Eight step recovery meetings

June 2, 2014

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 »

New brain-based understanding of mindfulness & meditation strategies for addiction treatment

wildmind meditation newsPRWeb: Mindfulness and meditation have been shown to aid addiction recovery, but which strategy is best? Here Constance Scharff, PhD, Director of Addiction Research at Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center, describes our evolving understanding of the brain-based effects of meditation and mindfulness.

When included in addiction treatment and relapse prevention programs, mindfulness and meditation strategies have been shown to reduce anxiety and help to prevent relapse. But mindfulness and meditation are separate practices and even within meditation, not all styles produce the same results. Which is best?

“Anxiety is universal to the human condition, but addicts experience it to an extreme because they have real problems. Meditation and mindfulness practices can help an addict stop worrying … Read more »

Tricycle magazine explores ‘dharma drunks’

May 12, 2014
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 »

Studies conclude mindfulness treats addiction more effectively than traditional treatments

wildmind meditation newsJennifer Hedly, Florida Newswire: Experts say the results of two recent studies found a mindfulness approach to treating addiction helped more people kick habits long-term, in some cases, over four times the success rate from traditional treatment methods. “I’m delighted to read about this study. But it doesn’t surprise me. Having worked in many different treatment programs through the years, I find mindfulness to be the most effective approach,” says Scott Kiloby of the Kiloby Center.

Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine found that smokers who received mindfulness training versus a widely used American Lung Association program, were more likely to …

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Why another book on recovery?

April 7, 2014

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 »

Mindfulness meditation may reduce drug user relapse

March 21, 2014

wildmind meditation newsRachael Rettner, Live Science: Many people who undergo treatment for addiction will relapse and begin using drugs again soon after their therapy ends, but a new study suggests that meditation techniques may help prevent such relapses.

In the study, 286 people who had been treated for substance abuse were assigned to receive one of three therapies after their initial treatment: a program that involved only group discussions, a “relapse- prevention” therapy that involved learning to avoid situations where they might be tempted to use drugs, and a mindfulness-based program that involved meditation sessions to improve self-awareness.

Six months later, participants in the both the …

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Three steps to mindful smoking

October 29, 2013
Photo copyright Rob DeWitt.
Photo copyright Rob DeWitt.
Yesterday I wrote about using mindfulness to deal with the craving for tobacco. By coincidence, an old friend, Sagaracitta, has recently published an article on the same topic. It’s a long article, but it contains this handy suggestion for smoking with mindfulness (which I’ve slightly edited).

Before smoking

  • Scan through your body. Make a note of how you are feeling. Then contact your breath.
  • Without altering your breath, just be aware of three full cycles of your breathing.
  • Look at your cigarette packet. Read any warning labels. Just be aware of it.
  • Be aware of one full cycle of your breath. Notice any feelings that are arising.
  • Pick up the
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Is your meditation smoking?

October 28, 2013

nuns smoking

When I was teaching meditation at the University of Montana I had a student called Connie who was very concerned about her smoking habit. In my youth I sometimes used to smoke roll-ups at parties and I sometimes even bought tobacco so I could make my own and not be cadging from other people all the time, but I never got addicted and so I had no experience I could share about giving up the evil weed. But I do encourage people to be mindful, and so I suggested that she really pay attention to the sensations and mental patterns that arose each time she was smoking a cigarette. It seemed like a long-shot, but … Read more »

Eight Step Recovery

October 7, 2013

Eight Step RecoveryEight Step Recovery – Using The Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction, by Valerie Mason-John and Dr Paramabandhu Groves

‘Blending Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery with traditional Buddhist teachings and personal stories, the authors give us a wise and compassionate approach to recovery from the range of addictions. This comprehensive approach will be a valuable tool for addicts and addiction professionals alike.’
Kevin Griffin, author of One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps

Foreword written by Gabor Maté
Publication date 2014

The Eight Steps

Step One: accepting that this human life will bring suffering
Step Two: seeing how we create extra suffering in our lives
Step Three: embracing impermanence to shows … Read more »

International recovery day

September 2, 2013

DharmachakraSeptember 8th is International Recovery Day. Every day is a recovery day for me as I wholeheartedly go for refuge to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. The more I can place these jewels at the centre of my life, the more I walk the Noble Eightfold path that the Buddhas taught as a way out of our misery.

This path is a way to live our life that will bear the fruits of stillness, simplicity and contentment.

Perhaps choose to focus on one of the stages of the path each week throughout September and October.

detox your heart

For a free sample epub chapter of Detox Your Heart and a sample from Vimalasara's online course on

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