Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Guest Book Review

Zennies in Recovery:  Read Twelve and Zen ...

I have some Zen students who are in the 12-Step Program. I’ve recommended that they read Bill Krumbein’s book Twelve and Zen: Where the 12 Steps Meet Zen Koans, published last week.

Deb Saint told me about Krumbein’s work a few months ago, and I thought it sounded interesting. Krumbein has been in recovery for more than 25 years, and a Zen practitioner for more than 15. He is a student in the Pacific Zen Institute, perhaps the most radical, innovative and dynamic koan school at work today.

This book is a valuable addition to the very small number of contemporary Western books on Zen practice that are actually valuable. Although other books have been written about recovery from addiction from a Buddhist view, as far as I know this is the only one that addresses koan practice in such a way. This is a book that will be helpful to Zen students in recovery and the teachers they practice with - and, even if you don’t have an addiction to alcohol or drugs, it is a wise, pragmatic guide to finding freedom from destructive, self-centered habits through koan practice.

Barry Graham

Author, Journalist, Zen teacher

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