Mindfulness and the 12 Steps: Living Recovery in the Present Moment

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Overview

For those of us in recovery, Mindfulness and the 12 Steps offers a fresh approach to developing our own spiritual path through the Buddhist practice of mindfulness, or bringing one's awareness to focus on the present moment. We can revisit each of the Twelve Steps, exploring the interplay of ideas between mindfulness and Twelve Step traditions-from the idea of living "one day at a time" to the emphasis on prayer and meditation-and learn to incorporate mindfulness into our path ...

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Mindfulness and the 12 Steps: Living Recovery in the Present Moment

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Overview

For those of us in recovery, Mindfulness and the 12 Steps offers a fresh approach to developing our own spiritual path through the Buddhist practice of mindfulness, or bringing one's awareness to focus on the present moment. We can revisit each of the Twelve Steps, exploring the interplay of ideas between mindfulness and Twelve Step traditions-from the idea of living "one day at a time" to the emphasis on prayer and meditation-and learn to incorporate mindfulness into our path toward lifelong sobriety.

Through reflections questions for inquiry, and stories from Buddhist teachers and others who practice mindfulness in recovery, Mindfulness and the 12 Steps will help us awaken new thinking and insights into what it means to live fully-body, mind, and spirit-in the here and now.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Part meditation guide, part self-help book, Jacobs-Stewart’s effort delves into the ways in which spirituality and mindfulness can coincide with effective recoveries. “In our addictions, we were never here in the moment. We wanted to be gone. Now we are learning to wake up to the joy of being alive.” The author, a psychologist and founder of the Mind Roads Meditation Center, takes readers through her own recovery and attempts to guide them through theirs. She shares her personal history: she comes from four generations of “Irish alcoholics... way back to the ‘old country.’” She talks of her pain, loneliness, drug addiction, and the decision to get professional help in her mid-20s, which proved a major step. Jacobs-Stewart (Paths are Made by Walking) also shares her encounters with Buddhism, providing details of meetings with monks, and includes instructions on how to maximize mindfulness daily, suggesting exercises that can help to clear minds and calm nerves, but her aim is often better than her execution. Though her own stories give the discussion personality and heft, her advice to readers bogs down with jargon, making her volume at times difficult to get through. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592858200
  • Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/23/2010
  • Pages: 183
  • Sales rank: 207,225
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Thérèse Jacobs-Stewart has been a practicing psychotherapist, meditation teacher, and international consultant for more than twenty-five years. In 2004, she founded Mind Roads Meditation Center, a neighborhood practice center that integrates contemplative practices from both East and West and is home of the St. Paul, MN, chapter of 12-Steps and Mindfulness meetings. She is the author of Paths are Made for Walking: Practical Steps for Attaining Serenity and Mindfulness and the 12 Steps. Jacobs-Stewart lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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Table of Contents

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xvii

1 Joining the Great We 1

Four Pure Insights 4

Releasing the Delusion of Separateness 6

Admitting Our Suffering, Opening to Community 9

Entering the Field in the Fellowship of Others 10

Mindfulness Practice for Step One: Resting in the Field of Awakened Ones 11

2 Coming To 15

Seeing Our Internal Response to Events 17

Awakened Beings Are Just like You and Me 20

Restored to Sanity by Touching Our "True Face" 21

Accessing Our True Nature through a Still Mind 22

Mindfulness Practice for Step Two: Prepare for Sitting 24

Mindfulness Practice for Step Two: Breathing and Noting Meditation 25

3 Taking Refuge 27

Step Three as Taking Refuge in the "Three Gems" 29

Taking Refuge in Awakening (Buddha) 31

Taking Refuge in the Path of Mindfulness, Understanding, and Love (Dharma) 34

Taking Refuge in Community (Sangha) 36

Mindfulness Practice for Step Three: Three Refuges Prayer 40

4 Entering the Green Dragon's Cave 43

Three Sources of Shame 45

Entering the Dragon's Cave-a Path beyond Shame 48

Facing Our Ambivalence about Step Four 49

The Eightfold Path as a Moral Inventory 53

Mindfulness Practice for Step Four: Inventory of the Eight Gates 55

5 Placing Ourselves in the Cradle of Kindness 63

A Release from the Burden of Self 65

Step Five as Loving Kindness 67

Growing Loving Kindness through Meditation 70

The Ancient Structure of Call-and-Response 71

Mindfulness Practice for Step Five: Loving Kindness Meditation 72

6 Turning Over a New Leaf 77

Cutting through Confusion with Awareness 78

Seeing the Anatomy of a Character Defect 79

Defects as Delusions-the "Daughters of Mara" 82

The Delusion of Skandha-Mara-a Distorted Sense of Self 83

The Delusion of Klesfia-Mara-Unskillful Responses to Emotions 84

The Delusion of Devaputra-Mara-Escaping into Pleasure 87

The Delusion of Yama-Mara-Thinking We're in Control 88

Recognizing Our Delusions 89

Asking God to Remove Defects Starts with Mindfulness 93

Mindfulness Practice for Step Six: How Does Mara Hook You? 93

7 Vowing with the Help of All Beings 97

Hitting the Pause Button 98

Step Seven as Touching Our Buddha Nature 99

The Power of Aspiration 100

Aspiration and Determination Create Our Vow 102

Releasing Shortcomings through Vows 103

Examples of Vows 104

Mindfulness Practice for Step Seven: Write a Personal Vow 106

8 Finding Pearls in the Dust-Bin 109

Seeing Our Shadow, Ending our Isolation 111

Just the Right Amount of Remorse 113

Starting with the Smallest Desire to Make Amends 116

Making Direct Amends Wherever Possible 118

Making Amends by Speaking Up 120

Experiencing the Grace of Forgiveness 121

Mindfulness Practice for Steps Eight and Nine 122

9 Standing on the Ground of Our Deeds 125

Three Times to Reflect on Our Actions 126

Taking an Evening Inventory with Naikan Practice 132

Mindfulness Practice for Step Ten: Taking a Naikan Inventory 139

10 Making Conscious Contact 143

Breathing into Prayer and Meditation 145

Going against the Grain of Unmindful Living 146

Watering the Seeds of Our Buddha Nature 147

Living from a Full Cup 148

No Striving-Just Sit 152

Conscious Contact Lets Our True Self Emerge 153

Mindfulness Practice for Step Eleven 155

11 Remembering Our True Face 163

Awakening the Mind of Love 164

Two Levels of Bodhichitta 166

Awakening in the Space between Thoughts 167

Notes 171

About the Author 183

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 10, 2012

    An Excellent Tool for recovery!

    The author takes us through each Step combining personal stories, Eastern Philosophies and mindful practices. Rather than following Steps on faith, we are given examples of how different methods can complement one and other. You get the best of both worlds. Doing the practices, you are able to experience change as you progress through the book. The daunting prospect of recovery is undertaken with calm confidence.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 27, 2011

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