12-Step Buddhist Summer Retreat 2012 8/26-8/28: Perfecting Maintenance

handinwater

For our second summer retreat we’ll be working with some basic Buddhist concepts as they relate to steps 10, 11 and 12 of the AA literature. These are commonly referred to as the “maintenance steps” to be practiced in daily life after working through Steps 1-9. In Buddhism the system of the paramitas (Sanskrit for perfections) are used as a path to enlightenment. The Perfections are Generosity, Discipline, Patience , Diligence, Meditative concentration and Wisdom. Similar to the way Step Six in the AA 12×12 is discussed as an ideal, we practice the perfections. The difference between 12-Step and Buddhism is that Buddhism aims for total liberation from suffering. Rather than saying we’ll never be perfect so why try, the Dharma teaches us how to get free-total liberation, just like Buddha.