The Zen Way of Recovery
An Illuminated Path Out of the Darkness of Addiction
by Laura Burges
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Pub Date 18 Jul 2023 | Archive Date 25 Jul 2023
Shambhala Publications, Inc., Shambhala
For anyone struggling with addiction, Buddhism offers powerful, grounding wisdom and tools to help support recovery. In The Zen Way of Recovery, Laura Burges shares her experience as a dedicated Zen practitioner who came to terms with her own addiction to alcohol and found support for her recovery. Through the lens of Buddhist teachings, Burges offers tools and practices which, together with the help of recovery programs, can offer a road to sobriety.
Burges is an experienced and compassionate guide, and her message is resonant for people with any type of addictive behavior—and for people who aren’t necessarily familiar with Buddhism. Her teachings are drawn from the Buddha's life and teachings (specifically the Eight Awarenesses of the Awakened Being and the Six Paramitas), and the wisdom of Japanese Buddhist priest Dogen Zenji, the founder of the Soto school of Zen, among others.
Burges emphasizes the importance of being in an active recovery program, and the teachings and practices she offers in each chapter—including reflections, journaling prompts, meditations, instructions for setting up and altar and zazen—are both a perfect adjunct and powerful reinforcement.
Examples of reflections and journaling prompts include:
- Do you still hear the critical, contemptuous, sarcastic voice of a parent or partner in your own head?
- Do you sometimes hear yourself mirroring this negative voice with others?
- What were the models of relationship that you grew up with?
- What are ways that you can cultivate more patience?
- Check in with yourself to see if tiredness, hunger, loneliness, or anger is affecting your thinking in the moment.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 1 member
The Zen Way of Recovery by Laura Burges is an invaluable resource for anyone struggling with addiction. Drawing on her own experience and Buddhist teachings, Burges offers powerful tools and practices to support recovery. Her writing is compassionate and accessible, making the book resonate with readers who may not be familiar with Buddhism. The reflections, journaling prompts, meditations, and instructions for setting up an altar and zazen in each chapter offer a perfect adjunct and powerful reinforcement to recovery programs. The book is highly recommended by various renowned teachers and authors in the field of Buddhism and recovery. It is a must-read for those seeking a structured spiritual path to support recovery and a new joyous life of serenity, sangha-fellowship, and benefiting others.