Our Continuing Exploration

A Higher Power in Buddhism & 12 Step Recovery – Our Continuing Exploration

From Alcoholics Anonymous

God, Him, He
A Power greater than ourselves
A Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things
An All Powerful, Guiding, Creative Intelligence
The Presence of Infinite Power and Love
The Great Reality deep down within us
An unsuspected inner resource
“You can, if you wish, make AA itself your higher power” (12 & 12)
The sunlight of the Spirit
From Dharma writings
Buddhanature; Basic goodness

The indestructible basic goodness that lies at the heart of everything

The natural, clear, uncluttered state of our being
The potential that exists within you
Basic intelligence
Dharma, sangha, the bodhisattva vow

The Sun or the Great Eastern Sun

Alcoholics Anonymous

Actually, we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there.  For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.

We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but he was there. He was as much a fact as we were.  We  found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis, it is only there that He may be found.  It was so with us.

We can only clear the ground a bit.  If our testimony helps sweep away prejudice, enables you to think honestly, encourages you to search diligently within yourself, then if you wish you can join us on the Broad Highway.  With this attitude, you cannot fail.  The consciousness of your belief is sure to come to you.    P.55

To us the Realm of the Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive, never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. p.46

He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life; that such change could hardly have been brought about by himself alone.  What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self discipline.  With few exceptions, our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves.  Most of us think this awareness of a Power greater than ourselves is the essence of spiritual experience.  Our more religious members call it “God-consciousness.” . . .   We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program.  Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery.  But these are indispensable. P.570 Appendix II

One Breath at a Time by Kevin Griffin

From a Buddhist perspective, Step one can be used to address our addiction to thought and self and our need to control and uncontrollable world.  When we begin to let go of these addictions and this control, Step Two gives us some comfort, a sense that we’ll be OK if we let go.  In Buddhist terms, we begin to trust in the dharma or in our own Buddha Nature, which is beyond our small self.

Buddhism teaches that the self is an illusion made up of thoughts, emotions, memories that have no center, no abiding core.  To rely on this illusory amalgam is to live in delusion, to mistake the movie of our minds for Truth. Step Two leads us toward a less self-centered view of the world toward seeing ourselves as part of a system: I do my part, not picking up a drink or a drug, and my Higher Power (God, Buddha, nature, the dharma . . . ) does its part. p.33

The Myth of Freedom & The Way of Meditation by Chogyam Trungpa

We acknowledge that we are a Buddha, an awakened one, and act accordingly, even though all sorts of doubts and problems might arise.  In the scriptures, taking the bodhisattva path is described as being the act of awakening bodhi or “basic intelligence”.  Becoming “awake” involves seeing our confusion more clearly. . . . The basic idea is that, if we are going to relate to the sun, we must also relate to the clouds that obscure the sun.  So the bodhisattva relates positively to both the naked sun and the clouds hiding it.  But at first the clouds, the confusion, which hide the sun are more prominent.  p. 104