Cultivating Mindfulness & Meditation In 12 Step Recovery through
Meetings for Buddhists where Everyone with a Desire to Stop Their Addiction Is Welcome!
A Global Community of Practice Centers
In the Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh
"The nature of the self and its transformation is the basic teaching of Buddhism. In a very real sense, this is also the concern of the steps - a careful and systematic deconstruction of the alcoholic self and its rebuilding based on different assumptions, reactions, core values and relationships."
9 Essays, Buddhism and the 12 Step Model of Recovery, San Francisco Zen Center, (sfzc.org)
1895 - 1986
Mindpracthing.com is the result of our efforts to develop a meeting format that would help us maintain our spiritual condition through the practices of Mindfulness and Meditation. The Big Book tells us that even though we have found a higher power and had a spiritual awakening as the result of working the 12 Steps, “We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.” The way we look at it, the Buddhist practice of Mindfulness is the equivalent of Judeo-Christian Spirituality.
Above all, we wanted a meeting that was focused on the Steps and that had but one primary purpose - to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers. AA, the Steps and the fellowship saved our lives and we hope that all of our Buddhist brothers and sisters who are still suffering from the affects of drugs and alcohol might have the same shot at getting clean and sober that we had. Recently, especially due to the pandemic, the incidents of alcoholism and drug addiction have risen sharply; however, the access to quality and affordable treatment, which was never good, has become even worse. We wanted to have a meeting that remained within the A.A. Fellowship. Like it says, a desire to stop drinking is our only requirement for membership.
Just a bit of business: on this site, all of the words and phrases that are underlined have links. When you click on them they take you off of this site or to a different page on this site. Most of the pictures also contain links. The pages under the HOME tab deal primarily with how we came to the conclusion that just as you can have "a god of your understanding," you can also have a spirituality of your understanding. We call it a SMO, a Spirituality of My Own. The remaining three tabs on the Main Menu and each of those tab's sub pages focus on the 12 Steps from a perspective of Mindfulness, Contemplative Practices and/or what we consider the spiritual practices of Mindfulness and Meditation.
Under the 12 STEPS & MINDFULNESS tab on the main menu bar, we present the 12 Steps from the perspective of the Meditation in Recovery group at the San Francisco Zen Center. The Meditation in Recovery group at the SFZC is responsible for a set of essays on and about the Twelve Steps titled Buddhism and the 12 Step Method of Recovery. In their introduction to these essays they present an explanation of how these essays came about. You may read that introduction and the nine essays in PDF format at this link.
Contemplative Practices cultivate a critical, first-person focus, sometimes with direct experience as the object, while at other times concentrating on complex ideas or situations. Incorporated into daily life, they act as a reminder to connect to what we find most meaningful. Contemplative practices are practical, radical, and transformative, developing capacities for deep concentration and quieting the mind in the midst of the action and distraction that fills everyday life. This state of calm centeredness is an aid to exploration of meaning, purpose and values.
The sub-pages of CONTEMPLATIVE NEUROSCIENCE explore the emerging field of Contemplative Neuroscience, which is the integration of neuroscience, contemplative practices and Ancient Eastern Wisdom Traditions. This entirely new science has provided the research base for the scientific evidence that the repeated experience of intense meditation produces extremely positive altered human personality traits such as compassion, self-acceptance, life-purpose, autonomy, self-mastery, personal growth, and an undisturbed, contemplative mind. These results are enumerated in many professional science journals, academic reports and books, just one of which is "Altered Traits."
This tab on the main menu bar is concerned with how to be mindful in general and how to meditate in particular. The purpose of meditation is personal transformation and healing. In a very real sense this is also the purpose of the Steps - a careful and systematic deconstruction of the alcoholic self and its rebuilding based on different assumptions, reactions, core values and relationships. The mindfulness meditation practices that are outlined in the sub-tabs of the MINDFULNESS & MEDITATION tab, when taken together, are intended to be a very basic Mindfulness Meditation beginner’s manual in the Plum Village tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
In our opinion it is quite difficult and rather disingenuous to discuss mindfulness in general and meditation in particular without references to and discussions of Buddhist psychology, history and philosophy. Many consider Buddhism as a religion with its own deities, theologies and rituals; however, there is also a school of Secular Buddhism.