- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (June 9, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1579549055
- ISBN-13: 978-1579549053
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 172 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps Paperback – June 9, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Meditation teacher and author Griffin discovered that his Buddhist practice deepened as a result of the 12-step program that freed him from addiction. In examining the relationship of Buddhism and the steps, he learned to escape spiritual traps endemic to the culture of addiction, namely, instant gratification and nihilism. He writes that many addicts are dissuaded from attending 12-step meetings because of the Christian tenor exemplified by faith in a Higher Power. Buddhists in particular are encouraged to wordlessly contemplate Buddha Nature, yet for addicts, retreat-style meditation without sponsorship may become another alcoholic behavior: in the last days of his drinking, "walking around smashed saying, 'I'm just a drunken Buddha' " exemplified Griffin's deeply nihilisticversion of the concepts of No-Self and the Mahayana principle that everything is a manifestation of Buddha Nature. Intermediary steps that call for personal inventory and interpersonal sharing of past transgressions may seem at odds with the solitary meditation-based practice of letting thoughts dissolve into a reality of "right here, right now," but Griffin says such sharing is part of the Buddhist principle of Right Speech. One theme in this valuable book is that for some, 12-step meetings offer a cohesive sangha when Western Buddhism does not meet the need for honest group support. In the final steps, Griffin learns to let go of the "I," to resist belief in a single transcendent experience and to instead rely on the gentle vigilance exacted by regular meditation, sponsorship and meeting participation.
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“In a wise, honest and personal way, Kevin Griffin has written a book that will be truly helpful to Buddhist practitioners and the Twelve Step community alike.” —Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart, psychotherapist, and co-founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
“A Buddhist goes through the Twelve Steps to find God within. A book of compassion and grace.” —Ondrea and Stephen Levine, authors of One Year to Live and Embracing the Beloved.
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Breath at a Time, belongs on everyone’s bookshelf right in between your Big
Book and the 12 and 12.
This is a very wise and practical book that transcends both Buddhism and the
Coming to this book with any level of Buddhist practice, or none at all, the reader
will quickly see how Kevin Griffin demonstrates how the 12-Steps are comingled
with Buddhist practice and how Buddhist practice reveals itself in Twelve Step
As I finally began digging into my 12-step AA work in earnest, I found meditation to be the most difficult, as well as perhaps the most important, aspect of making 12-step work part of my daily life. Years before alcohol took me over, I had a fair-decent practice and understanding of Buddhist meditation, so I found in my heart a desire to bring Mindfulness Meditation directly into my 12-step meditation. Kevin Griffin's book, as does Therese Jacobs-Stewart's, uses the 12 steps as chapter-headers, intertwining their personal stories with their 12-step work and discoveries, wound around a central cord of Buddhist practice, thought, and meditation.
Kevin's book is from a male perspective, though certainly not a macho one, and he has a powerfully personal story to tell, He's perhaps a bit more verbose than Therese- more pages, more divergent, "deeper" into some of the Buddhist concepts-- but I'm grateful I have both in my library and continue to refer to them regularly, and if you're on a 12 Step Journey on the 8-fold Path yourself, have someone who is on one of the paths but could use the other as well, or just want to know more about either or both, I'm sure you will be too.