Darren Littlejohn – From Hard Knocks to Compassionate Recovery

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Find Darren Littlejohn on the web:

Online: www.compassionaterecovery.net

Podcast: The 12-Step Buddhist Podcast

Facebook: Compassionate Recovery

Instagram: 12stepbuddhist

Twitter: @12stepbuddhist

The Book: The 12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction – Darren Littlejohn

Other information referenced:

Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist Path to Recovering from Addiction – Noah Levine 

Dharma Punx – Noah Levine 

Against the Stream: A Buddhist Manual for Spiritual Revolutionaries – Noah Levine

Darren’s teacher: Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Bestselling author Darren Littlejohn dropped out of school in the eighth grade in order to “pursue drugs and alcohol as a full-time endeavor.” After a long, rough road to sobriety, he earned a BA in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach, and has completed all coursework but the final theses for the MA Pre-Doctoral Research Program.

In his personal journey, he studied Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, later integrating all of his life experience, beliefs, credentials and true passion into his work. As part of the journey he founded “Compassionate Recovery” and wrote “The 12-Step Buddhist” as well as many other books. 

02:17 – Early onset learning and social challenges led to him to “actively teach his brain how to hijack the reward system”

06:15 – The lessons he learned in recovery were ‘mind blowing’ which led to his spiritual awakening

11:20 – Pushing his academic life aside he decided to move to Texas to pursue a career as a Jazz musician which led to his experimentation with psychedelics which led to relapse and depression

13:47 – He reluctantly rekindled his relationship with 12-step program with Noah Levine as his sponsor but he began to see the cracks in the program

16:05 – You gotta know about “The Funnel”

23:59 – This is why he wrote, “The 12-Step Buddhist” and why it wasn’t written to become a new program

33:45 – Does 12-step work for everybody?

36:13 – Lama Zopa Rinpoche is Darren’s current Buddhist teacher, he encouraged him to teach people about compassion which led to the formation of a new model for recovery

40:54 – There is a tremendous amount of new data out there and understanding of what trauma does to the brain that isn’t being utilized by the mainstream recovery community

45:17 – Compassionate Recovery is a new model of recovery that is based on principles and an understanding of what to do when someone is in acute psychic pain

52:59 – Darren describes what the new Compassionate Recovery meetings will look like and how they will be formed

57:36 – Darren shares some actionable tips for aspiring writers in the audience

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