iOS app Android app

Kevin Griffin
Kevin Griffin is the author of One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps and A Burning Desire: Dharma God and the Path of Recovery. A longtime Buddhist practitioner and 12 Step participant, he is a leader in the mindful recovery movement and one of the founders of the Buddhist Recovery Network. Kevin teaches internationally in Buddhist centers, treatment centers, professional conferences, and academic settings. Visit his website.

Entries by Kevin Griffin

A Not-So-Mindful Retreat

(3) Comments | Posted November 5, 2013 | 3:31 PM

On my first Buddhist meditation retreat over Thanksgiving weekend, 1980, the teacher, a Buddhist monk, took away our car keys, watches, and jewelry at the beginning of the retreat. The idea was to keep us from running away, stop us from thinking about time, and make us let go of...

Read Post

Step 9 of Buddhist Addiction Recovery: The Freedom of Imperfection

(17) Comments | Posted September 23, 2011 | 4:01 PM

Step Nine: "Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others."

When I was first faced with working Step Nine, I thought it was all about the apologies and restitution that the Step suggested. Of course, those amends were significant; I'd...

Read Post

Recovery Through the Higher Power of Karma

(4) Comments | Posted July 7, 2011 | 10:09 PM

Step Six: "We're entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."
Step Seven: "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."

Steps Six and Seven can be another stumbling block for someone who doesn't believe in a monotheistic or Abrahamic God. If you don't think that some...

Read Post

Buddhism and Recovery: Anonymity as Spiritual Foundation

(8) Comments | Posted May 28, 2011 | 8:03 AM

"Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities."

The recent New York Times article about the 11th Tradition and anonymity stirred up a lot of controversy. But I think the 12th Tradition is ultimately more important.


Read Post

A Buddhist Approach to Recovery: Step Four -- Searching and Fearless

(15) Comments | Posted May 3, 2011 | 7:30 PM

Before I got sober I was incredibly defensive about my failings. One thing that was sure to trigger my rage was any negative comment about my personality or behavior. I remember having some terrible fights with my girlfriend in the year or so before I got sober. She was very...

Read Post

A Buddhist Approach To Recovery: Turning It Over

(106) Comments | Posted March 28, 2011 | 8:25 PM

A monthly exploration of addiction and recovery through the lens of Buddhism. Read about Step One and Step Two.

Step Three: Turning It Over

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood him."

"Turning our...

Read Post

One Blog at a Time: Karma and Recovery

(23) Comments | Posted February 22, 2011 | 9:00 PM

"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

When I first read the 12 Steps, I thought Step Two was saying, "If you just believe that God will fix you, the power of your faith will take care of everything." This was a very...

Read Post

One Blog at a Time: The First Step in Buddhism and Recovery Is Letting Go

(91) Comments | Posted January 31, 2011 | 10:08 PM

A monthly exploration of addiction and recovery through the lens of Buddhism.

Step One: Powerless

"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol [drugs, food, sex, etc.], that our lives had become unmanageable."

People often tell me that they have trouble with the word "powerless" in the first...

Read Post