Click: "File" → "📑 Make a copy" → " Make a copy"
🌱 Garden List = Good karma seeds of healing
⚠️ Slope List = Bad karma seeds of suffering
🍄 Ghost List = Ultimately creating suffering AND unable to attain lasting satisfaction
(Is this right for you?)
Read about it here!

Watch the Thomas's BRN Academy Presentation
🪴 The Karma Garden: 7 Inquiries
Mapping out your Process Addiction
✍️ Enter answers here (or use another paper)(ex:) Example Column. Just to offer you ideas. Yours doesn't need to look *anything* like this!
Ⓠ1) Write down the harmful habit(s) you wish to renounce, in a few words. (Don't get too detailed yet, we'll do that later. See the rightmost column for example.)(ex:) Internet & Technology Addiction.
(Specifically for me, googling & researching endlessly.)
Let's see clearly past any shame, let's add some self compassion. Today, we see our harmful habits as the cause of our problems. But in truth they're "defensive strategies that may once have been necessary."

Ⓠ2) With bullet -points, briefly jot down how your habit was once helpful. (Honor that it served a purpose)
Survival Skill + Illusion of Control: Life growing up was traumatic and I perceived constant danger, so this process addiction felt like I had control over *something* in my life.
Relief: It was a soothing or coping mechanism.
Protect + Understand: I felt like by understanding something, I could protect myself better.
• Connection: I felt connected to other people and felt social, instead of outcasted.
Ⓠ3) With bullet-points, briefly jot down how your habit has become harmful. (Clarifies our motivations.)Timesuck: Once I start, the craving is insatiable.
Craving: Once I stop, I continue to daydream and thirst for "acting out" again.
• Missing Commitments: I often miss meetings/ assignments/deadlines when I am googling/ researching something obsessively, missing sleep and then missing commitments/appointments/deadlines I've agreed to.
• I often don't show up: An extension of the previous: Sometimes I end up not showing up for important events in peoples lives. I wasn't like this before.
Ⓠ4) Name some goals you have or had, that your habit isn't helping (or is straight up making harder to achieve)? (For movitational interviewing.) • Time-conscious: Want to be mindful of my time.
• Follow through:
Want to keep my word and finish what I start.
• Show up: Want to show up for the things I say I will.
• Want to be reliable: This is trait is important to me.
Nice, you're halfway there. Your answers Ⓠ1-Ⓠ4 will help you connect with your buddha nature, to inform you of the wise actions and choices that are becoming of your best self. Draw from this wisdom to answer Ⓠ5.🍄(Ⓠ5) My Hungry Ghost List ↓🍄(Ⓠ5) My Hungry Ghost List ↓
Ⓠ5) What boundaries are you ready to set for yourself—that'll directly benefit the goals you want in Ⓠ4?Airplane mode when sleeping: Set phone to Airplane mode before sleeping.
Limit my screentime: N-minutes per day/week
• Accountability (by Bookending): Text message a recovery friend before AND after a time-period that requires me to googling or research. Tell them exactly I'm googling for, and how long I expect it to take. Stay within that intention. Make sure I text them with a status update at the end of the time period.
• If working/doing homework: Reboot my computer. Turn off Wifi. Turn off any unessential apps
🍄(Ⓠ5) makes up our 🍄Hungry Ghost List (Verb: Ghosting). A *written* Ghost List is crucial for my sobriety and my goals. Unless it's saved in writing, my commitment to multiple boundaries are as impermanent as my mood (changing quickly). So writing down the Ghost List feels like setting GPS coordinates, and then holding myself accountable to getting to my destination. I also love that Ⓠ4 reminds me of my *why* I'm doing recovery. 🍄(Note: for now, don't get hung up trying to fix grammar or logic. —It's far more important we finish our Karma Garden with the last inquiries. You're almost there!)
