NDFW Resources

Books & Authors

I recommend having at least one copy in each residence and any central “library”, and I guess some over at outpatient? The first two books are foundational to an understanding of mindfulness and meditation. The books by Kevin Griffin, Darren Littlejohn, and Noah Levine are focused on mindfulness and the 12 Steps. They are good choices for individual study and study materials for the Mindful Recovery Groups. The last three titles would also be good for groups and individuals, but I’m not as familiar with those. Kevin’s second listed audio, Recovery One Breath at a Time I’d recommend for short audio exercises and meditations.
Clicking on the title links takes you to their pages on Amazon.com, a good vendor for discounted prices.

The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation by S. N. Goenka. This book explains the system of Vipassana and a number of points crucial to understanding how it works and the results to expect. Vipassana, “the development of insight,” embodies the essence of the teaching of the Buddha. As taught by S. N. Goenka, this path to self-awareness is extraordinary in its simplicity, its lack of dogma and, above all, its results. The Vipassana technique can be successfully applied by anyone. Based on the lectures and writings of S. N. Goenka–and prepared under his direct guidance–The Art of Living shows how this technique can be used to solve problems, develop unused potential, and lead a peaceful, productive life. It includes stories by S. N. Goenka, as well as answers to students’ questions, that convey a vivid sense of his teaching.

Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana. With over a quarter of a million copies sold, Mindfulness in Plain English is one of the most influential books in the burgeoning field of mindfulness and a timeless classic introduction to meditation. This is a book that people read, love, and share – a book that people talk about, write about, reflect on, and return to over and over again. Bhante Gunaratana is also the author of Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness, Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English, The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English, and his memoir Journey to Mindfulness.

Kevin Griffin:

One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps by Kevin Griffin. The author, a Buddhist meditation teacher and longtime Twelve Step practitioner, weaves his personal story of recovery with traditional Buddhist teachings. The book takes us on a journey through the Steps, examining critical Twelve Step ideas like Powerlessness, Higher Power, and Moral Inventory through the lens of Buddhism. One Breath at a Time presents potent ancient techniques for finding calm and clarity and offers a vision of a Higher Power not tied to traditional Western Judeo-Christian concepts. 

A Burning Desire: Dharma God and the Path of Recovery by Kevin Griffin.  A Burning Desire is a gift for those who struggle with the Twelve Step program’s focus on the need to surrender to a Higher Power. Taking a radical departure from traditional views of God, Western or Eastern, author Kevin Griffin neither accepts Christian beliefs in a Supreme Being nor Buddhist non-theism, but rather forges a refreshing, sensible, and accessible Middle Way. Griffin shows how the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha, can be understood as a Higher Power. Karma, mindfulness, impermanence, and the Eightfold Path itself are revealed as powerful forces that can be accessed through meditation and inquiry.

Buddhism and the Twelve Steps: A Recovery Workbook for Individuals and Groups by Kevin Griffin. Buddhism & The Twelve Steps is a workbook for people in recovery from addiction of any kind. The book is based on the 12 Steps, intertwining recovery ideas with the Buddhist teachings. Mindfulness is the fundamental tool offered for practice and is presented in the larger context of Buddhist teachings that include the elements of morality and wisdom. The material is practically oriented, and the voice is a personal. Buddhist teachings are presented in down-to-earth terms that make them accessible to the non-Buddhist reader.

Recovering Joy: A Mindful Life After Addiction by Kevin Griffin. Addiction recovery requires a serious commitment, yet that doesn’t mean it has to be a bleak, never-ending struggle. Recovering Joy offers a deeply insightful look at how we can cultivate positive mind states within the challenging context of addiction. Through reflections, self-inquiry, and mindfulness practices, Griffin reveals how we can better act in accordance with our core values, cultivate healthy and satisfying relationships, renew our sense of playfulness, and find the unexpected joys in the journey of recovery.

(Audio) One Breath, Twelve Steps: A Buddhist Path to Recovery from Addiction In this six-session audio course, Griffin shares personal insights from his own struggle with addiction and offers guided meditation practices to support each step of the recovery process. Listeners will discover universally accessible ways to relate to the idea of a Higher Power, how the wisdom from the Four Noble Truths and the concept of karma can be applied to AA’s life review, and much more.

