Monday, February 19, 2018


living Sober flowing with Stillness


Author: Sifu Matthew Carver

If I had an hour to solve a problem 
I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem 
and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.
— Albert Einstein

How Often Do We Flow With Stillness

This happens a lot. We do something messed up and waste a bunch of your time and everyone else's time. By the time we sober up, to what we so exquisitely shattered, we quickly start to repair the damage. Like a cat who fell off the sill, we scramble to our feet as quickly as possible and hastily strut away with some salvaged grace, almost as if no calamity had transpired at all. In such a hurry to save face, coupled with the feeling of "getting on with it already," we foolishly rush in where angels fear to tread.

There May Be a Flow to Things

And a way of tuning into the language of this flow. A way to ally yourself with the very current that propels us all forward and back and around again. It is so easy to finally identify the source of a discomfort and quickly fall into the trap of remedying it like chop, chop c'mon right now. But discomforts are a timid sort of prey. If you spring too fast on them, you'll spook them. Practicing stillness in the midst of change and confusion is a powerful tool. In no time, our discomforts will be eating from our hand and rolling in ecstasy at our feet. Not being in too much of a hurry, has its benefits. There is a reason "stop and smell the roses" is a cliche. it is because it is true. time and time again. We can be in such a hurry we brush past the sweet smells of bloom and then curse that too too busy world for its foulness.

Practice Listening, Letting Go, Humility and Awareness

This week's theme is about taking that sacred, quiet moment and keeping it for yourself. A small moment to just take it all in in one big gulp. If that sentence didn't make sense, read it slower, especially between the two "ins". Flowing with life infers letting go of the wheel for a little bit. Trusting in the celestial pacing of things.

Identify Moments

Try to identify moments in your life where "by rushing in" to get involved. Even with the most angelic of intentions, led to an uniquely worse set of circumstances, all thanks to you. Think back in life to the moments when one more play on the bench may have been the better bet. Instead trying "to be" this week lets try "not to be". Try not to be in a hurry to fix things. Practice listening, letting go, humility and awareness this week.

Call or contact Zen Recovery Path. Our community welcomes a fresh start. Recovery will be inspired with Clinical and Holistic Therapies such as; Art Projects, Kung Fu Classes, Tai Chi, Music group, EMDR and Movie with Meaning therapies.
126 E. 16th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627

(800) 759-1930

Monday, February 12, 2018


future self love preparation

Don’t Let Your Farmer Collect Garbage. It's all in the preparation. 

There is a person you will never meet in the present. 

Though you feel her nearness and you may even catch a whiff here and there of her scent, she and you will never meet eyes. You will always be intimate strangers. There is a person you will never know and yet know so well. In fact, he will be the sum of all your nowness. It’s hard to show kindness and respect when the object of your kindness and respect is your future self. Your future self is like the friendly farmer who harvests all the experiences (seeds) you set into motion in the present. 

Sorry future friendly farmer self. 

There are no apples to harvest because I planted oranges. Or, sorry future farmer self, I planted nothing. All I did was make your farm empty and overgrown with regrets and missed opportunities. Then your future farmer has no time to farm because he has to deal with the garbage you left for him everywhere. Your farmer is now collecting garbage. Are you satisfied?

This week we are going to practice showing love and respect for our future selves. 

By doing small things, itty-bitty routines, and tiny baby step advances, we gain momentum. Momentum that will carry and propel us into the realm of our future selves. Of course when we arrive at our future it will no longer be future it will be now, but this isn’t a sci-fi movie and we don’t have time to goof around. Know this, our future selves will cheer us and write songs about us and look back fondly at the past-you-self that has made all this future awesomeness happen.

Start small.

what would you like to have happen in the future? What small things can I do now to work toward that vision of the future?

Sample Student: Well, Matt, I would like very much to not go to jail when I go home to Shitsville, USA.

Matt: Super idea. Jail is depressing. Have you alerted your PO that you have left the state but are receiving substance treatment and look forward to rehabilitating yourself?

Sample Student: No I have not done that.

Matt: Then your future self is set to only collect garbage.   How does that make you feel?

Sample Student: Poorly

Matt: Yes, your future self also feels poorly. Let me help you call your PO and get things rolling in the right direction.

Sample Student: Sound good.

Connect in the moment.

The ability to connect to the present moment and shape it in a way that makes a future, unknowable version of yourself grateful, is asking a lot. It depends on you loving yourself enough to do something about it. This week we will learn that our future selves are worth it and what to do about it.

Call or contact Zen Recovery PathOur 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, February 5, 2018

weekly theme :: THE JOURNEY OF A HERO, PART II


“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. 
I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or 
I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—life itself.” 
~Walter Anderson

Now that clients have explored and defined what a hero means to them, it is time to become the hero in their own lives.

