From My Recovery Neighborhood to Your’s, Keep It Clean, Sober, and Gamble Free This Memorial Day Weekend! Thanks To All Our In UNIFORM …

From My Recovery Neighborhood to Your’s, Keep It Clean, Sober, and Gamble Free This Memorial Day Weekend! Thanks To All Our In UNIFORM …

Wishing Everyone Who Visits This Memorial Weekend A Blessed and Happy Holiday!

 

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CAT LYON XoXo 

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A Living Master Shares Recovery Wisdom. The Road to Recovery From Addiction ~ The Zen Approach.

The Zen Approach To Recovery ~ By Zen Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi

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From the point of view of Eastern Asian medicine, the problem of addiction is the game played by water and fire. In a state of health, these two elements (of the five phases of transformation i.e. wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) ensure that people are deeply grounded and can grow spiritually when in harmony with one another.

However, if the two phases are out of harmony, one of them becomes overly dominant thanks to various ego processes. If water dominates, the person is pulled downwards, and the energy is channeled in the person’s lower chakras. The result is an addiction, an overemphasis on sex or the compulsive urge to fulfill seemingly essential “needs” (alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, gambling etc.), which are actually the needs of the ego.

The standpoint of Zen is completely different from the principles of the East, primarily Traditional Chinese Medicine, as described above. It also takes a different viewpoint from Western medicine, which sees addiction as a kind of illness, from the brain via various organs of the body.

In Zen, the crucial step is in line with the longstanding Zen teaching, “First free your mind, and then do what you want!” If you do not free your mind, you will remain imprisoned and enchained. You will sacrifice your happiness, health, and contentment to satisfy your ego’s needs and accept the burdens it imposes on you, the roller coaster ride of feelings, the arguments about your being victimized, lowly, unworthy, unfulfilled or whatever else it convincingly throws at you to justify or coerce you into addiction.

Healing only by focusing on the roots of the problem

You can try to gradually reduce the effects of the plant or weed (= addiction) in your inner garden using various methods or even attempt to eradicate the weed. Think of substitute drugs, psychotherapy and the broad spectrum of therapeutic approaches. However, it is only possible to eradicate this plant if one severs the roots, the causes of this “evil” instead of just pulling off the leaves of this shrub. Therapy may have a soothing or beneficial effect but does not penetrate to the heart of the matter.

In Zen, freeing your mind is based on the experience of realization and enlightenment, and is the pre-requisite for the healing or salvation of a human being. As long as the mind is blurred, blinded and afflicted by a deep depression or you believe you have to abide in other painful physical and mental states, an addiction such as alcohol abuse, smoking cigarettes or drugs may seem to be the most obvious and natural way out and way forward.

 

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Achieving a breakthrough

Suffering is a very human trait. Buddha said that “all life is suffering.” Awareness, realization, awakening – that is the Zen approach. With the mindful, watchful observing and centered inner eye, you will make moderate use of the resources and opportunities at your disposal. In Zen, there is absolutely no problem in enjoying a glass of wine to spark the imagination or an inspiring drink with a good dinner, but the key is to adhere to the “Middle Way”, the measure of all things, which rejects extremes and does not go overboard or strive to do, have or consume too much.

For this reason, the one-sided approaches to addiction on the part of Western or Eastern medicine ultimately do not provide the permanent solution which is needed. These approaches may provide some relief or alleviation of the problem. But the real breakthrough to a new life, healing, and salvation, to love and bliss, is through clearing the mind by means of meditation or trusting a Master or another person standing in the truth. Meditation unfolds in us what we really are and have always been, namely unconditional, Absolute Being, the One Self which is infinite, timeless and unchanging.

Empowerment to overcome addiction

On the pathless path which we share, as described in our book “Find the Seeker”, and which all of us are on whether we know it or not, awareness, the inner guru, will lovingly but effectively cut the supposed cord of addiction. It will empower us to be Self-reliant without our depending on anything and anyone and enable us to embody the fact that we are whole and complete fro the start. In this way, we are transformed and free ourselves from the suffering and can contribute to helping all sentient beings to free themselves from suffering and experience a life of bliss.

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About Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi (Laoshi = “Spiritual Master”)

Gert Beirer, one of the few living Zen Masters was born in Austria in 1945, studied Zen, meditation, Kung-Fu, Qi Gong, and acupuncture in Asia. He was given the name Genro (“Origin of Joy”) Xuan Lou, Laoshi (Laoshi = “Spiritual Master”) by Zen Master Tetsuo Kiichi Nagaya Roshi.

Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi was named Zen (Chan) Master by the Abbot and Grand Master Kun Kong at the Lingyin Temple (Shakyamuni Buddhism) in Hangzhou, with whom he studied 11 years, by Abbot and Zen Master Shi Chan Ming in Wuhan, Province Hubei, China, and was also named Shifu or “Spiritual Teacher” in 2009 by Shi Xue Feng, Abbot of the Ding Shan Temple in Germany.

After returning to Europe, Genro spent decades as a therapist and business consultant and has been heading the Qi Gong Master School in Austria for many years, practicing in accordance with the Wuhan-Yangsheng style. Genro Laoshi has lectured at universities, appeared on TV, held seminars on a variety of spiritual and self-help topics, taught Qi Gong courses and published articles and books on meditation, Zen, motivation and communication, storytelling, body-reading, sexual Kung-Fu, autohypnosis and many more topics.

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I thank Master Genro for this special recovery post written just for all of my recovery friends and visitors. Please visit his website and blog as he and co-author Clifford Stevens present “Weekly Wisdom” that is inspiring and informational here at Find The Seeker!
Genro is also co-author of the recently published highly-acclaimed spiritual self-help book Find the Seeker (Amazon link: http://bit.ly/find-seeker).

 

Gambling, Suicide, Twitter News Around The Web of Friends and More!

Gambling, Suicide, Twitter News Around The Web of Friends and More!

So I had a busy weekend visiting some of my favorite recovery websites, and there is a lot going on that is Good News. So I thought I would share some of my friends I am connected to around the web and social media. Many exciting things are happening with gambling and legislation by The National Council on Problem Gambling and my friends of Stop Predatory Gambling team!

I feel the more educated and informed we are as advocates maintaining recovery, and the public, the better we are for having the news and updates of the hard-working people who Care and Share Hope to those who are still suffering and for those reaching out for help. That is the main reason’s I do what I do here on my Recovery Blog! It truly is my way of “being in recovery service to others”…

I was also on Twitter yesterday and was few days prior had been interacting and sharing with some of my good friends. My Brandon Novak from The Jack Ass movies and a few others including myself were tweeting back and forth. I then get a very nice DM on Twitter from a HUGE FAN of the guys of Jack Ass movies like Brandon, BAM, … And I was so “Touched” I shared it with my buddies and wanted to share it here. WHY?

Because we never know who is reading and we may be helping others who need support maintaining recovery!! I Thanked Kylie too!! xoxo

TWITTER MESSAGES:

I’m a massive fan of Bam it’s so good to see him and Brandon skating again and I’ve been watching them both in recovery it’s been exceptionally inspirational Brandon Novak is truly amazing and he inspires me daily as to your tweets! To watch Novak in the Jackass and CKY days, now turned into the true gentleman he is today is a real blessing. Some people never get to see that there is a chance at recovery. YOU truly have an amazing gift and they’re very lucky to be writing about sobriety and all it has to offer. YOUR words are so true addiction is a major problem in Australia where I come from and gambling is huge. It’s the “unspoken addiction.” I had to download all the “Pokie” games on my hubby’s phone to keep him out of the clubs!

It’s more people like you that we need in the world! I try to practice by giving back “Positiveness” to my friends that are still suffering and in addiction and I hope that they see that if I can do it they can do it!! They just need a little bit of love, as I know I felt within addiction I didn’t even love myself, therefore I didn’t feel that I was capable of receiving it …Really is a pleasure to be speaking with you and I look forward to getting to know you better and reading more about your inspirational tweets. If it can just reach one person, then that one person has more of a chance to live again.

You are very lucky to have gotten to know Brandon Novak, I just hope that “Bam” can get through his demons … It is such a shame to see a young boy so full of life and had the world at his feet and after losing his best friend turn to addiction. It’s a constant battle and I just hope that with the love of Novak, and others that Bam can find some peace.

Thanks again for all of your encouragement and support! lots of love Kylie.

MY MESSAGE BACK TO KYLIE:

Very KIND words and I thank you for your support and new friendship! Your words mean much to me and all advocates who share, then it brings our Voices collectively as ONE.