(Audio) Recovery One Breath at a Time: Mindfulness Practices for Overcoming Addiction This beginner-friendly audio offers both guided meditations and on-the spot practices for dealing with cravings as they arise, working skillfully with physical and emotional strain, identifying and disarming the triggers that lead us back to addiction, and cultivating positive states of mind for long-term health. When we’re struggling with addiction, every clean breath is a victory. Recovery One Breath at a Time brings us essential mindfulness tools that can make the difference between suffering and liberation on this difficult journey to wholeness.

Kevin’s also on YouTube at: Kevin Griffin on YouTube.  Kevin also offers retreats at various locations. For more visit his website at www.KevinGriffin.net

Darren Littlejohn:

The 12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction by Darren Littlejohn. 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. Darren also offers audios on various recovery topics at: 12 Step Buddhist Blog

Noah Levine:

Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist Path to Recovering from Addiction by Noah Levine. While many desperately need the help of the 12-step recovery program, the traditional AA model’s focus on an external higher power can alienate people who don’t connect with some of its tenets. The author adapts the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths and Eight Fold Path into a systematic approach to recovery from addiction—an indispensable alternative to the 12-step program. Refuge Recovery is based on Buddhist principles, integrating scientific, non-theistic, and psychological insights. Viewing addiction as cravings in the mind and body, Levine shows how a path of meditative awareness can alleviate those desires and ease suffering. Refuge Recovery includes daily meditation practices, written investigations that explore the causes and conditions of our addictions, and advice and inspiration for finding or creating a community to help you heal and awaken.

Other authors:

Mindfulness and the 12 Steps: Living Recovery in the Present Moment by Therese Jacobs-Stewart. 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.

Enough!: A Buddhist Approach To Finding Release From Addictive Patterns by Chonyi Taylor. All of us are caught up in addictions—big or small. Enough! presents a practical path that releases us from the grip of negative habits and addictions that block a full and meaningful life. We can learn how to undo our habits and addictions, but to do this we have to first find their triggers. With the right techniques, we can disarm them and learn more effective ways for dealing with the pain that so often underlies our problem-causing behaviors. Presenting the essence of Buddhism without the jargon and fusing it with Western psychology, Chönyi Taylor engagingly combines practical exercises with meditations and stories and presents invaluable insights about how the mind works. Enough! is intended for anyone who is looking for a powerful and effective way out of addiction, regardless of religious or secular background, and is suitable for self-study or as part of a guided program.

Eight Step Recovery: Using the Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction by Valerie Mason-John. “This book provides a spiritual pathway to recovery for people from any faith tradition, as well as for those who are not religious, and for those who suffer from addiction as well as those who are simply aware of the suffering associated with the human condition. This is a book for everyone!”—Chris Cook, PhD, director of the Project for Spirituality, Theology & Health, Durham University, United Kingdom.  “Blending Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery with traditional Buddhist teachings and personal stories, the authors give us a wise and compassionate approach to recovery from the range of addictions. This comprehensive approach will be a valuable tool for addicts and addiction professionals alike.”—Kevin Griffin, author of One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps.

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I’ll stockpile some resources here for now, but they can wait until later.

Audios, Videos

An interesting 52 minute film about bringing meditation into a prison is “Doing Time, Doing Vipassana”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkxSyv5R1sg  For a description of the film, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doing_Time,_Doing_Vipassana The same Vipassana course the prisoners experienced is described in the following online video.

A 20 minute explanation of Vipassana meditation and related matters presented by S.N. Goenka. His centers offer a Free 10 Day Vipassana Meditation Course that I’d recommend for those who can do it. And meditators experiences who attended the course – 15 minutes.

Other Websites

Prime Time Is Now  A very interesting website. “We discuss here strictly the disease as it manifests in each of our own personal lives. The way our behavior is this day. The way we react or look at people, places and things. We talk only about looking inwardly, describing how self behaves in the day that we are in.” Their byline is “Alcoholism, Ego & Self”, and they go after that mission with a broad range of teachings. They include great AA talks, audios of their own speakers and retreats, as well as books and audio meditations by Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, Brother Lawrence, Emmet Fox, Don Miguel Ruiz, and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj… All materials are free to download.