I went to a non-12 step-recovery Zen Meditation last night, my first real “meeting” if you don’t count the recent retreat I went on. I could hear my past screaming at me, condemning me to a place I’ve already been, and from whence I came. It was nerve-racking listening to those demons ooze out of my ears; but little by little, their frightful shrieks are disappearing as they dwindle in numbers.
“Why a Buddhist meeting? And one that’s not recovery based?” I can hear the questions lingering overhead. I’m not sure who’s asking, but I have an answer if anyone cares to continue reading.
There are many forms of recovery, and recovery support doesn't have to come only from people that are in recovery due to alcohol or drug addictions. The trick is to be around those that are positive and want peace and serenity, not only for themselves, but for others as well. Obviously, in regards to addiction, assistance from someone that just ”gets it" is highly important, there’s no argument there. But that doesn’t mean it HAS TO BE from another alcoholic.
But a spiritual practice is a must. I don't necessarily mean "church," though that works for some. I mean some form of connectivity between each of us (humans) and Life (the Universe, the Creator, the Great Unknown). And when that connectivity is severed, well — the result is disharmony. We become discontent and disturbed by almost anything. Sometimes, that’s hard to realize, especially when we’re so wrapped up that we close our ears due to the noise we’ve created.
Enter zen meditation.
Meditation, in its simplest form, is to help quiet the mind. To be still and to listen to our bodies and our surroundings; to connect. At least, that’s currently my understanding of it. And for the last two years, that’s how I’ve been practicing it.
I decided to go to a Buddhist retreat about a month ago, and then to the meeting last night, so I could get a better understanding of the practice. I want a deeper spiritual connection with the Creator called Life, and in order to do that, I need to build my spiritual connection. I don’t think any True Spiritual practice claims to have the One Answer, I think it only claims that their practice works for them. And like any good sponsor in any 12-step program, they will be glad to show us just how THEY did it. There is no guarantee that it will work the same for us, so we need to be attentive and pick what works here and what works there, and use those exercises to build the very fabric of our connection. That means any number of any kind of spiritual program, probably not just one.
That is one of the many reasons I have searched through various programs, from 12-step varieties, to religious based, to Native American, yoga, zen meditation, treatment centers, and counseling by professionals. It is also the reason I have jumped into the social activities arena (at the “pressure” of my counselors). Social activities create both human and spiritual connectivity through giving back, helping, and being in touch with one another, because “humans are social creatures, and we REQUIRE connectivity” (some more than others, but needed nonetheless).
I’m searching. And since I was introduced to meditation roughly two years ago, I’ve fallen in love with it. It brings me peace, serenity, and constructive contemplation. And if buddhists are the ones that carry what I want, well — I’m going to go learn it from them.