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The 6 month hump and addressing it with buddhist practices

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The 6 month hump and addressing it with buddhist practices

Old 01-06-2016, 08:22 AM
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The 6 month hump and addressing it with buddhist practices

Hi all, I am on day 6. From my experience of the past 3 years, I am likely to carry on sober for 6 months, at which point my unaddressed stresses will catch up with me and I will drink.

Part of my plan this time is to start learning and applying buddhist principles and practices to address the negative emotions that eventually open the door for the alcoholic monster to come in a wreak havoc.

If anyone else knows about buddist principles and applying them, do you have any advice you may like to give me?

Many thanks,

Kuebiko.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:50 AM
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Hi Kuebiko, congratulations on day 6.

zerothehero's thread just a bit below yours, on Full Catastrophy Living, has a lot of good information.

You could also check out Refuge Recovery, which is a Buddhist based approach to sobriety that is non-12 step.

Welcome.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:57 AM
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I am. I practice vipassana though, not the brahma viharas.

YouŽll need what as an alcoholic you will unlikely have:
Self-discipline to practice ever day for a prolonged time. And ideally very good concentration skills where 4th jhana could be the measuring stick.

Assumed you practice diligently I donŽt think it necessarily helps to achieve the desired result. I turned to A.A. which got me both dry and sober. Thus my recommendation is to dedicate yourself to A.A. Check out Paul Hedderman on youtube ;-)
S
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:08 AM
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welcome to the forums and I wish you a good 7th day
I don't know much about buddhist principles or practices, but I would suggest a mindset change. Stresses , addressed or not, do not 'make' one drink. You say you 'will' drink at some point in the future and then name a reason that makes it inevitable, but what if you're wrong? What may happen if you adopt a mindset that says you always have control of your elbow and wrists joints and no power on earth can make them move without your choosing? A mindset that says you have all the power in the world to make the decision to never drink again , and the power to decide to never change your mind on that decision.
Experiencing stress in life is practically unavoidable, divorcing the idea that it 'causes' us to pick up a drink is definitely doable and I high;y recommend it
Come back often, read, post ,ask the top of this forum has really great threads
wish you well and hope to see you around
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Old 01-06-2016, 01:41 PM
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Dang, that was just beautiful, dwtbd.
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:27 PM
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Thank you EVERYONE ~ I thought I had seen zero's thread about buddhism so thank you for pointing out where it is. THANKS, all, for your insights ~ ~ ~ very very much!
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:50 PM
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I was sober for weeks, months, and even a year once until it stuck. Right now I'm on week four of: Online MBSR (free) . The website has lots of links to articles and talks in addition to a clear process for MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction).

Staying sober for me has been very much about this quote from Jack Kornfield: "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." MBSR, mindfulness, meditation, Buddhism...these are all about learning to surf. Whether it is emotional, psychological, physical, or spiritual pain or discomfort, the lesson I've learned is to ride it, not to fight it. Breathe into the pain. Focus on it instead of looking for ways to escape it or numb it away. I've learned that I can't let go of something I haven't been willing to embrace.

I've posted this elsewhere, but for newcomers I also strongly recommend The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress and Anger that Trigger Addictive Behaviors . -Williams and Kraft

I'm thinking I was sober for about a week when I ordered that book, and I started reading it as soon as I got it. To be honest, my first response was that the writers were full of it, but I kind of worked through the workbook with no expectations. In retrospect, that was probably the proper way to go about it. In the meantime, I learned basics about meditation, mindfulness, acceptance of self and life, and perhaps most importantly, self-compassion.

I hope this helps.
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Kuebiko View Post

Part of my plan this time is to start learning and applying buddhist principles and practices to address the negative emotions that eventually open the door for the alcoholic monster to come in a wreak havoc.
Kuebiko, I'm not sure where you're at in your exploration of Buddhism, so I'll assume you're just starting. If so, this site: BuddhaNet's Buddhist Studies: E-Learning Buddhism is a good place for beginner and intermediate Buddhist studies.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:23 PM
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Talking

Thank you to the last two posters as well, thank you.
I appreciate the reference to the material that you found useful. There is so much information to sort through these days, therefore I appreciate the guidance.

I did my first mediation today and it wasn't too bad.

I'll take up all of your suggestions.

THANKS ~~~ on to day 7 ~ ~

Thank you
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:23 PM
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Thank you Time to Rise
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:47 AM
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How does Buddhism fall under secular?
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Elphaba View Post
How does Buddhism fall under secular?
Technically, Buddhism isn't secular; however, there are secular Buddhists (see the Secular Buddhist Association). So it's possible to disregard the spiritual and supernatural aspects of Buddhism and just use its doctrine and practices (especially mediation) as an applied philosophy and a form of psychology.

However, you're correct in that discussions regarding the use of Buddhism as a recovery method don't necessarily fall under the heading of "Secular Connections". However the subheading for this particular page is "Alternatives to 12 Step Recovery", so I personally have no issues with discussions of Buddhism here, especially since Buddhism is a non-theistic, non-interventionist god believe system.
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:13 PM
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Exclamation

Just a reminder that AA and 12 step are off topic topics in this Secular Connections forum.

