addiction

  • The Slow Burn Paid Member

    Bernie Flynn, a longtime student of Chögyam Trungpa, recently told me about the time he and the Rinpoche tried to quit smoking cigarettes. A few days in, he was driving the Rinpoche to a meeting. Antsy and in withdrawal, Bernie couldn’t help but notice his teacher sitting calmly in the passenger seat. Finally, his nerves on edge, Bernie turned to Trungpa and asked how the whole quitting thing was going. “It’s easy,” said Trungpa. “Either you smoke, or you don’t smoke.” Ah, so simple. Later that evening, Bernie entered a room to find the Rinpoche gleefully chain smoking. Oh, not so simple. More »
  • The Suffering of Addiction Paid Member

    Buddhist teacher Noah Levine’s punk rocker past, social advocacy, and straight-talking, subversive books like Dharma Punx and Against the Stream have earned him an avid following among the young and disaffected. Now he can add a subset of Buddhists who, like Noah, are in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse. A fan of the Twelve Step program but not of its God-centered rhetoric, Noah put together an alternative, Refuge Recovery. Firmly grounded in the four noble truths and the eightfold path, Refuge draws on the best of Buddhism and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). More »
  • Levels of Enlightenment: How enlightened should a Buddhist teacher be? Paid Member

    My premise is my shakiest part: That enlightenment is not a black and white thing; there are levels to it that land in shades of gray. I say this because I've experienced different levels of realization myself, where my understanding of something has transcended my previous understanding. If you accept this premise, my question is this: How enlightened does one have to be in order to authentically teach the Buddhadharma? Where do we draw the line? Can a Buddhist teacher be addicted to cigarettes? Eat meat? What about sex—can a Buddhist teacher sleep with their students?Many think that the line is drawn at sexual misconduct. Consider a recent comment at the Tricycle Book Club, where we're discussing Sex and the Spiritual Teacher: More »