Question of the week: What hooks you, and how do you get unhooked?

Hi, all.  

I'd love to hear about what things in your daily life get a charge out of you, or hook you into behavior that is not so... enlightened.  I'd also welcome suggestions on what has worked for you in the past, as far as "unhooking" goes.  We're all learning as we go along.

Much love and light, and hope you're enjoying a relaxing weekend!


ksaulino's picture

My hooks... people who talk down to me, or treat me with disrespect.  

My unhooking mechanism... well, still working on that.  I TRY to recall that when I respect myself, that others will also respect me.  I also TRY to remember that it doesn't really matter what other people think of me.  These things eventually work, but it's not automatic.  



Call me Mary's picture

Boy, it didn’t take me long to come up with a couple answers Kathy!


Things that hook me….

1.) My neighbor’s barking dog.  There are many barking dogs in the neighborhood… but “Buddy”…..He is my nemesis.   He pushes my buttons… hooks me into darker emotional states and thoughts.  In his own way, he has helped me explore feelings of hatred and impulses to kill.  I do not like exploring those pathways on this journey and would not go there alone…. He keeps me company I guess.    I have sat at times, with silent tears of defeat streaming down my face, wondering how this cute, bouncy, inquisitive, observant little piece of …(excuse me….). dog……. Could push me so quickly, thoroughly and efficiently to the edge?


2.)  The new sound systems that people are putting in their cars.  Well, not the sound system in and of itself….. But the intense vibration that emanates from it and seems to disrupt my whole being.    When I am sitting in traffic, and someone comes up behind, vibrating all the pieces of my car, making it impossible for me to see out of my rear view mirrors and such.  I am hooked.  Big time.      I have a fairly new neighbor a couple blocks away and he must have the newest, loudest system on the market.  I’ve been vibrated before…. But this thing makes me cringe within my own house!  Mind you, it is wintertime here… storm windows are on and doors are shut.  The frequency or vibration this vehicle puts out when he drives past my house seems to cause some type of pain in the middle of my head and the core of my body.   I’m thinking I would spend good money on a little hand held device… that with a simple push…. Would disable a sound system.  


How to get unhooked is the great mystery.  If I knew that… I probably won’t be able to be hooked anymore, right?  Perhaps that is what will be great about this post.  Helping each other disconnect our “hooked” buttons. 


As I close this up… the sound of “Buddy” barking at the mailman….. I just wouldn’t be surprised at all if my windows started rattling……


With laughter and love,


ChrisBowers's picture

I have been reading that Jon Peniel book I have mentioned several times, and it has been a real treat.  One of my experiences garnered from it was so amazing that it reminded me of one of my LSD trips from childhood.  Mine were always trips of great clarity, so I will preface with that.

I have known in my mind more and more lately that there is absolutely no legitimate reason for negative type judgmental judgment (although refined discernment is still a wonderful ally), but the ways that keep coming up to understand the "why" have been amazing.  The latest was when I was up in the kitchen doing something, and I felt that feeling of getting perturbed with my wife Kerry for something like stuff splattered on the stove (she is a messy-er cook than me, LOL), but I instantly saw that it was just another aspect of "God" (for lack of a better term for what all of this is as One).  It became so clear to me from something so mundane.  The mundane-ness factor is very interesting too, because so many things are thought of as mundane until they are seen in a brilliant new light, from another vantage point.

This vantage point lasted strongly for the rest of the night.  The kitties playing were aspects of this One-ness.  Everything became clearly that which was an aspect, divine and sovereign aspect of One.  I noticed also that it became very easy to respect all and find such natural equillibrium in natural humility.

In fact, I remember getting a glimpse of this a while back that had me laughing all the way back to work one day.  I had gone around someone so I could turn left.  He felt I had cut him off (since he was also turning left).  He flipped me off, and all I could think of was that I had just been flipped off by "God", since all things are aspects coming from the original primordial intentional thought of expansion of consciousness, and it was instantly relieving and very amusing....

Viveka's picture

If IAm You, and You are Me, Then Who are we?

Brian's picture

Hey Kathy,
I guess Fox News. It appears to be a manifestation of my most resistant self-my self loathing. During the election cycle, I had a client who kept it on all day while I was working in his home. He instinctively knew I was not in his camp politically. One day, he launched into a tirade of how "Obama is as bad as Hitler" and about the democrat "Brownshirts" who were determined to destroy the country and insert a fascist dictator (I believe Obama is now a "Marxist dictator"). He was shaking with rage. Afterwards, even my republican boss (who was also standing there) cracked a joke about it.

