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/