There is life without alcohol and other drugs - a life free from shame, free from blame and free from guilt – a life free from craving, free from aversion and free from confusion.
Everyday Nibbana - every day.
[Vince Cullen - interview at New Life Foundation, Chiang Rai, Thailand]
The Way to End Suffering
“The search for a spiritual path is born out of suffering. It does not start with lights and ecstasy, but with the hard facts of pain, disappointment, and confusion. However, for suffering to give birth to a genuine spiritual search, it must amount to more than something passively received from without. It has to trigger an inner realisation, a perception which pierces through the facile complacency of our usual encounter with the world to glimpse the insecurity perpetually gaping underfoot. When this insight dawns, even if only momentarily, it can precipitate a profound personal crisis…
…No longer can we continue to drift complacently through life, driven blindly by our hunger for sense pleasures and by the pressure of prevailing social norms. A deeper reality beckons us; we have heard the call of a more stable, more authentic happiness, and until we arrive at our destination we cannot rest content.”
Mindful recovery retreats are offered as an opportunity to experience a wholly Buddhist approach to recovery from all forms of addiction. Retreats are open to those new to recovery as a support to their ongoing abstinence.
Those who have been in recovery for a longer time - perhaps 12-step, SMART or otherwise - are also very welcome to discover an alternative and complementary approach to recovery.
from The Buddhist Six-worlds model of consciousness and reality. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 28, 155-166 (1996)
All retreats vary in their content and focus but they generally make use of a modern depiction of the Buddhist Six Realms of Existence as a model for addiction and recovery. The ancient traditional principles and practices of of Sajja (seeing the truth of our addiction & our commitment to change) and Sila (the Buddha's original harm reduction & relapse prevention programme) are presented and explored as foundations of a Buddhist approach to recovery.
Each retreat will normally include periods of sitting, standing and walking meditation.
The essential practises of Loving-kindness and Forgiveness - for healing our hearts and minds in recovery - are central to recovery practice and are woven into our daily schedule.
It is important to note that you do not have to be a Buddhist to practice Sajja, Sila, meditation or mindfulness. Recovering people of all faiths and none are welcome on these retreats.
For the period of all retreats, retreatants are required to commit to Sila (Precepts):
To refrain from harming any living being
To refrain from taking what is not offered
To refrain from sexual and sensual misconduct
To refrain from false speech (including idle gossip, harsh and divisive speech)
To refrain from taking substances which disturb the balance of the mind (and may lead me into committing any of the above).
Dana : The retreat teachings are offered in accordance with the Buddhist tradition of Dana (the practice and virtue of generosity) where the retreatant is invited to contribute financially to the teachings and the mentoring based on their individual income and the value that they place on what has been offered. The livelihood of the teacher is - in part - dependent on the generosity of Dana. There will be more details of this on the retreat.
To ensure that any retreat is right for you, please read all the information provided carefully. Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.