Thankfully, one can change the channel or better yet, turn off the tube.

Wendy's picture

I definitely get hooked by my husband - we have some bad morning fights and sometimes I just walk out the door mad. Remembering gratitude clears it all up for me instantly - although I don't meditate, I do make it a point to listen to nothing but my own thoughts as I drive to and from work - this can be a great time to remember gratitude and get unhooked from the day's annoyances.

Getting unhooked from social unjustices that I hear about on the web is my sticking point. I recently heard that a million civilians have now been killed in Iraq - probably 1/3 children. I just don't want to unhook from that, it would feel like I didn't care when I should. Being angry about it is probably only hurting myself but it's hard to let go of. Gratitude can't get me out of that one - perhaps prayer is the answer?


ksaulino's picture

Wendy and Brian,

You reminded me of one big hook of mine these days.  While I recognize that there is a motive behind keeping the "little guys" fighting amongst themselves, and that we won't be able to get anywhere if we're divided by nonsense, the current political ugliness does hook me more than occasionally.  Now that I think about it, even the IDEA that we shouldn't be fighting hooks me.  Ugh, now what am I supposed to do?  

And Wendy, I'm not sure how it all works when social injustice is at hand.  In some ways, I think we do want to remain hooked - to keep our eye on the issues, to keep pressure on our "representatives" (using that term loosely).  I think there's a balance between caring about something passionately, and getting hooked with it.  If someone could help with that one, I'd appreciate it.  :)

Lots of love,



ChrisBowers's picture

In the TM Sidhi method of meditation used in the coherence initiatives that came to be known as the Maharishi Effect, those meditating were not focusing on or caring for anything specific.  They simply (pun intended, not so simple) clear their minds of everything, allowing a natural state of coherence to be generated.

In reality, most of the times that we are convincing ourselves that we "care" about some "thing", it is our egos keeping us busy being "invested", thus keeping us busy NOT being the very potentially powerful and divine agents that we are.  I really think we are going to get this AHA experience, much deeper, past mere intellect, down deep, en masse.

Can you imagine the relief of finding that we are not required by natural law to be so much mentally and emotionally invested, as just plain serene and at inner peace by design, by sheer will, disciplined habitual consistency.  If we cannot be rattled, can we begin to really represent and sort of enforce the inviolate Peace that has no opposite?  Can there be a divine chess move like this that we have been overlooking?  I have a hunch we, or at least they, may be on to something.

The TM Sidhi studies sure do establish that something amazing is happening...

TM-Sidhi program - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and look at the Meissner Effect showing the coherent collective functioning of the superconductor at this link Maharishi Effect

As it is we appear to the ruling class as trained monkeys, so anything would be an improvement at this point, LOL...  No wonder we have been labeled as "goyim" (cattle) by some elitists of past times.  The biggest clue we have is that "they" do nothing to us...  we do it willingly to ourselves, and then call ourselves victims, in general, as a rule anyway.... something to consider anyway....

Call me Mary's picture

The struggle with our hooks look different in scope and nature, but they all have the similarity of propelling us along our path, don’t they?  Yet how do we look at, live with and respond to stuff as intense as war and death and injustice?  One of my struggles with “accepting what is”, or even forgiveness, is that it seemed I was giving an approval or condoning the behaviors or situations that ever fiber of my being was shouting,  “This is wrong!”


I think Life pushes us towards spiritual understanding.   And yet, spiritual understanding and truths seem to be elusive to the spoken language, so how do we gain understanding?   We can only point at them with analogies and stories. 


There is a phrase of Rumi's that states – “Keep your grief glistening”. I'm not sure if I have the correct connection of dots here... but it came to mind.


Wendy, I think there may be some way that gratitude fits in, but I cannot force my eyes open far enough to see that yet either.   I do think that acceptance and forgiveness are tools to start with.  Follow the passion in your heart that shows you what you can do… such as being part of sharing your information with others.  


As a fellow – or rather – sister traveler along the path, I am right beside you (along with my friend “Buddy”), sharing your feelings, too.    Your question created some thinking...which makes for some great conversations - Don't you think?


With Love and Respect,



lightwins's picture

On Tuesday, I had a 12:15 follow-up visit with my surgeon for my inguinal hernia surgery a month ago; I was told it should last 10 to 15 minutes. I had a 1PM apt. with a client scheduled in my office, about 10 miles away. The Dr. was, it turned out, an hour late for our appointment. I had to postpone my cllient apt. Needless to say, I got hooked.