To that end Schnappi I moved your post to its own thread in our Secular 12 step forum here:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-recovery.html

Interested parties are welcome to continue that kind of discussion there

Many non theists seem to be able to work within a Buddhist framework, so if we can focus on the original theme of Buddhist practices and secular recovery here that would be great

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Old 01-07-2016, 05:22 PM
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The application of Buddhist principals by those who are not Buddhist is often simply called mindfulness.

The is a great beginner guided mindfulness sitting meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He helps get you started and then reminds the you about the process as you go along. Highly recommended: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoCXMOylUHs
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:38 PM
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Dear Kuebiko,

As for knowing what will happen six months from now, one Buddhist idea is to be here now and practice not knowing.

Emotions and circumstances happen -- let them come and let them go.

Another idea is to listen for the mind beyond your mind, even if that mind is infinitely silent, and observe and accept things as that mind would, while staying present and doing what needs to be done.

If events toss rocks in your pond and cause ripples -- be a lake!
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:33 PM
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Thanks Dee- sorry about bring the 12-step topic here.. I didn't practice restraint of enter button

The leader of my study group has stayed sober on the strength of his Buddhist practice; he tried AA and some of the other kinds of recovery programs too but in the end it was his Buddhist practice that worked for him so thats where he's done the work. I've talked to him about it a few times; steady application of the basic practice ie meditation, study, service were (are) the keys for him. He really tries to live his practice, I'm always glad to pull up to his house for a meeting.
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:49 PM
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Thank you everyone, and Zero and Solarion. Yes, I am certainly not looking for a 'divine-orientated' practice of buddhism, but I will learn (and am learning) something from the secular versions, and the pages suggested from you all are secular.

I've found plenty of guidance online for secular buddhism. I'm not one for hocus pocus, and I have found value in the links provided by members as well as becoming familiar with the four noble truths and the eightfold path.

I recently started a more stressful job than the one I had previously and have had to teach myself to be calm over the phone at work. This made me more aware of my emotions as they were happening when the phone would ring and I'd have to respond to a difficult person on the line.

Somehow words like 'let it roll over you' and 'think compassionately of those who are difficult people - they are suffering too; everyone is suffering...' seem less like words and more like concrete emotions of patience that I can foster in myself. They have more tangible representation in my mind than in the past.
Who wants to be ripped apart by emotions at various intervals for the rest of their life? Not me.

THANKS GUYS N GALS ~
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:54 PM
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Thanks Schnappi - I think we were replying at the same time
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:45 PM
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The Four Noble Truths are what drew me to Buddhism when I first got sober:

1. The truth of suffering.

Yes, I was suffering, and the more I drowned it in alcohol the worse the suffering became.

2. The truth of the cause of suffering.

The cause is craving or thirst. Duh. Who better than an alcoholic can tell you that their suffering is caused by craving and thirst?

3. The truth of the end of suffering.

Basically, that suffering can end (in my case I was just hoping to decrease my angst and anxiety).

4. The truth of the path that frees us from suffering.

This is where the work starts: Right view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration.

It's a practice and a way to approach the suffering of life. I think the word APPROACH is key, especially for addicts. Suffering is not to be avoided or drowned or ignored. It must be addressed, and the Eightfold Path does so.

Shambhala meditation training, for example, calls their practitioners "warriors," but these are warriors not in the sense of those who do battle through violence, but warriors in the sense that following the path requires a warrior's courage and tenacity.

Substances appear to be the easy way out, and they often are (temporarily), until the addiction becomes yet another cause of suffering. Many Buddhist traditions prohibit intoxicants, but not all. Once I got into regular meditation and mindfulness, it began to sink in that intoxication interferes with concentration and mindfulness, and for many it interferes with at least some if not all of the other six folds of the path (action and speech, in particular).

I watched an interview with Kevin Griffin who writes about Buddhism and recovery, and he was sharing that Buddhism provided the path and tools to stay sober for decades now, especially for a guy who has no theistic faith. His newest book focuses on concepts like integrity; aligning our behaviors with our values. I'm with him there. My point for bringing him up, though, is he recognized the need for spiritual practice, and that recovery is not just about abstaining from substances, so Buddhism is a practical spiritual path but with no mention of god.

I think it was Trungpa Rinpoche who explained once when he was asked about god that it's not really a question of whether or not God or gods exist because the question is essentially irrelevant. There are Buddhist prayers, for example, but they are not prayers to god; they are practices.

The more I read about mindfulness and the more I meditate the more I sense that I have all that I need. All the things that were driving me to near madness only a year ago have bit by bit appeared to me as basically trivial. I continue my practice not because I believe I'm going to get anything more out of it, but because without it I would slide. There is a lot of scientific evidence now, not just anecdotal, to support the idea that the practice leads to measurable changes in the brain. Maybe I'm experiencing a type of self-hypnosis as if I have convinced myself that I can feel it, but I feel it nevertheless.

I am not the person I was two years, a year, or even six months ago. Part of it could be distance from alcohol and weed and LSD, but I'm convinced I'm happier because of mindfulness and meditation. Rick Hanson, who wrote Hardwiring Happiness and Buddha's Brain can share the research with you. Good stuff.

So, I may sound like I'm proselytizing, but it's working for me. No faith and no expectations; I'm just walking the path and taking notice of the changes.
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:10 PM
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Zero, thank you very much for that post.
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