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Buddhist Recovery Network book review


12 Step Audio Lectures

“12 Step Audio Lectures”

Judith Ragir, Zen Priest and Teacher
2006. (First published 2004)
Audio files.

School/perspective: Zen, Vipassana, Tibetan Buddhism and AA

Access this resource online

 


Written preface on the website from Judith Ragir:

“These lectures were recorded at Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in an effort to bring together 12-Step recovery work, Buddhism and meditation. My mission, as stated often in the lectures or at the beginning of the meeting is: (1) To help people understand how to meditate, encourage daily meditation and give support for sustaining a practice once established; (2) To help make the translation from a mainly Christian-based language in the 12-Steps to the non-theistic language of Buddhism. The main principle of Buddhism are interwoven and mirrored in the Steps. We can discern and explore where specific Buddhist practices fall into the organization of the Steps. For thirty years, I have practiced Buddhism and the 12-Steps, side-by-side, with profound results. Each community could learn from one another. From my point of view, American Buddhists can enrich their understanding of Sangha and the dismantling of destructive patterns from Steps 4 through 9 as practiced in Recovery. The Recovery community can learn much from mindfulness practice and meditation that is such a rich treasure in Buddhism. Combined, they provide an unshakeable transformative process for us all.”

 

Track list:

  • Series 1: Practicing the Specific Steps
    • Interrupting Patterns (38:46, 15 Jan 2004)
    • Kill the Buddha (44:32, 22 Jan 2004)
    • Spiritual Stability (1:01:31, 29 Jan 2004)
    • Step 2-3, Faith (1:06:39, 5 Feb 2004)
    • Third Step, Prayer (57:03, 12 Feb 2004)
    • Stop, Calm, Rest, Heal (1:02:45, 26 Feb 2004)
    • Dismantling Patterns (1:17:16, 4 Mar 2004)
    • Dismantling Patterns 2, Divine Abodes (1:14:07, 11 Mar 2004)
    • Amends and Forgiveness (1:08:35, 8 Apr 2004)
    • Step 5, Confession, Repentance (49:04, 25 Apr 2004)
    • Mindfulness (56:51, 6 May 2004)
  • Series 2: Practicing the Specific Steps
    • Step 1, Illusion of Control (53:04, 13 May 2004)
    • Step 2, Power greater and sanity (44:41, 27 May 2004)
    • Step 3, Let Go and Let God (1:20:47, 17 Jun 2004)
    • Step 4, Anger (1:17:06, 24 Jun 2004)
    • Step 4, Fear (1:15:47, 1 Jul 2004)
    • Divine Abodes (1:14:34, 15 Jul 2004)
    • Step 5, Confession (1:07:42, 22 Jul 2004)
    • Step 6, Dismantling Patterns (50:30, 29 Jul 2004)
    • Step 6 and 7, Willingness and Grace (50:33, 26 Aug 2004)
    • Step 7 and 8, Forgiveness (1:13:17, 2 Sep 2004)
    • Step 8 and 9 Forgiveness II (1:17:38, 9 Sep 2004)
    • Don’t Talking of Others Faults (46:12, 16 Sep 2004)
    • Amends, Formula for Regret (45:12, 30 Sep 2004)
    • Step 9, Promises (47:46, 7 Oct 2004)
    • Step 10, Mindfulness (45:53, 14 Oct 2004)
    • Step 11, 5th Sense (45:43, 21 Oct 2004)
    • Step 11, Prayer, Call and Response (55:50, 28 Oct 2004)
    • Step 11, Relief of the Bondage of Self (51:33, 4 Nov 2004)
    • Step 12, Bodhisattva Vow (48:08, 11 Nov 2004)
    • Joys and Problems of Step 12 Services (52:33, 18 Nov 2004)
  • Series 3: Practicing with Difficulties and Tonglen
    • Transforming Difficulties (34:18, 2 Dec 2004)
    • Transforming Difficulties into the Path (46:13, 16 Dec 2004)
    • Learning Tonglen (1:07:07, 6 Jan 2005)
    • Tonglen Instructions (20:14, 13 Jan 2005)
    • Tonglen Meditations (1:11:44, 20 Jan 2005)
    • Continuing Q and A about Tonglen (1:20:51, 27 Jan 2005)
  • Series 4: Practicing the Specific Steps
    • Serenity and Mindfulness (45:12, 17 Feb 2005)
    • Step 1, Big mind, Small mind (44:44, 3 Mar 2005)
    • Step 2, Reliance not Defiance (48:09, 24 Mar 2005)
    • Step 3, A Hole in the Donut, Letting Go (47:23, 14 Apr 2005)
    • Step 5, Reliance, Regret, Change (48:50, 12 May 2005)
    • Step 4, Anger #1 (48:36, 19 May 2005)
    • Step 4, Anger #2 (47:24, 26 May 2005)
    • Step 4, Sex (55:34, 2 Jun 2005)
    • Step 4, Money (50:00, 30 Jun 2005)
    • Step 5, Regret and Community (47:13, 7 Jul 2005)
    • Step 6-7 Grace (50:52, 14 Jul 2005)
    • Japan Trip (52:11, 1 Sep 2005)
    • Steps 4-7 Dismantling Patterns (46:46, 8 Sep 2005)
    • One day at a time (50:14, 22 Sep 2005)
    • Do the next appropriate action (47:05, 29 Sep 2005)
    • 12 Step Retreat, Q&A on meditation (38:22, 5 Nov 2005)
    • 12 Step Retreat, Presence (27:34, 5 Nov 2005)
    • Step 8 Forgiveness (1:18:50, 10 Nov 2005)
    • Step 9, amends, right speech & precepts (40:48, 1 Dec 2005)
    • Step 10, “Don’t be hatin’” (44:21, 12 Jan 2006)
    • Step 10, Anger transformation and meditation (1:17:30, 2 Feb 2006)
    • Step 10, Precepts and right speech (47:52, 9 Feb 2006)
    • Step 11, Thy will not my will be done (translated) (46:13, 23 Feb 2006)
    • Step 12, Selfless Service (47:35, 23 March 2006)
    • Step 11, The Energy of Prayer (38:51, 25 May 2006)

