Smoking Meditation: A Path to Awareness and Transformation

Smoking is a habit that can be incredibly difficult to break. For many individuals, it becomes deeply ingrained in their daily routine and lifestyle. The story of a man who had been chain-smoking for thirty years serves as a testament to the power of addiction and the challenges of trying to quit. He had attempted to quit numerous times, but the urge to smoke always seemed to overpower his willpower. As a result, he had lost all self-confidence and felt worthless in his own eyes.

When he came to me seeking guidance on how to quit smoking, I told him that nobody can simply stop smoking with a mere decision. Smoking had become deeply rooted in his body and chemistry after thirty years of practice. It had become an autonomous habit that required more than just willpower to overcome. I introduced him to the concept of de-automatization through meditation.

De-automatization is the process of bringing awareness and mindfulness to our actions, breaking free from the automatic and unconscious patterns that govern our lives. I encouraged him to shift his perspective and approach to smoking. Instead of trying to forcefully quit, I suggested that he embrace smoking as a meditation practice.

He was initially skeptical, but intrigued by the idea of turning smoking into a beautiful meditation. I explained that if Zen practitioners can find meditation in the simple act of drinking tea, then why not find it in smoking as well? I provided him with a step-by-step meditation practice to follow during his smoking sessions.

First, I advised him to slow down and savor each step of the smoking ritual. When taking the packet of cigarettes out of his pocket, he was to do it slowly and consciously. Then, as he took out a cigarette from the packet, I encouraged him to tap it gently, listening to the sound it produced. This act of tapping would serve as a reminder to be fully present and aware.

Next, he was to bring the cigarette to his nose and inhale deeply, appreciating the aroma and acknowledging the divine nature of tobacco. I assured him that even in this seemingly mundane act, there is beauty to be found. By approaching smoking with this level of awareness and reverence, he would gradually gain a deeper understanding of the habit.

As he put the cigarette in his mouth and lit it, I encouraged him to experience each sensation fully. The taste of the smoke, the feeling of it filling his lungs, and the act of releasing it slowly. By breaking down each action into smaller acts and being fully present in each moment, he would begin to see the true nature of smoking.

The purpose of this meditation practice was not to force him to quit smoking, but rather to bring awareness to his habit. Through this heightened awareness, he would gain clarity and insight into the true nature of smoking. It was through this understanding that change could occur naturally.

After three months of practicing smoking meditation, he returned with a surprising revelation – he no longer felt the need to smoke. The habit had dropped on its own, without any force or struggle. This was the power of de-automatization.

I encouraged him to apply the same principle of de-automatization to other aspects of his life. By bringing mindfulness and awareness to everyday activities such as walking, looking, and listening, he would experience a profound shift in perception. Trees would appear greener, roses would be more vibrant, and conversations would become more meaningful.

The key to de-automatization is to approach life with a sense of curiosity and presence. By breaking free from the autopilot mode, we can truly live and experience each moment to its fullest. This is the path to self-discovery and transformation.

In conclusion, smoking meditation offers a unique and alternative approach to quitting smoking. Rather than battling with willpower and self-judgment, it invites individuals to embrace their habit as a meditation practice. By bringing awareness and mindfulness to each step of the smoking ritual, one can gain a deeper understanding of the habit and ultimately find freedom from it. De-automatization is not limited to smoking; it can be applied to all aspects of life, leading to a more conscious and fulfilling existence.