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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:49 am

Hi mirco,
mirco wrote:
danieLion wrote:Recovery does not require sponsorship or exclude help from others who have no personal experience with addiction and recovery. We all have dukkha in common.

So, that means, you get along equally with anyone around you?

Thanks for sharing. It might mean that, but it's not exaclty clear to me what you mean, and I'm not sure how you get that out of what I said. Could you be more specific? I like to think I generally get along roughly about the same with most but not all people around me, but not everyone equally. That would require over-generalized, either/or, all-or-nothing, inflexible, rigid and demanding thinking, feeling and behaving on my part. And those types of feelings, thoughts and behaviors relate to my experiences with addiction, so I prefer to attempt to keep them under control.

mirco wrote:
danieLion wrote:
MYTH 6: YOU SHOULD BE TREATED BY SOMEONE WHO ALSO HAS HAD AN ADDICTION....
To the extent that this has any merit, it would be because some people have trouble trusting anyone who has not gone through the identical experience....
From: The Heart of Addiction by Lance Dodes, M.D., pyschiatrist and Harvard professor)

Here it seems, he doesn't know much about addiction and recovery.

Having trouble trusting people is not a shortcut of some addicts, it's one of the fundamentals addiction (and personality disorders) is build upon.

I agree that trust can be an issue for those who have or have had addictions, and perhaps I have some shortsightedness here, but I don't see how you got that out of what the author's saying. Could you elaborate? And would you mind explicating what you mean by "the fundamentals of addiction" and detail your understanding of "personality disorders"? I might be wrong, but there seems to me varying degrees of views about addiction fundamentals. And again, I could be misinformed and/or mis-educated, but personality disorders are hard to substantiate empirically, especially with such imprecise measures like the DSM and IDC.
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:59 am

Hi mirco,
mirco wrote:
danieLion wrote:
Naturally, it is good to hear of others' experiences, and when AA is helpful, mutual support is a major reason. But if you are seeking professional treatment, you deserve a lot more -- someone trained to help you learn what you need to learn about yourself.
From: The Heart of Addiction by Lance Dodes

working the steps is the trained help.

Best Wishes,
:-)

I agree that working the step can helpful to some people some of the time. From my experience with working them and sponsoring those working with them, there are still parts I find useful. I could be wrong, but it seems to me like you're saying "working the steps" is the only type of help worth getting. Again, I might be misintepreting your statement, so could you be more specific?
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:02 am

Hi m0rl0ck,
danieLion wrote:that sobriety is much more about self-reliance and self-control than the 12 Step model and its adherents are willing to admit.

m0rl0ck wrote:Having been sober more than 20 years this is one of the funnier things i have read today :) Thanks for the laugh. :clap:

You're welcome. Experience with sobriety does have merit, so I'm interested in what you have to say. What exactly do you find so funny about it? I might be wrong, but the folks in SMART Recovery tend to think that powerlessness in those with addictions is not supported by their experience or research.
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:04 am

I agree with chownah.
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:31 am

Hi all,
Please note that this link to my blog is currently not working as I've reverted the document to draft form for purposes of revision after reflecting on the comments made in this topic.
http://inthelion.blogspot.com/2013/09/t ... sm-12.html
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:21 pm

Blog back up: http://inthelion.blogspot.com/2013/09/t ... sm-12.html

I was being conflict avoidant; plus, I can always revise it later.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:03 pm

danieLion wrote:Hi m0rl0ck,
danieLion wrote:that sobriety is much more about self-reliance and self-control than the 12 Step model and its adherents are willing to admit.

m0rl0ck wrote:Having been sober more than 20 years this is one of the funnier things i have read today :) Thanks for the laugh. :clap:

You're welcome. Experience with sobriety does have merit, so I'm interested in what you have to say. What exactly do you find so funny about it? I might be wrong, but the folks in SMART Recovery tend to think that powerlessness in those with addictions is not supported by their experience or research.
Kindly,
dL


Most alcoholics before getting into recovery make multiple attempts to control or stop drinking and cant. They muster up all their willpower and self control and decide to "white knuckle it" only to find themselves drinking again. I made many such attempts myself and some invent elaborate strategies and rationalizations that fail time after time. Admitting that one is powerless over alcohol given ones own best efforts isnt something that people just decide to do, by the time alcoholics get to the first step of the 12 they have plenty of experience in being powerless to change by themselves. So what i found funny about it is the contrast between that statement and actual experience.
All of the theory and speculation by all the "experts" arent worth a dam compared to the experience of one actual alcoholic in recovery. If you really want to learn about alcoholism from the experts you need to go to a meeting.
"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.
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby daverupa » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:11 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:If you really want to learn about alcoholism from the experts you need to go to a meeting.


Is it the case that experts attend, exclusively attend, and always attend, AA meetings? This can only work if you define an "expert" as an "AA attendee", which you're quite close to doing...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:25 pm

daverupa wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:If you really want to learn about alcoholism from the experts you need to go to a meeting.


Is it the case that experts attend, exclusively attend, and always attend, AA meetings? This can only work if you define an "expert" as an "AA attendee", which you're quite close to doing...


:jumping:

Geez really? How cute.

