The problem with the addicted state and our fixation on it is that we refuse to accept that it is not real, not permanent and not what we have convinced ourselves that it is. However, as anyone who has lived through teenage heartbreak knows, this too does indeed pass. But there’s knowing it on a mental level, where we tell ourselves that we understand the concept of impermanence, and there’s a deep, experiential knowing of this Buddhist principle, where we feel it at the core, at the root, at inception. That’s where delusion dissolves and we begin to break free. My Zen teacher used to say, “A little crack opens up..and the light comes in. That’s the beginning.” But the beginning of what?
Pictures from the 15 city book tour for the 12-Step Buddhist
My position is that I encourage anyone who is suffering from addictions to try anything and everything they can to find relief. I’ve found mine in an integrated, comprehensive, multifaceted approach to recovery that includes, but is not limited to full participation in 12-Step groups, psychotherapy, medication, community service and involvement with Buddhist and other spiritual communities. Incidentally, there is a difference between spiritual and religious. Many methods are listed in each chapter of the 12-Step Buddhist book. You might not need all or any of them. But in my case, some are sicker than others. If you’re like me, and are tired of suffering, then it makes sense to try anything and everything you can.
Take a peek inside with me!
Darren Littlejohn, standing on the shoulders of many giants both in the field of Buddhism and addiction recovery, has offered us The 12 Step Buddhist, a raw and visceral account of his attempts to integrate Buddhism into his own recovery. The 12 Step Buddhist stands as a street level, no-nonsense guide to bringing the wisdom of Buddhism into the everyday life of the recovering addict. Littlejohn eschews intellectualization and abstraction in favor of practicality, grit, and hard-won realization about what works and what doesn’t work in attempting to find real relief from what ails us. His excitement about the ways that Buddhism can turbo charge one’s recovery program is palpable.