wanted. If we allow the mind to get angry everyday at a red light, eventually it could lead to getting angry at nearly all red lights. So ' how do we check this? How do we not allow ourselves to get angry over those things that we have absolutely no control over?

Before we can train the mind we must begin to observe how it works. For example, if you were watching yourself go into a rage at the red light you would probably say, Look at that poor man cursing at the red light. Every time he sees a red light he goes crazy. I feel sorry for him. That is the beginning of observing the mind. We start by observing our own behavior.

Through observance of our behavior we come to know that the mind is a tyrant, it is like a dictator. It is oppressive. The mind has become the master and we are the servant. What is necessary is to reverse this position. If you do not wish for this reversal then we do not know why you are here. If you have no desire to become the master over the desire for drugs/alcohol, then it is like sitting on a horse with your hands tied, hoping it will not lead you into trouble even though the horse is thirsty with water in sight, and a tree limb over the trail, that only the horse can pass under. There is a chance the horse will not go for the water, but who would bet on it? The mind will go for what it is accustomed to unless something else is fed into it. Unless new habits fill the grooves, the old ones will dominate. So one can see that it is only through the establishing of new habits, positive habits, that we will conquer the old. The good habits are called biopsychological life patterns.

The first step in forming new biopsychological life patterns is to not waste time with philosophy, but instead to go beyond all that we know and take action. We can take action that will take you beyond the mind of modern psychology, which is limited to thinking, feeling and volition. We can take action that will take you beyond the temporary relief or supposed happiness of drugs and alcohol. The action is to start the mental purification that is necessary to fill the old grooves of habit. That purification can be attained through the practice of Agnihotra. "A purified mind is incapable of holding undesirable thoughts." Next we must make certain decisions to implement change in our habits. By doing this the will is strengthened. We must take action, otherwise our search for a drug free life and happiness will degenerate into mere intellectualization.

Some exercises that will lead to positive habit patterns while we are practicing Agnihotra are needed. Most of us spend a lot of time worrying about how the other guy acts. So say to yourself:

1. I refuse to worry about how others act, therefore, I will not criticize or find fault with them or what they do. I will look to find the positive in that person instead.
2. I will write out my old (drug using) daily routine. I will identity in writing how I am going to change my routine and my environment.
3. I will write out a new daily routine without drugs.