First, I recognized I was suffering my upset and my anger. Then I worked through a Bon dzogchen teaching I have been working with. It is known as The Five-fold Teaching of Dawa Gyaltsen:

   Vision is Mind

   Mind is Empty

   Emptiness is Clear Light

   Clear Light is Union

   Union is Great Bliss


So, initially I saw that the way I was experiencing my moment was my mind; my current version of my self, my righteous anger, the Dr., my client - was all in my mind.

What is this mind? Because I've had recognition of this for some time now, I could see that this mind is actually empty-cognizance suffused with awareness as soon as I remembered to notice the fact. (for a clear, experiential glimpse of this, check out any or all of David Lang's brief videos at So, then, I could see the intrinsic emptiness/openness of the mind and, therefore, my vision. At this point the neurochemisty of my upset began to dissipate.


The emptiness was clear and it was "illuminated' as clear by the awareness of its empty clarity.

Re-cognizing the emptiness/openness i.e. being aware of the emptiness, it was quickly seen that the emptiness was self-aware and that awareness was empty - i.e. there was nothing there. These two, emptiness and awareness or openness and awakeness were in fact nondual. Clear light is union.

My neurochemical upset continued to return to homeostasis, as I rested more & more deeply in the open spaciousness of awake presence, I returned to regard myself, the Dr. and my client with different eyes. I recognized that if the surgeon was an hour late, it was because unanticipated and likely stressful events had disrupted her planned agenda and that she had to be pressed and, likely, stressed to be that far behind schedule. My client could deal with it & we could connect through the humanness that "life is what happens while you're busy making other plans!"

By the time the Dr. came in, I was clear, peaceful, happy, compassionate and kind; my blood pressure was 115/58.

At other times when I am upset, I do Tonglen. I figure as long as I am already upset I might as well relieve every one in the world who's feeling like I do, so I breathe in all their upset and offer them my peace, calm, and ease...

At other times when I am upset, I loose it. & then I have to clean up after myself...

Wendy's picture

Hi guys-

Thanks for your kind words. I think I'm confusing being hooked with just remembering, bearing in mind. I think we can bear thoughts in our minds, remember the pain of those who suffer and wish them well without engaging our emotions all the time. When our emotions do become engaged (when we feel sorrow), it's important to take the time to envision a world of peace, love and joy for all (or pray for that). Then we can express gratitude for that vision. I think I just described the Hopanoppo technighue or something close to it.


JoshERTW's picture

Recently I've been having a few more pint's than usual... I've had this feeling that something is coming and I just can't shake it. I even tried buying a video game to keep me away from the "conspiracy stuff" as my friends and family have come to call it - didn't have the same effect it used to. Proof positive for me that there is something bigger happening. I spend about 4 years absolutely painfully addicted to World of Warcraft, and now such games don't even hold me interest for a week.

Anyhow, I like my brews, and I don't want to give them up, and today specifically, I felt doom and gloom all day, had a few beers after work and felt better... Anyhow, its one of those things that I find helps, but don't know if I should be doing so much anymore. I don't dream much when I drink alot and It makes me wonder if that in itself measn its counter productive. Advice is appreciated. I'm not the "AA" meetings kinda guy (nor do I really think its that big of an issue... I will drink maybe once a week, but if I do I probably have more than I should) - but I trust and respect the opinions of those here, and the title of this post has been gnawing at me for a couple of days now I must admit.


Call me Mary's picture

Hi Josh,


Boy – thanks for your post.  I know what you mean about that feeling that something is coming.  It’s kind of nice to know that I’m not alone in feeling it.  Most times I can stay focused in the direction I would like to see expand in the world… Looking towards the growing inspirational information that is just as easily found as the dark, scary stuff.   But then there are those times…. that I stumble and slip…  and my heart pounds with fear.  Yes… something most definitely is happening….  (my sisters and I say, "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto.)     I think it was Sunday night this week I was watching a movie and enjoying it.  It was not a scary movie by any means.  (Edward Scissorhands)  All of a sudden I was engulfed in a very overwhelming feeling of “Uh Oh!!”   I am getting good at be able to see the separation between my feelings and my mind and I watched my mind go through it’s machinations to “explain” the feeling that was going on.  The thing it came up with was “something is dreadfully wrong with someone you love. – Perhaps someone has died.”    Since it was late, I did not call my family members, but had to use all my tools I have learned along the way to step away from the fear and just watch it.  The next morning I contacted my loved ones and reassured myself that they were just fine. 


