Kevin Griffin: Powerlessness and the Truth of Suffering

Kevin Griffin is the cofounder of the Buddhist Recovery Network and the author of the Sounds True book Recovering Joy: A Mindful Life After Addiction. On Kevin’s audio program One Breath, Twelve Steps, he traces the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and how each corresponds with an aspect of Buddhist mindfulness practice. In this sharply observed excerpt, Kevin examines the first AA step of admitting powerlessness, and how this can relate to the sense of powerlessness experienced by meditators when they realize they can’t control their thoughts. Sounds True producer Mitchell Clute oversaw the recording of this program and was struck by “the deep connection [this teaching] makes between mindfulness and recovery—a synergy that creates powerful tools for changing our harmful behaviors.”

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