Monday, January 15, 2018

weekly theme :: The Value of Life Experiences

“Not Bad Meaning Bad
 But BAD Meaning GOOD”
 Run DMC

Knock, Knock.
Who’s There?
Bad Experiences...
No Problem Come On In!



There is always a good message in something wrong. 


Rotten, Horrible, Bad, and No Good experiences happen to everyone, everywhere, all the time.  Plans go south.  You get fired.  Your best friend sleeps with your girl “Oh hi Mark” (see The Room).  People you thought were here to help you, in fact hinder you.  Leaving you stepping in dog shit.  Bad stuff all around up and down.  We all get our fair share.  However, instead of avoiding these catastrophes, pull them closer.  Like seashells on the beach, put them to your ear.  Pull them close because they offer so much more.  On the other hand, success sucks.  And good times? Great googlymoogly (see Howlin’ Wolf).  Far worse than worse they are.  We learn very little from successes and victories.  Hubris and pride mostly.  And fear of slipping back down.  Easy street and predicable things are really way, way worse than worse.


This week’s theme revolves around how we can welcome and encourage misfortune.  



How can we embrace our failures and missteps?  The trick here is to alter the way we have trained ourselves to look at these situations.  Instead of viewing our misfires as unwelcomed outcomes, view them as steps toward success.  We were trained at an early age to fear errors and failure.  We were trained to keep away from anything risky that could lead to bad experiences of loss.  But why?  Does this attitude of only wanting to engage in good and positive outcomes helping anyone?  Better to learn how to do deal with adversity and sorrow.  As a bonus, this skill trains you to enjoy the simplest of good times as well.    
126 E. 16th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627



Call or contact Zen Recovery Path. Our community welcomes a fresh start. Recovery will be inspired with Art Projects, Kung Fu Classes, Tai Chi, Music group and Movie with Meaning therapies.


(800) 759-1930

Monday, January 8, 2018

weekly theme :: THE NATURE OF CRAVING AND DESIRE



Craving, Desire, and Addiction from Dharamsala


Are cravings and desires synonyms? 


Desires seem to be more manageable.  Cravings lend themselves to a more insidious and desperate appearance. 

The original quote of the first Buddha was “Stop desiring what will not be obtained.”  


To put it another way, are they two words for the same thing?  Instead, maybe they are degrees of the same thing?  Many times in life a simple desire like wanting to eat lunch can become more and more serious as the hours tick by and by.  That same simple desire to eat can evolve into a craving for nourishment that is all together physical, mental and emotional.  Perhaps I desire a small drink to take the edge off, only to succumb gradually to the constant craving of alcohol that the alcoholic knows all too well. 

Cravings seem to create more frustration in us than simple desires.  That which we crave, frustrates us.  Desires seem to be more easily satisfied whereas cravings never seem to be satisfied. 


This is a highly intellectualized, yet painfully simple, approach to the problem of craving and addiction.  If we continue to desire that which we cannot obtain, cravings begin to take root.  So where does that leave us in dealing with cravings?  The fact is we cannot be perpetually high.  Even if by some miracle of science we could create a medication that would allow us to feel a constant undeterred state of joy and pleasure with every breath and step, it would backfire.  Perpetual joy without sorrow would become a living hell.  Always feeling good would become a blank feeling because we would have no variance.  As we see in nature countless times over, peaks accompany valleys, highs come with lows, waves are followed by troughs.  A perpetual mountain would be absurd.  However, the nature of an addict, in the midst of craving, is akin to this insurmountable obstacle of mountains after mountains. 

This week let’s look at the nature of cravings and how cravings lead to relapse.  Let’s also explore how practicing mindfulness, “nowness” and present-mindedness combats feelings of craving. 

Call or contact Zen Recovery Path. Our community welcomes a fresh start. Recovery will be inspired with Art Projects, Kung Fu Classes, Tai Chi, Music group and Movie with Meaning therapies.

126 E. 16th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(800) 759-1930

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

weekly theme :: REFLECTION

self-reflection


Author: Sifu Matt Carver


Life can only be understood backwards, 
but it must be lived forwards. 
 – Kierkegaard


A lady looks into the mirror seeing her reflection smiling back. A man sits by the fire and reflects on the years that have past and cannot be relived. The still lake holds the reflection of the moon on her surface. The idea of reflection is multilayered. Thinking about things that have happened in the past (reflecting on their deeds) and the bouncing off of light/heat from a surface (a reflection in the mirror) are to name just a few.

As we move into another new year, we say goodbye to the past and welcome a future of hope and improvement. 


Reflecting back on the choices we have made in the past year, we gain a more rounded view of the time and the effects our choices have brought. Making better choices is important whilst walking this path of renewal and recovery. Our actions should be a reflection of our thoughts and our thoughts should reflect our actions. But, we must reflect on these past outcomes before we can alter our future choices.

The most common celebrations of ancient times involved reflection and revolved around the harvest festivals of autumn. Perhaps it was out of fear and reverence as the days grew darker and shorter, and the natural world began to die away. It was an important time because what was done in earnest during this time laid the seeds for the spring to come in the future. This is the meaning of reflection: take inventory of the past to reinvigorate the seeds of the future.

The Chinese offer us another image of reflection encapsulated in the teachings of the I Ching. In China, a large platform elevated into the sky was used as a lookout, glimpsing both ahead and behind. As we know, if you are high up, you can see far. However, there is a cost to being able to see behind and ahead. The cost is that everyone can see you better as well. Thus, the only way that we can improve our world is to improve ourselves. The only way to lead others in a positive way is to reflect deeply on our own lives and make an impact there. Obtain a better view and look within.