This week's task is to help clients take the positive characteristics and traits they identified and assist them in strengthening their own internal resources, or more specifically, the hero within.

Call or contact Zen Recovery PathOur 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, January 29, 2018

weekly theme :: HERO'S JOURNEY PART 1

hero Journey

Author: Sifu Matthew Carver


In narratology and comparative mythology, the monomyth, or the hero's journey, is the common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.

HERO ˈhirō/

noun a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. synonyms: brave person, brave man/woman, man/woman of courage, man/woman of the hour, lionheart, warrior, knight

There is no greater tragedy than a hero split apart from himself. 
 Torn between self and this darker, other self. Fighting to subdue what is within and make things whole again. Awakening to an enlightenment. 
 - Sifu Mathew Carver

The idea of heroes runs deep throughout every culture throughout the ages. 

Certain people stand out amongst the rest and accomplish deeds that far exceed the reach of more pedestrian folks. What makes a hero? Is it what heroes say that makes them different or what they do? Are heroes defined by their actions? What aspects or characteristics do most heroes share? Is there a way to cultivate heroic qualities in ourselves?

Joseph Campbell is a good place to start when talking about the significance of heroes. Also exploring the world of Marvel and DC comics, who have created many of the modern day archetypes for superheroes, is a good place to explore.

Who were your first heroes? 

This week’s theme will lead into a follow up theme the following week which will explore how we deconstruct these hero archetypes and create the hero within ourselves. We can also tap into the mythic cycles in Norse, Greek and Egyptian Mythologies and notice the common themes and issues.

Call or contact Zen Recovery PathOur 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, January 22, 2018

weekly theme :: DELUSIONS

Author: Ryan Thompson

what is a delusion? a delusion is a belief that is not based on reality.

A delusion is a conviction to a belief which can persist in the presence of irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Delusions can manifest as a defense mechanism in order to cope with intense and uncomfortable situations. Delusions may protect an individual from harm initially; such as delusional thinking in an abusive relationship, it will also support and maintain the maladaptive behavior. Delusions can be created by an individual to maintain substance use without facing the responsibility imposed by negative consequences. Delusions can maintain dysfunctional family homeostasis in addition to manifesting and exacerbating codependency.

How can we assist clients disrupting thinking and behaviors fueled by delusion?

We must empathize with those that have manifested delusions as a way to cope. We must also assist clients with raising awareness about those delusions and discovering how they maintained unhealthy behaviors.

Let us empower clients to break these chains and develop courage to make decisions from truth and integrity.

Additional information on the certain types of delusions that commonly occur:

Delusions of Grandeur

People who have delusions of grandeur believe they are special and more important than other people. While one person's importance can be greater than others in certain situations - for example, most people would agree that a visiting celebrity is the most important person at an event - delusions of grandeur cause the person to think they are more important than others, even when there is no evidence for it.

Grandiosity can be an effect of some psychoactive drugs, most notably cocaine and crystal meth. This crosses over into delusion if the person is unable to see himself objectively, and develops an exaggerated sense of his importance, specialness or self-worth. Sometimes, the delusion is in stark contrast with the reality of the way the person is perceived by others.

Persecutory Delusions

Often called "paranoid" delusions, people having persecutory delusions believe that others are acting against them. This can range from thinking that other people are thinking negative thoughts about them to believing that others are plotting against them or trying to kill them.

Having persecutory delusions about the medical profession can make it especially difficult for people having delusions to seek help. It requires courage to trust that a doctor or therapist will really help you if you believe they are not acting in your best interests. Our staff at Zen Recovery Path understand this difficulty and will do their best to reassure you that they do, in fact, want to help you get better.

Relationship Delusions

There are several types of delusions involving relationships. Some people develop delusions that someone, often a famous person, is in love with them. Others become convinced that their partner is being unfaithful.

Of course, some partners who are actually being unfaithful will accuse a partner of being delusional, when they are in fact correct in their suspicions. This is known as "gaslighting," and it is particularly difficult for someone with a history of delusions to cope with.

A whole range of delusions involving imagined diseases or defects can be experienced. They can range from believing you are ugly when you are not, to believing you are riddled with disease or parasites. These delusions are extremely unpleasant and may be accompanied by tactile or visual hallucinations that seem to prove the delusion to be true.

Somatic Delusions

A common delusion that people who are high on meth experience are the belief that there are bugs crawling all over their bodies or even under their skin. They may scratch and pick at their skin in an effort to rid themselves of these imagined parasites. Often, this results in unsightly scabs, sores, and scarring.

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

126 E. 16th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627

(800) 759-1930

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


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