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Recovery Dharma: Buddhist Approach to Addiction Recovery

Written on October 25, 2021
Recovery Dharma: Buddhist Approach to Addiction Recovery

When it comes to addiction and recovery, there is no one-size-fits-all path.

People can often benefit from several treatment modalities and various methods. One holistic, peer-led addiction support program is the Buddhist addiction recovery fellowship Recovery Dharma.

This recovery program is based on traditional Buddhist practices. Buddhism dates back over 2,500 years and is rooted in many beliefs, including that meditation, acceptance of the present moment, and spiritual work are ways to end suffering. Buddhism originated in India and is one of the largest religions in the world.

Recovery Dharma has its roots in Buddhist practices that are used in the addiction recovery process. Mindfulness, one of the core principles of Buddhist addiction treatment, is scientifically proven to be highly effective in not only treating addiction but also depression, anxiety, insomnia, and a host of other things.

Keep reading to learn more about Buddhist-based treatment for addiction and how it can help one recover from addiction.

What Is Recovery Dharma?

recovery dharma Boulder ColoradoRecovery Dharma is a community of peers that encourages Buddhist-based recovery from addiction.

This type of Buddhist addiction recovery brings together those suffering from substance use disorders. The unity and bond shared between members help them become free from the suffering that addiction has caused. It helps to strengthen and support one’s recovery journey.

The recovery program uses Buddhist wisdom, compassion, community, and meditation practices for healing and recovery.

Although the Buddhist addiction treatment movement is based on community and a peer-led experience,  everyone’s journey is unique. Each person’s path is guided with the help and support of a compassionate team of professionals.

Unlike other recovery programs, Recovery Dharma is open to anyone suffering from addictive behaviors and looking to recover. It welcomes those who are suffering from substance use disorders, addictive tendencies, eating disorders, codependency, behavioral addictions, and so on.

The support provided in Recovery Dharma helps one create a path to recovery and freedom.

What Are the Practices of Buddhist Addiction Treatment?

The practices of Buddhist addiction treatment are based on traditional Buddhist teachings. It is believed that Buddhist practices can help one become free of addiction and suffering. For this reason, Buddhist addiction treatment options are gaining traction and becoming more widespread.

According to these teachings, practicing meditation, honoring the Four Noble Truths, and receiving support from the community (or sangha in Sanskrit) will enhance addiction recovery.

Meditation has a plethora of benefits for the body and mind. Additionally, a supporting community with similar experiences is crucial for the recovery journey.

With the Four Noble Truths, there are subsequent commitments. Buddhists tell us we can end our suffering by acknowledging these truths. The Buddhist-based treatment for addiction has its roots in these teachings.

Here are the Four Noble Truths:

  1. There is suffering
  2. Suffering has a cause
  3. Suffering has an end
  4. There is a journey that helps lead to the end of suffering

Along with these Truths are four commitments to understanding each.

The commitment to understanding the existence of suffering and trauma, understanding how craving leads to suffering, understanding that less craving results in less suffering, and reinforcing the commitment to the path that ends suffering. Buddhist addiction treatment teaches that by accepting the world just as it is–not as we would like it to be–we can truly heal and create a more meaningful life.

What Are the Benefits of Recovery Dharma?

Recovery Dharma comes with a number of benefits. Not only are these recovery practices helpful to those struggling with addiction, but also in daily life.  buddhist addiction treatment Boulder Colorado

Buddhist addiction treatment practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and breathing can be very effective in navigating life’s daily stressors, even those outside of addiction.

Here are some of the benefits of meditation and mindfulness:

  • Helps to reduce stress
  • Improves stress-related conditions
  • Calms anxiety and reduces depression
  • Improves mental and emotional health
  • Promotes problem-solving skills
  • Improves attention span
  • Helps to decrease addictive cravings
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Helps to decrease blood pressure

Meditation is one of the pillars of Buddhist practices and is also an internal part of Recovery Dharma. Meditation and mindfulness are great coping strategies for those struggling with stressors or addictive urges.

What Type of Addiction Does Buddhist Addiction Treatment Help With?

Many treatment programs are specific to one type of addiction. Many are familiar with AA for those suffering from alcohol addiction or NA for those with drug addiction.

Unlike these recovery programs, Buddhist addiction treatment, as presented by Flatirons Recovery, may be applied to any type of addiction.

Some are suffering from substance abuse addictions such as alcohol, narcotics, prescription drugs, or dual-diagnosis. Others are coping with process addictions such as sex, gambling, or shopping. Perhaps some have eating disorders or are self-harming.

