A Buddhist Path to Recovering from Addictions of All Kinds
By Kerrie Kennedy, Refuge Recovery Meeting Leader
Refuge Recovery is a mindfulness-based addiction recovery group for anyone struggling with addiction of any kind, whether it’s drugs or alcohol, or a process-based addiction like sex or eating. Four times a week, DGZ holds Refuge Recovery sessions.
We use Buddhist philosophy as the foundation of our recovery process. We start with the four noble truths and come to see how they relate to our lives and our addictions. We reflect on how attachment to pleasure, as well as aversion to pain and unpleasantness, has come to define our lives as addicts. We come to see clearly that we used our addictions to escape pain and chase pleasure, but that the end result is actually more suffering in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. We acknowledge and take stock of this suffering.
We then look to the eight-fold path to lead us to well-being and recovery. Our book, “Refuge Recovery” by Noah Levine (published in 2014), describes the eight paths as spokes on the wheel of our recovery, and each one is necessary to maintain balance. It is not presented as a linear progression through the paths. Instead, the eight paths are interwoven and interdependent.
Meditation is one of the primary tools we use in this process. Our guided meditations focus on forgiveness, compassion, metta, the four foundations of mindfulness, concentration, death, and Tonglen. Other tools we use include truth inventories, sangha, service, mentorship, amends-making, and meetings. Our meetings last an hour and consist of a guided meditation, a reading from the Refuge Recovery book, and sharing. We always dedicate the merits of our meetings to all suffering addicts, wishing that those who cling with fear will learn the freedom of letting go.
Detroit has one of the biggest Refuge Recovery communities in the country. Our local group is rapidly growing and we are always happy to see new faces in the circle. We encourage anyone in the DGZ community that struggles or has struggled with addiction in any form to join us on the path to recovery.
Start by coming to any meeting. There are eight meetings each week in the Detroit area. Four of them are held at DGZ Center:
- 8:15 pm, Tue
- noon, Wed
- 10 am, Sat
- 3 pm, Sun
Kerrie Kennedy recently attended the third annual Refuge Recovery conference at the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles.