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Faith, Community, and the Path to Recovery

Mike Mather

Comfort, Hope & Support for Sobriety

Let's delve deeper into the profound impact of faith in spiritual practices and realisations, particularly in relation to faith and alcoholism. Faith, as articulated by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, is a “virtuous mind that opposes faults and views its object as pure and holy,” such as enlightened beings and teachings. This concept is pivotal because, without faith, spiritual knowledge alone won't diminish our problems and negativity; on the contrary, it might even escalate delusions.

a skeleton head

Photo by Michael Jerrard on Unsplash

Practice and Realisations

When navigating the journey of recovery from alcoholism, merely recognising oneself as an alcoholic isn't sufficient to curb the urge to drink. However, faith in a Higher Power can act as a transformative force. My unwavering faith offers substantial benefits, even in instances where I falter in my practice.

Faith should be esteemed and cherished as something incredibly valuable; it forms the foundation of all virtuous states of mind we aspire to cultivate.

Faith, Community, and Recovery

For someone like me, who is on the path of recovery from alcoholism, faith serves as a powerful and indispensable force. It plays a crucial role in my spiritual journey and recovery process.

Faith in a higher power or a belief system provides a comforting sense of hope and purpose, especially during the challenging phases of recovery. It acts as a balm that soothes the pervasive fear, anxiety, and suffering that often accompany addiction and the journey to recovery.

A group of people having a meeting

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

Moreover, faith fosters a profound sense of community and support, which is essential for successful recovery. By embracing the teachings and guidance offered by faith, a recovering alcoholic like myself can find the strength and encouragement needed to pursue sobriety and strive for a better, more fulfilling life.

The Three Jewels

In Buddhism, the Three Jewels—Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha—hold a parallel significance to the elements of the 12-Step Recovery movement. They can be likened to the Higher Power, the Big Book, and the Fellowship that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provides to those suffering from alcoholism.

See also The Beauty of Step 10 and Buddhist Principles

Having access to a Sangha, or spiritual community, during one's spiritual development offers invaluable reassurance and companionship.

Faith in Buddha’s teachings is imperative for me to remain steadfast on my path. Relying on Buddha during challenging times is akin to acknowledging our powerlessness and seeking support. With ‘good orderly direction,’ faith, and the companionship of others, we can undertake the necessary steps to maintain our sobriety and achieve our goals.

About the Author Mike Mather

Mike was born in 1963 which technically makes him one of the youngest of the Baby Boomers. An Australian with Indigenous and European heritage, he has been an avid and required student of Buddhism and alcoholism since 2008.

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