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Buddhism and the Twelve Steps

2/6 Update

Our next meeting will be Sunday, February 11, from 1:00 to 2:30. Please read the introduction to Part One and the Chapter - First Step. Look for the exciting things you want to share; the interesting ideas you want to discuss and the confusing parts you want to ask questions about. Underline, highlight and write in the margins. Make this book feel loved.


The Ecumenical Buddhist Society of Little Rock is hosting a weekly discussion series on Buddhism and the Twelve Steps beginning February 4th.  The meeting will be in the large hall from 1:00-2:30 on Sundays.    We will use the book One Breath at a Time: Buddhism And The Twelve Steps by Kevin Griffin to guide us.  Mr. Griffin is a Vipassana practitioner and his work synchronizes Buddhist teachings and the Twelve Steps quite well.  His approach works both as an introduction to Buddhist thinking for Twelve Steppers and as and introduction to the Twelve Steps for Buddhists.

A quote from the author.

“What makes Buddhism and the Twelve Steps so compatible? The Buddha said that the cause of suffering is desire, and the Twelve Steps try to heal people from desire gone mad: addiction. This connection is the gateway into integrating the two systems. Both ask you to look at the painful realities of life, to understand them, and to use this understanding as the foundation for developing peace, wisdom, faith, and compassion. Both systems culminate in an “awakening” or “enlightenment.”
(Excerpt From: Griffin, Kevin. “One Breath at a Time.” iBooks.)

The first meeting will be an introduction and overview of the book by Karen Wisdom and John Mize.  For the remaining sessions participants are asked to obtain the book and be ready to discuss the material in class.  The group will work at its own pace.

Table of Contents of One Breath At A Time.

Part One - Surrender

  • Step One: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol; that our lives had become unmanageable.”
  • Step Two: “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
  • Step Three: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Part Two - Investigation and Responsibility

  • Step Four: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
  • Step Five; “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
  • Step Six: “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
  • Step Seven: “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
  • Step Eight: “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
  • Step Nine: “Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

Part Three - Fulfillment

  • Step Ten: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
  • Step Eleven: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."
  • Step Twelve: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to other alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

For questions or to express your interest in attending, please contact Karen Wisdom at

Earlier Event: January 14
2018 Annual Membership Meeting