Sunday, 8 September 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps

From Speaking Tree by Sanchit Jain 

For some addicts, hitting bottom and having a spiritual awakening are the first steps along the path of recovery. That's why Alcoholics Anonymous, the oldest and largest of the twelve-step groups, calls itself a spiritual—rather than a religious—program.

Founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson, a New York stock market analyst, and Dr. Bob Smith, an Akron, Ohio, physician, AA is a fellowship of alcoholics who decided to "turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."

Local AA groups reflect the culture from which they arise, which is why some of these gatherings have an evangelical Christian feel. Many AA meetings, for example, end with the Lord's prayer.

So it's no surprise that a small but growing number of drunks and drug addicts have gone their own way—creating a grassroots network of support groups that use meditation and Buddhist teachings to overcome addiction.

"The Buddha said craving is the cause of suffering," said Kevin Griffin, the cofounder of the Buddhist Recovery Network. "And what is addiction but craving run rampant?"

Buddhism suggests the Noble Eightfold Path, which seeks to cultivate wisdom, ethical conduct, and mental development as a way out of our suffering. The eight steps along this path are: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration..."   Full article  

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1 comment:

Daniel Driscoll said...

What a great post on Alcoholics Anonymous! I myself have been sober now for over 16 years, One Day at a Time

Daniel D