Admirable Friends and Spiritual Fellowship
Joining a ‘recovery’ group of any type is an act of generosity and kindness both for yourself and for the other members of that group. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Buddhist community, a 12-Step Fellowship or a SMART group. As long as you can get and give support as appropriate.
If you decide to join – or even start – a Buddhist recovery group then you might also consider an occasional ‘retreat’ to refresh and energise your recovery and your practice.
In the ancient Buddhist texts, there is a conversation between the Buddha and his cousin and disciple Ānanda in which Ānanda enthusiastically declares,
"This is half of the spiritual life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.‘ The Buddha replies: 'Don't say that, Ānanda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the spiritual life."
Recovery groups are:
For mutual support
Buddhist-oriented retreats : Hungry Ghost Retreats (International)
Mindfulness based retreats : Nalagiri Mindfulness (Nalagiri House – Ireland)
Topics for contemplation & investigation : Spiritual Friendship (Kalyana-mittata)
Audio Link : Spiritual Friendship – a talk by Ajahn Succito (103:40)
Online talks and videos: for example:
Books, downloads and links : www.buddhistrecovery.org/resources.htm
Buddhist Retreat Centres in the UK and International
The Barn : (a gentle caring introduction to mindful living): www.sharphamtrust.org/barn/
Gaia House : (for more experienced meditators): www.gaiahouse.co.uk
London Insight : (short non-residential retreats): www.londoninsight.org
International Recovery Community – Thailand
New Life Foundation : www.newlifethaifoundation.com