Dharma Wheel symbol Buddha and Bill
The Dharma &
The Twelve Steps
gold pyramid in gold circle


This site explores the common spiritual ground of Buddhist paths and the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

It is not my intention to convert anyone to Buddhism here. My primary intention is to show that the 12-Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous can be worked by those who practice Buddhism as well as it can be by those, such as Christians, who have theistic beliefs.

When I attended my first AA meeting in May of 2006, I already had over one month of sobriety behind me. Near the end of March that year, I found that an infection in my right big toe had reached the bone. My toe had to be amputated. Following the amputation, blood and urine tests revealed that I had diabetes. That stopped me from drinking alcohol. I had been drinking alcohol, usually in the form of beer, during the evenings of most days of the week for over thirty years or so. I had tried to quit the habit many times on my own. The longest period in which I had gone dry was about five months.

After I went home from the hospital, I couldn't get around without crutches. I lived alone. I spent most of the next two weeks in my bed. Because of the diabetes, I began restricting the amount of carbohydrates and fat in my diet and the total amount of food that I ate during each meal. And I quit drinking alcohol entirely. I was feeling more anxiety than before, but I could really see that alcohol had been killing me. It had probably brought on the diabetes, and if I continued to drink while diabetic I would continue to lose body parts—and finally my life.

I realize now that if I had not become fully involved with the AA and the 12-Step Program, I would probably have fell back into drinking after about six months even though it would have been a slow form of suicide.

When I first started to become involved with AA and the 12 Steps, it seemed that I would have to abandon some of my Buddhist beliefs in order to make it work. I was very much in earnest about the AA and the 12 Step Program (as I still am). I enthusiastically attended at least one meeting per day. But as I learned more about AA and the 12 Steps, I began to have a more profound regard and understanding of the Dharma.

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