Posts

Jean Tuller
Executive Director

Hi Sangha- this month we’re exploring the Precepts and what it looks like to take them to the streets. We are not monastics so understanding and living the Precepts as householders in recovery can be (at least for me and maybe for you) an ongoing process of discovery and returning again and again to the practice. Just like Tyler, I have “started and fucked up a thousand times.”  We are an abstinence-based program; what does that mean to each of us? How do you establish your bottom lines?  We’re also looking at recovery and yoga; many thanks to Sarit, one of the founders of Refuge Recovery, for sharing some of her story and insights with us. And, as always, special thanks to Bee for the Book of the Month.

Dan is continuing to take our website to the next level, organizing resources and enhancing our guided meditation offerings.  We get about a thousand downloads a day (wow!) and it’s exciting to have new voices coming forward to lead meditations. Many thanks to the folks who are sending us their meditations for posting and please keep ‘em coming.

We have 597 meetings today and our non-profit organization continues to be focused on being of service to sangha. Our infrastructure of regional and inter-sangha groups continues to form. We have now had two regional conferences- Southeast and, just a few weeks ago, New England- both were inspiring and demonstrated how connectivity builds and deepens recovery. Got a suggestion? Please feel free to send any and all ideas to me at jean@refugerecovery.org. Much appreciation to all of you. Hope to sit with you soon on the sangha world tour

The South Florida intersangha as been working together to provide opportunities to turn Dharma into practice, build a strong recovery community, and encourage and support the work in which each individual member is engaged.
  • During June, Daniel Fishburn from Asheville, NC joined members of our own community to explore specific key practices that, collectively, are parts of the Refuge Path to Recovery. Over 40 members from throughout Florida spent an afternoon exploring addiction, renunciation, inventory and understanding, meditation as investigative practice, mentorship and spiritual friendship, and personal ethical conduct and the precepts as learning opportunities.
  • Beginning in July, the intersangha is hosting a series focusing on how central finding our authentic voices is to our recovery process. The biweekly series will explore challenges faced by women, members from the LGBTQI community, those recovering from process addictions, persons with both mental and physical disabilities, persons of color, and cys-identified straight men in owning their individual voices during developmental periods, during addiction, and in recovery (both within and outside of Refuge). Our goal is to find ways to make our sangha truly safe and welcoming for each of us.
  • Throughout 2018 we have met weekly as a group to work through the inventory process, learning how to investigate these central concerns by supporting each other spiritually through the process. Although this meeting began in response to the scarcity of available mentors, it has shown the tremendous value of friendships based on spiritual connection, honesty, and compassionately confronting our truths with others!
  • We have started taking meetings into two residential treatment centers, and have begun conversations with a number of traditionally 12-step based programs on how we can augment options for their clients.
As a peer-led community, it has been exciting this year to expand upon the ways we are connecting and learning to support each other. We continue to talk about new ways to welcome and embrace those new to Refuge and recovery, increase connections to the large south Florida recovery industry, and focus as a group on being a safe, welcoming, and meaningful part of people’s recovery!
Jean Tuller
Executive Director

Hi Sangha- hope this Newsletter finds all of you well and, for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoying the summer. I’m pleased to report that our annual conference, referred to as RefCon, went beautifully this year.

Major props to our Planning Committee, which was composed of Regional Representatives from around the US and Canada, and local arrangements, managed beautifully by the Los Angeles team. They all did an incredible job, both in the planning stages and supporting the conference participants throughout the weekend. RefCon4 was a celebration of sangha, with speakers who helped start Refuge Recovery all those years ago as well as folks who are newer to our community. A whole lot of spirited folks in one place lifting the building off the ground. This was our first year live-streaming and I want to acknowledge one of our crew in Canberra, Australia for suggesting we give it a try. We’re posting a link to each session on the Refuge Recovery website so you can check them out if you were unable to attend or catch the live streams.

We workshopped the draft Regional Representative job description and infrastructure design at RefCon too and you can find those docs on our website as well. The Regional Reps are socializing those now with local sanghas and inter-sanghas so more to come on that front. We’re getting organized, people!

