Our first meeting was held in June 2015. We have 8 meetings per week, as well as a monthly outdoor meeting, and one meeting we take into detox. We meet in 5 locations around Asheville, including the VA. We have mentors who have worked as is laid on in the book, but more people have worked through the inventories alongside others than formally through a mentor. Fostering fellowship has been a huge area of growth for us this year. Our intersangha engages in weekly activities which include hiking, yoga, service work, tea/coffee house gatherings, service work, and other social events.
We have a wide variety of meetings, including topic discussion, book study, fold-focused, and speaker meetings. There is ample opportunity for newcomers to become involved in service positions, social activities, and community outreach. We now offer free yoga specifically for the Refuge Recovery community. We have also recently hosted Noah Levine and Dave Smith for presentations in Asheville, held several half-day retreats, and will have our first daylong in May with Andrew Chapman. We are hoping to offer workshops with Deborah Eden Tull, who now calls Asheville home.
Our H&I Committee is relatively new, with plans to take meetings into treatment programs, therapeutic boarding schools, and the jails. All of these entities have been asking for us to bring in meetings for years. There is interest in starting RR affinity meetings for young people and the LGBTQA+ community.
The focus in these first years has been to create a safe space. Whether or not RR is your primary path, no matter your opinion about 12-Step recovery, how much/little you know about meditation, we want you to feel safe and at home to express yourself in a community of support. A member adds, “Walking into a meeting where people share their struggles and their solutions allows others to do the same. That the sangha is the one place we don’t have to know it all and that that allows others to not know it all either. And when challenged about something, we understand people are hurting and seek to understand our part and their perspective before we seek to make them wrong.”