What is Refuge Recovery?

Refuge Recovery is a practice, a process, a set of tools, a treatment, and a path to healing addiction and the suffering caused by addiction. The Buddha described the root cause of suffering as “uncontrollable thirst or repetitive craving.” This “thirst” tends to arise in relation to pleasure, but it may also arise as a craving for unpleasant experiences to go away, or as an addiction to people, places, things, or experiences. This is the same thirst of the alcoholic, the same craving as the addict, and the same attachment as the codependent. The Refuge Recovery program has adapted the core teachings of the Buddha as a treatment of addiction.

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How Does It Work?

Refuge Recovery follows the traditional Buddhist system of the Four Noble Truths, which begin with four actions:

  1. We take stock of all the suffering we have experienced and caused as addicts.
  2. We investigate the causes and conditions that lead to addiction and begin the process of letting go.
  3. We come to understand that recovery is possible and take refuge in the path that leads to the end of addiction.
  4. We engage in the process of the Eightfold Path that leads to recovery.