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Old 11-17-2012, 12:14 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Awesome to hear that, Vinyl. So glad for you! These challenges do re-create us stronger and better than we could have been otherwise, I'm sure.

Yeah. Be well too.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:25 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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I really enjoyed reading this thread vinyl. I completely relate to your difficulty with the “me vs. it” duality inherent in AVRT. Though I like many of the tenants of the approach this one never seemed quite “rational” to me. The separation however works for many so who am I to argue with success?

Your approach has great merit and seems to me quite compatible with many other methods/programs. Your description of what has worked for you is nicely done.

There is something else that should not be overlooked here. It is one thing to find a somewhat unique solution to a problem, but it is quite another to freely share it in the hope of benefiting others. Thanks, I think many of these ideas can be helpful to a variety of people walking various paths in recovery.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:01 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Vinyl, thank you so much for sharing. I have been in a 4-year cycle of sober up, relapse, repeat. In the past two years I haven't gotten past a couple of weeks. I have also dealt with serious anxiety, depression and emotional pain. Nothing is really working.

About a week ago, after a brief booze binge, I decided that my frazzled mind and emotions were behind my drinking bouts, so I decided to sit. WOW. I have a lot to learn, but I don't think that there is anything more powerful for dealing with connecting with my true self and quieting the craziness in my mind than meditation. I am eagerly reading as much as I can. For me, exercise and a healthy diet make me want to continue to stay healthy. Adding meditation seems to be the thing that will help me to find peace with myself.
Your experience really speaks to me. Thank you!
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:07 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
 
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Personally, your understanding of AVRT doesn't match mine, but that's not important. I didn't "use" AVRT or double-vowels, or any program per se. It's the idea of fearlessness that changed my life. Sitting with discomfort, pain, fear, anxiety, etc. even inviting it. It's not those things that can hurt me, it's my perception of those things that can hurt me. The teachings of Hahn who says take care of your anger as you would a crying child, the idea of the "monkey mind", the belief that I can master my own mind, that I alone am the "author of my own health or dis-ease", that things are neither "good" nor "bad". These were foreign to me. These are the ideas that have had the most impact on me.

There are huge parallels everywhere...across "programs", across religions and philosophies, that deal with these same concepts. Over and over the same "universal truths" pop up in varied and unexpected places, but sometimes we don't see them because we just can't look past the dogma to see the bits of truth. I have decided these bits don't "belong" to any ideaology. They just are.

It is so exciting to have epiphanies and discover things about myself...so much so that I thought I had carved out this distincive path for myself, like a trail-blazer...come to find out it's actually several thousand years old. Go figure.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:13 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Good stuff, soberlicious and I'm glad that works for you. I think when you strip away much of these words our path is similar. You seem to be very present with yourself and not running or fighting against anything, and at it's core, this is my path as well. You just happen to use another method to get you there, and that's just fine.

Good luck to you.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:15 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lilac0721 View Post
Vinyl, thank you so much for sharing. I have been in a 4-year cycle of sober up, relapse, repeat. In the past two years I haven't gotten past a couple of weeks. I have also dealt with serious anxiety, depression and emotional pain. Nothing is really working.

About a week ago, after a brief booze binge, I decided that my frazzled mind and emotions were behind my drinking bouts, so I decided to sit. WOW. I have a lot to learn, but I don't think that there is anything more powerful for dealing with connecting with my true self and quieting the craziness in my mind than meditation. I am eagerly reading as much as I can. For me, exercise and a healthy diet make me want to continue to stay healthy. Adding meditation seems to be the thing that will help me to find peace with myself.
Your experience really speaks to me. Thank you!
This is awesome! So glad you've found a cushion and are getting to the real work. Now the tough stuff really begins and it will be the hardest joy you'll ever come to experience. Good luck to you!