EDIT: ok jsut in case you were serious, i would define as expert an alcoholic who has some years of good sobriety under his/her belt and who has maybe sponsored a few people. You run into people like that at meetings.
"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: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby Viscid » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:22 pm

But can't it be said that someone who is submitting themselves to a 'higher power' is, in actuality, expressing self-control-- albeit using a new, radical psychological strategy to do so? They are necessarily convincing themselves that the agency responsible for their addiction (their 'self') is no longer in control, and that some greater entity (which in actuality is still their self, however it is now viewed unburdened by its historical poor decisions) is going to guide them towards sobriety. It's an effective, pragmatic self-delusion which can still be said to be the product of reason and self-control.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:31 pm

Viscid wrote:But can't it be said that someone who is submitting themselves to a 'higher power' is, in actuality, expressing self-control-- albeit using a new, radical psychological strategy to do so? They are necessarily convincing themselves that the agency responsible for their addiction (their 'self') is no longer in control, and that some greater entity (which in actuality is still their self, however it is now viewed unburdened by its historical poor decisions) is going to guide them towards sobriety. It's an effective, pragmatic self-delusion which can still be said to be the product of reason and self-control.


Sounds good to me. Where does the self end anyway? Surrender to a self of no perceivable boundaries and unknown territory and intent. Its no wonder people choose to torture themselves instead :)
"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: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby JeffR » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:30 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
daverupa wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:If you really want to learn about alcoholism from the experts you need to go to a meeting.


Is it the case that experts attend, exclusively attend, and always attend, AA meetings? This can only work if you define an "expert" as an "AA attendee", which you're quite close to doing...


:jumping:

Geez really? How cute.

EDIT: ok jsut in case you were serious, i would define as expert an alcoholic who has some years of good sobriety under his/her belt and who has maybe sponsored a few people. You run into people like that at meetings.


M0rl0ck,
There is a problem with your statement. Although there are experts at meetings, not all of them are there. They may be experts on working the AA steps (which were developed with the intent to "bring the alcoholic to god"), but for every alcoholic expert at the meeting (who have found sobriety), there are another 3-4 who could NOT find sobriety through AA. There are people who get over alcoholism in other ways, including meditation in the eightfold path. Or is an alcoholic defined as someone who needs AA to recover and the rest just had a heavy habit? I need to know your definition of an alcoholic if you disagree.

The problem with AA is that society has bought into the sales pitch that it's the only way to get sober and if it doesn't work for someone than it's because that someone isn't "doing the steps".
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby mirco » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:37 pm

JeffR wrote:The problem with AA (and NA) is that society has bought into the sales pitch that it's the only way to get sober and if it doesn't work for someone than it's because that someone isn't "doing the steps".

Yes, many people do think so. But the anonymous way it's only one spiritual path of many.

:coffee:
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:04 pm

Hi m0rl0ck,
m0rl0ck wrote:Most alcoholics before getting into recovery make multiple attempts to control or stop drinking and cant.

I agree that those who have or have had addictions often display patterns of attempt and failure, but are you aware of any research that supports your use of "most" here? I know of lots of research that contradicts that. I might be wrong, but for now I'm siding with the research that suggests most people quit by themselves and stay sober through their own efforts.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:16 pm

Hi Viscid,
Viscid wrote:But can't it be said that someone who is submitting themselves to a 'higher power' is, in actuality, expressing self-control-- albeit using a new, radical psychological strategy to do so? They are necessarily convincing themselves that the agency responsible for their addiction (their 'self') is no longer in control, and that some greater entity (which in actuality is still their self, however it is now viewed unburdened by its historical poor decisions) is going to guide them towards sobriety. It's an effective, pragmatic self-delusion which can still be said to be the product of reason and self-control.

I agree that the higher-power phenomenon is an expression self-control, but I'm careful to distinguish between the Buddha' not-self teachings and a healthily functioning ego, as Thanissaro puts it (see his essay, "Hang On To Your Ego" and the threads here where this has been explored ad nauseam). Furthermore, REBT, CBT etc... is neither new nor radical. Ellis founded REBT in 1955, and Aaron Beck developed CBT at about the same time, leaving plenty of years for such modalities to become "mainstream." Additionally, in REBT and CBT, we do not focus on changing the-so-called-self (to use Ellis' phrase), but to change our dysfunctional, destructive and delusional thoughts, feelings and behaviors (see, e.g., Ellis's essay, "REBT Diminishes Much of the Human Ego"). In this model, sobriety is achieved and maintained by actively disputing delusion.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:19 pm

Hi all,
Compulsive Drinking: Don't Swallow the AA Brew by Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:25 pm

danieLion wrote:Hi m0rl0ck,
m0rl0ck wrote:Most alcoholics before getting into recovery make multiple attempts to control or stop drinking and cant.

I agree that those who have or have had addictions often display patterns of attempt and failure, but are you aware of any research that supports your use of "most" here? I know of lots of research that contradicts that. I might be wrong, but for now I'm siding with the research that suggests most people quit by themselves and stay sober through their own efforts.
Kindly,
dL


Actually the only data i have is anecdotal and gleaned from my experience and what other alcoholics have told me, but if you can control your consumption of a substance, you are, by definition, not addicted to it. Addiction is about denial and continued use despite consequences up to and including death.

If i were going to amend that "most" i would actually amend it to "all" i cant think of a single case where someone had a substance abuse problem, that i know of, that they havent tried to address themselves before admitting that they needed help.

Another thought occured to me. There are character defects displayed by most addicts and any recovery strategy needs to address those as well as the actual substance addiction.
"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: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:46 pm

danieLion wrote:Hi Viscid,
Viscid wrote:But can't it be said that someone who is submitting themselves to a 'higher power' is, in actuality, expressing self-control--


Its more like self surrender imo.
"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: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:47 pm

danieLion wrote:Hi all,
Compulsive Drinking: Don't Swallow the AA Brew by Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D.
Kindly,
dL


That link isnt working for me.
"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: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby mirco » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:34 pm



@ m0rl0ck: here

:rofl:

"Three Minute Therapy".

Maybe it takes three minutes to get the wallet out of the pocket to cure the author's chronically being broke.
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