This is personal. I am a Buddhist but I am also an alcoholic. I know that we are not supposed to drink, and I try to stay dry, but sometimes I relapse. When I drink, does that mean I am a “bad” Buddhist? Will I accumulate bad karma for the future? Please don’t pass judgement on me friends. A few years ago I woke up in hospital after a drinking binge that was bad even by my standards and they told me I was on the list for a liver transplant, which in the end I didn’t need. That’s how bad it is.
Hi David! I’m Buddhist and 12 years sober. A book entitled “One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the 12 Steps” by Kevin Griffin helped me a lot.
There is no wrong or good karma..just karma..doing things to help you live a better life (and I am sure you are) is a great thing. You have the desire and understanding within you to do this
I’m an alcoholic too, although I don’t really use that term so much anymore. There is a group called Dharma Recovery, it used to be called Refuge Recovery. It’s Buddhist based. There is also SMART recovery, which has a very good reputation. Please don’t beat yourself up anymore. You’re not a bad person. Sometimes when I beat myself up, I imagine that a friend is in the same situation. I find I don’t judge, but would only want is best for them and I would want to help them, not hurt them. Then I apply that kindness to myself. You may want to read Pema Chodron, if you haven’t already. I don’t find karma too useful. Ppl use it to bash each other with telling others how “bad” their karma is and/or we say the same thing to ourselves.
We have been sober for over 5 years without back-sliding, and we can tell you from personal experience that it is a choice, or mind set, if you will, in which you persevere with by remaining steadfast and unmoved, much like meditation itself.
At first we had to distance ourselves from the bar area in restaurants, and from friends who drink.
After a few months we were able to have a meal in the bar area without thinking twice about having a drink.
When the thought crosses our mind, we just let it pass on by.
Temptation is an unconscious habit, like drifting while driving; when we allow something that we see off the side of the road to rubber neck us, we naturally drift towards it.
In the same way, if we entertain the thought of drinking, only then does it tempt us.
We rediscovered a whole section in stores with fruit twisters, protein drinks, iced teas, and sports drinks at half the price of alcohol.
Addiction is a Disease not a choice
There is more to life than drinking alcohol.