Author and Dharma teacher, Josh Korda, joins Chris to talk about addiction, recovery, and his work at Dharma Punx NYC.
Growing up with the Dharma (Opening) – Josh Korda shares his story of growing up in an unstable home and being introduced to Buddhism by his father’s path to sobriety.
“I never as a child or teenager could tell apart the Buddha from the psychologist, because to me the Buddha was simply expounding on ideas about what makes us suffer. I never saw anything remotely spiritual in the sense of being trans-mundane. I always saw him as a giant in the field of psychology, who gave us practices to address our tendencies and our self-concepts that cause us distress.” – Josh Korda
Addiction and Relapse (9:15) – Introduced to drugs and alcohol at a young age, Josh began to depend on a variety of substances to manage the anxiety and fear that began to develop. He and Chris talk about the science of early childhood development and chemical dependency, as well as first-person perspective on the roller-coaster ride of addiction, recovery and relapse.
“On the level of achieving long-term sobriety, whether it is in a meeting, with a sponsor or with a wise friend, I believe the fundamental engine of sobriety is the ability to reveal inconvenient emotions and feelings that early on in life we felt we had to get rid of and thus used substances. If you can reveal and talk about these feelings the need to repress them with fast-acting substances is alleviated.” – Josh Korda
Methods of Recovery (21:30) – There are many forms of addiction recovery that work wonders for some, but not for others. Josh explores many approaches to recovery and how they change our patterns.
Dharma Punx (28:10) – Josh talks about his involvement with the Against the Stream and Dharma Punx, alternative Buddhist communities that support addiction recovery. He shares his unique teaching style and approach to the student/teacher relationship.
Moving into Action (41:40) – What advice does Josh have for the person who is ready to make a serious change in their life but does not know what to do next? He emphasizes the importance of finding community in this process.
“The Buddha says that you don’t get anywhere on the path without wise spiritual friends that you reveal yourself to.”