Buddhism and Recovery
Most treatment centers and anonymous programs focus on the importance of spirituality in recovery. For some this can be a huge turnoff, they associate spirituality with specific religions and God.
Images of Christianity or Catholicism may come to mind accompanied by the thought of having to incorporate something like this into their lives to help them stay clean and off drugs/alcohol can seem like an impossibility. This is far from the case.
Buddhism has been around for thousands of years and has recently become extremely popular among recovering addicts and alcoholics.
Everyone deserves to find a way of recovery that they feel comfortable with. If that level of comfort is not there the chances of that person overcoming their issues will drop significantly.
With the current state our country is in and the ongoing opioid crisis this is literally a matter of life and death for most addicts.
What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development that will help lead one to find insight on important parts of their life. It’s about learning and understanding the true nature of reality. This may sound a bit out there for some of you, but practicing Buddhist principles is very simple and easy to do.
Buddhist practices like meditation and mindfulness are means of changing yourself in order to develop the qualities of kindness, awareness and wisdom. Living in the moment and appreciating the little things are all part of practicing Buddhism.
The experience which has been created within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has become an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a simple and peaceful path. The path which ultimately culminates in enlightenment which is sometimes also referred to as Buddhahood.
When someone reaches enlightenment they will be able to see the nature of reality absolutely clarity. The world around them will appear just as it is, thoughts and opinions of others will not bare hinderance on their thoughts and ideas. These enlightened individuals are able to live fully and naturally in accordance with that amazing vision.
Seek A Spiritual Life
This is the ultimate goal of the Buddhist seeking out a truly spiritual life. They hope to be a representation of peace and hope to end the suffering of themselves and those around them.
Buddhism does not have a central god like most other religions do. The idea of worshipping a creator god or an almighty being is hard to grasp for some people.
Those who understand Buddhism do not see it as a religion in the normal, Western sense of the term.
The basic doctrines of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical. Nothing is fixed or permanent in Buddhism. All actions have consequences, but change is possible. Buddhism addresses itself to all people.
It does not discriminate, all are welcome at any time to practice its principles and live a life of peace. One’s race, nationality, caste, sexuality, or gender does not matter. It teaches simple practical methods that enable people to realize and use the teachings in everyday life.
Allowing them to transform their experience, to be fully responsible for their lives.
From the official Refuge Recovery website “Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist-oriented path to freedom from addiction. This is an approach to recovery that understands: “All individuals have the power and potential to free themselves from the suffering that is caused by addiction.”
We feel confident in the power of the Dharma, if applied, to relieve suffering of all kinds, including the suffering of addiction. This is a process that cultivates a path of awakening, the path of recovering from the addictions and delusions that have created so much suffering in our lives and in this world.”
“Refuge Recovery is a systematic approach to training our hearts and minds to see clearly and respond to our lives with understanding and non-harming. You are entering a way of life that may be familiar to some and foreign to others. In the beginning some of it may seem confusing or counter-instinctual, and some of it is. But you will find that with time, familiarity and experience, it will all make perfect sense and will gradually become a more and more natural way of being.”
This free program is similar to that of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, expect with a Buddhist twist. All meetings are free to attend and anyone is welcome.
Buddhism and the practice of its principles have become more and more popular over the past decade among recovering addicts and alcoholics. Meetings are held in person in hundreds of towns and cities throughout the country and are also available online. Meetings typically start with a group meditation and last anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours. Visit their website for more information about meetings near you and to learn more about their program of recovery.