Using the Buddha’s teachings to overcome addiction
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 a lot more we need if we want to make real changes in our lives. Mindfulness is not just about slowing down, becoming aware of the breath. It is about paying KIND attention to our moment to moment experience, living life ethically, and much more. We explore many of the Buddhist teachings that can help us to become more mindful in our lives and give us abstinence and sobriety of mind.
We don’t offer a quick fix. That is what many of us were trying to do when we first distracted ourselves from unpleasant mental states or experiences. We self medicated, gave ourselves misguided kindness and compassion, to help take care of difficult things happening in our lives. And why not ? You may ask. Well quick fixes, are like band aids that fall off minutes later. Quick fixes perpetuate the vicious cycle of addiction. Why? Because while we may be momentarily relieved from our suffering, guarantee the unpleasant mental states we have been avoiding, will emerge again. Guarantee the craving for a better experience, or more pleasant mental states will emerge again. And when they do we will be reaching for that same or similar quick fix.
We offer the Buddhist teachings as away of staying with whatever we are experiencing calmly. We look at the full picture of mindfulness. Without kindness, compassion, and ethics can there can be no mindfulness.
We offer you eight steps that will take you on a journey of liberation, if you are ready to self surrender. We offer you tools that will enable you to surrender, and discover an abstinence and sobriety of mind that can be maintained. Stopping is the easier part, staying stopped is the harder part.
As the comedian W.C Field once said: It’s easy to quit drinking. I’ve done it a thousand times.’ Does that sound familiar? Step seven: ‘making every effort to stay on the path of recovery’, explores how we can work with maintaining abstinence.
First we must in step four: ‘being willing to step onto the path of recovery and discover freedom’. When we can make that commitment the work begins, in step five: ‘transforming our speech, actions and livelihood’, and in step six: ‘placing positive values at the center of our lives’. All the steps are pivotal, see for yourself.
I wrote the book, because I cleaned up in the meditation halls. I found abstinence and sobriety of mind by applying the Buddhist teachings to my life. Paramabandhu wrote the book because, at the beginning of his career as a clinical psychiatrist specializing in addiction he could see clearly that Buddhism spoke about suffering and a way out of suffering, and that these same teachings must also give people a way out of addiction.
Eight Step Recovery – Using The Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction, by Valerie Mason-John and Dr Paramabandhu Groves
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