Addiction Treatment requires beginners mind

Addiction Treatment requires a beginner’s mind because the very nature of addiction is self-centeredness, pride, an aversion to change, a victim mentality, and an unwillingness to ask for or follow help. Those who have expert knowledge about any topic are usually well respected for this. Such people have devoted their expertise to learning about their chosen field. This means that their opinions on these topics should be respected. There is a dark side to expert knowledge. It can cause people to become a bit closed-minded and unwilling to consider other alternatives to their opinions and conclusions. There is also a tendency for humans to behave as if they were experts on a topic even though their knowledge is limited in that area. Beginner’s mind is recommended as the ideal approach to learn – it means that even those who have learned a great deal about a topic can continue their learning. If experts do not maintain a beginner’s mind, it can cause them to become stuck.

Beginner’s Mind and Sobriety: The Dangers of Expert Knowledge

In Zen Buddhism they refer to Beginner’s mind as Shoshin. It refers to a situation where people are open and eager to learn new things and do not have too many preconceptions about what they are about to study. It means putting aside preconceived ideas for a short time so as to consider new information. If people have already made up their mind about something it will be highly unlikely that they will learn anything new. It is not necessary to be a Buddhist or learn about Zen in order to develop Shoshin.

Addiction Treatment requires beginners mind

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment” – Rumi

Beginner’s Mind and the Empty Cup Story

There is a famous Zen story of a university professor who went to visit a renowned meditation master that explains why Addiction Treatment requires a beginner’s mind so well. This professor had been studying Zen and he wanted to gain more knowledge from the monk. The academic launched into a speech about all that he had learned about Buddhism. While he was doing this, the monk started to pour tea for his guest. The liquid reached the top of the cup, yet the monk kept on pouring tea into the utensil as it overflowed. The professor felt alarmed and asked why this esteemed master was continuing to pour after the cup was full. The monk responded by saying, you are like this cup. He went on to explain that he could not teach the professor anything about Zen because his brain was already full of ideas about Zen. He did not have a beginner’s mind. Addiction Treatment requires a beginner’s mind and a total paradigm shift away from self-centeredness, false pride, and a typical egoic attitude. When this happens, it is almost certain that the addict will have to completely sell his false pride for humility or fail miserably.

Addiction Treatment requires beginners mind. The Benefits.

Beginner’s mind is the best attitude for people who want to learn anything. The benefits of this type of attitude include:

* If people already have many rigid opinions and beliefs about something it can make it difficult to gain any new knowledge.
* The Zen monk Shunryu Suzuki once said that, in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. Those who have a more open attitude will be able to think outside of the box and come up with solutions to problems that the expert would never consider.
* Those people who have this type of attitude are far more willing to make mistakes and learn from them. The expert can live in fear of making mistakes so this prevents their knowledge from progressing any further.
* Beginner’s mind keeps people humble and helps them avoid arrogance. This means that they are usually nice people to be around and have no problems making friends.
* This type of attitude can help people avoid dogmatism and zealotry.
* When people keep a beginner’s mind it prevents them from becoming bored. Life is more exciting when there are plenty of new things to learn. There is no such thing as bored only a meaningless life! Bored is an excuse to stay narcissistic and self centred, or addicted or both.

The Dangers of Closed Mindedness in Recovery

A closed mind can be dangerous for people who hope to cover from an addiction and this is taught at all mindfulness rehab centres today. If they already have too many opinions and beliefs about recovery it can get in the way of their sobriety. This is because recovery is a process and not an event. Putting down alcohol or drugs is just the beginning of the process. When people become sober they start to rebuild their life and this requires gaining new knowledge and skills. If people are closed minded this can prevent them from making progress along the path. This is why the best possible attitude for people to have in recovery is a beginner’s mind. That way they will more easily pick up the knowledge they need to make a success of their sobriety.

Beginner’s Mind and Humility; it can be another wonderful asset for people in recovery and it often goes hand in hand with beginner’s mind. Being humble does not mean that people have to subservient – it is not a sign of weakness. Instead humility is all about being honest and open. It means that the individual is willing to admit to their own weaknesses and limitations. The individual does not acknowledge such deficiencies to make themselves feel bad but because they want to be always learning. They have realized that saying don’t know can be the most empowering attitude a human can have. This is why a beginner’s mind is sometimes referred to as don’t know mind.

Addiction Treatment requires beginners mind

Alternative Rehab Programs to AA

Several alternatives to AA exist that are more light to get into in nature. The ruth is a process and some people need a soft start. AA has helped a hundred million people easily so it should probably not be taken too lightly. These alternatives to traditional 12-step programs generally ask individuals to find motivation within themselves and to learn internal control instead of seeking an external source of power. Alternatives to 12-step programs also tend to evolve with new research, and they may be more flexible in their approaches than AA and other 12-step groups.

Addiction Treatment requires a beginner’s mind because we have found out an important thing through decades of treating addicts. They are not generally averse to AA or the 12 steps as they are averse to stopping drinking, drugging, or acting out. “I won’t have anything to do with the 12 steps” coming from a person with a 10 or even 20-year addiction problem is ridiculous and foolish. If that is the case with a person, they will need to become willing to stand on their head if it works for sobriety. It is easy to spot the adverse addict. The resistance to the steps soon emerges on several other fronts, slowly unmasking that the aversion is specifically about change. This is the first and hardest step for most people in recovery: admitting that my life is the problem, and the way I manage it has to change. The 12 steps are practiced in different languages, contexts, and formats throughout the world by people who don’t even realize they are working a 12-step program for themselves. What this means is that a sober, healthy, growing, and contributing person is already practicing some form of the 12-step styled living, and the person who is an addict, usually self-centered, victim mentality, and highly oppositional to change and sobriety does not!

Alternative groups still rely on peer support and provide tools for minimizing relapse. Most of these programs are free to join, with the only requirement being that individuals struggling with addiction wish to achieve and maintain abstinence. We love alternatives to rehab centres and alternatives to the 12 steps. we love them because they are all based on the principles and values and ethics of self actualising, sober people who contribute to family, societies and life as a whole. Addiction Treatment requires beginners mind because without humility you will not find addiction recovery nor will you sustain it. Life does not work when fear tales the lead. Only the deeper elements of love are sustainable for each of us. Some common alternatives to 12-step programs include:

  • Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Recovery.
  • Women for Sobriety.
  • Secular Organizations for Sobriety (S.O.S.).
  • LifeRing Secular Recovery.
  • The Paradigm Process of Addiction Recovery (Mark L Lockwood)
  • Moderation Management.
  • Evidence-based and science-based treatments.
  • Holistic therapies.
  • Experiential therapies.

For more information about why Addiction Treatment requires beginners mind or our alternative rehab centre and alternative luxury rehab with one of the most advanced private addiction programs and teams in the world, get in touch. Call +27824424779 or email