You just had a baby girl, if I remember correctly, right?  (Hopefully I haven’t gotten you mixed up with someone else.)   There is nothing like becoming a parent to scare the ever living crap out of you.  All of a sudden it’s not just a matter of taking care of yourself anymore.   Now you are so much more vulnerable in this world.  Now it becomes more important to make the world a safer place.   


If you were looking for advice on the drinking… I will let someone else give you their opinion on that.  Coming from an alcoholic family, and having married twice to men with drinking problems…. I only know that many tender hearts are sometimes drawn to the medicating comfort of alcohol.   I have every confidence you will find your way, and your truth, concerning this issue. 


Take care Josh.  


With Love,


Brian's picture

1 million deaths...
As shocking as this is, I can't get my head around that number. Did you hear the story about the abandoned fuel tanker adrift in the ocean with a little dog on board? There was a fire and they didn't rescue him with the crew. So, Americans in particular (& others worldwide) were so concerned with this little dog that 10's of thousands of dollars were donated to mount a rescue and pressure was put on authorities. A tugboat spent time on the high seas and finally found it (after a month adrift). A crewman climbed on board and 'grabbed the dog by the scruff of his neck'. Rescued.

Meanwhile thousands of people (many children)were dying of disease, starvation, torture, warfare. Apparently, we cannot flex our minds to be concerned with more than a couple of individuals. Is it because we evolved as hunter-gatherers in small groups?  It's a huge blind spot!

 Lightwins- your story is familiar to me and I've been able to "get off it" on some occassions-usually  when I have some quiet time to 'recover' or generate calmness. But if things happen fast and there isn't time to reflect and center myself, I can be a real a-hole to people. I bless those times when I can be better.

Brian's picture

 Hey guy's-

 About the feeling that something is coming. I thought I was the only one feeling this way! Mine has a strong dose of dread's probably about my unemployment maybe running out:-(

ChrisBowers's picture

Hey Josh, I am also a big fan of a good microbrewery pint or touch of good scotch, almost everyday.  I used to drink too much for my own good, but now am a big fan of less is more.  I am always on the lookout for a new offering from a microbrewery, or some new scotch I have yet to taste.  So my fancy for them has become as much or more about collecting as it ever was about just drinking.

I think it is just my age that made the transition to moderation so easy, but still love to sample.  I have a row of scotch bottles lined up on top a CD case, and I enjoy just knowing their there, looking like such a wonderful little collection, almost as much as I love to bring one of them down from time to time and pour 1/2" in snifter, followed by just the slightest bit of homemade distilled water to gently wake it up, and then swirl it first, followed by several long attentive slow smells, really taking that amazing art and craft in, and then sip it like it was cinnamon oil.

A friend and I really got to the other end of the alcohol dilution R&D spectrum when we diluted scotch to such a degree in homemade distilled water that it tasted like a very fine herbal tea of some sort that has just the faintest hint of sweet, but more like just essence of something.  So subtle that you could drink it all day, hydrate very well, and enjoy this refreshing wet essence you cannot quite put your finger on, but love very much.  If you try this "tea" scotch idea, start with about a teaspoon of scotch to a 16 oz. glass of clean or distilled chilled water, ice cubes optional...

By really slowing down that sensory process and not overwhelming it, I drink so much less than I used to, and enjoy it immensely more than I used to, and never spend too much money, or get sick, or feel lousy the next day.  Call it creative moderation.  Even us liberals and liberterians can be conservative and moderate, LOL

Brian's picture

Speaking of drinking...I did a bit of it back in the day and pass no judgements here. If anyone should want to know about it S.M.A.R.T. Recovery is an alternative to AA and has great results but also works for drugs, eating, computer gaming, sex, any addictive behaviours. Saved my life.


tscout's picture

   I really identify with the 2nd and 3rd paragraph of your first post, chris, I have struggled with this for years, depleting myself with my mind chatter , when I could probably make a difference if I just shut that thing down, and I have at times ,we are truly much more powerful when we are "quiet". ..Yes,,I believe this "herd" is changing , but the bulk of it is happening beneath the surface, where it needs to,,,when it reaches critical mass, and surfaces,,whew!,,that is going to be a great day.........btw,,love the quote,"inviolate peace that has no opposite",,,,,,as the transition from a world of duality to a world where peace can exist without it s opposite is the sign we have done something right

ChrisBowers's picture

If you liked the "Peace without an opposite" quote, you'll love the book.  It comes from James Twyman's true life experience in the Balkans on the Serbian/Croatian border where he met the Emissaries of Light, a certain sect that have been interceding via meditation on Earth in the most war torn or violent areas for a very long time.

