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/

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

 

The Role of Spirituality in Holistic Drug Treatment

The Role of Spirituality in Holistic Drug Treatment

The Role of Spirituality in Holistic Drug Treatment

Twelve step programs have always emphasized the role of spirituality in drug treatment. They believe that addiction is a three part illness: a physical allergy, a mental obsession, and a spiritual malady. This has been the ethos of 12-step programs from the very beginning. However, in modern addiction treatment, the focus has been more on physical and mental wellness. Spirituality was not part of the equation once science-based medicine stepped in.

However, in recent years, the trend in drug treatment has been back towards a holistic approach: Mind, body, and spirit. Treatment centers have started to re-incorporate spiritual practices like yoga and meditation.

The Role of Spirituality in Holistic Drug Treatment: The Facts

The reason that holistic treatment has become more popular is that it simply works. Studies have shown that people who practice spirituality are more likely to stay sober longer and more likely to be happy in their sobriety.  For long-lasting sobriety, spirituality seems to be essential.

The Role of Spirituality in Holistic Drug Treatment: Spiritual Not Religious

When most people think about spirituality, they immediately think of religion. It is ingrained in us to equate spirituality to whatever religious practices we are familiar with. This can turn some people off. However, spirituality and religion are not the same thing.

Spirituality can simply be described as developing a connection to yourself and the world around you. A spiritual connection is not defined by any religion. Each person can create a higher power of his or her understanding. For some people, a higher power simply means nature, or energy, or a group of people (because a group of people by definition is more powerful than one person alone). For others, a higher power is God, as they define him.

The role of spirituality in holistic drug treatment is simply learning to live life based on spiritual principles such as honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. It encourages alcoholics and addicts to take responsibility for their behaviors and actions. Instead of blaming problems on outside sources such as family, work, and other stressors, the focus is on improving their own mind, body and spirit.

The Role of Spirituality in Holistic Drug Treatment: Helping Others

Perhaps most importantly, those with a strong spiritual connection tend to focus their energy outward rather than inward. Rather than dwelling on the past or feeling sorry for themselves, these individuals tend to reach out and try to help someone else, which in turn, keeps them sober. That’s the magic of helping others. You end up helping yourself far more than any help you give to them. As drug addicts and alcoholics, helping others is essential to our recovery. In fact, a recent study on the disease of addiction has scientifically proven that drug addicts and alcoholics who apply the “helper therapy principle” have a better chance of staying clean and sober.  Nearly 40% of alcoholics who help others stayed sober for at least a year compared to 22% who didn’t. Also, 94% of alcoholics that helped anyone even once during a 15 month period reported a lower level of depression.