Refuge Recovery is a practice, a process, a set of tools, a treatment, and a path to healing addiction and the suffering caused by addiction. The main inspiration and guiding philosophy for the Refuge Recovery program are the teachings of Siddhartha (Sid) Gautama, a man who lived in India twenty-five hundred years ago. Sid was a radical psychologist and a spiritual revolutionary. Through his own efforts and practices he came to understand why human beings experience and cause so much suffering. He referred to the root cause of suffering as “uncontrollable thirst or repetitive craving.” This “thirst” tends to arise in relation to pleasure, but it may also arise as a craving for unpleasant experiences to go away, or as an addiction to people, places, things, or experiences. This is the same thirst of the alcoholic, the same craving as the addict, and the same attachment as the codependent.
Eventually, Sid came to understand and experience a way of living that ended all forms of suffering. He did this through a practice and process that includes meditation, wise actions, and compassion. After freeing himself from the suffering caused by craving, he spent the rest of his life teaching others how to live a life of well-being and freedom, a life free from suffering.
Sid became known as the Buddha, and his teachings became known as Buddhism. The Refuge Recovery program has adapted the core teachings of the Buddha as a treatment of addiction.
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