Brandon ‘s friendship, like you said, has been a blessing and inspiration to me. He is always open and transparent maintaining and speaking about his recovery. Though not easy, and yes, we have days when we hit a bump or two, but we never give up! As I have learned, addiction IS always “lying in wait” for those rough days. So if I can help and share HOPE with others so they know to never give up the battle.

WE ARE Worth more than DEATH due to addiction. The more I can inform, educate, and raise awareness about the dangers of Gambling Addiction and Alcoholism, maybe those still suffering will finally have that “Light Bulb Moment” of clarity to not want to live that any longer! Just my 2 cents worth …LOL. I look forward to knowing you better as well!

Please Email Me anytime! lyonmedia@aol.com XoXo CaT 😺💞🤟

“JUST AMAZING SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE ON MY Twitter @LUV_Recovery!!”

 


NOW NEWS AROUND THE WEB!

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SPORTS BETTING WEBINAR: May 22nd, 2018 ~ NCPGambling ~ 1:00 PM ET

The US Supreme Court has declared the federal ban on sports betting to be unconstitutional. By repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the Supreme Court opens the door for any state to legalize sports betting.
Join NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte on this webinar as he discusses the implications resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision as it relates to problem gambling and responsible gaming including:
  • Increased Prevalence of Problem Gambling Across the US
  • The Impact on Public Health
  • A Rise in Youth Gambling
  • The Risks of Mobile Platforms for Sports Betting
  • Legislation and Consumer Protections
Have a specific question you would like addressed in the webinar? Email them to CaitH@ncpgambling.org by 8am ET on Tuesday, May 22.
FREE for NCPG Members | $59 for Non-Members

 

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Hi Catherine,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE               CONTACT: Les Bernal, National Director
May 14, 2018                                          202-567-6996 | mail@stoppredatorygambling.org

STOP PREDATORY GAMBLING STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT’S DECISION IN MURPHY VS. NCAA!!! …

(WASHINGTON, DC) — Stop Predatory Gambling released the following statement following this morning’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning the federal law that preventing states from sanctioning and promoting sports gambling:

“All men and women in our nation deserve a fair opportunity to build the best life possible for themselves and their families.”

This litigation was conceived in greed by powerful gambling interests in partnership with a handful of self-serving politicians to benefit a privileged few. It’s a naked money grab from the wallets of ordinary Americans cloaked as a “states’ rights” case.

While the Court’s ruling centered on lofty questions involving states’ rights, the real-world consequences of its decision are severe. The American people lost $117 billion on state-sanctioned gambling in 2016, causing life-changing financial losses for millions of citizens. It directly contributes to the lack of mobility out of poverty that traps so many. This serious national problem will be made far worse if the government is allowed to operate and advertise sports betting.

Sports betting is especially dangerous for American kids. Studies show that children in those countries with legal sports gambling are repeatedly exposed to harmful messages and advertisements about sports gambling. It normalizes gambling for kids.

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Author, Macauley South


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State-sanctioned gambling is a relic of past failures of political leadership. Strong, visionary leaders from both political parties will ultimately phase out state-sanctioned gambling because it’s failed. It’s inevitable. It’s not a question of if but when.

We’ll continue our just fight to improve people’s lives with compassion and fairness until then.”

Click here to read the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

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Stop Predatory Gambling

Who We Are

  • A 501c3 non-profit based in Washington, DC, we are a national government reform network of individuals and organizations from across the U.S.
  • We believe in improving the lives of the American people with compassion and fairness, freeing us from the lower standard of living, exploitation, and fraud that commercialized gambling spreads.
  • We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, one in which progressives work side-by-side with conservatives with a common national purpose.

What We Stand For

  • We believe everyone should have a fair opportunity to get ahead and improve their economic standing.
  • We believe every person’s life has worth and that no one is expendable.
  • We believe that a good society depends on the values of honesty, concern for others, mutual trust, self-discipline, sacrifice, and a work ethic that connects effort and reward.
  • We believe no government body should depend on predatory gambling to fund its activities.

If you share our beliefsplease help sustain our work by making a tax-deductible, financial gift today of $10 or more.

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Our Vision

“One day we will live in a world where we won’t have to call it “brave” when talking about mental illness. We’ll just call it talking.”

