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The 12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction Paperback – March 10, 2009
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"The 12-Step Buddhist is a unique synthesis of the traditional 12-Step model and the liberating wisdom of Dharma....This personal presentation of the tools Littlejohn used to find his own liberation from addiction is certainly never boring, and well worth reading." -- Mandala Magazine
"This book is written not based on theory or assumption, but by a person who actually went through the experience of recovery and from that experience has seen the benefits of this system as a way to help other people who are facing the same circumstances. This will be an important contribution to the literature of Buddhism and of recovery in the West." -- Yangsi Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist teacher and president of Maitripa Institute
"If the 12-Step program leads to recovery, Buddhist practice and philosophy can provide the spiritual underpinnings needed to stabilize that recovery. [Darren Littlejohn's] interpretation of the 12 Steps as seen through the lens of this wisdom tradition is fascinating and useful. A very practical and inspired guide." -- Susan Piver, author of How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life
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Top Customer Reviews
Herein lies a problem: the very use of terms such as "God" and "Him" implies a patriarchal, creator God, the archetype of which is the God of Abraham, the God of Muslims, Christians, and Jews. But what of those members in a 12 step program who are atheists, agnostics, or of other beliefs in which there is no "Our Father" or a Creator? Even though the fellowship is fanatically tolerant of religious diversity, most members are white, middle class, middle aged men, who discuss spiritual matters in the terms most familiar to them.
AA has some work-arounds, in which people who do not believe in a deity can use GOD as an acronym, such as Good Orderly Direction, as their Higher Power. However, it is a bit a stretch to pray for improved conscious contact with a Good Orderly Direction. (For those who can do it, our hats are off to them.)
One of the non-theistic spiritual practices of people in recovery is Buddhism. Buddha was not a god, just a man who discovered how to relieve suffering. When asked if he were a god, Buddha replied "No." When asked what he was, then, Buddha said "I am awake." "Buddha" means the one who woke up.
The 12 Step Buddhist is a guide for integrating and using Buddhist practice in a 12 step program. This book does not explain the steps -- the reader is referred to the Big Book and other approved literature for that.Read more ›
Although I am not an addict, I was drawn to this book because I believe Buddhist teachings have value for almost anyone, regardless of their religious beliefs (or lack thereof.) In that sense, I found this book personally relevant, even though I am not fighting a traditional addiction.
However, this book is designed primarily for addicts, and for anyone who knows or works with them. The author begins with his personal story, which lays the groundwork for him to explain later on why he feels certain practices have particular value. He then provides a basic overview of Buddhism, and of his primary paths, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. Then, he covers the reality of addiction in the U.S., including statistics on how many people suffer from addiction, and on research into addiction as a 'brain disease.'
The main part of the book then walks through the traditional 12 Steps - one chapter each - and provides concrete practices drawn from Buddhism that can help an individual to work with that step in a new way. For example, he outlines a Meditation on Acceptance as part of Step 1, admitting 'powerlessness' over the addiction.Read more ›
I was therefore thrilled to discover this book which, in essence, incorporates two of the most powerful tools against addiction - the 12 steps and the Buddha way of life.
What I liked, for the beginning of this book is that the author does not trash either forms of belief - rather he constructed his book on the fact that one belief ties in and compliments the other one beautifully.
This book is loaded with personal experiences - those of the author and how he has looked to both 12 step and the Buddha to help him find his way.
This book is definitely about belief in a more spiritual way of living and it is about understanding your limitations as a human being.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it to be encouraging and supportive.
Over the decades, the 12 Step movement has evolved considerably. Recognition has arisen, in particular, that recovery for the vast majority of sufferers involves far more than the relatively simple and task/behavioral focus of the Big Book, a text written primarily by AA's chief founder in the early years of his recovery and AAs existence.
And say what you want about the god talk, white male voice, and limited understanding of the longer term issues of sobriety, the core truths of the 12 Step program continue to resonate. The simple idea that alcoholics have to face the fact they have a malady/disease/illness/allergy/whatever that renders them incompetent, very very ill, and dangerous to themselves and others if they drink any alcohol at all, that only a profound psychological change in their inner reality will allow them the opportunity to recover meaningful sober lives, and the very basic step-by-step procedure for beginning to learn and manifest that reality continues to hold ring true to this day.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Delivered before expected. So fast. And this is my FAVORITE book. I was about to be charged by the library for having it out so long and literally was not willing to let it go. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jessica Lammers
I have only read about the first 40 pages. I am in recovery and have a good understanding of Buddhism. Read morePublished 9 months ago by karmasoda
an exhaustive treatise on buddhism for recovering addicts, I esteem littlejohn's work, it comes from the heart, but is also written by a disciplined professional.Published 9 months ago by gregorius