Recovery Dharma and Buddhist addiction treatment can help with any of these addictions. For those suffering from these addictive tendencies and who have a willingness to recover, the program is highly beneficial.

The right team of compassionate professionals can help curate a treatment plan to suit every client’s needs.

Recovery Dharma Treatments and Therapies

Recovery Dharma treatments and therapies at Flatirons Recovery are crucial for lasting sobriety and holistic well-being. These practices, rooted in Buddhist principles, provide a comprehensive framework for understanding and overcoming addiction. By focusing on mindfulness, meditation, and self-inquiry, individuals can develop the necessary skills to navigate life’s challenges without resorting to addictive behaviors. The supportive community at Flatirons Recovery further enhances this process, offering a safe space for sharing experiences and gaining strength from others on similar paths.

Key benefits of Recovery Dharma treatments and therapies at Flatirons in Colorado include:

  • Mindfulness Training: Enhances awareness of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, aiding in managing cravings and stress.
  • Meditation Practices: Fosters inner peace and resilience, essential for maintaining sobriety.
  • Self-Inquiry Exercises: Encourages deep reflection on personal triggers and patterns, promoting self-understanding and growth.
  • Supportive Community: Provides a network of individuals committed to recovery, offering mutual encouragement and accountability.
  • Holistic Approach: Integrates physical, emotional, and spiritual healing, addressing the whole person rather than just the symptoms of addiction.
  • Relapse Prevention: Equips individuals with practical tools and strategies to prevent relapse and sustain long-term recovery.

Combining these elements and emphasizing holistic healing creates a powerful and effective approach to addiction recovery, empowering individuals to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Is Abstaining From Drugs and Alcohol Necessary With Recovery Dharma?

Buddhist-based treatment for addiction encourages sobriety from all substances that can alter the mind. As part of living an ethical and fulfilling life, Recovery Dharma does require abstinence if an addiction involves harmful substances.

The purpose of Recovery Dharma is to let go of the need to have an intoxicating experience. This is also known as renunciation. It involves giving up substances that cause our suffering.

This also means being mindful of a subconscious process called “addiction switching.” This involves avoiding one addictive behavior but replacing it with another one.

There are cases in which it is not possible to abstain from a certain addiction. For example, those with an eating disorder can’t simply quit eating food. In another instance, for those with an addiction to technology, it might not be possible to fully abstain.

For these circumstances, it takes vigilance and mindfulness. Setting intentions and boundaries with these behaviors is crucial to a healthy recovery.

Recovery Dharma Meetings at Flatirons in Colorado

When it comes to relapse prevention, each individual will have a unique post-treatment plan.

One of the significant benefits of Recovery Dharma is that the practices within this treatment modality offer support in many ways long after addictive tendencies have ceased.

For those experiencing urges and cravings, the practices taught in Recovery Dharma can provide tools to work through them without relapsing. Additionally, when encountering stressors and triggers for addiction, these practices help bring one back to a centered state.

Recovery Dharma can serve as an essential component in conjunction with other treatment programs, including relapse prevention. It is common to integrate this program with other treatment modalities.

The Flatiron’s free weekly Recovery Dharma meeting is a great option for ongoing support with a great community of dedicated members. Hosted every Wednesday evening, it is currently the only in-person Recovery Dharma meeting in the Boulder, Colorado, area.

What Can I Expect in a Recovery Dharma Meeting?

buddhist addiction treatment Boulder ColoradoFor those seeking addiction help, here is what to expect from a Recovery Dharma meeting.

The weekly meetings help the group members come together to meditate, study the Dharma, and share their experiences. A typical meeting begins with some related readings, followed by a guided meditation.

After the group meditation, there is another reading that is meant to inspire conversation. Group members then go around and share their thoughts on the topic of the readings. Members also have the option to share any of their experiences or struggles.

The community as a whole decides the flow of the meeting. Participants share experiences with the group but are not forced to do so. There is also often time to mingle and meet others after the meeting.

The meetings operate in a way that benefits the group as a whole. The group’s health, safety, and well-being is the most important aspect of the Recovery Dharma. There are rules and guidelines that prevent misconduct and promote ethical practices.

The meetings are also free of charge, but members can donate funds after the meeting.

Discover Your Recovery Journey With Recovery Dharma

With so many treatment options available for addiction recovery, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Recovery Dharma is an alternative program to traditional treatment methods. It can not only help you with addiction recovery but also manage daily stressors.

Buddhist addiction treatment will help you prevent relapse with meditative practices and a supportive community. You can use this program in addition to other forms of addiction treatment for a holistic approach to recovery.

For more information on addiction recovery, here’s a full list of treatment and recovery options, or contact us.