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Guest Alexx21

any Buddhist here ?

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Guest Alexx21

Any Buddhist here ?

the last post for anything has been in march and most of the people who posted here have been deleted

am a new Buddhist just learning about it

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Charlize

I sat Zen for several years while at university but consider myself more spiritual than part of a religion.

Hugs,

Charlize

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Cecilia
On 7/23/2016 at 0:30 PM, Alexx21 said:

Any Buddhist here ?

the last post for anything has been in march and most of the people who posted here have been deleted

am a new Buddhist just learning about it

I am just seeking to start my journey into Buddhism.  I grew up Orthodox Jewish, then as a young adult became Born Again.  That did not feel right to my soul and biblical infallibility and biblical inerrancy did not sit right with my scientific mind and critical thinking approach to life.  I became Agnostic for decades after that but on the fringe of my world I kept being attracted to Buddhism.  The passing of my dog and my transgender journey bring me back to Buddhism.  I just wrote to the Buddhist Temple near me and am hoping to hear back.  Their website says they allow visitors daily at 11 AM as they give Alms to the Monks (https://khmertempleutica.wordpress.com/).  I hope to be invited via a response email soon.

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onaquest

Well, new to the forum, but not new to transition or Buddhism, let's get this topic rolling

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Charlize

Welcome to the forums Onaquest.  You may want to post an introduction in that forum.  As to Buddhism it seems a topic that can either roll or sit under a tree.  How do you feel?

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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onaquest

:D Buddhism is such a broad topic. Simply "Buddhism" is perhaps too broad given all the various sects and such. I am terrible at introductions, so I just wildly jump in feet first.

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Charlize

As an alcoholic in recovery i recently started to explore the relationship between the cravings of the world, my addiction and buddhism.  This article explores this beautifully.

 

Buddhism and the 12 Steps

July 16, 2014

Buddhas

By Roger C.

There would appear to be much in common between Buddhist thought and the 12 Step recovery program practised by some in AA.

A number of books have made the connection between them.

Three of the more popular ones include Kevin Griffin’s work, One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the 12 Steps, published in 2004. That was followed in 2009 by Darren Littlejohn’s well-known work, The 12-Step Buddhist.

And a third is Thérèse Jacobs-Stewart’s book, Mindfulness and the 12 Steps, published in 2010.

Buddhist thought holds that craving leads to suffering (the second noble truth). Twenty-five hundred years ago the Buddha taught that snippets of addiction – constantly wanting, ever craving this or that – are the source of all human suffering.

 

He also taught that this craving could be reduced and eventually eliminated.

This is where Buddhist mindfulness enters the picture. It can be defined as self-awareness brought about by the practice of meditation.

Meditation leads incrementally towards an “awakening:” an understanding of human interaction in the world that is both craving and delusion-free.

We have the choice to live an awakened life… This is a choice to be mindful, see our patterns, and recognize the delusions that lead us to act the way we do. In Twelve Step terms, it is the practice of taking inventory, searching out what’s driving our actions and reactions, and taking responsibility for it. (Mindfulness and the 12 Steps, p. 52)

It is certainly worth noting that the the “mindfulness” of Buddhism as a way of dealing with addictive behaviour is ever more prevalent in the rooms of AA.

Some time ago Julie B. celebrated a year of sobriety at the We Agnostics meeting on St. Clair Avenue in Toronto. She chose to have one word, an acronym, on her one-year medallion: S.O.B.E.R.

When we have a troubling thought, or a desire to drink, the Buddhist approach is laid out this way:

  • Stop – Pause for a moment and consider what you are doing;
  • Observe – Think about what you are sensing, feeling and experiencing, and what events led to the situation;
  • Breathe – Pause for a few deep breaths in order to assess your situation in as calm a manner as possible;
  • Expand – Expand your awareness and remind yourself of what will happen if you keep repeating the unwanted behavior (and how you will feel afterward);
  • Respond mindfully – Remember that you have a choice, that you are not required to continue the undesired behaviour.

As Jacobs-Stewart puts it, “If we are mindful, we can slow down the reactionary chain of thoughts, feelings, and subsequent actions. We can see the whole cycle.” (p. 81)

This mindfulness approach to dealing with the affliction of alcoholism has grown exponentially over the past few decades. Indeed, it is doing so with or without Buddhism.

