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Question: Do you have a recommendation for how to stop smoking? I need some advice about freedom from the inner voices that tempt me.
Answer: There is an important principle at the root of all true spiritual teachings, and it applies to your question. The principle is that “resistance to the disturbance is the disturbance.” What this means is that when we struggle to stop ourselves from doing something against ourselves merely out of the wish not to suffer what we do to ourselves, we may be assured the behavior will continue. We can’t end our wrong relationship with the parts of ourselves that tempt us and then torment us for falling into their hands until what we are tempted to do no longer holds any attraction for us. This approach is not trying to dominate what is defeating us, but is based on the idea of illuminating what has been deceiving us. Until we recognize the difference, we will struggle for no true gain because we do not understand that what we are against within us is a secret part of us.