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Step 6: Were Entirely Ready To Have God Remove All These Defects Of Character: The Buddhist Perspective

Michele Happe, MA, LADC Updated: May 25th 2011

The important element of this step is "entirely ready". There is no equivocation here. Most of us cling to our character defects as what defines us in this earthly human form. To be entirely ready to have our defects removed means that we believe it is possible to become enlightened and remain sober continuously. It means that we are entirely ready to move down a completely different and unknown path that involves service and good deeds.

two glasses of alcoholThis step is very similar to the Boddhisattva Vow mentioned before. It essentially states, "help me become enlightened so that I may help others to become enlightened. How can we help others if we are still clinging to our old limiting character flaws. Taking this step means that we actively participate in our own success, sobriety and fulfillment. That is a major commitment that many of us find daunting. It is full of unknowns.

This is where "God" comes in. In order to walk down the path of enlightenment, we need guidance. In Buddhism this comes in the form of "supplication to the Lama". It is essential in Buddhism to have a Lama or teacher. It is also essential to have a root Lama who we emulate, cherish and honor. The root lama is the link to the Buddha Nature. From the Root Lama the transmission of teaching goes right up through all the enlightened masters. This is a very deep and profound connection. We treat our Root Lama with respect and we heed his or her teachings. If you have not found your root Lama you can supplicate to Buddha or Guru Rinpoche or any other enlightened master through the ages in the Tibetan system.

If there is any step of the 12 steps to get stuck at this is the one. It is like getting married times one hundred. It is a commitment to self and to our Guru(God). Take your time contemplating this one refraining from taking it until you are entirely ready. This step cements our commitment to sobriety and enables us to have continual sobriety without relapse. Do not take this step lightly. Ponder it. Look at the fears and doubt which come up when asking if we are "entirely ready". 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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OUR Buddha Nature - Evan Silverman - May 25th 2011

You write, "The root lama is the link to the Buddha Nature" but I think a better way to say it is, "The root lama is the link to OUR Buddha Nature." This distinction is very important, and what makes Buddhism a non-theistic religion. Our teachers are not Gods to be worshipped; they are more like examples to be emulated.

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