Buddhist 12 Steps

Buddhist 12 Steps

For those who struggle with the concept of God or a Higher Power, the Buddhist 12 Steps might be the perfect solution. Just like other 12 Step fellowships, Buddhism provides a path to transformation in the form of a veritable blue print for a spiritual life.

Many Buddhists find that it helps them to belong to a Buddhist community as well as a 12 Step community – the two complement each other because both call for a spirituality that is based on a practical philosophy of the “here and now” that leads to higher transformation.

Spirituality Not Dogma

Buddhism points out ways to live an enlightened, spiritual life without necessarily believing in God. For this reason some people do not see Buddhism as a religion in the typical, Western sense. Buddhism, rather, is a path of practice and spiritual development; so that practitioners are able transform their lives. In Buddhism, there is no identified Deity, or God. Buddha, himself, is recognized as a great teacher, but never a god. Buddhism and the Buddhist 12 Steps are meant to lead people to their own Buddhahood, or enlightenment. Enlightenment is the state beyond craving and suffering.

The Buddhist 12 Steps:

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 1: We admitted our addictive craving of alcohol and recognized its consequences in our lives.

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 2: Came to believe that a power other than self could restore us to wholeness.

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 3: Made a decision to go for refuge to this other power as we understood it.

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 5: Admitted to ourselves and another human being the exact moral nature of our past.

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 6: Became entirely ready to work at transforming ourselves.

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 7: With the assistance of others and our own firm resolve, we transformed unskillful aspects of ourselves and cultivated positive ones.

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed.

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 9: Made direct amends to such people where possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. In addition, made a conscientious effort to forgive all those who harmed us.

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 10: Continue to maintain awareness of our actions and motives, and when we acted unskillfully promptly admitted it.

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 11: Engaged through the practice of meditation to improve our conscious contact with our true selves, and seeking that beyond self. Also used prayer as a means to cultivate positive attitudes and states of mind.

Buddhist 12 Steps – Step 12: Having gained spiritual insight as a result of these steps, we practice these principles in all areas of our lives, and make this message available to others in need of recovery.

 

The Buddhist 12 Steps and the Four Noble Truths

It is also possible to look upon the traditional 12 steps as containing the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path of Buddhism:

Step 1 = There is suffering

Step 2 = Suffering is caused by cravings

Step 2There is an escape from cravings

Step 3 = The escape from cravings is the noble eightfold path

**The noble eightfold path contains the rest of the steps:

Step 4 = Right view

Steps 5, 6, and 7 = Right intention

Right speech

Steps 8 and 9 =Right action

Right livelihood

Step 10 = Right effort

Step 11 = Right mindfulness

Step 12 = Right concentration

 

The Buddhist 12 Steps and Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha

Buddha refers to both the historical enlightened person and someone’s own potential Buddhahood. Dharma refers to the teaching and Sangha is the spiritual community. The Buddha can be someone’s concept of their Higher Power and Buddha can also represent a trust and faith in your teachers (such as your Sponsor and sober supports). Dharma is the teachings, which can encompass the 12 Steps as well as the other literature used in a 12 Step program. And Sangha, the spiritual community represents the fellowship.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.sasana.org/

http://www.beliefnet.com/

What is SMART recovery?

What is SMART recovery?

SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) is an international non-profit organization which provides assistance to individuals seeking abstinence from addictive behaviors. The approach of smart recovery is secular and science-based using non-confrontational motivational, behavioral and cognitive methods. Meeting participants of smart recovery learn recovery methods derived from evidence-based addiction treatments.

Smart recovery emphasizes four areas which they call the 4-point program in the process of recovery. The 4-point program of smart recovery includes: building motivation, coping with urges, problem solving and lifestyle balance. The smart recovery tools used are various types of therapy including cognitive behavioral therapy. Smart recovery does not use the twelve steps like AA or NA and is actually listed as an alternative to AA and the twelve steps. Even though smart recovery is listed as an alternative it is also suggested as a supplement to a twelve step program.

Smart recovery was incorporated in 1992 as the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Self-Help Network, the organization began operating in 1994. SMART recovery is recognized by the American Academy of Family Physicians, as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). NIDA and NIAAA are agencies of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Smart recovery meetings are free for all wishing to attend, and are intended to be informational as well as supportive. Over 800 weekly smart recovery group meetings led by volunteer facilitators are held worldwide.

Smart recovery meetings are also held in correctional facilities in many states including: Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

In smart recovery there are stages of change, seven of them and these changes are essentially how the smart recovery program works.

