What Is Refuge Recovery?
- ALL LIFE IS SUFFERING
- SUFFERING IS CAUSED BY DESIRES
- TO ELIMINATE SUFFERING ONE MUST ELIMINATE ATTACHMENTS
- THE EIGHTFOLD PATH ELIMINATES ATTACHMENTS
I present to you the Four Noble Truths. I know what you’re thinking, “why is every spiritual solution also a numerical one?” The 12-Steps and Buddhism! Twelve there, four here, maybe another eight there; if you are of a more Mosaic persuasion then you can tack on a ten for grace and goodwill.
But do not fret my mathematically handicapped friends – we rarely go past 12!
And despite Buddhism moving methodically in multiples of fours, luckily for us all, the numbers are completely irrelevant; actually, they only compound the suffering 🙂
When most think of Buddhism they either picture a big-bellied Chinese man with a somewhat maniacal smile or they think of discipline, gongs, and perhaps Kung Fu.
Once more, these conceptions are irrelevant.
Other folks think of the 60’s, LSD, and long-haired hippies in the full lotus position; again, irrelevant. Oh, and yes, the monks! Definitely monks. Still, irrelevant.
It’s All Irrelevant!
So what, is everything irrelevant?
Everything but the inquiring consciousness, for it is one step closer to total awareness and one skip away from enlightenment.
Indeed, the mind that produces the question above is begging for answers: why the irrelevancy? Why the chronic malcontent? Why the suffering?
A Process of Removal
Oddly enough, the answer manifests as a non-answer – a removal of answers as it were. It’s as if the only relevant concept is the irrelevance.
The process of Refuge Recovery is a method of negation; that is, removing ALL the wrong answers. It is spiritual growth through subtraction, unlearning the various learned modes of living that are cleaved to, craved for, and cause immense suffering.
In perhaps an oversimplification, let me illustrate.
Remove “dis, im, and in” and you arrive at virtue – now expand that to include every little nuance of character and life – this is the recovery process (of course the example has limitations but the sentiment is expressed adequately).
The Eightfold Path seeks to achieve this idea automatically, they are as follows:
- Right Understanding
- Right Intent
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration
Undoubedtly, the “right” is arrived at by simple removal of the “wrong.”
Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.
Uncover, Discover, And Discard.
So let the Buddha diagnosis you (first three noble truths), and write the prescription (the eightfold path i.e. the fourth noble truth or what I call “Michelangelo’s pick ax”).
Undoubtedly, it’s not all just a methodology of removal, parallels within each recovery system exist – and one commonality that is of extreme importance here is fellowship (===>See 12-Step Alternative Article).
Nonetheless, each name has baggage – thus, to disassociate itself from the unnecessary weight (the 12-Step programs lingo i.e. meetings, rooms, etc.) the program adopted the moniker “refuge.” A light burden, a place of safety, a dojo of rest, a temple of satisfaction; in short, a home. Or dare I say the removal of everything that is not home.
I recommend you purchase your Refuge Recovery book at a local meeting; however, for your convenience, you can purchase it by clicking the link below. Also, you can click this link to see Refuge Recovery’s official site.
Timmy G. (2019)
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