Thursday, February 19, 2009

Publisher's Weekly Reviews "The 12-Step Buddhist"

Darren Littlejohn has written a great book offering a Buddhist approach to addiction recovery, and it has now been given a good review in Publisher's Weekly, the bible of new publications for booksellers.
The 12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction

Darren Littlejohn. Atria/Beyond Words, $19 paper (320p)
ISBN 9781582702230

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. (Mar.)

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