Alchoholic Buddhists

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Alchoholic Buddhists

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:59 pm

I've seen a number of threads started by western people who after having treated ( or during ) their alcoholism, turned to Buddhism. As a westerner that seems like a different route to me. If anyone cares to share I would be curious to know how you ended up there.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Postby bodom » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:16 pm

Jhana4 wrote:I've seen a number of threads started by western people who after having treated ( or during ) their alcoholism, turned to Buddhism. As a westerner that seems like a different route to me. If anyone cares to share I would be curious to know how you ended up there.


I seen the suffering created by my constant craving for drugs and alcohol. I then began to notice that craving for ANYTHING was a source of suffering. In AA you are encouraged to find a spiritual tradition, or use any of worlds great religions to help you along the path of recovery. When I came across Buddhism and the idea of the giving up completely of all craving, it seemed to me to be the answer for not only my alcohol problem but ALL my problems. It was a natural fit.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:50 pm

Did the training you got letting go of impulses during meditation help you avoid acting on urges to drink?
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:17 pm

I did the first three steps one night in extreme desperation and the urge to drink disappeared. I knew that i wouldnt make it as a theist, it just seemed too simplistic. I was leaning toward buddhism anyway, but took a look at other traditions too and settled on zen/mahayana buddhism. It didnt seem unusual at all to me, i just followed where the process led. Meditation has certainly helped me managed myself but with the big pervasive things, like drinking, you just have to surrender them, let them be taken from you.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Postby bodom » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:01 pm

Jhana4 wrote:Did the training you got letting go of impulses during meditation help you avoid acting on urges to drink?


Yes. It works on a daily basis though meditation alone will not keep me sober. I need to work with my AA sponsor, share at meetings, work the steps and more importantly work with and share the message of recovery with other Alcoholics.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Postby Still Searching » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:10 am

I think it all depends on how fully committed they are to Buddhism.
I've studied about Buddhism for a few years but before I became very serious about it, I had issues with drugs, alcohol, depression and self-harm.

I have to admit, I have seen a few alcoholic Buddhists myself, too. One of my pen pals was a Buddhist and he would e-mail me daily drunk, lol.
Also, I noticed in the 'Smilies' there is a 'Happy' emoticon with to people bashing their beer mugs together as in to say "cheers" but most Buddhists are forbidden from being intoxicated.

The Buddha himself is no God, Buddhism is a teaching of spirituality and is not really a religion but a state of mind of awareness and peace, hence why most students of the Buddha-Dhamma suggest to stay clear from cigarettes, alcohol and illegal substances as this leads to suffering and misery.

Years and years ago, way before I began studying Buddhism, I used to drink a lot and was what some would call a "happy drunk" but as I got older, I became aggressive, violent, moody, depressed and suicidal. Buddhism is a great teaching because it leads a healthy, happy lifestyle, many Buddhists have stated themselves that Buddhism or 'Buddha-Dhamma' has changed their lifestyle completely. Meditation is known to decrease blood pressure and cure stress & anxiety.

I suffer from both anxiety and depression and I also struggle with self-harm. Buddhism has helped my state of mind in many ways that some people will never believe. Even registering here has made me happy, meeting people like David N. Snyder, Ben, cooran etc. has been extremely delightful.

I generally think alcohol is a bad choice in life. It destroyed my youth and destroyed the relationship with my mother.
"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." ~ Siddhārtha, Gautama Buddha
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Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Postby Bhikkhu Cintita » Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:59 pm

One might think of Buddhism as Samsarics Anonymous. I have found that people who have successfully given up alcohol, that one rather vexing part of samsara, find it easy to appreciate that Buddhism is about giving up the rest.
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Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Postby Ajisai » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:32 pm

Hello Bhikku Cintita,

It is a bit off-topic but i just wanted to say that I love your 'Samsaric Anonymous" expression. It is fun but also so full of meaning!
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Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Postby Buckwheat » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:05 am

:thumbsup:
Ajisai wrote:Hello Bhikku Cintita,

It is a bit off-topic but i just wanted to say that I love your 'Samsaric Anonymous" expression. It is fun but also so full of meaning!
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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