How Buddhism Has Improved My Recovery


Trauma Survivors Often Discover Buddhism

In my opinion, Buddhism is an excellent way of life for everyone, but particularly for creative professionals and people who seek a serene, recovery way of life because they are healing from something. And, aren’t we all healing from something? There is so much about the beliefs and suggestions for living that make life easier for people who struggle with an attachment to anything, and for others who struggle to meditate and find that place inside where the magic happens. We’ll get more into that in a few.

Who Are The Celebrity Buddhists?

From my group, The Soka Gakkai, we’ve got Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner, Courtney Love, Chow Yun-Fat, Suzanne Vega (remember the song Luka?), and many others. Celebrity Buddhists from other groups include David Bowie, George Lucas, Goldie Hawn, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bridges, Jet Li, and many more. Next question, why are all these artists and great thinkers attracted to Buddhism? From what I can discern, it’s because Buddhism provides a simple philosophy with a focus on spirituality and being a good person. For me, I was drawn to it to learn how to break my attachment to people, places, and things, and chanting was the solution to meditation. I struggled with meditation and it’s such a big part of a recovery lifestyle that once I realized chanting would work for me, I was all in.

Buddhism Took My Recovery To Another Level

I started practicing Nichiren Buddhism in the summer of 2020. The pandemic was raging, we were all stuck at home, and I needed another outlet to pass the time. I’d always had a passing interest, but never went as far as seeking it out. It wasn’t until I became friends with a practicing Buddhist that I truly started to learn more and get involved. At first, the practice simply provided a new interest for me during the pandemic.

As time passed, however, and I participated in group study, read the literature, and created a daily chanting practice, I noticed I was improving in ways I’d always wanted to but never knew how. Interesting, right? I’m serious, I found myself calmer, less attached to people and things, and generally more at peace with myself and my path that was quickly changing at that time. But, before I go on, it’s important to understand a little about Buddhism, so here’s some basic info.

What Is Buddhism

Buddhism is a faith that was founded by Siddhartha Gautama (“the Buddha”) more than 2,500 years ago in India. With about 470 million followers, scholars consider Buddhism one of the major world religions. Its practice has historically been most prominent in East and Southeast Asia, but its influence is growing in the West. Many Buddhist ideas and philosophies overlap with those of other faiths.

Some key Buddhism beliefs include:

  • Followers of Buddhism don’t acknowledge a supreme god or deity. They instead focus on achieving enlightenment—a state of inner peace and wisdom. When followers reach this spiritual echelon, they’re said to have experienced nirvana.
  • The religion’s founder, Buddha, is considered an extraordinary being, but not a god. The word Buddha means “enlightened.”
  • The path to enlightenment is attained by utilizing morality, meditation and wisdom. Buddhists often meditate because they believe it helps awaken truth.
  • There are many philosophies and interpretations within Buddhism, making it a tolerant and evolving religion.
  • Some scholars don’t recognize Buddhism as an organized religion, but rather, a “way of life” or a “spiritual tradition.”
  • Buddhism encourages its people to avoid self-indulgence but also self-denial.
  • Buddha’s most important teachings, known as The Four Noble Truths, are essential to understanding the religion.
  • Buddhists embrace the concepts of karma (the law of cause and effect) and reincarnation (the continuous cycle of rebirth).
  • Followers of Buddhism can worship in temples or in their own homes.

All of this fit my beliefs and inclinations perfectly. I like the way of life, and the peace it has brought me. Buddhism allowed me a form of mindfulness and spirituality that improved my relationships, including the important one with my mom. We wrote a book together, and it will come out Mother’s Day 2024.

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