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Lions Roar : September 2014
to guide us through the process. We practice openness, honesty, and humility about the difficulties and successes we experience. 4. action/engagement. We purify our actions, letting go of the behaviors that cause harm. The minimum commitment necessary for the path toward recovery and freedom is renun- ciation of violence, of dishonesty, of sexual misconduct, and of intoxication. Compassion, nonattached appreciation, generos- ity, kindness, honesty, integrity, and service become our guiding principles. 5. livelihood/service. We try to be of service to others whenever possible, using our time, energy, and resources to help create positive change. We work toward securing a source of income/livelihood that causes no harm. 6. Effort/Energy. We commit to the daily disciplined practices of meditation, yoga, exercise, wise actions, kindness, forgive- ness, generosity, compassion, appreciation, and the moment- to-moment mindfulness of feelings, emotions, thoughts, and sensations. Through effort and energy we develop the skillful means of knowing how to apply the appropriate meditation or action to the given circumstance. 7. mindfulness meditations. We develop wisdom through practicing formal mindfulness meditation. This leads to seeing clearly and healing the root causes and conditions that lead to the suffering of addiction. We practice present-time awareness in all aspects of our life. We take refuge in the present. 8. concentration meditations. We develop the capacity to focus the mind on a single object, such as the breath or a phrase, training the mind through the practices of loving-kind- ness, compassion, and forgiveness to focus on the positive qual- ities we seek to uncover. We utilize concentration at times of temptation or craving in order to abstain from acting unwisely. addiction is the repetitive process of habitually satisfying cravings to avoid, change, or control the seemingly unbearable conditions of the present moment. This process of craving and indulgence provides short-term relief but causes long-term harm. It is almost always a source of suffering for both the addict and those who care about the addict. recovery is a process of healing the underlying conditions that lead to addiction. It is establishing and maintaining the practice of abstaining from satisfying the cravings for the sub- stances and behaviors that we have become addicted to. Recov- ery is also the ability to inhabit the conditions of the present reality, whether pleasant or unpleasant. renunciation is the practice of abstaining from harmful behaviors. A refuge is a safe place, a place of protection—a place that we go to in times of need, a shelter. We are always taking refuge in something. Drugs, alcohol, food, sex, money, or relationships with people have been a refuge for many of us. Before addic- tion, such refuges provide temporary feelings of comfort and safety. But at some point we crossed the line into addiction. And the substances or behaviors that were once a refuge inevi- tably became a dark and lonely repetitive cycle of searching for comfort as we wandered through an empty life. Definitions PHOTOBYSNAPRENDER/DREAMSTIME.COM