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MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS ~ OUR MISSION

The mission of This Is My Brave, Inc. is to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues by sharing personal stories of individuals living successful, full lives despite mental illness through poetry, essay and original music, on stage in front of a live audience, through stories submitted and published to our blog, and via our YouTube channel.

Through the sharing of stories and experiences of those in recovery, we provide a sense of community and hope; and encourage others to share their stories. We believe that each time one of us shares our story, there’s another crack helping to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. Right now, it’s time to #LiveBrave, stand up with us to say #isharemystory and help us bring mental health issues into the spotlight because they’ve been in the dark too long.

We believe in the power of community. There’s strength found in people coming together to propel a movement forward which is why we created our organization.

Please Help Prevent Suicide and Support The Mission and Visit  “This Is My Brave Org” to Help TODAY!

 

(Huffington Post) – Truckers Line Up Below Bridge To Help Prevent Suicide

 

 

Is The 12-Step Way The Only Way? I don’t Think So. It Is a Solid Part of a Good Recovery Plan, Just Not The Only One.

Is The 12-Step Way The Only Way? I don’t Think So. It Is a Solid Part of a Good Recovery Plan, Just Not The Only One.

“We have a choice on HOW we want to recover. And everyone’s experiences can be different.  It is WHY we have the choice, to begin with! But The 12-Step way shouldn’t be the ONLY WAY to recover from any addiction.”

As we find by this new Guest Featured Article Courtesy of The Fix Magazine! ~ AS I Celebrate my 5-Year WordPress Recovery Blog Anniversary!!

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Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

You registered on WordPress.com 5 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us.

Keep up the good blogging.

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When 12-Step Doesn’t Work…


“In the 12-step program, if you’re not getting better it’s because you can’t or won’t adhere to the simple program, and it is definitely NOT your fault.”

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.” –The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

I could write rehab reviews like a New York City socialite could write restaurant reviews, detailed with an extensive variety of experience and a favorite for every season. I was close with all of the staff at one, asked to leave for causing trouble at another, and I visited my preferred choice on two separate occasions, making myself at home and staying a while each time. Although many of the rehabs I took residency with differed greatly, they all seemed to share a fundamental staple regarding treatment: 12-step meetings were the way, and anything else was the highway.

Early in recovery, the meetings were my favorite part of the day. Once discharged from inpatient treatment, I’d hop in my dented up silver Honda and travel 50 plus miles to attend meetings with my former rehab mates. It gave me something to look forward to and was a great way to maintain the mere semblance of a social life, my previous social life having been obliterated.

I loved hearing the speakers tell their heart-wrenching and inspirational stories of overcoming immense adversity and eventually finding their way. I loved thinking to myself, “Wow, you’d never guess they were once an addict,” and hoping one day someone would look at me and think the same. I loved the strong coffee, stale cookies, and smoke breaks; it was like a cozy blanket and comfort food to me. I loved 12-step meetings, but the longer I stayed, the more the love began to feel unrequited.

As time passed, I enviously witnessed my peers collecting their milestone chips. I stoically sang happy birthday to people celebrating one, two, five, sometimes 20 years of sobriety. “Keep coming back, it works if you work it!” I’d smile and clap and secretly resign myself to what appeared to be my only two options: keep relapsing and likely die or go to meetings for the next 20 years. Either way, I’d never be escaping my identity as an addict. It never sat well with me that after 20 years of abstinence from mind-altering substances, people in the program would still be in meetings identifying as addicts.

Time and time again, I’d hear a person share with the group how one desperate, dreary day, they’d dropped to their knees and begged God to remove from them the burden of addiction, and the next day they’d woken up and poof! It worked. After a person hears that so many times, they’re bound to try it themselves. I must have tried it as many times as I heard that same testimony. “Stay until the miracle happens,” they’d say. I stayed. I waited for the miracle. I’d wake up desperate for deliverance, only to find defeat. Why was God removing their burden but leaving me with mine? I was deeply genuine, crying, begging even—so naturally, I grew cynical. The more I thought about it, the more I started to realize that everything I was seeing work so well for my peers, was not at all working for me.

Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, and  Narcotics Anonymous, while technically three distinct programs, they all share the same philosophy and principles. There is no strict delineation between the groups and you’ll often meet people with a breadth of narcotic experience in AA and people who struggle with alcohol use in NA and many are drug users and drinkers with gambling problems or addicted. The steps are the same for all and somewhere within those steps is where all the “magic happens.”

