Sep 01, 2014
The Buddha was asked, what is the difference between how an ordinary person and a wise person responds to pain? He replied with the analogy of the two darts. All of us experience pain – whether that is physical pain like catching your finger in the door or mental pain such as when someone rejects you. This is the first dart, which we could call primary suffering.
An ordinary person then gets caught up in trying to push away or avoid the pain; in blaming themselves or others, or feeling self-pity. This has the effect of making matters worse: the second dart, which we can call secondary suffering. …
Aug 04, 2014
Step 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 …
Jul 09, 2014
We 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. …
Jun 02, 2014
We 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 …
May 12, 2014
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 …
Apr 07, 2014
During 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 …
Mar 03, 2014
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.
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 …
Feb 02, 2014
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 in doing that we keep reaching …
Jan 10, 2014
Christmas 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. …
Dec 02, 2013
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.