Sunrise of brilliant blue and gold with sun behind a heavy grey cloud

Peace and Happiness in Sobriety with The Three Jewels

Mike Mather

Many Traditions

There are many spiritual traditions that are not Buddhism.

The Buddhist teaching that is most familiar to me because of my experience, is those of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.

He explains that the Three Precious Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha - are the essence of all Dharma realisations. They are extremely important to recall often throughout the day for the recovery from alcoholism and addiction.

Beware Empty Sugar Bowl

I struggled to pass 50 days of sobriety for over two and a half years. The steps of AA made sense, but I would relapse when the pain become unbearable.

There is the oft-told story that we alcoholics can endure a lot of suffering and yet, succumb to the drink for seemingly slight annoyances – “like when my shoelace broke one time”! There is a saying, “Don’t let the sugar bowl get empty”.


Buddha represents the potential for us to awaken our own inner peace and wisdom. By relying on Buddha. Remember that we all have within us true buddha-nature. Going for refuge to Buddha gives us the inner strength to overcome our harmful behaviours and addictions.

A young monk in saffron robes pouring water from a pan into creek

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay


Dharma refers to the teachings of Buddha. With Buddha’s teachings, we gain insight into the true nature of our desires, actions and consequences, and we learn how to overcome addiction. Dharma teaches us root causes and the probable outcomes of our addictions, and to develop skills necessary for peaceful recovery. Especially important in the case of addiction, is that root causes are often hidden, deep within our minds.

See also Path to Enlightenment or Destruction


Sangha are our spiritual brothers and sisters on our journey to recovery. Connecting with others that are on a similar journey gives us encouragement and inspiration to continue on the path to happy sobriety.

In my first year of sobriety, I was charged with keeping the kitchen supplies up to date in my home group, and mowing the lawns of the Dharma centre. What a privilege.

It’s impossible to know what actually kept me sober, however, my belief in karma suggests that, it was everything.

There are a thousand paths up the mountain, and I am just pointing at the moon.

Dharmaholic is a community of like-minded individuals, that can be a powerful ally in attaining recovery and maintaining a peaceful and happy sobriety.

rows of hands in prayer mudra

Image by 🆓 Use at your Ease 👌🏼 from Pixabay

Three Precious Jewels

By relying on the Three Precious Jewels, we can find permanent liberation-in the samsaric sense, and from our addictions in this life. When we are liberated from our craving, we attain enduring peace and happiness.

Modern Buddhism is perfectly suited for inspiring those seeking solutions within Buddhism to problems of everyday life, as well as for encouraging practitioners of all faiths to deepen their understanding and practice of the spiritual path”. This book is a gift from Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.

You can download a free copy here. Modern Buddhism or click the image.

Blue book cover "Modern Buddhism"
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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