In 1990, Jon Kabat-Zin published a ground-breaking book, Full Catastrophe Living, which launched the use of mindfulness meditation as a “stress reduction program.” Called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), these programs are readily available in most cities from a number of hospitals and doctors and are used to deal with a wide variety of afflictions, including alcoholism.

BuddhaIn fact, the S.O.B.E.R. inscription on Julie’s one-year medallion had its inspiration in an eight-week program based on the Kabat-Zin MBSR model that she had taken in early sobriety at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

It is perhaps also worth mentioning that, like AA, the Buddhist approach places a great deal of emphasis on community or “fellowship” as an important part of maintaining sobriety. Buddhism believe that all beings are interdependant and thus has a profound understanding of the importance of the principle of “one alcoholic helping another alcoholic,” as an important part of recovery.

Many looking for meditation and mindfulness to deal with the affliction of alcoholism turn to the Buddhist Recovery Network, which has been online since 2009. The website “supports the use of Buddhist teachings, traditions and practices to help people recover from the suffering caused by addictive behaviors.” The Buddhist Recovery Network specifically “promotes mindfulness and meditation” as a way of dealing with alcoholism and addiction. On its Resources Page it lists a total of sixteen published books that take a Buddhist approach to working the 12 Steps.

On the Buddhist Recovery Network’s Meetings Page, it lists times and locations for meetings in half a dozen countries. In the United States there are roughly one hundred meetings, with thirty of them in California. Interestingly, at the Alano Club in Portland, Oregon, where a Beyond Belief agnostic AA meeting is held on Sunday mornings, there is also a Buddhist 12 Step Meditation meeting on Tuesday evenings. Indeed, many of these Buddhist recovery meetings involve the 12 Steps.

A Buddhist approach to the 12 Steps can be an important part of achieving what Bill Wilson described as the “personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism” in the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous.

Buddhism and the 12 Steps. Do they fit together?

They sure do, for an increasing number of people.


This article is a condensed and gently revised version of Mindfulness and the 12 Steps, originally published on AA Agnostica on September 2, 2012.

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DenimAndLace

I'm a mere casual observer of religions, except for fundamental Christianity of which I was formerly quite entangled but I thought the 12 step process of AA was created by a Christian with overt Christianity interwoven in it.  Or was that just another reach of Christianity to claim more territory?  I honestly don't know.  Is AA Christian?  Is AA Buddhist?  Is it neither or both or is there something about Christianity and Buddhism that are the same?  I personally think it's the latter.

 

This thread caught my attention because, if anything, I consider myself an eclectic theist with Christian leanings.  The "eclectic" quantifier is because I tend to take bits and pieces from any religion that resonates with me.  From the Native Americans, I get my respect for the natural world we live in.  From Christianity, I get my sense of how to treat others.  From Buddhism, I am reminded to be thoughtful, intentional and sensitive to things I don't understand.  Honestly, I could probably get any of those things from any religion but in my high altitude observation, each religion holds some things closer to their core and all the major religions, in my belief, have a key to unlock a greater or prolonged existence for our species.  I also believe that ALL religions (including my "eclectic theism with Christian leanings" and humanism) have poison in them.

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VickySGV

Bill Wilson. who wrote Alcoholics Anonymous did have his own Christian leanings, but one of the Twelve Traditions of AA states that AA does not embrace a single religious doctrine or affiliation.  In the writing style of the time that Bill wrote The Big Book, he did use the male attributions of  "God as we understand him", and some groups do occasionally use the "Our Father" as a closing prayer.  The groups I am part of today are OK with my use of gender neutral or female references to a Higher Power since many of them have had trouble with the Christian religious style in many areas. It is still a problem for some people who were abused in churches and, to quote another reading in AA, "We claim Spiritual Progress rather than spiritual perfection."   

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onaquest

What a fantastic topic! In my many years in and out of the rooms, the one thing that stuck with my spiritual practice had a name and it was Buddhism. MBRP and S.O.B.E.R was a big thing in my last stent in treatment. Another organization is Refuge Recovery, and there are groups here. One meeting there per week is part of my meeting routine. Not clicking with any theistic approach, "of our understanding" really grabbed me in the earliest of days and I hold dearly even today.

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