Call or contact Zen Recovery Path. Our community welcomes a fresh start. Recovery will be inspired with Art Projects, Kung Fu Classes, Tai Chi, Music group and Movie with Meaning therapies.

126 E. 16th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(800) 759-1930

Thursday, December 28, 2017

weekly theme :: COMMUNITY



Author: Ryan Thompson

"The journey of self identity does not stop with our own self knowledge and our own personal practices. We have explored family systems to understand the etiology of our interpersonal relationship patterns. We have discussed raising awareness and implementing strategies to increase interpersonal competence. Now we look at how we take this personal self knowledge and apply it into wisdom in order to take it to the next stage of recovery; the community. What do we do within our own groups, how do we behave, how do we contribute? Communities and groups are part of our lives and are the playground in which we navigate life. In order for a full rehabilitation we must look at how we engage with the community now and for the future. How do we assist clients with taking their self knowledge and personal wisdom and apply it to the connections they have for their immediate community as well as the communities they will become a part of." 



Call or contact Zen Recovery Path. Our community welcomes a fresh start. Recovery will be inspired with Art Projects, Kung Fu Classes, Tai Chi, Music group and Movie with Meaning therapies.

126 E. 16th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(800) 759-1930

Monday, December 18, 2017

weekly theme :: REBIRTH




The idea of rebirth is ancient. Throughout time immemorial, myths and legends speak of man’s process of birth, death and rebirth into a new life. Why is this process of appearance, decline and renewal so firmly etched on our conscious and unconscious thoughts? 
The list of gods, demi-gods and man who have traveled the path of rebirth are as varied and countless as the stars in the sky. To name a few:
The Phoenix
Osiris
Baldr
Adonis
Dionysus
Attis
Vayu
Quetzalcoatl
Tammuz
Shiva
Persephone
Izanami
Ishtar
And on and on…
It is vital to view this concept of rebirth though the lens of non-literal interpretation. Reading these death/rebirth stories and myths as literal events can be dangerous and vexing. However, when viewed with the same sensibilities as Carl Jung or Joseph Campbell, a whole world of personal growth, psychoanalysis and psychology opens up, like voices from long ago sharing secrets that have endured centuries, yet teeter on the precipice of forgotten knowledge. 
All of us experience death and rebirth. Letting go of addiction is a small death, yet carving out a new life free from bondage is a grand rebirth. Experiencing trauma feels like something has died, yet leaving these traumas on the alters of the past (where the belong) is an embrace of the present moment.  Relationships that die, only to be replaced by new experiences of connection and love. These cycles are something we all deal with on a daily basis and by drawing up these old stories from this inexhaustible well, we can reach new levels of understanding ourselves, thereby quenching our enduring thirst. The cycles of birth and death are all around us and this becomes all the more poignant for someone in early recovery who is in the process of reinventing themselves, starting over, putting their pasts behind them and breathing fresh air into an old pattern of suffocation and stagnation.


Call or contact Zen Recovery Path. Our community welcomes a fresh start. Recovery will be inspired with Art Projects, Kung Fu Classes, Tai Chi, Music group and Movie with Meaning therapies.

126 E. 16th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(800) 759-1930

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

weekly theme :: ADAPTATION





Control, Surrender, and Change


The ability to change with an ever-changing world is an innate ability that we sometimes forget to cultivate. Flowing with the flow of the world is not always easy. To add a wrinkle, when do we hunker down and hold on? To go a step forward, when is the right time to surrender and retreat. Control, adaptation and surrender are all different approaches. Knowing the difference between what WE CAN change externally and what WE NEED to change internally can be vexing. When is force the answer? When is adaptation the answer? When is retreat the answer? Tales, legends and myths are lenses in which we can examine these moments in life when we must decide between adapting, retreating or holding to the center.

Most successful species have an uncanny knack for adaptation. The ability to merge with the occasional chaos of life and ride it out like a rogue wave is a skill that can be cultivated. But it requires practice and awareness. With many things in life, maybe we try to apply our will at first only to learn that an adaptive perspective may be needed. So we switch tactics. This happens often.

This week let’s explore real life situations where we can apply control, adaptation, or retreat and observe the results. Let’s show the clients everyday examples of adaptation, retreat and control. We can also pull from mythology many examples of this struggle between grasping (control) and letting go (surrender) and adaptation (change).

Call or stop by Zen Recovery Path. We will be inspired with Art Projects, Kung Fu Classes, Tai Chi, Music group and Movie with Meaning.


126 E. 16th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(800) 759-1930

Monday, December 4, 2017

weekly theme :: SELF LOVE





Author: Zen Recovery Path

We are doing something a little bit different with this week's theme.
Watch video for explanation

Transcription:
(Character: Samurai Man)
Oh, hello! So, this week instead of writing out a theme (bad writers block) but now this time what we do is a video, very modern, very good. Yes. OK. I start to sound uh too much like a Cookie Monster. OK. Anyway. This weeks theme the clients came to me and they said to me they said, Samurai Man, we have big problem with self-love. Can you help us with loving ourselves? And I said you have come to the right person. For I am a master of the self love. So, by unanimous client choice this week we going to teach them how to do the self-love. You have to look deep within yourself too. To find the love that you also have for yourself. Goodbye and good luck.


Call or contact Zen Recovery Path. Our community welcomes a fresh start. Recovery will be inspired with Art Projects, Kung Fu Classes, Tai Chi, Music group and Movie with Meaning therapies.

126 E. 16th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(800) 759-1930