Your spirituality may play major role in your recovery, helping you create a sense of connection to something bigger than yourself. While many 12-step addiction treatment programs focus on a Christian spiritual connection, that’s not the only option. At The Raleigh House, for example, we take an east to west approach to addiction treatment that includes Buddhist practices, like meditation and mindfulness.
For many, Buddhism and its customs are more of a way of life rather than a religion, making it an ideal spiritual option for those who don’t want a traditional 12-step program. In this blog, we’ll explore Buddhist practices in addiction treatment and how they fit into The Raleigh House’s approach to care.
How Buddhism and Addiction Recovery Go Hand-In-Hand
When you’re struggling with addiction, you can often feel disconnected from your life. You may feel at odds with yourself and the world around you. Some of the central teachings of Buddhism — the Four Noble Truths — can be applied directly to overcoming your addiction:
- First Noble Truth — There is suffering.
- Second Noble Truth — The suffering has an origin.
- Third Noble Truth — There is a way out of the suffering.
- Fourth Noble Truth — The way out of suffering is by traveling the Noble Eightfold Path.
The Noble Eightfold Path is a path to eliminate suffering, including steps designed to help you develop the right mindset, intentions, speech, efforts, behaviors and livelihood for a fulfilling life. Since its original teaching by Buddhism’s founder, Siddhartha Gotama (the Buddha) 2,500 years ago, the Noble Eightfold Path has been used to help people recover from addiction.
The Noble Eightfold Path for Addiction
If you’re struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, the Noble Eightfold Path can help you address your substance abuse head on and make changes in your life to promote a sober lifestyle.
- Right Understanding — This first step of the path is designed to help you understand that your addiction has consequences.
- Right Intention — Second, you commit to living a sober lifestyle, oftentimes by entering addiction treatment.
- Right Effort — Third, you make sobriety a priority, taking an active role in your addiction treatment and recovery.
- Right Mindfulness — In this fourth step, you learn and practice mindfulness, so you aren’t swept up in overwhelming thoughts and emotions.
- Right Concentration — This fifth step is focused on you continuing mindfulness practice so you can think clearly and avoid relapse triggers.
- Right View — In the sixth step, you will let go of old opinions and beliefs about yourself that are holding you back through the assistance of individual and group therapy.
- Right Livelihood — This seventh step is about you making changes in your professional life so you can avoid relapse.
- Right Conduct — In this final step, you commit to behaviors and activities that can help you maintain your sobriety.
Benefits of Buddhist Practice in Addiction Recovery
At The Raleigh House, our clients have the option to participate in Buddhist practices like meditation and mindfulness to help them recover from substance abuse. These empowering practices help those suffering from addiction to:
- Build motivation – Addiction treatment can be challenging, but meditation and mindfulness practice can help you overcome any discomfort felt and focus on your progress.
- Manage cravings – Stress and emotional situations can trigger an urge to relapse. Buddhist practices can keep you calm and focused, so you don’t succumb to cravings.
- Be more present and mindful – Buddhist practices in treatment and recovery can help you avoid impulsivity and destructive behaviors.
- Find balance – Buddhist teaching is all about balance. Meditation and mindfulness practice can help you feel more balanced and secure in your life, so you can avoid the desire to use again.
When you come to The Raleigh House, you’ll learn meditation and mindfulness and participate in Recovery Dharma, a peer-led movement and community that strives to achieve freedom from addiction. Here, you’ll learn how to find inner wisdom and peace needed to maintain recovery.
Experience an East to West Approach to Recovery at The Raleigh House
Recovery from addiction is possible. The Raleigh House has more than 10 years of experience helping people like you overcome substance abuse and dual diagnosis disorders. Our east to west approach combines evidence-based treatments with experiential therapies, so you can uncover underlying reasons for your substance abuse, address them and develop healthier ways to cope with your addiction triggers.
If you’re considering addiction treatment, you’ll never be alone at The Raleigh House. Reach out to our admissions team today to learn how you can rewrite your story.