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Before you can attempt the steps, you have to find a sponsor who will show you the way. A sponsor is another person in recovery, typically with an arbitrary minimum number of sober months or years that seems to vary depending on who you ask (but with more time than you). Ideally, they are a mentor, a trusted confidante who will talk you off the wagon’s edge.

They’re someone you tell your deepest darkest secrets to. Literally, your fourth step requires you to write a list of your life’s mistakes, from minor faux pas to your most egregious offenses, and then spill all the dirt to your sponsor. This was the first of many roadblocks I ran into within the program.

I seemed to burn through sponsors like an Uber driver does a tank of gas. My first sponsor and I were unknowingly involved in a 12-step love triangle. Program romances were rampant and newcomers were fresh meat. This is not uncommon and is jokingly referred to as the 13th step. I had a few short-lived sponsors before I found “the one.” She was my perfect match, and then . . . I moved 700 miles away. Although I pleaded with her to continue sponsoring me via Skype, she said it would be best for me to have a sponsor close by.

My next sponsor was someone I felt instantly drawn to and grew very close to. After working through the first three steps, I recorded all of my transgressions, ready for the big reveal. Then casually during an AA group dinner, a mutual friend referenced some seriously confidential information I had shared with only my sponsor, making it apparent our confidentiality agreement had been breached. Although we remained close friends, the trust was damaged beyond repair and my fourth step progress came to a halt.

The good thing about the 12-step program is that other addicts guide you through your recovery. The bad thing about the 12-step program is that other addicts guide you through your recovery. The first time someone struggling with addiction or alcoholism reads The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, the similarities are so striking, it’s as though you’re reading your own diary at times.

People who have experienced addiction share the same symptoms, underlying causes, triggers, and lifestyle and The Big Book articulates that in a way that transcends time, age, and gender. There is, however, a glaring difference between someone early in recovery and a seasoned 12-stepper with several years under their belt. This difference was problematic for me.

Newcomers, or people early in recovery, are generally vulnerable and shaky. It is not uncommon for a newcomer to relapse once or even multiple times. One of the main draws of AA and NA is that the program offers a “sober network,” a community of like-minded individuals who have gone through the same thing and can, therefore, teach the newcomers how to treat their disease. The sober network that the 12-step program provides, however, is not purely sober.

One of the first things you’ll hear going into recovery is that you have to cut ties with your using buddies. I agree with that 100 percent; But in AA and NA, you are actively hanging around people who are barely clean, habitually relapsing, or even just there for the court-mandated requirements and not clean at all. For some people in the program, that’s not an issue.

For me, however, it was like these people were a walking billboard: “Potential Using Buddy,” with loud sirens and flashing lights, a temptation I could not seem to ignore despite two years of actively trying. My addict brain was drawn toward other vulnerable people in the meeting. One of the most important developments in my recovery was acknowledging and owning up to my tendency to take advantage of those situations. When I finally put my foot down and said I cannot recover in the company of fellow addicts, I closed one door and opened a new door to a realistic opportunity for recovery.

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During my two-year and some change trial of the 12-step program, I earned hundreds of chips. You’d think that’s a good thing, but it’s not. In your first 30 days, you get a chip each day and then a 30, 60, 90-day, 6-month, and 9-month chip after that, and from then on, they’re earned yearly. In AA and NA, if you’ve acquired a set number of sobriety days and then you relapse, you are required to stand up, announce that you are newly sober again, and take a newcomer chip every day for your first 30 days back—recounting your sober days from scratch. If you keep relapsing before you hit 30 days, that’s an unending requirement of standing up and identifying as a newcomer.

I remember a specific exchange with a program friend that in recollection feels poignant. I was sharing that I hated counting days and my friend said, “Why? It’s an accomplishment.” I replied, “Maybe for you. For me, it’s repeated humiliation and shame.” And it was. I was in the program as a newcomer for so long, I’d still take a newcomer chip the same day that a peer I came into the program with would receive their one-year chip.

After two years of stumbling through the program, I started seeing an addiction therapist. I disclosed my ill-will toward counting days and she responded by simply suggesting that I stop. That’s not allowed, I told her, the rules are strict. She said if I hated counting days, just stop. I was filled with a huge sense of relief.

Convinced I was incurable because of my abject failings with GA, AA, and NA, I began seeing my addiction therapist twice weekly. It was there in therapy that I was able to free myself of some of the constraints the program had placed on my treatment path and explore more fitting options.

