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

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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daverupa
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by daverupa » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:44 pm

"Real alcoholics"? This looks like a 'no true scotsman' fallacy... is there any peer-reviewed literature on how to distinguish 'real' alcoholics from 'hard drinkers'?

Alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse are the terms I'm used to seeing.

---

To the best of my knowledge, a 'real' alcoholic is defined in the Book as someone who can't quit simply through an exercise of will, while a hard drinker could do so, even if both drank the same amounts with the same consequences beforehand. I'm simply not aware of this distinction in any scientific literature on the topic.
Last edited by daverupa on Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • "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]

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

Post by PeterB » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:51 pm

Its not about systems, perfect or imperfect.
Its not about stats or arms -length studies or the opining of the learned.
Its all about warm, imperfect, inconsistent human beings giving support to other imperfect and inconsistent human beings in need.
With all the messiness and variability and subjectivity that is implied in that.
I spend part of my working week in a Therapeutic Community which provides a service for human beings with a range of challenges..alcohol abuse is common to many.
When we are able to help it has nothing to do with text books or cross referring to various studies. We are most successful we we open our hearts to the raw emotional needs of the clients.

I suspect it may be similar with AA groups.

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

Post by Justsit » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:27 pm

Well said, Peter, you nailed it. Thank you. :thumbsup:

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

Post by danieLion » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:47 pm

Aloka wrote:
In reality, the alternatives to AA are countless (including Rational Recovery, Life Ring, religious devotion, etc...
...and including the Buddhist Recovery Network :

http://www.buddhistrecovery.org/
Thanks dear.

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

Post by danieLion » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:53 pm

Hi all,
The Big Book and personal experience in AA are much less authoritative sources than the research I've cited (especially in my blog) which inidicates most people who recover do it alone, without the help of support groups, or any recovery programs.
Kindly
dL

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

Post by danieLion » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:59 pm

mirco wrote:Dear Daniel,
danieLion wrote: The fact is that most addicts who recover do so on their own.
may I ask how many addicts you know personally?

:anjali:
Hundreds.

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

Post by mirco » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:12 pm

danieLion wrote:
mirco wrote:may I ask how many addicts you know personally?
Hundreds.
So, this means the came from all 'sides':

non 12 step that worked,
non 12 step that did not work,
12 step that worked,
12 step that did not work

and each single one of them shared her/his personal experience with you over many years?


:anjali:
"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." - Bhikkhu Anālayo

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

Post by danieLion » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:16 pm

mirco wrote:
danieLion wrote:
mirco wrote:may I ask how many addicts you know personally?
Hundreds.
So, this means the came from all 'sides':

non 12 step that worked,
non 12 step that did not work,
12 step that worked,
12 step that did not work

and each single one of them shared her/his personal experience with you over many years?


:anjali:
Hi mirco,
I haven't scientifically surveyed them. My claims are based on research (see my blog), not anecdote. However, the research reflects my anecdotal experience.
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by danieLion » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:22 pm

To the idea I haven't "humanized" my presentation enough: REBT, CBT, etc... are based in humanism. It is a false dichotomy that wants to separate the rational from the human. Ellis also distinguished REBT from rationalism.

To the issues of powerlessness, absolute surrender, over-reliance on the group, sponsors and the Big Book, "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic," "you have to hit rock bottom," three REBT irrational beliefs are particularly relevant.

1. The idea that we absolutely need something other or stronger or greater than ourself on which to rely --

Instead of the idea that it is better to take the risks of thinking and acting less dependently.

2.The idea that because something once strongly affected our life, it should indefinitely affect it --

Instead of the idea that we can learn from our past experiences but not be overly-attached to or prejudiced by them.

3. The idea that we have virtually no control over our emotions and that we cannot help feeling disturbed about things --

Instead of the idea that we have real control over our destructive emotions if we choose to work at changing the “musturbatory” hypotheses which we often employ to create them.
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by danieLion » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:51 pm

IMHO, there is one thing virtually all recovery methods have in common, including the solo route:

The principles of acceptance, change and wisdom, despite the God language (Buddhist, secular, et al substitutions are easily made), as reflected in Reinhold Niebuhr's "Serenity Prayer."

Kindly,
dL

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

Post by Justsit » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:09 pm

Did you read PeterB's post??
There is a very big difference between "humanizing your presentation" and actually opening your heart and sharing your experiences with living persons.

It's OK that you don't agree with AA, DL, no one is saying AA is the answer to everyone's problems with addiction. You are absolutely right, it doesn't work for everyone. It obviously hasn't worked for you, you found something else, why now try to denigrate something that does work for many others??

Different strokes, friend. All OK.

Think I'll move along now. Best wishes and long sobriety to all.

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

Post by danieLion » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:13 pm

Hi PeterB
PeterB wrote:Its not about systems, perfect or imperfect.
Its not about stats or arms -length studies or the opining of the learned.
Its all about warm, imperfect, inconsistent human beings giving support to other imperfect and inconsistent human beings in need.
With all the messiness and variability and subjectivity that is implied in that.
I spend part of my working week in a Therapeutic Community which provides a service for human beings with a range of challenges..alcohol abuse is common to many.
When we are able to help it has nothing to do with text books or cross referring to various studies. We are most successful we we open our hearts to the raw emotional needs of the clients.
not
I suspect it may be similar with AA groups.
I see a lot of All-Or-Nothing-Thinking, Overgeneralizing ("it's/it's not all about") and Labelling/perfectionism (perfect/imperfect) here (cf. David D. Burns cognitive disortions). Cognitive distortions interfere with recovery. It looks like false dichotomizing to me to say "it's not all about a, b, & c, but it is all about x, y & z." Many of the studies I cited include a very human element, and being learned is not de-humanizing. And I didn't cite any textbooks. Nothing in what I've said is in opposition to the heart-medicine you describe, but rather in concert with it.
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by danieLion » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:17 pm

Hi Justsit,
Justsit wrote:You are absolutely right, it doesn't work for everyone. It obviously hasn't worked for you, you found something else, why now try to denigrate something that does work for many others??

Different strokes, friend. All OK.
I never said the 12 Steps didn't work for me. I said parts of them did, and parts of them didn't. I'm not denigrating, I'm exploring, and as I said in my blog, I have no issues with people experimenting with 12 Step programs. And as far as it working for "many others," it depends on what you mean by "many."
Kindly,
dL

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

Post by danieLion » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:18 am

Hi PeterB
PeterB wrote:Its a bit like reading a critique of lifebelts with a critical appraisal of materials and a neat cost anaylsis, in the middle of a storm while ships are foundering.
Several people I know in SMART Recovery utilize cost-benefit analysis to great effect.
Using the CBA (Cost-Benefit Analysis Tool)
http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/ ... ksheet.pdf
Four Questions About My Addiction
http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/ ... ut/CBA.pdf
Kindly,
dL

danieLion
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

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

Post by danieLion » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:22 am

danieLion wrote:Yes, perhaps that would've been better. It alos would've have been better if I'd not used the word "criticize.
I take it back. There's nothing wrong with critiquing. The Buddha did it all the time. Some critiques are valid, some are not. My critique is valid, but I'm open to persuasion.
Kindly,
dL

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