For many years I have been beset with a variety of cravings. Despite my regular meditation practice and efforts to fight these cravings, nothing has worked. They are as powerful as ever and my life seems at times like it is beyond my control or influence. Help!
Controlled by Cravings
Dear Controlled by Cravings,
The Buddha said that the origin of suffering is craving. Freeing us from our cravings, which is thus to free us from our samsara, is at the heart of the Buddha’s teachings. That statement right away signals that what you’re talking about is a very complex and difficult process.
The challenging path you've chosen will require discipline and faith on your part. I would refer you first to a post I wrote, “12 Steps on the Buddhist Path,” on this site’s blog. Reading that post, as well as the followup posts expanding on the specific steps, will hopefully be helpful and point you in the right direction. But given the central nature of this task to the process of walking the Buddhist path, I would recommend reading my book, Scratching the Itch: Getting at the Root of Our Suffering.
Bottom line, you can’t fight you’re cravings. You can’t white-knuckle them. The path to freedom is not a test of wills. It is far more nuanced.