  • Stage one of smart recovery change: pre-contemplation: at this stage of smart recovery the participant may not realize that they have a problem.
  • Stage two of smart recovery change: contemplation: the participant of smart recovery evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of the addiction by performing a cost/benefit analysis.
  • Stage three of smart recovery change: determination and preparation: the participant completes a change plan worksheet.
  • Stage four of smart recovery change: action: The participant in smart recovery begins to seek out new ways of handling their addictive behavior. This can include self-help, the support of addiction help groups or professional guidance from a counselor etc.
  • Stage five of smart recovery change: maintenance: At this stage a few months of smart recovery have gone by and the participant in smart recovery’s behavior has been changed and now seeks to maintain their gains.
  • Stage six of smart recovery: Relapse: although it is not inevitable, relapses even in smart recovery are normal and part of the change cycle and if they are handled well can serve as a learning experience in overcoming addiction.
  • Stage seven of smart recovery change: termination: once the participant in smart recovery has sustained a long period of change they may choose to move on with their lives and graduate from smart recovery.

Non 12 Step Rehabs

Non 12 Step Rehabs

Non 12 Step Rehabs are treatment programs that employ other approaches and techniques to treating substance abuse and addiction, instead of the 12 Step approach.

The 12 Step approach, also called the Disease Model, has long contended the maladaptive patterns of alcohol and substance use displayed by addicted individuals are the result of a lifelong disease that is biological in origin. This perspective renders the alcoholic and/or addict essentially powerless over their problematic behaviors and unable to remain sober without the use of a spiritual program that places their problem in a Higher Power, much like someone with a terminal illness are unable to fight the disease by themselves without medication. Behavioral treatment, therefore, necessarily requires individuals to admit their addiction, renounce their former lifestyle, and seek a supportive social network who can help them remain sober. Such approaches are the features of Twelve-step programs, originally published in the book Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939.

Non 12 Step Rehabs apply different approaches such as:

Non 12 Step Rehabs: Person-Centered Therapy (PCT)

PCT is a form of talk-psychotherapy. The goal of PCT is to provide clients with an opportunity to develop a sense of self wherein they can realize how their attitudes, feelings and behavior are being negatively affected and make an effort to find their true positive potential. In this technique, therapists create a comfortable, non-judgmental environment by demonstrating congruence (genuineness), empathy, and unconditional positive regard toward their clients while using a non-directive approach. This aids clients in finding their own solutions to their problems.

Non 12 Step Rehabs: the Cognitive Models of Addiction Recovery

  • Relapse prevention

Four psychosocial processes relevant to the addiction and relapse processes: self-efficacy, outcome expectancies, attributions of causality, and decision-making processes. Self-efficacy refers to one’s ability to deal competently and effectively with high-risk, relapse-provoking situations. Finally, decision-making processes are implicated in the relapse process as well. Substance use is the result of multiple decisions whose collective effects result in consumption of the intoxicant.

  • Cognitive therapy of substance abuse

This therapy rests upon the assumption addicted individuals possess core beliefs, often not accessible to immediate consciousness. The cognitive therapist’s job is to uncover this underlying system of beliefs, analyze it with the patient, and thereby demonstrate its dysfunctionality.

  • Emotion regulation, mindfulness and substance abuse

Emotion regulation in the treatment of substance abuse; mindfulness based approaches

Non 12 Step Rehabs: Behavioral Models

Behavioral therapy lays much emphasis on the use of problem solving techniques as a means of helping the addict to overcome his addiction.

Non 12 Step Rehabs: Holistic Drug Treatment Approach

The perspective of a holistic drug rehab is similar to that of a 12 step rehab: that alcoholism and addiction are a physical, spiritual, and psychological disease, meaning it pertains to the body and the mind. This approach differs from a 12 Step rehab in that it offers many holistic practices to improve spiritual as well as physical and mental health and may include but does not necessarily include the 12 Steps. A few of the practices that are included in holistic drug treatment are but are not limited to:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Ayurveda medicine
  • Natural diet
  • Exercise
  • Counseling
  • Herbal remedies
  • Homeopathy
  • Acupuncture
  • Bodywork
  • Energy-based therapies
  • Prayerful intention

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org

http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov

Holistic Drug Treatment vs. Alternative Drug Treatment

Holistic Drug Treatment vs. Alternative Drug Treatment

 

What is Holistic Drug Treatment?

Holistic drug rehab is centered on the belief that individuals battling addiction are people who need and deserve treatment for their entire being, not just their dependence.

