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Gary Sanders recently moved to Portland, OR from the Los Angeles area, where he was the founder of SCV Mindfulness and led up to three weekly groups for over 5 years. He was empowered to lead Buddhist meditation and dharma groups by Noah Levine and Vinny Ferraro of Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society and also helped found Refuge Recovery, a Buddhist based recovery program for all addictions, which has now spread worldwide. After moving to Portland, Gary was asked to join the teaching staff at Portland Insight Meditation Community by Robert Beatty and the Teachers' Council. His wife and daughters continue to be his greatest teachers.
Gary exclusively used Kevin Griffin's book One Breath at Time, when he first got Sober, and today Refuge is the main recovery program he works.
“Recovery and gratitude seem to go hand in hand. In the heat of our addictions, whether substance or process, we all tend to really focus on the hardships of our lives, our trials and tribulations and get stuck in the old comparison game, comparing our insides to others outsides, a line heard frequently in 12 step meetings. That's probably a big reason why we drink, use or act out. We get stuck in the unhealthy mental loop of "poor me", "why me" or "what's wrong with me"...those "Greatest Hits of Addiction", right? We start to believe those stories, we start to program these minds to constantly get hyper-focused on the difficult and painful. And we suffer. So, with this practice of gratitude, we can begin to rewire the mind to appreciate what is good and true and wholesome. This isn't a make-believe practice. As the internet meme says "there's ALWAYS something to be grateful for". Let's dive into this more, practice with it and find some freedom.”