Our first Annual Report was summarized at RefCon and that is now posted on the website as well as our 2017 tax return. Many thanks to Board Treasurer Chris Kavanaugh for his work in getting those docs prepared. The Refuge Board of Directors is well aware that sorting through the various entities tagged as Refuge Recovery can be confusing. Just to be clear,

the Refuge Recovery non-profit organization is not affiliated with, or funded by, the Refuge Recovery Treatment Centers, sales of the book Refuge Recovery, retreats, or teacher and facilitator trainings. Our organization exists to support all of you who are attending Refuge Recovery meetings. We are solely funded by your generous donations.

Thanks so much for everything you do to make our turbulent world a refuge. I look forward to seeing you soon on the Sangha World Tour; next stop is Dover, NH for the first-ever Region IX Conference!

Molly R.
Refuge Recovery Oakland
Infrastructure is about creating pathways. As an organization, Refuge Recovery began with a bunch of meetings popping up all over. Those meetings connected into local areas, and intersanghas, which sometimes are in a single geographic area, and sometimes span several states.
This plan is to help construct clearer lines of communication between meetings within a defined region (such as Region 1: roughly Alaska down to the southern tip of California). This way when a new meeting is started, regional reps will know and then reach out to local intersanghas to make the connect. The intention of this is not to force collaboration, rather to make sure that if you want support, you know where to get it. None of this is carved in stone.
In the great tradition of punk touring routes; we’ve gotten by with the record stores we know, the folks we’ve met locally, folks we have met at the shows (Refcons 1, 2 and 3)…Now we need to make a map of how all of these things are connected so that any one of us can “go on tour” without missing a meeting. We don’t want to change your local structure. Not one iota. We just want to better connect you to each other in a meaningful way.

Click here to view the draft document

Jean Tuller
Executive Director

 

Hi Sangha- lots to report this month! The Regional Representatives have had their first meeting and divided their work into three parts- drafting the RR regional infrastructure, developing the draft job description for RR Regional Reps and assisting with planning the annual RR Conference, scheduled for June 8-10, 2018 in Los Angeles.

Props to Molly Rice and Gary Sanders for helping guide the infrastructure effort and Avi Asher for getting everyone’s job description ideas into a usable format. We’ll be looking at both of these at RefCon to get community input and move towards finalizing these documents. Thanks much to our great team of Reps for jumping right in and getting the work off to a solid start.

Speaking of RefCon4, it’s on, people!!! The planning crew is getting organized and it should be quite an event. As usual, we’ll have a combination of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha in more or less equal measure. Our logistics will be different this year as we won’t have the small rooms available to us, so we’ll have lots of cozy togetherness. The recent Southeast Regional Conference in Nashville was mostly held in one room and it seemed to work fine so no reason it can’t work in L.A.! We have reserved 20 beds at the Melrose Hostel to help make this affordable for everyone; you can find the hostel at https://melrosehostel.com/. Just make sure you let them know you’re a part of Refuge. Oh, and one other thing, some of the dharma will be coming by way of Josh Korda from Dharma Punx NYC. He’ll be giving a teaching on early attachment and addictive behaviors- using the Refuge tools to heal early emotional wounds.

We’re launching our new website soon and deep bows to Sanja Rogers, Dan Oliverio and Josh Reisner for their beautiful work. Registration for the Conference will happen on the new site (any day now!).

Finally, our theme this month is renunciation. In pondering that, I bumped across a forum in Lion’s Roar from April 2017 that I’m sharing here for folks who haven’t yet read it: https://www.lionsroar.com/forum-the-beauty-of-renunciation/. The introduction to the forum talks about renunciation as “the beautiful realization that you already have everything you need.” May all of us have everything we need as we turn away from greed, hatred and delusion.

Hope to sit with you soon on the Sangha World Tour,

Jean

In other news, we now have the full complement of Regional Representatives. Huge shout out to all of you who volunteered for this work and those of you who were driving organizing forces to pull this off by our target date of January 31, 2018. You made it happen!!!