First to know what to look for in a holistic drug rehab center you must know the definition of holistic and what kind of practices are under that definition. Holistic means to treat the whole instead of the parts. Holistic practices are those that treat an entire mind, body and spirit. Knowing this holistic drug rehab centers offer things such as; acupuncture, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, equine therapy, and tai-chi. All of these are holistic practices because they treat the body’s mental, physical and spiritual functions.

Spirituality plays a role in recovery. Clients often turned to substances in order to fill an empty hole. The temporary effects of being high or drunk can make that feeling go away for a bit, but eventually return. The spiritual component to holistic drug rehabilitation can help manifest in clients a new sense of purpose.

One of the ways that holistic drug treatment facilities attempt to attend to the whole person and to individualize care is by providing such alternative treatments—including acupuncture, energy psychology, equine-assisted therapy, neurofeedback, psychodrama, Reiki, somatic experiencing, and massage therapy.

Often times, holistic drug treatment programs are based on a 12 Step program philosophy, which recognizes the importance of having a spiritual foundation in order to begin recovery from addiction.

Holistic Drug Treatment vs. Alternative Drug Treatment

Although they are used interchangeably, alternative drug treatment typically means drug treatment that is wholly different from other modalities of addiction treatment. Holistic programs may offer “alternative” medicine and techniques such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and so on. Alternative drug treatment does not promote the 12 Step program philosophies, which recognizes addiction as a combination of physical allergy, mental obsession, and spiritual malady. Alternative drug treatment takes a different approach and seemingly identifies only one or two of these on which to focus.

For example, Narconon is an alternative drug treatment program that consists of six elements: exercise, sauna, supplements, sufficient liquids, regular diet with fresh vegetables, and adequate sleep. It employs courses or “training routines” (TRs) that supposedly rehabilitate drug abusers.

Another alternative drug treatment facility boasts a program of moderation. The approach is to teach clients how to acquire feelings of joy or satisfaction from the more typical activities of life. The goal is not necessarily to have clients stop their drug(s) of choice and/or addictive behavior 100% as is the approach of the 12 Steps and those who treat addiction only as a brain disease.

 

Its program states that it is unlike 12 Step recovery because it offers a wide range of “goal options” specific to the addictive behavior. Each goal requires a different strategy and results in a different outcome regarding the substance or behavior of your concern, from complete abstinence to solely abstinent from the drug(s) of choice, to moderation of the “problem” drug, to reduction of problem behavior to a “less harmful state.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.psychologytoday.com

http://addictionalternatives.com

www.wikipedia.org

 

How to tap into Serenity in Recovery

Serenity in Recovery

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

These are the first lines of what’s known as the Serenity Prayer, which is well-known to many recovering alcoholics. It is often recited in the rooms of 12-step programs, and it reminds us of the main goal of recovery-to achieve a serene state, no matter what is going on around us. To be able, at any time, to tap into serenity in recovery.

Before becoming a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, my life was absolute chaos. Every day was consumed with getting, buying, and using drugs and alcohol. The smallest bump in the road or comment by a friend or family member would send me into a tailspin. I was irritable, bad-tempered, and angry towards everyone around me. I hurt people around me and I didn’t even care.

I almost lost it all; my friends, my family, and most importantly my life. My body was dying, and if I didn’t get help, I was going to overdose or commit suicide. I went to treatment, and I was given a chance to see what life had to offer.

This didn’t mean, however, that I was able to tap into serenity in recovery as soon as I put down drugs and alcohol. In fact, at first, the chaos got worse. Every emotion that I had been numbing with drugs and alcohol came surging back, all at once. Without my chemical escape, I was brutally aware of all the terrible things I had done in my addiction and all the harm I had caused. Thoughts of drinking and using pervaded my every waking moment. Even when I was asleep, I’d be bombarded with dreams of drugs and alcohol.  I had to learn how to tap into serenity in recovery, and it took time.

Part of how to tap into serenity in recovery comes from exactly what the prayer states, understanding and accepting that some things cannot and will never change. Also, from having the courage to change the things I can, which I came to realize was actually one thing: myself. I have no power over people, places and things. I am responsible for taking the action, not the outcome of the action. I can’t control how people behave, but I can control how I react to that behavior and in some cases whether I choose to spend any more time around that person.

This I achieved from working twelve steps with a sponsor, taking life one day at a time, and practicing steps ten, eleven, and twelve every day. I don’t do these things perfectly, and sometimes I find it difficult to tap into serenity in recovery. However, today I know how to fix it. I know which action to take to get myself back into serenity in recovery. My life today is peaceful and I live with a sense of calmness which I never thought I could have.