Monday, January 29, 2018

weekly theme :: HERO'S JOURNEY PART 1

hero Journey

Author: Sifu Matthew Carver

HERO'S JOURNEY

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 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