Region I | Alaska, British Columbia, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington

Representatives Stacy Bierma, Jeff Camozzi, Molly Rice, Gary Sanders

Region II | Alberta, Manitoba, Montana, Saskatchewan, Wyoming

Representative Erin Gail

Region III | Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah

Representative Ray Rosales

Region IV | Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas

Representatives Cullen Roth and Rowland Shepard

Region V | Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota

Representative Jim Joedicke

Region VI | Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin

Representatives Marge Redmond, Avi Asher

Region VII | Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee

Representatives Taunia Kellerby, George Beecher, Beau Patrick Coulon

Region VIII | Labrador, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec

Representative Louise Goodman

Region IX | Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

Representative John Burns, Joel Osterman

Region X | Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia

Representative Bryon Kent, Matt Owen

Region XI | International

Representative Jerry Sulonen

Region XII | Online (e.g., In the Rooms, Women’s Recovery and Refuge Online)

Representatives Kris Roehling, Erin Dunn

Jean Tuller
Executive Director

Hello Sangha!

Our theme this month is metta- the gift of loving kindness and friendliness. Several months ago, we began taking on the issues of cultural competency in our organization. This reflected an urgent need to begin fostering more metta in our worldwide sangha to all members.

Thanks to skillful work by Jaisee Alexander from Charleston, SC and Chance Krempasky of Brooklyn, trans-phobic language in the Refuge Recovery book is being eliminated. The process of looking at the book, as well as concern for member safety in some of our communities, prompted the Board to collaborate with sangha members to develop a statement on diversity and inclusion. When we say “All are welcome,” we need to mean it. To that end, I am pleased to announce that, at its February Board of Directors meeting, the Board approved the statement that you will soon see on our website and social media. We still have a long way to go and discussion at the recent (and AMAZING!!!) Southeast Regional Conference about the work ahead was thoughtful and energizing.

Here’s the statement:

“As a peer-led recovery program using Buddhism as the path to freedom from all addictions, Refuge Recovery is a community that embraces all people regardless of age, race, class, culture, nationality, ethnic origin, religious/spiritual background, gender, gender identity, sexual/affectional orientation, marital status, family structure, social identity, physical ability or appearance, mental health, legal standing, and educational or socioeconomic status. As such, we strive to speak to each other in a compassionate way using wise communication and avoiding hate-speech, intimidation, and violence of any kind. If you seek refuge in our community, we hope you feel welcome and safe.”

Now on to RefCon4 planning and designing our regional infrastructure. Folks, we’ve got this!

Hope to sit with you soon on the Sangha World Tour,

Jean

Jean Tuller
Executive Director

Hello Sangha!

Our Newsletter this month is devoted to intentions. What are your intentions for the coming year? How will you make them happen? 2017 was a year of geo-political-social challenges (hmmm… maybe “nightmare” is a better description!).

How do we as a global sangha continue to carve out safe space? How do we hold a lantern for those seeking refuge? Recovery is always dynamic; the support we provide one another strengthens each of us and our sangha as a whole.

Speaking of strengthening, in June 2017, we had 260 listed meetings. We are now at 447 on our new and improved meeting listings web page. This is incredible growth and demonstrates how all of you have made Refuge Recovery a place to come home to. Also, we are on track to build our regional infrastructure, with the plan being that most of our regional representatives will be identified by January 31, 2018. I’m pleased to announce the following representatives, with more coming by the end of January:

Region II: (AB, MB, SK, WY, MT): Erin Gail

Region III: (UT, CO, NM, NV, AZ): Ray Rosales

Region V: (SD, ND, MN, MO, KS, NB, WV): Jim Joedicke

Region VII: (LA, AL FL, NC, SC, MS, TS, KY, GA): Taunia Kellerby, George Beecher, Beau Patrick Coulon

Region VIII: (ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL): Louise Goodman

Region IX: (ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI): John Burns and Joel Osterman

Region XI: (International): Jerry Sulonen

Region XII: (Online Meetings): Kris Roehling;

and Women’s Recovery and Refuge Online: Erin Dunn

Beginning in February, the Representatives will start designing and building the functions and structure of the regions as well as provide assistance in planning for our annual Conference, scheduled for June 8-10, 2018, in Los Angeles.

