S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate

“Something Came Undone,” by Professor of Religious Studies S. B. Rodriguez-Plate, was recently published in Lion’s Roar, a North American Buddhist magazine. In his essay, which was part of a commissioned article titled “Breaking Free From Addiction,” Plate discussed his experiences with traditional programs in his failed attempts to recover from alcohol abuse.

He said his recovery finally began following a stay at Blue Cliff Monastery in the Catskills. “I spent the time in silence, doing seated and walking meditations, all the time, being in my body,” he wrote. “I walked out of that place and began to get sober.”

Among the things Plate said he learned at the monastery was that rather than using alcohol to fill a hole in his life, he needed “to find a way to bring mind and body together.” He said he continues “a modified Zen practice that weaves together a lot of walking meditation with some seated meditation and only a little talking.”

The practice doesn’t fill a hole, he said. “It makes me whole by showing me that things like my body and mind, my self and family, my work and play, can be bound together again, as they always have been.”

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