The Twelve Steps as a Path to Enlightenment — How the Buddha Works the Steps

The Twelve Steps as a Path to Enlightenment — How the Buddha Works the Steps
Published: 2012
ISBN: 1477601430
Format: Paperback


Pledge to compose the work



  • Background
  • Overview
  • A twelve step guide for the buddhist
  • A world view for spiritual seekers that believe there is no god
  • A “lam rim” for westerners

Step one

  • What lies ahead
  • Our ambitious goal
  • Who is the buddha?
  • What is enlightenment?
  • The awakened state
  • Our first realization upon the path
  • Is it all really suffering?
  • Denial? Or ignorance?
  • What causes suffering?
  • Is our problem craving?
  • Completing step one

Step two

  • Our goals for step two
  • What are beliefs anyway?
  • Beliefs are different from truth
  • Can you imagine a better life?
  • A way to a better life
  • What the still suffering human needs to know
  • Who is in charge?
  • Karma —- the law of cause and effect
  • An easier softer explanation for cause and effect
  • Why use a karma model?
  • Completing step two

Step three

  • Where do we turn for refuge?
  • The buddha jewel
  • The sangha jewel
  • The dharma jewel
  • Lam rim — the steps on the path to enlightenment
  • Importance of a clear guide
  • The ultimate form of the three jewels
  • Completing step three

Step four

  • Karmic gardening
  • The inventory
  • Ten misdeeds
  • Reciprocals of the ten misdeeds: the ten virtues
  • The four powers: clearing old negative karma
  • Completing step four
  • Inventory questions

Step five

  • The exact nature of our actions
  • The possible consequences of our actions
  • The three poisons — the root of all self-defeating actions
  • Letting go of our burden
  • The four powers — destruction power
  • Completing step five

Step six

  • Being entirely ready
  • Going deeper
  • The four powers — restraint power
  • Correct world view
  • Gakja #1: permanence vs. Impermanence
  • Gakja #2: ownership/control
  • Gakja #3: chance and randomness
  • Gakja #4: inherent qualities
  • Gakja #5: absolute problem
  • Gakja #6: self-existence
  • The marriage of karma and emptiness
  • Avoiding the two extremes
  • Completing step six

Step seven

  • The four powers — restraint power
  • Completing step seven

Step eight

  • Include all sentient beings
  • Bodhichitta
  • Prerequisite for developing bodhichitta
  • Developing neutrality towards all others
  • Seven step method for generating bodhichitta
  • The four powers — the power of antidote
  • One possible antidote — the heart sutra
  • Completing step eight

Step nine

  • The way of the bodhisattva
  • Life as a spiritual warrior
  • The four powers — the power of antidote
  • Completing step nine

Step ten

  • Full awareness or mindfulness
  • The four forces or four powers
  • Practices that help develop awareness
  • The six perfections
  • The perfection of giving
  • The perfection of ethical living
  • The perfection of not getting angry
  • Perfection of joyful effort
  • The final two perfections
  • Completing step ten

Step eleven

  • The fifth perfection
  • The sixth perfection
  • Meditation practice
  • Contemplative meditation
  • Connecting to our intuitive center
  • …and the power to carry it out
  • Completing step eleven

Step twelve

  • The perfection of giving
  • Service — how it works
  • Completing step twelve
  • Summary of the twelve steps as a path to enlightenment


To the person that believes in god

Appendix 1 — ancient indian schools of buddhism

References and resources

About the author

The twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous

The twelve steps as a path to enlightenment


Selected excerpts:

Our Ambitious Goal
This seems like an incredible claim. Certainly, millions of people have defeated life-threatening addictions with the Twelve Steps. And many more have improved their lives dramatically with the application of the principles embodied in the steps. But to claim that one can defeat aging, sickness, depression and death with the Steps, certainly this is too much to believe! In fact, defeating death is beyond any sensible person’s wildest dreams. However, that is exactly what I am saying here. The key to what the Shakyamuni Buddha taught was that all negativity can be eliminated in its entirety, never to return. With the elimination of negativity, a heavenly state arises and negative events such as aging and death cease to occur. “Heaven” is not an eternal state that can only be reached after death, but is a state that can be achieved before death – if we are to believe the Buddha. The principle steps the Buddha taught to achieve this state free from suffering mirror the spiritual principles that are inherently part of the Twelve Steps.”

Karmic Gardening
A review of how we create our world will allow us to undertake the work of the Fourth Step with our purpose clearly in mind. The workings of karma are much too complex for me to know, but the model I like to use explains karma as follows: When we do or think anything, our mind witnesses this act and an impression is made in the mind. The capacity of the mind is infinite and everything we do could easily be recorded there. As a gardener, I like to think of these impressions as seeds.”

© Dorena Rode