Introduction to the Spiritual Recovery Manual

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This book offers a yogic approach to recovery. It addresses, from the perspective of consciousness, the specific needs of those who have had any kind of traumatic past or who have been faced with any aspect of addiction. Although this book is written for the individual, it also aims to advance the recovery field itself. It presents a simple framework within which the diverse theories of human development -- including the theories of addiction, codependence, and the adult child -- can be understood. Such a framework is called a paradigm. Those familiar with the philosophy of science will be aware of the work of Thomas Kuhn, who said that major advances in science require new paradigms.

A complete paradigm for recovery must include consciousness -- the most basic awareness of our existence. It is obvious that any discipline is incomplete until it connects to consciousness: if we, the perceiver, are left out of the picture, how real and practical is that science? The consciousness-based recovery paradigm presented in this book allows us to understand why some treatments are effective while others are not, and to compare methods and see what is most useful.


The goal of this book is to build a bridge from addiction to enlightenment, thus keeping us out of the river of suffering. We start by reviewing the popular literature on addiction; thereby we construct a solid foundation of knowledge on the shore we are familiar with. This is the first chapter. Then we jump to the other side of the river and discuss a theory of the complete personality -- introducing, in a straightforward way, the knowledge of enlightenment. This builds a foundation of knowledge on the distant shore. These are the first two chapters. They provide a larger context within which we can go more meaningfully into the details of recovery.

A recovery program that includes consciousness must be a bridge that spans from the darkness of addiction all the way to the furthest shore of enlightenment. We build this bridge in chapter 3. In chapter 4, we explain that the bridge has firm foundations (is based on ancient wisdom). Two chapters later, in chapter 6, we establish that it is solidly constructed (documented by research). The remaining chapters describe how to walk the bridge. In chapters 5, 7, 8, and 9, we introduce various advanced recovery techniques; we walk our talk right across the bridge. In chapter 10, we consider the possibility of getting everyone -- the whole of society, all at once -- to the shore of enlightenment. In chapter 11, we cover the remaining points -- bliss, behavior, and enlightenment -- necessary for total recovery. Finally, in chapter 12, we list resources available to help you master the knowledge. We also review common mental health problems that tend to go along with an addictive background.

To some, the style of this book may seem unusual; this is not your typical self-help book. It is a book of knowledge, almost a textbook, in which I offer you -- through a well thought-out systematic teaching -- the benefit of my study and experience over the past twenty-five years. I have worked hard to make the concepts straightforward and clear, but haven't held back important information or made explanations simplistic.

Because each chapter builds on the preceding chapters, it is best to read the book sequentially. Take your time; a chapter a day is a good pace. A second reading will pull all the concepts together.


The premises of this book are simple: our life gets better when we re-establish wholeness of awareness; society's problems decrease when we remove stress from the collective consciousness. These ideas come from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Vedic Science. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is perhaps the world's foremost educator of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He is well known as the founder of the Transcendental Meditation program. Maharishi's Vedic Science offers complete knowledge. In this book, we focus on several different aspects of vedic science. We will look, for example, at ayurveda -- the science of life -- which specializes in solutions to physical and behavioral problems. It is important to point out that vedic science -- including ayurveda, yoga, and all its other disciplines -- is not specific to any group. It applies to all people in all cultures and at all times. The purpose of this book, however, is to make clear how vedic science is relevant to one sector of society -- those in recovery. That may not leave out many people.


This book is not a first line of defense against self-destructive behavior. If your addiction is life-threatening (such as alcoholism or any other chemical dependency), or if you are hurting or being hurt by other people (for example, by physical abuse, or gambling away the family's money) then you need individual professional counseling before you read any further. Join a self-help group -- such as those that use the Twelve Steps -- for the knowledge and, especially, the support you will receive. Few people find recovery easy; most need encouragement from understanding friends to keep them going. After you have joined a support group and have started counseling, then pick up this book again and continue reading.

When you finish this book, you will own the deepest essence of knowledge. You will have a more profound and accurate understanding of the mind than most Ph.D.s in psychology; a more useful and powerful understanding of the workings of society than almost any sociologist or politician; a more practical understanding of the body than a medical doctor who went to Harvard; and a clearer understanding of Reality than even the greatest of Western philosophers. You will, in short, be in an excellent position to help yourself to a very fulfilling life.

GO TO CHAPTER ONE (excerpt: the first couple pages)


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Resources: Addiction Mental Health Advanced Recovery Tools
alanon living with an addict a gentler approach for women in recovery
Step 11 (meditation and prayer)
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