I just returned from a weekend conference about breaking habits and addictive behavior. The speaker, Mukta Kaur Khalsa, Ph.D., has worked in rehab clinics for 40 years and trained with Indian Guru, Yogi Bhajan for about 30 years. Now she does training for people who work in the field of addiction. The presenter talked about how by the time a child hits developmental landmarks at ages 3, 7 and 11 years, habitual reactions to stress are established. Add to that an absent, abusive or negligent parent, and the child is naturally going to be at risk to use substances to avoid the emotional maelstrom created. The program they offer, based on Yogic Science, consists of doing kriyas, which are brief, repetitive, movements and chants, breathing exercises, and drinking various herbal, vegetable and fruit juices. The formulas for the juices, the movements and chants of the kriyas, and the various breathing techniques are precisely designed to address the specific habit or substance one is attempting to eliminate. This includes, but is not limited to nicotine, opioids, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, overeating, etc. And although these specific formulas and recipes are designed for each particular malady, and probably do help to calm the mind and heal the brain, in my opinion they are the little jewels embedded within a program whose very essence is built on the premise that what each patient truly needs is to return to the knowledge—long lost—that they are beloved. It is an ongoing frustration of the Coleman Institute team to successfully help a patient medically withdraw from a substance, and then ‘lose’ them in follow up. We continue to improve and make personalized adjustments in the process of a detox, but we see that patients who are in recovery a year later are usually patients who have embarked on unraveling the mystery of what led them to use drugs or other substances; what emotional, psychic, or physical pain they believed and convinced themselves they could not endure on their own.  


  Whatever method we humans use to quiet our mind and get still, allowing the truth to gently be revealed…is ok by me. If its yoga, meditation, 12 step recovery meetings, centering prayer, counseling, hiking the Appalachian trail, or doing kriyas and drinking carrot juice infused with garlic, it all comes back to the same message: if we are still breathing, that is proof that we are a beloved creature of God (or the Universe, or Higher Power or whatever). I like what Richard Rohr says: “Growth…takes place not by acquisition of something new. It isn’t like the acquisition of new information...” In reality our growth is “a treasure hidden in a field” (Matthew 13:44). It is only discovered by the release of our current defense postures, by letting go of fear and our attachment to self-image. Then the inner gift lies present and accounted for! Once our defenses are out of the way and we are humble and poor, truth is allowed to show itself….Truth shows itself when we are free from ideology, fear, and anger.” At the Coleman Institute, our small but important role is getting you safely through a medically assisted detox to help you access your Truth. Our wonderful Recovery Coordinator, Rachel, will work with you to find the next step in the process. Not everyone is clawing at the door to use our suggestions, but we offer our assistance and advice to those who’d like to hear it. I believe what we do at the Coleman Institute is to help patients on the journey to reclaim their souls. Joan R. Shepherd, FNP