How to Start a Refuge Recovery Meeting

Refuge Recovery is designed to be practiced in a community. Our logo comes from the three jewels or “Refuges” of Buddhism: the Buddha (teachings), Dharma (truth), and Sangha (community). Sangha is incredibly important for those going through addiction treatment for support, acknowledgment, and connection.

I need a meeting!

Refuge Recovery began in Los Angeles in 2014. Since then it has grown to approximately 250 meetings in over 17 countries! For an up-to-date list of Refuge Recovery meetings in your area click here.

What if the closest meeting too far away?

It may be time to start your own. It is a large time and energy commitment so we recommend that you find a few friends to help you get started.   Ask yourself if you are prepared to:

  • Make a commitment of at least six months?
  • Do you know of a location/site that is comfortable, safe and easy to find?
  • Are you willing to stick with the process of creating community even if takes patience to grow your attendance?
  • Are you ready to facilitate the first few meetings using the format listed in the Refuge Recovery book? The role of the facilitator is not to be a meditation teacher or authority, but instead a guide to the running of the meeting.

If the answer is YES, then please contact Refuge Recovery via this web form to be listed on the formal schedule of meetings.

What are meetings like?

Refuge Recovery meetings are often held in meditation centers, yoga studios, offices, libraries, community centers, churches, hospitals, treatment centers, back rooms of cafes and restaurants, among other locations. To get an idea of the structure of our meetings, here is a PDF download the Refuge Recovery Meeting format.

Are people expected to give Dana?

It’s not a tip, a collection plate or a large donation. Dana is a monetary offering, which is part of the Buddhist tradition of generosity. The funds are used to support the meeting (rent, coffee, copies), the sangha (community) and the Dharma. Refuge Recovery is a completely volunteer-run non-profit, and all proceeds go directly to helping increase access to this program around the world.

What is the difference between Refuge Recovery and Refuge Recovery Centers?

While the two organizations are based on the same philosophy of combining Buddhist ethics with psychology, they are in fact two separate entities that serve different communities. 

The Refuge Recovery community (refugerecovery.org) is a nonprofit organization created with the goal of building a comprehensive network of groups, meetings, and communities that will practice, educate, and provide Buddhist teachings and meditations for anyone seeking recovery from addiction.

Refuge Recovery Centers (refugerecoverycenters.com) is a privately held rehabilitation facility that provides detoxification, residential and intensive outpatient services. In addition, we have two transitional living residences located in Hollywood, CA.

Both the Refuge Recovery non-profit and Refuge Recovery Centers drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers are based on the book Refuge Recovery by Noah Levine. For more information on our levels of care and programs of treatment for addiction, alcoholism, and all forms of suffering, call 323-207-0276.

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