Nancy Burks grew up in southeast Michigan and pursued a career as a clinical psychologist until retiring two years ago. Since then, Nancy has started a new phase of her life teaching Buddhism and meditation. Nancy became a Buddhist in 1978, and has practiced in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition ever since. From 1996 to 2000, Nancy participated in an intensive, cloistered retreat with 9 other women in upstate New York. Upon completing this traditional training program, she earned the title of "Lama" which means teacher. Nancy currently teaches and practices at the Ann Arbor KTC Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center. just go to http://annarborktc.org For more information
That link will be in the show notes Nancy lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, and is a caregiver for for her mother and brother.
Nancy welcome to the Recovered Studio
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As you know Nancy, the Recovered Podcast is intended to be a support for those of us in 12-step recovery program.
Do you know anyone who had struggled with addiction?
As you may know, one of the obstacles new members in 12-step recovery programs have is developing a spiritual life. We encourage new members to consider that there are powers greater than self and that this power can help in sobriety. Later, we find that helps is all areas of our lives.
For example Nancy, many of our new members find their “Higher Power” in the 12-step group.
Through frequent contact with members in the 12-step community, new people find the ability to stay sober. This ability to stay sober was not possible before the group. This, we tell our new members, is a power greater than self.
Another source of “higher power” can be found in the truth. Truth itself and in others. For example, when we honestly look at ourselves and our faults and stop blaming others, we find that changing our behavior is possible. Something that was not possible before.
But when new members are told to get a higher power, the immediately think of the punishing God they grew up with, or maybe the religion of their youth. And for many, these have been terrible experiences and they want no part of that. They feel like they have been painted into a corner with no way out.
But what we encourage is for the new person to seek for themselves what a higher power means to them. There is not only one way, there are many.
Many of us in the United States have no understanding of buddhism. So I wanted to get your perspective Nancy, because you have so much to offer our listeners in regards to life experiences, psychology, and buddhism.
So our listeners get to know you a little better, let's start at the beginning.
Your Story Tell us where were you born; what was your family of origin like. What were your religious experiences growing up?
Many of our listeners may not be familiar with Buddhism Tell us your experience in Budism, how did you become buddhist.
What common feature does Buddhism share with other religions? What is the difference between Buddhism and other religions?
Give us a brief history of the Buddha. What is the essential characteristic of Buddhism? How has buddhism helped you in difficult times?
Advice What was the #1 thing that has held you back in your spiritual life? What is the best spiritual advice you ever received? What is something that is working for your spiritual life right now? What is the best spiritual book you have read?
Hope What would you say to the new guy?
Read books by Chogyam trungpa Meditation in action Cutting through spiritual materialism
Other Books Pema Chodron - Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart
Jon Kabat-Zinn - Full Catastrophe Living