Please thank these folks for their service above and beyond the call!

And deep bows to all of you as we travel together into the coming year.

Hope to see you soon on the Sangha World Tour-

Jean

Region I

(AK, BC, CA, HI, ID, OR, WA)

Region I had a videoconference on November 5th and here’s what went down:
– Affirmed: prior vote that Zoom is an acceptable platform to elect a regional representative and that those RR members who attend are eligible to vote

– 11 Yes, 1 Abstention: regional reps will ideally have 2 years of renunciation. Open Issues: definition of renunciation (process addictions inclusive) and how to word renunciation (clean time, sobriety, following 5th precept, etc)

– Split vote, 1 abstention: regional reps will ideally have demonstrated active engagement with the RR program for a period of 1 year or 2 years. Open Issue: split vote, 6 votes for 2 years, 6 votes for 1 year, 1 abstention.

– 9 Yes, 1 abstention: regional reps will ideally have been actively engaged in RR related service and will demonstrate this with a written submittal for review prior to voting.

– 13 Yes, 1 abstention: regional reps will ideally have experience with leadership, organization, and communication.

– No vote, but general agreement: position requirements and expectations of regional representatives (time commitments, financial commitments) will be presented along with position qualifications.

Region IX

Our next meeting is scheduled for 11/19/2017 at 1 pm eastern. All members of Refuge Recovery within Region IX (the New England states) are welcome to attend and participate.

Call-in info for the meeting:
https://zoom.us/j/245824949

Or Telephone:
Dial:1 669 900 6833 (US Toll)
or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 245 824 949

Region XI

Our International Sangha has a newly elected representative, Jerry Sulonen from Lund, Sweden. Thank you, Jerry!!!

 

Send your Regional update to us at newsletter@refugerecovery.org!

Regional Development Announcements

Region I

Pacific Rim is in full swing designing their Regional Representative election process. Members convened using zoom conference calling and made great headway into discovering how to run a nominations and election process using virtual meeting space. Nomination announcements and criteria will be made available to the public through digital and analog means, and it’s the greatest hope you have interest in participating.
Please share this information with your groups!

Region I will be holding elections for our Regional Representatives in January, 2018 by video conference. Exact date is yet to be determined.

An audio recording of most of the meeting that was held on 9/30/17, as well as the meeting minutes, can be found here.

Our next video conference meeting to continue the discussion on how to elect our regional reps will be held @ 10 a.m-11:30 a.m. Pacific time on 11/5/2017. All members of Refuge Recovery within Region I (Alaska, British Columbia, California, Hawaii, Idaho,Oregon, Washington) are welcome to attend and participate.

Call-in info for the meeting:

https://zoom.us/j/452722548
Or Telephone:
Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll)
or +1 646 876 9923 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 452 722 548

International numbers available.

For questions regarding the upcoming service meetings, we can be reached at: refugerecoveryregionone@gmail.com

If you would like to stay informed on Region I news, please sign up for our mailing list: Subscribe to Region I News!

Region IX

(Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island)

Had a meeting of 9 people from throughout the region. Every state except CT and RI was represented. Most connected remotely by videoconference, but 4 individuals met in person in lovely Holyoke, MA. We agreed to continue to meet as a body with voluntary membership, accepting group reps as well as individuals interested in service. We agreed to continue to seek to have the most inclusive and democratic process we could manage.
We agreed to meet in October and further discuss group structure and electing regional reps. The doodle poll is still open for the next meeting date, and interested individuals are encouraged to connect through the Facebook page or the Google group. Follow this link to view Region IX’s Google Group

Interested in using zoom as a platform tool for your regional communications? Refuge Recovery HQ has graciously set up a paid account to be shared for free. For account setup and more info email: jeanrefugerecovery@yahoo.com

Is your commitee wishing to have a regional event listed in the RR newsletter? Send your info to:
newsletter@refugerecovery.org