Mindfulness based Buddhist recovery

“Keep sitting - keep smiling”


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Wholehearted Recovery

Sample Topics of Contemplation

Topic Guidelines

As part of the ‘Sit & Share’ recovery meeting, the leader reads a single topic, no more than a short paragraph or two; which is then contemplated during a 5 or 10-minute silent meditation (see Meeting Format Options). 

There are no set books specifically relating to the Fifth Precept ‘Foundations of Recovery’ approach but the following books are highly recommended:


Alternatively, in place of - or as well as - a short topic for reflection, a group may choose to have a suitable reading, perhaps from any of the above books, or from any other appropriate source for discussion and sharing. The following book is used as a source of readings on Hungry Ghost Recovery Retreats and is full of thoughtful and thought provoking readings:

However, people can bring their own books to donate to your ‘topic basket’ or your ‘readings library’ which can be a stack of books or topics written on slips of paper.  We would prefer to stick to established Buddhist themes so that, over time, the group develops a common language relating to our practice. 

Possible sources of topics might be any simple, short paragraphs covering Foundations of Recovery; and Buddhist core principles or themes.

As well as considering the dark side – if any - of these topics and how they may have brought suffering into our lives; it is essential to also reflect on the bright aspects that have directly affected our recovery and our well-being.

We might also consider what is it that leads to further suffering and what is it that leads to the end of suffering... what is the wise choice, the kind choice; the choice of the heart?

A PDF file with Example Sit-and-Share topics can be downloaded

Please send suitable suggestions for contemplation to topics@5th-precept.org



Version 14022013 – inspired and adapted from Wat Thamkrabok Tudong Sajja contemplations;  Against-the-StreamRefuge Recovery Meeting format; Awakin Wednesday Gatherings at Awakin.org;  How to start a 12-step Sangha Meeting’ (Darren Littlejohn) and the Buddhist Recovery Network (Kevin Griffin).


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