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Step 3 Became Willing to Turn our Will and Our Lives Over to the Care of God as We Understand God: The Buddhist Perspective

Michele Happe, MA, LADC Updated: Apr 27th 2011

In this step The subject of God has already been settled in a personal way from step two. As a Buddhist, I believe in Buddha Nature as "God". The real issue here is a matter of devotion. Buddhists as seen by the people of Tibet who are supremely dedicated to their religion, have very little issue with devotion. Once you decide what you believe IN the real work begins..that of devotion.

two glasses of alcoholTurning our will and our lives over means that our number one priority in life is our dedication to reigning in our ego. It is in this step that we take the Bodhisattva vow: “May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.” In this vow it is implied that attainment of Buddhahood takes total dedication and commitment. In the Buddhist system there are ways to attain Buddhahood. One is thru total commitment to transforming all obstacles to compassion, two is through practices devised by other realized beings. The vajrayana or adamantine path suggests that it is possible to attain Buddhahood in one lifetime thru esoteric practice.

Many alcoholics, in order to remain sober, are able to transform their previous behaviors to being of service to others. They become dedicated to helping other suffering alcoholics to achieve sobriety. This is part of the Bodhisattva vow. These alcoholics are able to go through this transformation because they have turned there will(ego) and life over to helping others and in turn their own lives are rewarded by what we call the promises. "If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them."

So in order to remain sober, it is clear that we must give it all for the sake of our sobriety and the sobriety of others. This is really the most important step which allows us to go forth in life to practice the remaining nine other steps. Only total dedication will bring about this achievement.

Next week I will discuss step four. Until then,

Be well.


Michele Happe, MA, LADCI am a licensed addictions therapist that specializes in addiction and codependency. I use Buddhist principles to aid in recovery and to help promote happiness. I also write and teach about these issues. I have a private practice in Minden, NV and Reno, NV and work nationally on the phone(775)230-1507 and through skype (mhappenow). My webpage is Join me on Facebook for lots of mini teachings.

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