Fellowship (Kalyāna-mittatā)

Admirable Friends and Spiritual Fellowship 

In many discourses, the Buddha spoke of the benefits of spiritual friends and wise companions.  In one of these, the Meghiya Sutta, he speaks of one of these benefits: “hearing at will, easily and without difficulty, talk that is truly sobering and conducive to the opening of awareness.”

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
For sustenance
For community

Related resources:

Buddhist-oriented retreats :  Hungry Ghost Retreats (International)

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:

Insight Meditation Centre :  www.audiodharma.org
Dharma Seeds :  www.dharmaseed.org/talks/
Against the Stream :  www.againstthestream.org/audio/

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):   https://www.sharphamtrust.org/mindfulness-retreats/the-barn-retreat
Gaia House : (for more experienced meditators):  www.gaiahouse.co.uk
London Insight :  (short non-residential retreats):  www.londoninsight.org

Wat Thamkrabok Drug Treatment Center – Thailand
Official website :  www.wat-thamkrabok.org
Independent website :  Thamkrabok-Assistance-and-Recovery-Advice

International Recovery Community – Thailand
New Life Foundation :  www.newlifethaifoundation.com

The following online talks are based on the Foundations of Waking Up: