12-Step Program

As some of you know, I do work in the healthcare arena.  As such, sometimes I run across something different. There is now a twelve-step recovery program for Buddhists. I guess there has been for some time, I just never heard about it.

Successful recovery in any 12-Step program deeply depends on our making a spiritual practice an intimate part of our daily lives. No matter if it is NA, OA, Al Anon, AA, or any other program molded from the principles developed by Bill Wilson.  There has to be some connection to spirituality (inner being, etc.)

For those who follow Buddhism, Buddhism can appeal to a broad range of individuals because it is an experiential spiritual practice that empowers us to improve our conscious contact with a Greater Power of our understanding through rational investigation, contemplation, and profound insight, rather than a religion that requires blind faith of its followers.

The nutshell of the steps are as follows:

  1. We admit that we’re powerless over our craving and addiction and that our lives have become unmanageable.
  2. We came to believe that a Power greater than our individual selves could restore us to wholeness.
  3. We make a decision to take refuge in and entrust ourselves to the compassion and guidance of a Greater Power of our understanding.
  4. We make a searching and fearless moral inventory of our thoughts, words, and deeds.
  5. We admit to ourselves, our Greater Power, and another human being the precise moral nature of our thoughts, words, and deeds.
  6. We become entirely ready to have our Greater Power transform our unwholesome characteristics into wholesome ones.
  7. We humbly turn over our unwholesome and unskillful qualities to our Greater Power to be transformed into positive ones.
  8. We make a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. We make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. We continue to remain mindful of our mental, verbal, and physical actions, and when we acted unskillfully, promptly admit it.
  11. We engage in meditation and prayer in order to improve our conscious contact with our Greater Power (of our understanding) and to gain the insight and strength to realize and attain our Greater Power’s compassionate aspiration for us.
  12. Having realized a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we carry this message to others in need of recovery, and try to practice these principles in all our affairs.

While I openly admit to not reading this, there is a ‘The 12-Step Buddhist’ paperback.

 May your path be healing.



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