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My therapist told me I didn’t need a sponsor, I didn’t have to count days, I didn’t have to recover in the company of other addicts, and it was okay for me to try medication-assisted treatment. In the 12-step program, if you’re not getting better it’s because you can’t or won’t adhere to the simple program, and it is definitely your fault, so this therapist was either a hippie or an angel. Whatever she was, I had hope for the first time.

Now, not to say during my time in the program, I did meet hundreds of people who have successfully recovered. The program can work and I would never suggest otherwise. While it has given life back to tens of thousands of people all over the world for almost a century, it has also left others baffled, frustrated, and defeated.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for addiction and I think suggesting there is is the number one defect of the 12-step program. The program didn’t work for me and that does not make me flawed or a failure. It doesn’t work for many people, and that doesn’t make them incapable of being honest or unwilling to invest in their own recovery. And for those of us who don’t find our solution in the 12 steps, there is a multitude of other options.

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Marriage and Family Therapist Rebecca Deighan stresses the importance of building a network of support, and while that network may be GA, AA, or NA, it doesn’t have to be. It’s more about having a network of people who are supportive and caring, a sense of community. When asked about the 12-step program not working for everyone, Deighan said, “Everybody has a right to self-determination.”

Learning to trust your own instincts and know what is or isn’t working for you is no easy feat for people battling addiction. Having a therapist who encouraged me to trust my own opinions regarding my treatment was incredibly valuable. I can thank almost two years of therapy and medication-assisted treatment for my success in recovery.

There are many options when it comes to recovery: church, yoga and meditation, therapy, exercise, medication-assisted treatment, using self-help books and apps, support groups (12-stepSMARTWomen for SobrietyLifeRing, and others) and more. I recommend trying one or a combination of any of the above.

“Hello, I’m Emily and I’m an addict,” are words that will likely never leave my lips again. I don’t identify as an addict now and I won’t in 20 years.

I chose a recovery path that has left my life as an addict completely in the rear-view mirror, and for me, that’s right where it belongs.

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Emily J. Sullivan

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Emily J. Sullivan is a Los Angeles based writer specializing in addiction, mental health, relationships, and lifestyle. When she’s not chasing around her twin daughters, she’s writing, dancing, geeking out on Game of Thrones with her fiancé and soon-to-be stepson, or shopping for Jimmy Choos on eBay.

 

“I’m sorry for being bad and making you turn to drugs Mommy”. DO WHAT? Stop this thinking!

A new recovery friend and parent who is my Recovery Blog Pick you need to visit! Parent’s in recovery? Don’t be too hard on yourselves … xoxo Cat

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Mother’s Day is right around the corner and most of the mother’s will get gifts and amazing cards. Most will say that you are the worlds greatest mom and that they love you so much and appreciate everything that you do for them. I also got one of those cards, my daughter wrote me one(she’s 12). However, mine had one component inside it that other Mother’s Day cards wouldn’t have. My daughter says she loves me and that I’m a wonderful mother and that I have a heart of gold, that made me smile. She also wanted to apologize to me. I read to part where she says that she knows that she was always misbehaving and acting up and that she was a sorry for making me feel like I had to turn to substance abuse because of her. At that point y’all, I was bawling! I couldn’t believe…

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My Zen Recovery ~ Special Guest Post By Living Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi. “Enlightenment Awaits You”

My Zen Recovery ~ Special Guest Post By Living Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi. “Enlightenment Awaits You”

It is not often I meet two very special people who have entered my life and learning so much from. Master Genro is one of the few living Zen Masters of today. Author, Clifford Stevens has had the privilege of being taught by Master Genro. And after reading their new book, “Find The Seeker! The Pathless Path to Fulfillment and Happiness” I have been using all the wisdom and unique advice and incorporating it into my recovery path. It has uplifted my spirit, enlightens my soul as I maintain my recovery in being more humbled and grateful.