If you need to find a center near you where you can go sit with others let me know, I can help you find one if you'd like.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:44 AM
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Agreed, Vinyl all except this...
Good luck to you.
I don't believe in luck...but thank you for the nice sentiment. xo
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:51 AM
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Yeah, it was just a gesture of kindness.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:46 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
This is awesome! So glad you've found a cushion and are getting to the real work. Now the tough stuff really begins and it will be the hardest joy you'll ever come to experience. Good luck to you!

If you need to find a center near you where you can go sit with others let me know, I can help you find one if you'd like.
Yes, how do I find a center? Community and finding like-minded people will certainly help on my path. I've FINALLY located a yoga studio about 10 miles from the town where I live...when I get back from my Thanksgiving vacation, I hope to start going to a class or two each week.

Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:48 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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PM me the city you live in and I'll recommend a few to look into.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:43 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
Here is a simple tutorial I found if you wish to try it at home... How to Meditate - Beginners Introduction to Zazen - YouTube
Here is another link I found useful for Vipassana meditation:

Mindfulness In Plain English
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:37 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
I have no control over time or the future
Keeping focused on the eternal now is good but we sometimes have to use time for practical purposes, whether it's referring to the past or making plans for the future.

So, I don't agree that we have no control over our futures. We can make a plan and have a certain degree of confidence in sticking to it.

Do you have no plan regarding future alcohol use, beyond dealing with each craving as it arises? What's the difference between how you deal with cravings for alcohol and cravings for something you don't have a problem indulging in, say, chocolate?

For me, mindfulness alone didn't help me stop drinking. AVRT and a Big Plan helped me to finally draw a line in the sand without any struggle. I'm glad, though, it's working for you.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by harry101 View Post
Keeping focused on the eternal now is good but we sometimes have to use time for practical purposes, whether it's referring to the past or making plans for the future.

So, I don't agree that we have no control over our futures. We can make a plan and have a certain degree of confidence in sticking to it.

Yes of course, using your watch for practical reasons is part of life. I have a job, I work, I make plans with family, long and short term. However we have to look at the context for which I was referring. I'm speaking about the platitudes of suggesting we have control over forever when it comes to our sobriety and the anxiety it brings many, not all.

For some, like Robby for instance, this concept works and has done wonders. For many others I have spoken to, including myself, this concept brings anxiety and for myself the humility in understanding it would be silly to suggest I have power over time. I do not. And yes, I handle my sobriety moment by moment. As for chocolate, I have cut sugar out of my diet and right now I'm not eating it, and I'm not drinking either. For me, that's success.

Planning for practical reasons is perfectly fine and I never suggested otherwise. I merely pointed out that science dictates what has passed and what is yet to come can not be fully grasped and is in fact not real, therefore to suggest we have control over either is not possible. This is not to suggest you don't have control over your actions right now, you do. And with your practical plans, when those moments arise you can follow through with said plans any way you'd like in that moment.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:39 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Smile

Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
For some, like Robby for instance, this concept works and has done wonders.
Hey! I resemble that remark!!

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:14 AM
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I certainly have complete control over my physical actions at all times. The only exception is if I have a psychotic break. In that case, outside forces will eventually take responsibility for my physical choices. If I don't die first, that is.

The concept of impermanence had nothing to do with whether or not I will put alcohol into my body at any point in time in the future. Even if a changing circumstance in my life is so horrific, so deeply painful that my mind tells me I just cannot cope without drinking, then I still have made a conscious choice to drink alcohol.

I can say will full confidence that yes, life changes every minute of every day. The only constant is that I control my choices. Sometimes they are positive, sometimes not, but to suggest that my alcohol consumption is an unknown, at the whim of the impermanence of life and the non-existence of time, is well, for me, just plain inaccurate.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:38 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
but to suggest that my alcohol consumption is an unknown, at the whim of the impermanence of life and the non-existence of time, is well, for me, just plain inaccurate.
Everything mentioned before this statement rang true for me, until this part. I'm not sure where I may have implied this to be so? I do not agree with this either, so maybe I did not articulate my understanding of impermanence correctly. Again, I think we may be closer in agreement than we are allowing our words to convey. This seems to happen a lot online. I bet if you, myself and Robby were having a cup of coffee together we'd find our paths not that dissimilar.