You will be pleased to know that what is suggested is that Peace with no opposite is ALL there really is, in spite of our constant willingness to enter into illusory dynamics attempting to prove otherwise, which is our birthright as a developing humanoid species if we wish to spin our wheels like that, but does not change the inviolate Reality that Peace does not come - Peace is always there to be entered and experienced at will, individually and collectively.

Peace with no opposite is not displaced with violence, but simply ignored, while the individual and collective ego mind entertains itself with all the distracting drama of violence, discord and "us v. them" dualistic illusory data that so perfectly entertains the ego's desire for autonomy while simultaneously being very threatened by a looming enduring sense of separation.  The book is called "Emissary of Light" by James Twyman and is definitely worth a read, as well as his book about the psychic children of the world called "Emissary of Love: The Psychic Children Speak to the World" (another real life journey to a hidden monastery in Bulgaria).

If people really knew how prevalent this growing/developing phenomenon was and is, they would be wondering why it is not being covered more in mainstream media, but I think we can figure out for ourselves why that is....  Even us who feel more enlightened, look how much time we distract ourselves with anything and everything but the Collective Coherent Initiative of Peace, to remain in and at Peace predominantly and willfully, in spite of any and all physical efforts conducted in a seemingly evil, insane and war torn world.

It is so tempting to fall prey to believing it is hopeless, was for me anyway for a long time.  I can even rationalize this!  Either the world is going to hell in a handbasket, or there truly is an inviolate unassailable nature to the Cosmos in which there is much room for the violent illusory data being adopted en masse at times by developing humankind species at this stage of evolutionary development.  If some of the more esoteric, seemingly fictional, information I have read from several sources is true, all humanoid, spiritually developing species, come to the place where they discover the atom and it's immense power, and become very tempted to use it destructively.  As if it were a spiritual rite of passage.  How incredibly dynamic, to have conscious and intellectual access to such power, and then finally decide as a species to forego its destructive use and to choose Peace (with no opposite) instead....

Hey everyone,

I think you will probably all relate to what hooks me....or as could be said here in Oz...what cheeses me off....I just typed some notes to people and because my internet is crappy!...I lost them!...ahhhhh!!!....

computers hook me in general when they take to long...etc....but big companies that rip us off, give bad service, put all responsibility on us.....Lol..really get me going ......I should point out that internet and stuff works different in Australia....I have 6 gig download each month for $ is extra expensive because it is if I go over that limit I pay 15 cents per meg....or $150 per bad is that....and it constantly drops out!!!!!!.......many people I know have been caught out and had bills of $800 or $900 in a month because something downloaded or uploaded without them realizing! yeah....just the thought of these companies and the way you can't get "satisfaction" back after they rip you  off is a big hook for me.

Banks as well...we now have a $2 transaction fee for the owner of the ATM machine...I have been trying not to spend money and so pull out only the minimum I need but then I saw I had $20 of these charges in 15 days!...I should plan better I know but it's a joke....that fee is on top of all the other fee's we pay the banks.....then when they need a bail out...we help them?....screw them I say!...

Anyway I do laugh these days and while I let myself carry on and get caught up occasionally I would like to think it's a game I play and as long as I know it's funny and not serious I am OK........




tscout's picture

  Thanx for the tip on the book chris,,I had flashed back to the conversations w god books,,where god says that it is all that exists, but that he/we created duality to be able to experience it, as it had no reference, that is why technically there is no hell, all there is is the absolute..........and your comment about how even once we know, that we still spend so little time in that place,,it is our biggest folly, I laugh at myself every day thinking just the same thing,,,,,,,,,,it is the key,,,,,,,,,,,thanx again for the tip on the book, it sounds great............peace,,,,,,,,,todd

JoshERTW's picture


When I was in Aus I had my accn't with Commonwealth, they had no fee's. Might be worth looking into.


My fears hook me.  I pray/intend and work through them... sometime it is with grace and ease and sometimes it is not.


Viveka's picture

There is a beautiful web site called Mastering By Jim Self There you will find some wonderful tools to help understand and master fear, plus much more.

Love  and Peace

The Gathering Spot is a PEERS empowerment website
"Dedicated to the greatest good of all who share our beautiful world"