The 12 Gates of Zen Recovery

Zen Recovery is an alternative to addiction treatment that can stand alone or complement a traditional approach to recovery, like the 12 Steps. It combines Ancient Eastern healing traditions with empirical evidence based on psychotherapy and addiction treatment. The 12 Gates of Zen Recovery is written in a language that provides a sense of spiritual practice through a succession of passages toward the ultimate goal of wellness. It emphasizes inclusivity, rather than exclusivity, and healing, rather than hurting. It is especially helpful to those who desire a non-traditional, non-Western spiritual path. Furthermore, it offers room for interpretation from the reader; thus providing the opportunity to approach recovery from a personal, customized standpoint.

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The 12 Gates of Zen Recovery:

  1. We accepted unconditionally that Control is Illusion and Attachment is Suffering, that we ourselves make and unmake our realities.
  2. Awoke to the possibility that our Original Minds could restore us to Clarity.
  3. Set foot on a Path to re-claim our awareness of the world as it really is, not as we may wish it to be.
  4. Made a mindful and unflinching examination of our karma.
  5. Acknowledged publicly and privately the negative effects of our karma on all beings.
  6. Opened ourselves to Compassion.
  7. Without ego, released our attachment to personal history and changed the direction of our karma.
  8. Remembered all beings affected by our karma and reached out to them in compassion, with no thought of results.
  9. Restored relationships where possible except when to do so would result in the creation of more bad karma.
  10. Continued to practice compassion for ourselves and others on a daily basis.
  11. Sought to stay awake and aware at all times, practicing mindfulness moment-to-moment, a day at a time, reclaiming our true natures.
  12. Having had a recovery or awakening as a result of entering these gates, we vowed to save all beings from addictive suffering.
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