Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Four Truths Practice of Buddhist Recovery

Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly; Noah Levine, AgainsttheStream.org
The mohawk dreams of a recovering punk
It is said, with tongue in cheek, that the Buddha was the first "Twelve Step" teacher -- Four Noble Truths plus the Noble Eightfold Path (and who can forget the little known but uber important 12 links of Dependent Origination). Obsession, craving, and withering away due to our addictions to five-sense-strand sensuality and dysfunctional habit-patterns is what makes beautiful life (samsara) an exercise in spirit-shattering misery (dukkha). Of course, that's our experience of it. Your mileage may vary. 

Author Noah Levine is taking over the regularly scheduled Buddhist Recovery Meeting to get insights and help finishing his next book on the "Four Truths of Practice Recovery," a Buddhist approach to the Twelve Steps. Kevin Griffin (One Breath at a Time) is the expert. But Levine has been hammering out a distinct Dharma Punx methodology for some time now. Perhaps no center in Los Angeles attracts more budding Buddhists, either attracted by his personality, life-story, tattoos, or their own search for recovery from substance abuse and a lifetime of "acting out" (codependence, promiscuity, aggression, depression, confusion, suicidality, poor impulse control, etc.) without the Christian baggage of most anonymous self-help groups.

Tuesday night's recovery meetings move over for February as Levine launches a four-week "workshop" (open to ALL addictions, compulsions, and habits).
It is offered as an opportunity to experience the Buddhist approach to recovering from all forms of addiction. Participants are asked to attend all sessions because "homework" will be assigned each week. Attendants new to recovery are encouraged to attend as a support. Those who have taken advantage of 12-step programs for a long time are also encouraged to attend to familiarize themselves with a new (non-theistic) way of approaching recovery.
Suggested donation $15 ($45 in advance). Online registration may close, but drop in any night. Scholarships and work-study are available. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Noah Levine: author of Dharma Punx, Against the Stream, and Heart of the Revolution, is a Buddhist teacher, author, and counselor. He was trained by Jack Kornfield of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, holds a Master's degree in counseling psychology. is the founding teacher of Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society (with centers in LA and over 20 affiliated groups around North America). He teaches internationally and is on the board of directors of the Buddhist Recovery Network.

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