Paul Saintilan, a Director and former President of the Buddhist Recovery Network, speaks to us about how early Buddhist practice is helping people with the problems of substance abuse.
Craving. In Buddhism, this is one of the key components of paticcasamuppada, or Dependent Origination. It leads us to clinging, and weaves its way into our lives as it manifests in suffering, the dissatisfaction this practice is all about attenuating, and perhaps even extinguishing altogether.
Most of us are pretty familiar with craving of what I would call an ordinary sort, the kind that’s not too difficult to set aside. Ever have one of those Lindor Truffles? If you have, you may be experiencing a bit of craving. Even if you haven’t, there are those of us who simply respond in Pavlovian fashion to the word “chocolate”. Whatever the object of the senses may be, the six kinds of cravings, we’ve all experienced at least some of them.
For others, though, this craving is far more difficult. Instead of being the challenge of a psychological craving, there are substances that cause physical cravings as well. And the complications of dealing with those cravings can and do throw many of us down a rabbit hole of renewed suffering. Fortunately, there are people, practices, and organizations which help those of us struggling to get out. For those who incline to secular Buddhist practice, there are resources available which are particularly suited to what works best for you.
If you have an addiction, or know someone who’s suffering, please — help is available. You’re not alone. Come to a meeting, and change your life.
The Buddhist Recovery Network supports the use of Buddhist teachings, traditions and practices to help people recover from the suffering caused by addictive behaviors. Open to people of all backgrounds, and respectful of all recovery paths, the organization promotes mindfulness and meditation, and is grounded in Buddhist principles of non-harming, compassion and interdependence. It seeks to serve an international audience through teaching, training, treatment, research, publication, advocacy and community-building initiatives.
Paul Saintilan is an Australian Director and former President of the Buddhist Recover Network. He co-founded the website www.buddhistrecovery.com (which was donated to the Buddhist Recovery Network), and facilitated the Cannon Beach meeting which led to the founding of the Network. He has a history of involvement with the Sydney Buddhist Centre, and has had articles on Buddhism published. He has also written a published book chapter ‘Downshifting: A Western Buddhist’s Perspective’, which is linked on this page. His professional career has been in arts and entertainment management, and he established the Master of Arts Management program at Sydney Opera House.
So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Mango Smoothie. It goes well with those truffles you’re thinking about.
- Buddhist Recovery Network
- Downshifting: A Western Buddhist’s Perspective — PDF
- Buddhism and Recovery: Working on the Self to Lead a Healthy Life — PDF
- Transcript of this Episode — PDF
- MN Zen Center
Music for This Episode
The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez’s CD, Shakuhachi Meditations. The tracks used in this episode are:
- Kyuden No Kurayami
Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast