Buddhist Recovery Network - Board Members

BRN on the Web


Board Members

Advisory Council

In Memoriam




Board Members:


Silasiri - President / Interim Treasurer

Silasiri engaged with the Buddhist Recovery Network in early 2018 as it launched its maiden year of Academy talks, and greatly enjoyed co-hosting this monthly program through 2021. By way of meditation, Dharma study and a beautiful and supportive Sangha, she moved into recovery from childhood trauma, substance abuse, and self-loathing, and continues to deepen her understanding of compassionate healing as taught by the Buddha and shared by the recovery community. A long-time peace and environmental activist and animal lover, Silasiri lives in New Orleans, LA, and was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Movement in May 2021.  She's an accounting manager for nonprofits, and currently serves as the BRN's Board President and Interim Treasurer. She supports Dharma study, anti-racism work, and Eco-Sattva training within her Sangha and in the community at large, and embraces the dana economy for all the freely given resources that it circulates among us.



Vanessa Wang

Vanessa Wang - Vice President

Vanessa Wang is currently a Clinical Psychology PhD student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her research focus is on the intersectionality of Buddhist psychology and Western psychology. She brings her passion of advocating for diversity, inclusivity, equity, accessibility, and social justice into both her clinical work and research. Among these, decolonizing Western Dharma is an issue that is close to her heart. Vanessa earned a master’s in Religious Studies with a focus on Buddhism at University of the West in Los Angeles. She gained passion in learning about Buddhism and its liberating effects of mental struggles when she was studying at a forest monastery in Taipei, Taiwan about 10 years ago. Vanessa is also in recovery from substances, addictive behaviors, depression, and trauma. She is involved in both Buddhist Recovery Network and Recovery Dharma Global. Vanessa is also a spoken word poet, plant lover, and boba fanatic.


Calico Cook

Calico Cook - Secretary / Webmaster

Calico has been with the BRN board since 2014 and is one of the co-founders of NWBR (Northwest Buddhist Recovery) He has a passion for communication and helping non-profits thrive online. He has been a software developer for over 25 years and is also a father, artist, musician, waterman, and maker. His introduction to buddhist practice was with Buddhist Recovery, with this practice and within these meetings he found the needed recovery support and spiritual community he needed to thrive versus just survive.


Susanna Ahvalo

Susanna Ahvalo

Susanna lives in southern Finland where she facilitates both Eight Step Recovery and Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery meetings. She also brings mindfulness and positive psychology the students and teachers and finish schools as a teacher and as a positive psychology coach.

Susanna is a Buddhist training for ordination within the Triratna Buddhist Center. She has been in recovery for quite some time and is happy to have found the Buddhist recovery which in her experience leads to genuine emotional sobriety. As a member of BRN she has a possibility to serve the international Buddhist recovery community. 


Stu Jenkins

Stu Jenkins

Stu Jenkins is a member of the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, which he considers his spiritual home.  He currently holds space in several Eight Step Recovery meetings.  


Vince Cullen

Vince Cullen

Having drunk alcoholically from the age of 14 until 39, Vince Cullen sat in his kitchen and poured a glass of lager. He made a promise to himself that this would be his last drink… ever. That was 25-years ago. Since then, he has been associated with Wat Thamkrabok, the famous detox monastery in Thailand and Buddhist-oriented drug and alcohol recovery.

Vince founded and has facilitated Fifth Precept Sangha meditation-for-awakening Sit-and-Share meetings in England, Scotland, Ireland, India, Nepal, Thailand and the USA as part of his ongoing teaching of Hungry Ghost Retreats. He is a board member of the Buddhist Recovery Network and a keynote speaker at Buddhist Recovery Summits.

Vince has completed both the Committed Dharma Practitioner and Advanced Practitioner programmes offered by Gaia House in England. Vince has completed the Mindfulness Teachers Development Programme offered by Bodhi College in Switzerland and the UK. Vince has twice taken temporary ordination in the unique Buddhist tradition practised at Wat Thamkrabok monastery in Thailand.  He has previously been a Buddhist Prison Chaplain in both male and female prisons in the UK. In 2022, Vince became a regular teacher for the Mindful Recovery Foundation.



Shawna Adkins

Shawna Adkins

Shawna is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker supporting adults along their wellness and recovery journeys. She believes that through warmth, lightness and respect, she can help others reconnect to their Buddha Nature as they (re)discover a path to healing, self-care, and deeper self-knowledge.  

Shawna currently lives in Oakland, California with her husband and three children. She holds space in several Eight Step Recovery meetings and also enjoys dancing, DIY projects, learning random facts, and gardening.



  Copyright © 2008-2023 Buddhist Recovery Network


Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.