Accepting that this human life will bring suffering

Standing Buddha statue, ThailandStep one – Accepting that this human life will bring suffering – is pointing us in the direction of truth. Ask yourself what are you avoiding? What are you hiding from? Most human beings are avoiding suffering. Most human beings are hiding from suffering underneath a veneer of coping mechanisms.

This step acknowledges the different types of suffering we can experience. Most commonly the suffering of ageing, sickness and death. We can not avoid any of these truths, we can not hide from these truths either. So we may as well face them gracefully.

How we may ask? We do this with kindly acceptance. Acceptance is in the present moment. When suffering arises; if we … Read more »

What did the Buddha know about addiction?

Mindfully Strive OnWe know that before Shakyamuni became a Buddha (waking up to the truth of reality) that he tried extreme self-discipline that included abstaining from all forms of indulgence, which was called the practice of asceticism. His self-mortification included eating just one grain of rice a day, and sometimes walking around with one arm in the air for weeks. In his search for an end to suffering, Gautama became like an addict to asceticism. Like today’s addicts, he had learned how to master pain, or so he thought. He grew as thin as a skeleton, and did not budge from his addiction. Still he did not find an end to suffering. Until one day he realized … Read more »

Eight step recovery meetings

An open heart is all you need to bring to a meetingWe have received several requests on a meeting format for Eight Step Recovery – Using The Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction. Already we have heard of groups setting up in the UK and Canada which are working the steps with a wide range of addictions. We hope groups will continue to spring up all over the globe. When the book goes into second edition we will include a meeting format as we can see that this was an aspect that we didn’t consider to include.

To be able to write a book and explain our Eight Steps, we need to put them in an order. The order has a certain logical structure that can be … Read more »

Tricycle magazine explores ‘dharma drunks’

Noah Levine – Author of Refuge Recovery – A Buddhist Path to Recovering from Addiction

Last month I asked the question, why another book on recovery? In the summer issue of Tricycle, Joan Duncan Oliver, a contributing editor and the editor of Commit to Sit, an anthology of Tricycle articles, also gives her view on this topic too. Tricycle has kindly let me quote the first few paragraphs while also including a link to the rest of the article.

‘Buddhist practitioners are skewing younger. Add to that growing concern about drug abuse in America, and it’s hardly surprising that the Buddhist recovery field is expanding. Back in 1993, Mel Ash, then a dharma teacher … Read more »

Why another book on recovery?

Eight Step RecoveryDuring the past few years we have seen several authors like Kevin Griffin, Tom Catton and Noah Levine publish books about recovery. They are making the rounds in the recovery community. This year three new books have come onto the market, Scot Kiloby’s Natural Rest for Addiction: A Revolutionary Way to Recover Through Presence, Eight Step Recovery – Using The Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction by myself and Dr Paramabandhu Groves, and in June Noah Levine’s Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist Path to Overcoming Addiction will hit the streets.

Not so long ago there was only the Big Book, of 12 step recovery, and it was a book that was in the closet. Nobody went … Read more »

Using the Buddha’s teachings to overcome addiction

Valerie Mason-John Aka Vimalasara co-author of Eight Step Recovery Using The Buddha's Teachings to Overcome Addiction
Valerie Mason-John Aka Vimalasara co-author of Eight Step Recovery Using The Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction
Eight Step Recovery Launched in the UK January 2014. It will launch in the States this month and will be distributed by Consortium. And in Canada too, distributed by Raincoast books.

http://youtu.be/faX2wG-tk5A

One reviewer said: “It’s the best book on Buddhist recovery, because it does not try to fit Buddhism into the 12 step model. It comes directly from the Buddhist teachings, and compliments the 12 step recovery.” As authors we have put the Buddhism back into Mindfulness. While we recognize there is much to be gained from mindfulness that is being presented in the mainstream, however there is … Read more »

Interview

Interview with the co author of Eight Step Recovery – Using The Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction

Most of us either know someone who has suffered from some form of addiction or have suffered from addiction ourselves. Why do you think it is so common?

Suffering is Universal. Human nature has an inbuilt tendency toward addiction. I would say that the main reason why we become addicts is that there is some dis-ease deep in our minds, and I think most of us can relate to that experience. Our addictions are usually misguided kindness towards ourselves – we’re trying to take care of something difficult that is arising in our minds. The problem is that … Read more »

Make a plan

Red and green pushpin on a mapChristmas is behind us and new year has unfolded for many in all, sorts of interesting ways. How many of us made new year resolutions? And how many of us have broken them already?

I remember as a child being told promises are made to be broken. And soon realized how hard promises were to keep. It was because while I was enthusiastic about a promise and had all intentions of keeping it, I forgot the most important thing: my plan. Promises are only made to be broken if we don’t make a plan.

How many of you have made a plan? A plan is essential for recovery. Without it we will be like the … Read more »

We are what we think

This month I share my dharma talk – given on TEDx – it could have been called many names, like the Power of Loving Kindness. I explore through my personal and professional experience how our ‘stinking thinking’ can be our biggest addiction. It is the cause of heedlessness – and it has been said: ‘That those who are heedless are like the dead, and those who are heedful do not die.’ When we are heedful we are mindful, attentive and aware. When we are heedless we are negligent, thoughtless and undmindful.

TEDx Conference in Vancouvr
When we are addicted to our ‘stinking thinking’ we are on the path of the death, there is no room for mindfulness. Yes of … Read more »

Sobriety of mind

Join us for 21 days of 15 minute guided meditations
Join us for 21 days of 15 minute guided meditations

Our 21 day Meditation for Sobriety of Mind, Peace of Mind, and liberation from addictive behaviours began on November Sunday 17th. Join us as we take you on a journey of peace and calm using some of the buddhist teachings, mantras, meditations and harmonized compassion phrases. Perfect if you have a busy life. Only 15 minutes long, time enough to help set up a daily practise. It’s said it takes 21 days to break a habit, and so it must take 21 days to cultivate a new habit. Here is a sample of todays. https://www.dropbox.com/s/nmsbx12ah3mzjoc/2.%20metta%205.mp3 If you enjoyed it then do register for free on … Read more »