MARA and SOBER Breathing Spaces and MBRP meditations

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.


Even after his awakening, the Buddha was visited many times by Mara.

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.

M – Mindful : present-moment-recollection. Remember to remember!
A – Awareness : what is happening right now in body and mind?
– Responds : as opposed to reacts automatically or habitually.
A – Appropriately : wisely and skilfully, with kindness, to whatever situation you find yourself in.

“Mara – I see you”

Fifth Precept Sangha - Buddhist practices for recovery from addictions and compulsions
Surfing the Urge

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

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.”

S – Stop : pause wherever you are.
– Observe : what is happening in your body & mind?
B – Breath : bring focus to the breath to help you focus and stay present.
E – Expand awareness : to your whole body & surroundings.
R – Respond : mindfully vs. automatically.

Related resources:

Webpage :  Inquiring Mind – Surfing the Urge

A3 Posters x4 :  M.A.R.A. – I See You!

Webpage : R.A.F.T. – an alternative perspective on the Buddha’s ‘Four Noble Truths’

Webpage :  The Blessings of Awakening

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).  The Audio Recordings of MBRP mindfulness practices are available below, in mp3 format.  Feel free to download these for your personal use.

This MindfulRP website and these resources are maintained by gifted funds. Please see the MindfulRP website for further details.

Meditation on sounds (male voice)

Body Scan (male voice)

Body Scan (2020 version)

SOBER space (female voice)

SOBER space (male voice)

SOBER space (2020 version)

Urge Surfing (female voice)

Urge Surfing (male voice)

Urge Surfing (2020 version)

Mountain Meditation (female voice)

Mountain Meditation (2020 version)

Sitting Meditation, breath (female voice)

Sitting Meditation, breath (shorter, male voice)

Sitting Meditation (male voice)

Sitting Meditation (2020 version)

Longer Sitting Meditation (female voice)

Longer Sitting Meditation (male voice)

Kindness (male voice)

Kindness (version 2, male voice)

Kindness (2020 version)

Meditation on Thoughts (2020 version)

Mindful Movement (male voice)

Mindful Movement (2020 version)

Mindful Walking (male voice)

Mindful Check-in

Website with meditation timers (silent practice with bells)

Fifth Precept Sangha - Buddhist practices for recovery from addictions and compulsions

. 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.