Brand New: The Power of Vow

For reviews, see the Media section of the site. The 12-Step Buddhist is also available on Powell's, Barnes and Noble, Snow Lion and other online resources.

Grab a copy for yourself and a family member, co-worker, sponsor, therapist or spiritual teacher. Anyone who knows an addict should read this book.


12-Step Buddhist GEAR

Tibetan Incense

This is where I get mine. For some reason just the scent of this amazing incense puts me right into a meditation space.

Fifteen Years Clean and Sober Today - 12/4/97


My sponsor told me that since my disease is progressive, my recovery needs to be progressive. I think we can practice the fundamentals without becoming fundamentalist.

Addiction and Impermanence

handprint in sand

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?



Maitripa College, Portland OR September, 2012


There Are No Gurus?


…if they see someone at a meeting sharing about their problems one day and on the meditation seat teaching Dharma the next they might not understand. This diverse application of principles and membership in different groups can leave some people feeling a lack of trust. They might say things like, “Who does this guy think he is?”, “He thinks he’s better than us, “Hey, that guy’s trying to make money off of 12-Stepping,” “I’m not going to yoga, he’s trying to start a cult,” and so on. This makes my situation somewhat complicated. While historically there have been many cults in the history of yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism and even in 12-Step, there is no Kool-Aid being served here.

Codependent Once More


Many times over the years I’ve seen one or another version of a common scenario. The addict, after plenty of struggle, finally does get some clean time. We’d expect that would make everyone in his life happy. It does and it doesn’t. With sobriety the mechanisms of relationships-individual, family, or workplace-shift. Things fall apart. It’s because everybody plays a role in the addict’s life. When the addicts stop actively participating in their addiction, the co-addict sometimes loses their place. The frame of reference changes. Things stop making sense. That’s because each player in the system has a role. The system is sick.