 

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Selected excerpts:

“During the course of my recovery I’ve done a lot of co-dependency work, I’ve done a lot of abuse, sexual and emotional abuse work, I kind of have done the gamut of program things. I [met] Katagiri Roshi in 1973, so Zen and Buddhist practice has been part of my life through the whole time that I’ve been working in recovery. So I feel like I really worked very hard to combine the two transformative spiritual paths. Both paths are about transforming your life, and they work really well together. I think if you have the encouragement to work them together, which is what I hope to share, that it’s possible to work them together, and it’s very fruitful to work them together. When I started as a Zen person, you know there’s a lot of different types of Buddhism right, Zen, and Tibetan and Theravadan Vipassana are the main ones that are in America right now, and Zen is a wonderful tradition, it’s my main tradition, but there wasn’t much emotional practices for me in Zen. Zen kind of sits you in the absolute, and you just have to fend for yourself. And the way I fended for myself was by doing the Steps. I got my plug-in about changing my patterns through the Steps, and I deepened my 12 Step life through meditation practice.” (Lecture 1, at around 1:00)

“...Our first thing is to blame others, but actually, when I investigate it, there is a pattern in me that got hooked, and I’m just running the pattern. And in order to be liberated or free, we have to understand our patterning, and we have to not hook them. Learning how not…. And I’m going to talk a lot about this as we go through our time together. Learning to identify patterns, and learning how to strengthen your mind so you don’t pick up the hook when the pattern goes by. You can just let the patterning go by and you can stay in the present moment.” (Lecture 1, at around 24:00)

© 2004 Judith Ragir

 

 


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Reviews posted:

Paul -

Byakuren (White Lotus) Judith Ragir helped to found the Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul and is well known in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. One of the interesting things about her is that she draws on a wide repertoire of practices from different Buddhist traditions. I haven’t listened to all these audio files, as there are 62 talks (as at November 2006) averaging around 50 minutes in length (the range is from 20:14 mins to 1:20:51 – though not all of this is formal lecturing, it also includes guided meditations). She generates warmth and humour, and there are some really fun and humorous episodes (listen to the ‘Sex’ download for example!). They are less structured and focused than the Santikaro lectures, but they do have a great deal more personal disclosure. She has been involved in Buddhism since 1973 and started practicing the Twelve Steps in 1977, when she came into the rooms of AA with multiple addictions. One of her key themes is understanding and addressing habitual patterns (see the second transcription above). In short, these audio downloads are more diffuse than Santikaro’s but there is more drawing from her own life and recovery story. (I love her laughter, and there is a lot of laughter.)


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