See, when we choose to finally see and reach out to the tiny sliver of light of HOPE and abandon the bondage of addictions, we can choose a path or journey of our choice as we can begin to heal and work toward making healthy change within our “inner selves.” This is more of what the book guides you through. So, yes, my recovery has been more mindful, natural, and happy! I call it my Zen Recovery …

I hope you enjoy this second guest post as much as Genro’s first. And do get a chance to purchase the book! It truly is an amazing read! … Catherine

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ENLIGHTENMENT AWAITS YOU

It is not easy to put what we mean into words and into a book, which is the mirror of our experience. This is because Absolute, unconditional Being cannot be defined, described, categorized or explained in words. It is the reason why Socrates could only say, “All I know is that I know nothing.” It is the reason why Zen Masters often resort to laughing, making sounds or jumping. It is the reason why the true philosopher remains quiet. Ultimately one has to stop thinking, brooding and reflecting.

Speaking does not mirror one’s innermost nature, the underlying truth of all Existence. Rather, it is what is between the words – serenity, voice, charisma, aura – which can reveal how far a person is on the spiritual path. It may be easy for someone to sit on a meditation cushion and give the impression that he is inwardly serene. However, as one says in Zen, one can only look deeper into the ocean when the surface of the water is calm. In this way, one can find out and understand what the ego is about.

Meditative techniques are there to calm the thought processes, to make sure the monkeys jumping around – our thoughts – finally get tired of what they are doing, and to bring inner peace to the person. We are talking about Absolute Peace, which you cannot attain by any war, by any struggling on your part. It comes when Nobody is there any longer who causes unrest and agitation due to thinking, fears, and all our manipulative, emotional and intellectual processes. Peace comes when there is Nobody who deals with himself and the world in a warlike manner.

Beyond space and time


It may not always reflect our present-day priorities, but achieving inner peace, calmness, serenity, and equanimity is certainly one of our biggest longings. So much has been written about the techniques one can practice, and it is easy to do so. But a technique is only a part of the path. The fact is that the path is a pathless one and is not a path at all in the proverbial sense.

Being on the path means to pick oneself up again and again and plough on, with practices, to continue moving on, if one has not had the grace to embody “enlightenment”, as some of the great  Masters have had this blessing.

Our book is designed to show how such a path could look, how you can make your way along the path with grace, discipline, and humility, and how one can have this experience of enlightenment at the right time and the right place – always and anywhere, because it is beyond space and time.

 

 

Lying at your feet

We don’t usually speak about this. This is because all knowledge, analysis, and definitions don’t lead us anywhere! It is the experience and not the knowledge that is crucial. Take honey. You can conduct as many scientific studies as you want, but it is not the same as tasting it and its sweetness. In this case, you only stand at the beginning of the path and have not yet realized what it is about.

Once you have read all the books and heard all the scientists talking, and still remain dissatisfied, and there are still unanswered questions, then it is time to read this book of ours – perhaps the last one you will need. It shows the pathless path between the words and the lines, serving quasi as a signpost. It is a path that cannot be comprehended in thoughts and words and shows you that which is lying at your feet, as an old Japanese saying goes.

Free your mind

So, sit down, try to calm your mind, and learn to know your-Self. All the questions that arise are the result of the imprisoned and limited mind. Liberation takes place above and beyond everything that can be perceived. It takes place in your inherent, Absolute nature, which at that moment of realization is seen as that which always is enlightened and has always been. This does not involve effort, techniques, work or overcoming. But it requires grace, and your realization, which in itself is the Truth.

And when this happens, do what you want. This is derived from an old parable from Chinese Chan teachings, who said, “First free your mind, and then do what you want.” Our intellect is immediately worried about chaos and anarchy if one does what he or she wants. This concern is from the unenlightened spirit, worrying about things which anyway cannot be influenced. Learn how to entrust yourself, to practice devotion and thus open yourself up and make yourself ready for the workings of the highest Grace.

 

Free of thought

In the Heart Sutra, it is written: Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. The true interpretation is so simple and yet difficult to understand. Zen and our book deals with people who learn to be before there was thinking. The Zen spirit is revealed when thinking stops and the thinker consciously abides “free of thought.” This is the Buddha Nature, which you cannot realize in thought.


The experience of enlightenment awaits you.


Find the “seeker” and unfold the true Self already in you.

The essence of the path is simple, natural and clear.

 

‘Namaste’

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Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi, one of the few living Zen Masters and co-author Clifford Stevens of the recent highly-acclaimed spiritual self-help book “Find the Seeker” now available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle … (Amazon link: http://bit.ly/find-seeker). You may learn more from popular Master Genro on our website:  https://www.findtheseeker.com  and follow us on Facebook.