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Old 06-20-2013, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Buddhism and twelve steps? HELP???


We do not believe the higher power is a third and separate being. We believe that God is us, as us. All of us. We are all peace and love and energy. How in the heck does that work with twelve steps? WE are God through love. I don't give it up TO god, because god lives within me AS me, AS love. I don't know how to do this in the traditional way. I am confused. I am powerless over his addiction. I can only work on me. But I don't give anything up to a third party to guide me. I guide me. With love and light. So, I pray to the universe. But no GOD. No "person" no specific "being".

I genuinely want to work these steps. Are there any Buddhists out there who can help me?
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, but I am out the door to a function.

Someone else may come along who can help and that would be great, but I'm leaving this for hope - you aren't alone, I'm a Buddhist and have decades clean and sober working the steps and working around the 'god' thing. I'll check this thread when I get back.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by izzyrose05 View Post
We do not believe the higher power is a third and separate being. We believe that God is us, as us. All of us. We are all peace and love and energy. How in the heck does that work with twelve steps? WE are God through love. I don't give it up TO god, because god lives within me AS me, AS love. I don't know how to do this in the traditional way. I am confused. I am powerless over his addiction. I can only work on me. But I don't give anything up to a third party to guide me. I guide me. With love and light. So, I pray to the universe. But no GOD. No "person" no specific "being".

I genuinely want to work these steps. Are there any Buddhists out there who can help me?
The anthropomorphic nature of 'Higher Power as you understand Him' is a certainly a challenge. I don't want to shortchange any answer or suggestions that I give you by ignoring the particular Buddhist tradition you follow and so it might be helpful to know which sect you ascribe to. For instance, if a Buddhist in a Buddhist country were to pick up two books in the Christian section of the bookstore - he or she might find one written by a Mormon and the other by a Catholic and they would be nothing alike - they would seem like two different religions. Likewise the suggestion I might make to a Theravada Buddhist would not be the right suggestion to a Tibetan Buddhist.

That said, I personally do not pray at all - to me there is nothing to pray to. Yet, I do commune with my higher power. Which I more or less look at as you do, i.e.
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We believe that God is us, as us. All of us. We are all peace and love and energy. WE are God through love. I don't give it up TO god, because god lives within me AS me, AS love.
Here is where I differ: While a subtle difference it allowed me to move forward... My higher power is me minus me. Basically, me minus ego. When I remove legna from the equation, when I remove my physical body, my ego, the self - then whatever is left is the true me...except the word 'me' no longer makes sense. When I meditate, legna wanes and what is left without legna waxes.

I'm going to stop there for now, see if we are on the same page and then continue, so if you could comment on this it'll help me proceed. In the meantime, keep hopeful...if I can find a way, you can too. It might not be the same path but regardless, you'll find one that works for you and you are not alone.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I used the "label" Buddhism because I am still new on this spiritual path. I can honestly tell you that I don't ascribe to a particular type of Buddhism. Just that in my searching over the last year, this is the closest Ive come to making sense of the world and being. I have started meditating only in the last six months. I am currently in the middle of Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now. I am learning how to live consciously and trying to separate myself FROM myself. It's still not all perfectly clear to me but makes so much more sense for me and I feel so much more in tune with everything around me.

When you talk about removing the Ego, that is something I am working toward every day. My meditations are still pretty short in length. Maybe 15 minutes. I still struggle to stay in a place of stillness.

I hope this answers your question. I am struggling with the loss of a beautiful relationship I thought would last forever. Turns out he is an end stage alcoholic and I just became his main target of blame. I feel completely lost and I am having the hardest time trying to stay conscious and purposeful through this.

I appreciate your interest in helping. Thank you
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Buddhism and the Twelve Steps by Kevin Griffin is an excellent book. He is a Buddhist teacher and recovering/ered alcoholic/druggy. Takes you through the whole process. Highly recommended.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi izzy, I have a Buddhist practice of sorts. I consider myself a secular Buddhist. They are a group that focus on what the Buddha actually taught and not the 2500 years of stuff that was added on later. Google Stephen Batchelor for some good info.

For me I didn't do the 12 steps as they were way to Christian for me. I kind of translated them into

1. Giving up the illusion of control. I didn't cause it, I can't control it, I can't cure it.

2. Accepting reality as it is and not how I think it should be. This meant being honest about the things that happened in my family, my marriage and my life and the role I played in them as well. For me journaling is a great tool this and for getting back in touch with my thoughts and emotions. As someone else posted many of us are caught up in a don't trust, don't tell and don't feel relationship.

3. And lastly, using mindfulness as a means to break the old habits and to begin developing skillful ways to handle life. My goal is to respond rather than react. It doesn't always mean I make the best choice but the choice I make is done on purpose and not just a knee jerk reaction done in auto pilot. I really believe this is what the Buddha meant when he said he was awake.

Your friend,
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Sanity is giving up the illusion of control.
Happiness is letting go of the past.
Serenity is just being me.

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Old 06-21-2013, 02:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I have started meditating only in the last six months.
I take exception with the word 'only'. That is more than most ever do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by izzyrose05 View Post
I am currently in the middle of Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now.
I have spoken with many who believe that he is a stream enterer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by izzyrose05 View Post
When you talk about removing the Ego, that is something I am working toward every day. My meditations are still pretty short in length. Maybe 15 minutes. I still struggle to stay in a place of stillness.
Your journey is personal, as it should be. With that said, I'd like to comment on this. I have heard it said that thirty seconds a day is better than none and I agree. I believe that the reason for this is because of a daily reminder to think about quieting the mind. That said, many years ago I was studying for the monastery and my teacher told me that twenty minutes should be the bare minimum and that while more is always better - that the benefits from thirty minutes more than doubled the benefits of twenty minutes.

Too, you say that you struggle to stay in a place of stillness. And again, I may be overstepping a boundary when I say this so please forgive me if I do but...

The struggle is the process. The goal of meditation is not to achieve stillness - though this is often a result. The goal is, as I understand it, to bring your attention back. If your attention wavers, catch it and bring it back to stillness. It is the noticing that the mind has wandered and the bringing it back which is effective meditation.

No one sits and stills their mind after six months. One simply learns how to train it. We train our mind to the best of our ability each moment. Noticing the mind has wandered is not failure. Noting that it has wandered and ignoring that fact and allowing it to continue to roam is as close to failure as you can get. If your mind wanders 672 times in your mediation session and you bring it back 673 times - you have had a tremendously successful session - and one that is infinitely more successful than noting the mind has only strayed once and allowing it to run amuck.

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I appreciate your interest in helping.
No problem. I hope that helped somewhat. As for my higher power, and I'm certainly not trying to sell you on this idea but I have resorted to psychology on this one. I'm going to paste a link here... it's an explanation of my hp:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...heists-hp.html
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