Mindfulness based Buddhist recovery

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Surfing the Urge

Here are a couple of relapse prevention tools intended to bring you back to reality – to give you some breathing space - in times of great stress or craving.


This ‘surfing the urge’ technique was developed for the clinical application of Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (

Surfing the urge is “How to cope with triggers and high-risk situations, how to manage urges and cravings.

It also helps people get a better sense of their own personal journeys and the forks in the road that lead either to recovery or to falling off the wagon.”


Stop : pause wherever you are.


Observe : what is happening in your body & mind?


Breath : bring focus to the breath to help you focus and stay present.


Expand awareness : to your whole body & surroundings.


Respond : mindfully vs. automatically.

Surfing the Urge


Even after his awakening, the Buddha was visited many times by
Mara is the personification of unskilful emotions, the devil of temptation and compulsions (Craving).

Mara is that part of ourselves that distracts us, and blocks our path to freedom from struggle and stress.  Mara is that part of us that seeks to sabotage our own recovery.


Mindful  : present-moment-recollection. Remember to remember!


Awareness  : what is happening right now in body and mind?


Respond  : as opposed to reacting automatically or habitually.


Appropriately  : wisely and skilfully, with kindness, to whatever situation you find yourself in.



“Mara - I see you!!!”

Related resources:

Webpage : Inquiring Mind - Surfing the Urge

Webpage : The Blessings of Recovery

Book : Exploring the many faces of Mara - Living with the Devil : A Meditation on Good and Evil by Stephen Batchelor

Book : Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) for Addictive Behaviors: A Clinician's Guide by Sarah Bowen, Neha Chawla and G. Alan Marlatt.

Audio Links : Guided mediations as used in the clinical application of Mindfuleness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP).  You are free to download these for your personal use from the MindfulRP website -



The MindfulRP website and these audio resources are maintained by gifted funds. Any contributions are greatly appreciated! Please see the MindfulRP website for further details.

Please note that this page and the linked pages below are a ‘work in progress’ so please check back here from time-to-time for updates.

[Mindful Recovery Home] [Foundations of Buddhist Recovery] [The Truth of Addiction] [Harm Reduction and Relapse Prevention] [Meditation and Mindful Recover] [Sila Forgiveness Meditation] [Healing the Past] [Loving Kindness - Metta] [Commitment and Ethics] [Notes on Sajja : As Practiced at Thamkrabok Monastery] [A Sajja Vow] [One Day at a Time - Sajja Vow] [The  purpose of Buddhist moral precepts] [The Healing Power of the Precepts] [The Five Mindfulness Trainings] [A Discipline of Sobriety] [A Simple Guide to Life] [Being Human Mindfully] [The Precepts in Recovery] [The Rahula Rules] [Forgiveness Meditation Practice] [The Practice of Metta] [The Blessings of Recovery]