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A Burning Desire: Dharma God and the Path of Recovery Paperback – January 1, 2010
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About the Author
Kevin Griffin is the author of One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps, the breakthrough book that established him as a leader in the mindful recovery movement. Since its publication, Kevin has toured extensively, giving workshops and lectures at places as diverse as Harlem, the Colorado Rockies, and Hawaii. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, he teaches “Dharma and Recovery” at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In addition, Kevin is co-founder and board member of the Buddhist Recovery Network (www.buddhistrecovery.org), an international organization that serves people in the recovery community through training, treatment, and research. He continues to offer workshops, lectures, and retreats around the country.
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The time is ripe for a more fluid and less theistic form of spirituality for those currently seeking a greater sense of freedom and flexibility in their recovery programs. Griffin shows how this can be achieved by adopting key teachings of Buddhism and applying them to the traditional 12-step framework. While Griffin uses Buddhism as a starting point, he does not ask the reader to simply accept new beliefs but rather to open oneself to new teachings and practices that can have a beneficial effect in achieving serenity through meditation and mindfulness training on an everyday basis.
Griffin must be seen as a key player in the mindfulness and recovery movement now espoused by psychotherapists like Thomas Bien and also the "personal science of self-transformation" movement represented by people like Dan Siegel, Rick Hanson, and Jack Kornfield. Although AA "old-timers" wedded to the fundamentalism of the previous 70 years are likely to be suspicious of such new perspectives on the steps and recovery, Griffin, Bein, and the others represent the most intellectually and spiritually viable way for the step-centered recovery movement to go forward into the future.
After almost 30 years of recovery, I found much in this book to recommend and learn from and recommend it to anyone interested in continued spiritual growth. I especially liked the chapter on the 8 fold path! I expect to return to that chapter again and again for continued inspiration and insight. Griffin doesn't make the mistake that some authors about AA and Buddhism have made in attempting to point out the "problems" or "faults" of AA, AA members, or AA meetings. Instead, he simply lays out his own process of recovery and the integration of the spiritual path of both the 12 steps and Buddhism. By the end, I began hoping to see him at one of my meetings just to get to know him. Bravo!