BOOK REVIEW: The 12 Step Buddhist

The writing of Darren Littlejohn is both informative and instructive in this handy-dandy intro to Buddhism via the 12 steps. If you’re looking for an alternative path, this book can take you through the 12 Steps Buddhist-style. Read on for more reasons why you should buy this book!

minute read

The 12-Step Buddhist is NOT a light read.  In fact, it’s not a one-sitting read.  Instead, I find this book better digested over time.  Nonetheless, it is well written and comes highly recommended from me.


Daren Littlejohn combines autobiography and reference guide in this enlightened introduction to both Buddhism and the 12 steps.   I like the way that he personalizes concepts and offers suggestions throughout the book.  I also like the way that he simplifies Buddhist beliefs for an audience (addicts) who tend to complicate things.  His no-nonsense approach tells it like it is and challenges the reader to put into PRACTICE what can become highly theorized.

In fact,  The 12 Step-Buddhist passes my “direction dive” test…when I’m in need of some divine wisdom, I pick up a book, or dictionary or encyclopedia, open to a random page and read where my finger falls.  Everytime I’ve picked up the 12-Step Buddhist, I hear what I need to hear in the moment.  For whatever reason, Littlejohn’s writing has both the density and the intention that help me in moments of question.  It has become a fixture in my recovery library.

Here are some reasons why you might want to check it out:

1.  You are struggling with the concept of a “Higher Power” and looking for alternatives.

2.  You are interested in integrating Eastern spirituality to your recovert, but don’t know where to start.

3.  You would like to learn more about Buddhism.

4.  You are looking for practical suggestions for meditation.

5.  You are committed to the 12 steps and want to broaden that experience to help others .

The 12-Step Buddhist gets my highest accolades as a meaningful guide to recovery that fills a gap to alternative spirituality in addiction communities.  Thanks to Darren Littlejohn for his work.  It seems to have been a lifetime in the making!

Got any other suggestions for another good read?  Send me a lead…or send me a book!  I’ll start to regularly review books in the coming months and will give you my HONEST opinion.
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. You have wet my appetite for this book. I’ll have to check it out. It amazes me how so many people get interested in Eastern Religion because the Western Religion are not meeting the spiritual needs of people.

  2. This sounds like a very interesting and enlightening read. Many addicts struggle with the concept of a “higher power” when going through the 12-step approach. It should be interesting to see how this book addresses that issue.

  3. Most Important thing in Buddhism is put all these theories into pratice. Otherwise nobody will able to find the importance of Buddhism. If this book helps in that context it will be worthwhile.

  4. i am from Nepal and i am proud to say that i am a Nepali since Siddhartha Gautam or Gautam Buddha was born in Nepal.currently i am training in Oklahoma staying away from drugs and alcohol.

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