Budhism and Recovery...
I haven't been posting here in a while as I have moved out on my wife of 36 years due to her alcoholism. I have been very heavily involved in my recovery from being a codependent and enabler to living in a mentally strong and healthy fashion.
This very much involves living in a mindful manner and being aware of my thoughts, words and actions. I believe that I "get it" and have made huge amounts of progress. This is a post I made in a recovery forum. The thread was from someone who gets it and is doing well in her recovery. She was commenting on the disconnect between peoples words and actions in her life. People who have no issues like alcohol or drugs.
I was wondering if this rings a bell with any of you who are practicing Buddhists.
I think another part of the issue is that we are all involved in recovery. At least for me that means being very mindful of my thoughts, words and actions. I am making a conscious effort to improve and be healthy. And through this forum and al-anon I have made a conscious effort to associate with like minded people. It is very important for my recovery.
However most people are not on the save wavelength with me anymore. Its not just alcoholics that are good at quacking and denial. They really don't see the disconnect between their words and their actions.
Recovery isn't just a path or a process that we use, it becomes a way of life. I will never willingly give up this clarity again. It seems to me to be a parallel with the Buddhist idea of enlightenment and living a mindful life.
Just my 2 cents.
BTW, I posted this originally in BOFF topic to 0 responses. Hope to do better here even if it is only for the LOLZ.
Hi M1k3, recovering alcoholic here in AA and NA.
If you think you will find it easier to find a power greater than yourself in Buddhism, then go for it. The Dalai Lama said the best thing to come out of western civilisation is Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Step program.
Personally, I believe all principles of recovery are found in all religions in a variety of ways. I actually had no problem with the idea of a Higher Power, being an avowed agnostic for many, many years, where my main contact with It was to pray for forgiveness, or for help in covering up some deed I had commijted while drunk/ drugged. However, I did and to some extent still do, agonise over the "right way" to pray, at first the idea of praying was uncomfortable, but they said doing it would help me in recovery, so I did it. It was uncomfortable because I felt like a fraud, but then someone told me, "trying to pray is praying" and it all made sense. Having gone to a Catholic school where it was all, kneel, sign of the cross, liturgy, genuflect, repetitive rote responses and confession I realised my view of God was not the view one should have of their Higher Power. On the other hand, during and after school I researched and even practised many different religions as I rode my spiritual path, from Buddhism, to Satanism, to Hare Krishna, to Atheism and all in between. All of them sprouted in me doubt. Which is why a Loving God as I understand Him works best for me.
I do not try to define or categorise the Divine for I am not a god myself, it would be arrogance. On the other hand my recovery and "coincidences" in it (coincidence is God's way of staying anonymous) give me the proof I need that there is a Higher Power in my life. The best I can do is be thankful to the universally binding energy that runs through the known and unknown planes of existence, whatever that energy is.
There are many Buddhists in recovery, so if you think that is where you will find peace with the Higher Power, as I said, go for it. But don't think it is required to join a religion just because you have come to believe and trust in a power greater than yourself. Religions are man made and run by man, leaving them open to corruption.
I consider AA and NA my church because that is where I feel the Higher Power the most.
Thanks battlefields for the post. I wasn't looking at buddhism as my higher power but more on the concepts melding actions, words and thoughts and the state of mindfulness that is required for me not to slip back into the old habits. I find myself several times a day looking at decisions in the works and asking myself "does this help my recovery". I have found a state of clarity that I don't remember having before and I am willing to work and be mindful to keep it. It just seemed to me to be a similar path to what I have read about buddhism. And with this being a martial arts forum I thought I might pick up some interesting perspectives.
BTW the higher power that works for me is the Gestalt of Al-anon itself. I submit myself to the collective wisdom, strength and experience of the group. The whole is greater than the sum of all its parts and collectively there is a strength and wisdom that I can not find inside myself.
I feel the same way about al-anon.
I consider AA and NA my church because that is where I feel the Higher Power the most
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