Consider this: A central tenet of Wise Understanding is karma: the law of cause & effect. In Buddhist philosophy, every state comes from a cause & condition. Let's objectively investigate what dominoes had fallen, leading up to acting out. With karma, we can better understand and prevent our triggers.⚠️(Ⓠ6)My Slope List ↓⚠️(Ⓠ6)My Slope List ↓
Ⓠ6a) Rewind the tape to just before you might "act out" your addictive habit, and connect with yourself.
List any feelings/thoughts/unmet human needs that have led you to act out. (These are INTERNAL conditions.)
INTERNAL: (feelings/thoughts/needs)
• Feeling inconfident, insecure, overwhelmed.
• Feeling hungry, angry, lonely, tired, bored, stressed.
• Feeling like I don't understand things or I'm being kept in the dark.
• Thinking that people are purposely ostracizing me.
• Feeling threatened, unsafe, in danger.
• Having unstructured time
Ⓠ6b) Rewind the tape again. List any environmental situations, senses impressions, interactions, that have led me to act out. (These are EXTERNAL conditions.)EXTERNAL: (environment/situations/interactions)
• Someone said something and I felt embarassed or ashamed.
• I see other people performing much better than me.
• I'm being mansplained when I've told them I already understood.
• I am at an internet cafe with friends and I haven't I don't feel 10% safe telling them yet that I have an IT addiction for fear of being excluded.
⚠️(Ⓠ6) makes up my ⚠️ Slope List. (Verb: Sloping). When I'm sloping, it means conditions are ripe for me to get triggered and act out. It's an excellent warning signal to ensure I make a wise decision, soon, or I will spiral downward into the ghostyard, where I'll pile tons of suffering onto myself. (Keep this list updated.) ⚠️🌱(Ⓠ7) My Garden List ↓ 🌱(Ⓠ7) My Garden List↓
• Everything you can find in the list here, and more!
• For Internet & Technology Addictions, healthy gardening would include things that usually don't require screentime or technology. Like:
Ⓠ7) Finally, list WHOLESOME activites! Such as: Self-Care, Replacement behaviors, The 3 jewels of refuge, Hobbies that nourish me, Tools of recovery—anything NOT related to the addictive habit. These activities are healing & wholesome. (For general ideas, check out the next page.)• Coloring books / folding origami
• Boardgames and planning Boardgame nights
• Studying Dharma / In-Person Meeting / Reading
• Meditation / Mantra / Prayer
• Weekly Calls with Recovery Peeps
• Being with admirable friends
• Journaling / Thought Log
• Walking solo / Walking the dog / Hiking / Yoga
🌱(Ⓠ7) Makes our 🌱 Garden List. (Verb: Gardening). There are infinite items here—the garden is boundless. It's a beautiful reminder that when we let go of our attachment and cravings, then we have access to total freedom. There are an infinite number of things to do in the garden, and an infinite number of healthy ways to meet our needs. I always imagine the garden affirming to us, "Follow the path, stay on this beautiful path of recovery."🌱
SUMMARY: With the Karma Garden, I have a better sense of preparedness before acting out. I can see what my triggers are. I can know what replacemenet behaviors might satisfy the need I'm trying to meet. And I've got it all on this single sheet of paper.

When in doubt, I can always look to my garden. With more recovery & practice, I find myself gardening more and more, accumulating karmic momentum that leads to wholesome healing and that long-lasting, quiet happiness.

For more info, suggestions, or to contribute contact me: Thomas Tran (they/them)
Consider taking a moment to transfer your Karma Garden to another sheet of paper in a way where you might draw it out, even color code it like the illustration on the right (or below!) to help you visualize.

Note: I would love to anonymously reshare a bunch of examples of the Karma Gardens that actual people have made and use, because it can immensely help another who struggles with a similar addiction. Some people have no idea how to get started, and I've learned beneficial new approaches to my addictions from others.

If you want to contribute: Email me your Karma Garden (as text/image)and just let me know that I have consent to reshare it anonymously.
(a karma garden map, finished example)