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Recovery_The Sacred Art: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice (The Art of Spiritual Living) Paperback – May 1, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Full of wisdom, expanding and deepening Twelve Step insight with the author's wide knowledge of world spiritual traditions.&rdquo
Thomas Bien, author, Mindful Recovery, Finding the Center Within and Mindful Therapy

"Immensely readable, charming, and profound.… Accessible and useful to everyone, not just addicts. Open this book armed with a notebook, pen and highlighter. You will return to Rami's wise words over and over again.&rdquo
Terry Taylor, author, A Spirituality for Brokenness: Discovering Your Deepest Self in Difficult Times

“An important contribution to the literature on the Twelve Steps. Creatively adapts methods from different religious traditions to make the practice of the Twelve Steps even richer.&rdquo
Martine Batchelor, author, Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits

From the Inside Flap

Life is inherently unmanageable. Seek to control it and you are captive to exhaustion, depression, and addiction. Learn to navigate it by living with justice, compassion and humility, and you are free.
Spiritual leader and Twelve Step practitioner Rami Shapiro explores the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as a spiritual practice to take you to a different level of mind, a mind no longer seeking control of life--relationships, events, and actions. He examines the foundational themes of each step--surrender, acceptance, confession, forgiveness, restoration--as they relate to specific addictions as well as general addictions such as greed, anger, and selfishness. He offers easy-to-follow exercises drawn from Eastern and Western religious traditions to help you deepen your understanding of each step as you learn to embrace powerlessness through:
Searching the Ego
Confessing Our Wrongs
Asking for Freedom
Naming the Harmed
Making Amends
Carrying the Message
...and more
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Product Details

  • Series: The Art of Spiritual Living
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: SkyLight Paths; 1 edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594732590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594732591
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Historians of American religion now credit the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935 as a major innovation in American religious movements. When Bill W and friends began spreading the 12 Steps through the grassroots, they really were inventing a theologically wide-open spiritual movement that invited high commitment and pointed toward dramatic change in people's lives, families and communities.

Now, early in a new century, we all can appreciate the prophetic wisdom of that innovation. Of course, there is long-running debate about whether the 12 Steps are "religious." There's no question, though, that they are spiritual in the broad sense of focusing our daily living on a series of larger commitments to a higher power and to enduring relationships.

In his book "Recovery-the Sacred Art," Rabbi Shapiro (who is a veteran himself of one particular 12-step group) expands on these themes. This isn't a book of religious history or sociology, although Shapiro teaches these things at the university level. Rather, this is a book written for general readers-you and me-as we seek to find some deeper meaning and a larger framework for our lives.

Within the 12 Steps, he writes, we can find a fresh spiritual focus around themes of crucial importance to all of us--like realizing that we cannot control this turbulent world around us and that we need to focus our lives in more timeless places.

I highly recommend this book for individuals, but also for small-group conversation.
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If you're looking for a twelve step perspective that's not steeped in God and religion, this is it. This book really shows how to expose and almost eradicate the Shadow in us all. A MUST for anyone in recovery or who works in the recovery field.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the most valuable books written in a twelve-step framework. Rami Shapiro's professional background in world religions gives him the expertise to analyze the problems of existence (and addiction) and the access to forms of spiritual practice that are tremendously helpful to the struggling addict (or any human life form). But it is his own experience of addiction to food and to control that give this book a depth and reality far beyond most contributions. In twelve step meetings, people often tell their stories in order to share their experience, strength and hope. Rabbi Shapiro has used his own life and the stories of a wide variety of people in a range of twelve step programs to make the fundamental set of arguments that take us through the steps. I think his most important contribution is his rock-solid understanding of the delusion of control and its powerful consequences for one's spiritual development. If you think your life is unmanageable, if you think you have an addiction, if you are "stuck" spiritually, and basically, if you are alive, you will find this book valuable. It has changed my life and that of everyone to whom I've given a copy.
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By desiree on January 26, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am so thankful for this book. I am a long-time Buddhist and relatively new to a Twelve-Step program (Al-Anon). I guess anyone who is serious about the 12 steps knows it is a spiritual journey (not tied to any religion) but for me it was challenging to learn to ask a higher power for help. This book has been an insightful guide and I have highlighted so many powerful passages. The author refers to "the core addiction of control" and he says, for instance:"Hitting rock bottom is an experience of the ego. It is the point where the ego, the addicted self clinging to the illusion of control, can no longer maintain that illusion and is surrendered to the reality of powerlessness." Yes, this rings true for me and I suspect for many others practicing the 12 steps who know it is a difficult but tremendously rewarding journey. This book explains each step in its most essential form. It offers much valuable guidance no matter what your religious or non-religious background and takes you deeper into each step than you may have realized on your own.
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I've read most of the recovery books relative to the 12 steps and Buddhism, and this is a fairly good book. The author doesn't represent himself as a Buddhist, per se, but uses a lot of Buddhist texts and authors to support his theses. He is a Jewish Rabbi and presents a variety of interesting points from that perspective. However, if you've read a lot of the available books in this area, you won't probably be impressed.
The chapters are arranged basically according to the steps. It may be that the best chapter in the book is on Step 9. It may be worth reading the book for that step alone. While there are some excellent points in the book (particularly about steps 1 and 2 relative to powerlessness and unmanageability), there is quite a lot of repetition. If your interest is in an alternative view of working the 12 steps and the issues surrounding higher power for non-theists or working/living the steps as a Buddhist, you ought to read _One_Breath_at_a_Time_first for a very deep and representative presentation of the spiritual journey if you haven't read it yet.
None-the-less, this book is worth reading .
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This book is excellent. My personal addictions are food and smoking and every word of this book is inspirational. It is excellent advice for EVERYONE. I wonderful way to view our lives, our purpose, our woes and how to deal with all of it. I love this book.
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