The 12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction

The 12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction

3.9 15
by Darren Littlejohn
     
 

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Author Darren Littlejohn has been there and back, and presents a complimentary guide for recovery to the traditional twelve-step program, out of his own struggles and successes through the study of Zen and Tibetan Buddhism.

The face of addiction and alcoholism is a face that many have seen before — it may be a celebrity, a colleague, or even a family member.

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Overview

Author Darren Littlejohn has been there and back, and presents a complimentary guide for recovery to the traditional twelve-step program, out of his own struggles and successes through the study of Zen and Tibetan Buddhism.

The face of addiction and alcoholism is a face that many have seen before — it may be a celebrity, a colleague, or even a family member. And though the 12-step program by itself can often bring initial success, many addicts find themselves relapsing back into old ways and old patterns, or replacing one addiction with another.

Working with the traditional 12-Step philosophy, the author first shares his own life path, and how he came to find the spiritual solace that has greatly enhanced his life in recovery. Then, he details out how his work integrating Buddhism into the traditional twelve-step programs validates both aspects of the recovery process. While being careful not to present himself as a Tibetan lama or Zen master, the author shows how each step — such as admitting there is a problem, seeking help, engaging in a thorough self-examination, making amends for harm done, and helping other drug addicts who want to recover — fits into the Bodhisattva path. This integration makes Buddhism accessible for addicts, and the 12 Steps understandable for Buddhists who may otherwise be at a loss to help those in need.

The 12-Step Buddhist is designed to be a complimentary practice to the traditional 12-step journey, not a replacement. While traditional twelve-step programs help addicts become sober by removing the drug of choice and providing a spiritual path, they rarely delve deep into what causes people to suffer in the first place. The integration of Buddhism with the traditional process provides the wisdom and meditations that can help addicts truly find a deep, spiritual liberation from all causes and conditions of suffering — for good.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The 12-Step Buddhist is one of those rare books that transcends genres by seamlessly integrating the 12-step approach, Buddhist principles, and a compelling personal struggle with addiction and a quest for spiritual awakening." — Donald Altman, M.A., LPC, author of Living Kindness and Meal by Meal

"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

Publishers Weekly
According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, almost 10 percent of people aged 12 or older needed treatment for drug or alcohol problems in 2006. That astonishing number suggests a need for books such as this, written by recovering drug and alcohol addict Littlejohn, who is also a student of Buddhism. The author, who has also studied psychology and research methods, has most definitely been there. Using the Buddhist idea of attachment as a key insight into addiction, Littlejohn correlates the 12 steps of recovery programs with Buddhist ideas and practices, drawing from both Zen and Tibetan traditions. This approach can especially benefit those who may have trouble with more conventional understandings of a Judeo-Christian God as a Higher Power, since 12-step programs depend on acceptance of such a power. Some of Littlejohn's practical exercises-certain Tibetan visualizations, for example-can be abstruse, and an appended glossary could provide more help with Buddhism, issues that more rigorous editing could have addressed. But the author has guts and clarity; this book is a welcome beacon on the troubling ocean of addiction.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Buddhism, it seems, is like the color black: it goes with anything. Littlejohn, a recovering addict and student of Tibetan and Zen Buddhism, has written a book that thoroughly integrates the 12 steps of recovery from addiction with Buddhist principles and precepts. Each of these persuasions is so powerful that one would have thought they would leave room for nothing else, but Littlejohn effectively suggests that the richness of Buddhist insight can ground 12-step recovery in true self-knowledge.

It would be easy to confuse the aim of Jesus in the Lotus with that of ChristoPaganism(above), but Paul, trained as a Christian monk and yogi under Bede Griffiths, is striving for something else: to show Christians all they can gain from Yoga practice without leaving their faith behind and all that Yoga practitioners might gain from a better knowledge of Christianity without ceasing to be Yogic. After all, their faiths and practices share a yearning for union with the Divine.


—Graham Christian

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582702230
Publisher:
Atria Books/Beyond Words
Publication date:
03/10/2009
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
267,424
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Darren Littlejohn dropped out of school in the eighth grade in order to “pursue drugs and alcohol as a full-time endeavor.” After a long, rough road to sobriety, he passed his high school proficiency exam and went on to earn an AA in Behavior Science from San Jose City College, a BA in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach, and has completed all coursework but the final theses for the MA Pre-Doctoral Research Program, also at the Long Beach campus of California State University.

In his personal journey, he studied Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, later integrating all of his life experience, beliefs, credentials and true passion into his work. Already practicing what he preaches, he is a dedicated, enthusiastic promoter and speaker who is eager to see others helped out of their pits of despair and self-destruction.

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12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
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"We have to get them the hell out of here!" He yells and signals for the men to go with him. "Result two has a helicopter ready!!!" he yells