This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Buddhism And Addiction Essay

2285 words - 10 pages

Following Siddhartha Gautama’s attainment of enlightenment, his influence spread across the Indian subcontinent, and eventually, across oceans. Today, Buddhism can be found in nearly every country. Figures regarding the number of Buddhists vary, but most estimate that there are approximately 450 million Buddhists in the world. Even traditionally Christian westerners have begun to live by the teachings of the Buddha. Of course, just as they do with everything else, Americans have adapted Buddhism to fit modern society. The already-laid-back religion has been diluted to the point where key teachings have been called into question. American Buddhists struggle to find the balance between ...view middle of the document...

The first notion with which addicts fail to comply is that of the Four Noble Truths. These Truths are an extremely basic component of Buddhism, as they form the foundation of the entire religion. Essentially, the Four Noble Truths state that desire is the root of all suffering, and that, to eradicate suffering, one must first eradicate desire. To do this, one follows the Eightfold Path, a guided plan designed to purify one’s mind and body. Though many Buddhists struggle to model their lives after the Eightfold Path, addicts have an especially difficult time, as desire is an inherent element of addiction. In order to eliminate desire, a person must overcome any addictive behaviors. Addicts repeatedly commit the ultimate “sin” of Buddhism; they cling to material objects – whether food, alcohol, or drugs – that inhibit them from following Buddha’s teachings.
Another vitally important element of Buddhism is that of impermanence. This is considered to be one of the core teachings of the religion, as it is the foundation on which everything else is based. Buddha taught of the importance of the realization that all things in life are conditional and temporary, and insisted that a person could not reach enlightenment without truly living according to this idea. Buddha emphasized how constantly reminiscing on the past and looking forward to the future were harmful; instead, he taught that experiencing the present reality was the way to achieve nirvana. Addicts cling to their pasts before they were plagued with such a condition, and mourn the opportunities they forfeited in pursuit of their highs. The very nature of addiction leaves sufferers desperately chasing after their next fix, or, on their weaker days, contemplating their bleak future. Addicts fail to live by this teaching, as they are always wrapped up in the future or past. The present moment is too painful to experience, so they seek distraction in pondering what could or used to be. Until a majorly traumatic or life-changing event occurs, we ignore the transient nature of all things in our lives. Even then, “we grieve, but we continue to deny that life is all about tiny, big, and humongous changes” (Lucas 9). Oftentimes, the thought that our conditions are temporary can be a depressing fact, but Buddhists teach that impermanence is what allows us to experience incredible changes. Though transience may lead to changes that we dislike, the world as we know it would not exist without the quality. Were change not possible, “the Big Bang would have never happened, hydrogen atoms would have never been created, the galaxies would never have constellated their trillions of stars and started their lazy rotations…and we wouldn’t be around to think such weird thoughts” (Lucas 12). Rather than contemplating whether or not impermanence is harmful, we should instead accept that it is true regardless of our opinions. Addicts can healthily use this idea to deter themselves from returning to addictive...

Find Another Essay On Buddhism and Addiction

Using a Zen Approach to Life as a Personality Theory

2979 words - 12 pages popularity and concern over drug and alcohol addictions, Zen Buddhism plays a major role there as well. Despite its development in very different cultures, the essence of Zen practice remains vital and immediate, since it relies on personal encounter not on scriptures or dogma.Apparently, a new found addition to treatment for drug and alcohol addiction has been found in Zen meditation. The author states that "What is overwhelmingly important is that

Born To Die Essay

1460 words - 6 pages hipster like movement that got its drive and inspiration from sexuality, drugs, booze, crazy people and situations and religions like Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. The Beat Generation embraced creativity untouched by culture. These artists found inspiration in past and current art movements like romanticism, French surrealism and modernism. They wanted to express their selves in ways others had not done before. Jack Kerouac, who was at the

Eastern Religions

2811 words - 11 pages Karnataka and has been successful in eliminating tobacco and alcohol addiction from these villages.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has inspired numerous educational and charitable organizations around the globe. He established the Art of Living Foundation in 1982 to promote self-development and health-related educational programs, many of which feature his Sudarshan Kriya technique. To date, his programs have been enjoyed by more than a million people in

Is Prostitution a Victimless Crime? Nope Prostitution Is a Crime Full Of Victi

852 words - 4 pages definition to that of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Scientism and a slew of others. Next, the feminist movement identifies this as a crime by men against women, which makes sense when one sees that 90% of prostitutes have been raped in the last year. 85% have been stolen from. (Bakhyadze) Doesn’t it already seem like this view is playing out and wouldn’t it make sense to legalize so that these crimes can be prosecuted. Another reason is the economic

China

1677 words - 7 pages spiritual world exists. The main religions in China are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholic, and Protestants. During this period, the importance of getting married was far more than that a person found his better half. For the male side, it determined the prosperity and even the future fame of their family; while for the female side, it meant that parents lost the chance of seeing their daughter for a long time. Thus to choose an ideal partner was

Redefining the American Dream: The Beat Generation and its Literature

1491 words - 6 pages in life through the spiritual enlightenment of Buddhism, and many others turned to the road, living a life of spontaneity, excitement, and hedonism. Across the country, the frustration of a "dull, anxious, and pointless middle-class life" severed a sparse group of youths from their sheltered existence (Champney 285). They completely disaffiliated and embarked on a journey to "discover a new self free from social conditioning" (Skerl 103).The

Influential Poets of the Beat Generation

1499 words - 6 pages meet with the oriental holy men. Ginsberg believed that “Zen Buddhism was particularly attractive” and that “every impulse of the soul, the psyche and the heart was one of holiness” (Merrill, 5). During the later years of his life he spent his time touring the country and world reading his works to whoever would listen. He also would promote his political activeness, which led to numerous times being thrown in jail. Ginsberg’s life was filled with

Drug Abuse and Crime

2350 words - 9 pages .). The National Center for Victims of Crime - Home. Retrieved August 1, 2011, from http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32348 Alcohol Drug Link to Prisoners. (n.d.). SFSU WWW Home Page is not on this server. Retrieved August 2, 2011, from http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/FivePrecepts/AlcoholDrugPrisoners.html Cocaine Abuse and Addiction, Crime, Freebasing, Crack Cocaine. (n.d.). Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's

Meditation

4522 words - 18 pages , Shinto, Dao, and later, Buddhism are responsible for its development. Its practice has permeated almost all major world religions, but under different names. It has become a practice without borders, influencing millions with its tranquil and healing effects. Western medicine has recently discovered the powerful affects of meditation, by allowing doctors to treat the body and the mind. In reality, the mind is a very misunderstood and

Write a sustained close analysis of 'Kubla Khan' paying attention to both the form and content of the poem

2595 words - 10 pages metre and rhythm. In addition I would like this chance to point out that as Coleridge spoke in a Devonshire accent - the 'a' assonances in Xanadu and Khan are probably full rhymes with 'ran' and 'man'.In the first unit of the poem Kubla (presumably the ancient leader and grandson of Genghis, merited for introducing Buddhism to his warlike culture) orders a grand dome of physical and mental enjoyment to be constructed, situated near to the sacred

Religion in Psychology

2650 words - 11 pages today. In order to solve this question different humans have come up with different religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Pastafarianism, and Scientology. All these religions try to explain why we are here from saying there is a god to saying there is a flying spaghetti monster or that science is the reason. All these religions also have different rules that followers must obey and if not you will either have a terrible after life

Similar Essays

Addiction: Suffering, Acceptance, And Change Essay

2212 words - 9 pages Step Recovery model of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) use a dialectic based on acceptance of what is and change to what can be. These modern methods make use of the practices of Buddhism that may be effective treatments for addiction recovery. Moreover, when regarding addiction as a form of attachment as defined by the Buddha, the possibility of change comes as a concession to suffering. Suffering As a biopsychosocial disease, addiction affects

My Experience In A Buddhist Recovery Meeting

1219 words - 5 pages I have been in recovery for over 3 years. Throughout that time, I have attended and supported many meetings highlighting 12 step principles. Consequently, as my recovery has evolved, I have sought more spiritual models of recovery, building on the AA principle that addiction is a “spiritual malady” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 2001). As a result of this quest, I have studied various religions, including Buddhism, with Buddhism being the religion I

Modernization In Thailand Essay

1249 words - 5 pages Problems of Modernization in Siam Modernization in Thailand demanded allegiance to the western ways of governance, religion and education. These were against the traditional Buddhism beliefs which stood for harmonious coexistence. Those who opposed the westerner’s view of how the country should be run like Pridi were disliked. Most of the leaders under the modern system used their power to glorify themselves at the expense of other citizens

Meditation And The Brain Essay

1509 words - 6 pages self. : WWW Sources 1)"Essentials of Buddhism." , http://www.buddhaweb.org/ 2)"Zen Meditation." http://www.zen-mtn.org/zmm/zazen.shtml 3)"Buddhist Meditation and Personal Construct Psychology" by Phouttasone Thirakoul. http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/Pilou.html 4)"Physiological Functioning." http://info.miu.edu/tm_research/tm_charts/1Phys.html 5)"Addiction and Zen." http://viacorp.com/addiction.html 6)"Psychotherapy