A Buddhist’s Insight into the 12 Steps of Recovery

I embrace the teaching of mindfulness; I abstain from substances and actions that lead to intoxication and heedlessness. This precept counsels us to cultivate mindful consumption and sobriety and to abstain not only from drugs, alcohol, and other intoxicating substances, but also to avoid anything that has toxic effects, such as pornography; certain films, television programs, books, magazines, foods, and activities (like gambling or enabling another person’s addiction); or even some conversations. Keeping this precept benefits our own mental, spiritual, and physical health, and promotes our families’ and communities’ well-being, too.

Want Cheese With That Whine: The Voices of Self-loathing and Self-love

cheese

I am the voice of self-love. I’ve heard everything self-loathing has to say. It’s OK. Nothing new there. My job is to support the self – no matter how he’s feeling. I’m here, and have always been here. In fact, I was Present before the seed met the egg. When his mother was stressed, didn’t want to be pregnant, smoked cigarettes and got sick, I was here. I’m the real nurturer. In me, the self can always feel safe.

The 12 Steps: A Necessary But Not Sufficient Cause For Recovery

My position is that I encourage anyone who is suffering from addictions to try anything and everything they can to find relief. I’ve found mine in an integrated, comprehensive, multifaceted approach to recovery that includes, but is not limited to full participation in 12-Step groups, psychotherapy, medication, community service and involvement with Buddhist and other spiritual communities. Incidentally, there is a difference between spiritual and religious. Many methods are listed in each chapter of the 12-Step Buddhist book. You might not need all or any of them. But in my case, some are sicker than others. If you’re like me, and are tired of suffering, then it makes sense to try anything and everything you can.

Twitter Me This: How To Use Technology to Stay Sober

Twhirl

Using Technology to Stay Sober. I’ve been on Facebook for a couple of years, but just started using it this past year. Same thing with Myspace, though I’ve used it a big longer. I collect friends by searching for who’s friends with whom, using search terms like Buddhism or recovery and similar methods. It has definitely helped me make connections that I wouldn’t have ever made.

Getting Naked with the Guru

Tsegyalgar East, June 2008

In the old days of my 12-Step recovery, they used to say that if you were going to make it in sobriety, you had to learn to “get naked.” I mentioned this in a meeting recently and got a strange reaction. What they meant was that we needed to drop our rock, join the parade, and become emotionally vulnerable with another human being in our 5th Step, “We Admitted to God, to Ourselves and to Another Human Being the Exact Nature of Our Wrongs.” In recovery, our sponsors were about the closest thing to a guru that most of us ever had.