Alcohol consumption is not an unknown for me. I know I will not be drinking it right now. I have no intention to drink alcohol anymore. However I do not have a big plan to never drink again, as I do not feel I have control over what has yet to pass. It's simply not possible in my understanding of the future.

This does not mean I don't have a practical intention of not drinking. I simply don't add the unnecessary anxiety of believing I can control the vast unknown ahead of me. There's no reason to when I can simply not drink right now. That vast unknown will gradually unfold as each moment passes. I have a sense of humility about my future which keeps me grounded and in the moment. This is my understanding.

Time, like everything is in fact impermanent, moving, changing, evolving. I chose to gracefully allow myself to ride that impermanence and organically evolve along with it, without any trappings of platitudes that suggest I can do this or that "forever."
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:30 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
This does not mean I don't have a practical intention of not drinking. I simply don't add the unnecessary anxiety of believing I can control the vast unknown ahead of me. There's no reason to when I can simply not drink right now. That vast unknown will gradually unfold as each moment passes. I have a sense of humility about my future which keeps me grounded and in the moment. This is my understanding.
Awesome. Well said, Vinyl.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:10 AM
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I simply don't add the unnecessary anxiety of believing I can control the vast unknown ahead of me.
I cannot control the vast unknown, but my consumption of alcohol is not the vast unknown. Far from it. It is well known. Intimately known. For you, never or forever creates anxiety, but for me it creates comfort. You say tomayto I say tomahto. The key here is...am I reducing my suffering? Am I creating the desired effect in my life? Personally I find the differences in approaches fascinating.

There's no reason to when I can simply not drink right now.
That is correct. As Freshstart says, it's always now.

I'm not disagreeing with you on any point here. I'm just presenting my thoughts, the same as you are presenting yours. Some match, some don't. What I have found most valuable about this site and specifically the secular forum, is that the exchanges are so authentic and sound because differences are not seen as a threat. I have learned much from others here. Even after many years of abstinence from alcohol and drugs and many years of personal growth, fellow travelers here continue to broaden my truths.

OM dude
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:27 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
I cannot control the vast unknown, but my consumption of alcohol is not the vast unknown.
Again everything else you said I think we agree on, but this little snippet was curious. Did I suggest consuming alcohol was unknown, or the future was unknown? What I think I said was the future is, not your consumption of alcohol.

Just wanted to clarify if I confused you. But again, the rest of your statements are just semantics imho and we're approaching the same ends by different means, which is perfectly wonderful I think.

Be well.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:58 AM
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It's interesting how differently we all perceive and experience recovery. And I suppose life itself.

It is precisely because I have so little control over so many things in my life—not just in the future, but right here in this moment—that I take enormous comfort in the knowledge I will never drink again. I feel no anxiety about that at all; quite the opposite. Of course, my addiction initially recoiled at the notion of quitting forever. But in time, that subsided, as I expected it would.

Two weeks ago I learned my dad is dying. Last week my ex-wife told me she's pregnant. I can't imagine what the next week will bring, much less the rest of my life. But I do feel certain about a few things. I know that I won't drink. I know I won't grow wings, I won't become president of the United States, and it's looking less and less likely that I'll ever marry Winona Ryder (some dreams die hard). Another certainty is my own eventual death... so when I say I will never drink again, keep in mind that at a certain point, "never" becomes fait accompli.

That's not a platitude, Vinyl. It's my experience. I'm enormously grateful to have found a framework that has brought me such peace of mind, and glad that you've found one that works just as well for you.

And, as you noted above, the gap between us may not be all that large. The concept of a single, everlasting moment called "now" has been raised on these threads before. Viewed through that lens, the distinction between now and forever becomes harder for me to see.
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