Alchoholic Buddhists

If you wish to partake in casual "off-topic" discussion amongst spiritual friends, please do so in the Lounge at Dhamma Wheel Engaged.
Locked
Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Alchoholic Buddhists

Post by Jhana4 »

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.
User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6569
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Post by bodom »

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:
But how is a wise lay follower defined?”

“It’s when a lay follower is wise. They have the wisdom of arising and passing away which is noble, penetrative, and leads to the complete ending of suffering. Then they’re considered to be a wise lay follower.”

- SN 55:37
Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Post by Jhana4 »

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.
User avatar
m0rl0ck
Posts: 1193
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Post by m0rl0ck »

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.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig
User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6569
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Post by bodom »

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:
But how is a wise lay follower defined?”

“It’s when a lay follower is wise. They have the wisdom of arising and passing away which is noble, penetrative, and leads to the complete ending of suffering. Then they’re considered to be a wise lay follower.”

- SN 55:37
User avatar
Still Searching
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:28 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Post by Still Searching »

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
User avatar
Bhikkhu Cintita
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:48 pm
Location: Austin, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Post by Bhikkhu Cintita »

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.
User avatar
Ajisai
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:25 am

Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Post by Ajisai »

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!
Buckwheat
Posts: 970
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: Alchoholic Buddhists

Post by Buckwheat »

: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.
Locked