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Buddhist Recovery Network - 2017 Summit - Program

About the Summit

Summit Program


How you can help!

Summit Program


5:30 Conference opens with opening Blessing by Vince Cullen (59 min)
6:00 Dinner and food blessing
7:00 Introductions by George Drafan and George Johns (G2)
Opening and chant by Vimilasara
8:00 “Open source” exercise:
Discussion topics identified by participants on the opening evening:
  • What do sponsorship and mentorship look like in Buddhist Recovery?
  • How does Buddhist Recovery intersect with 12 Step?
  • Responding to mental illness and spiritual emergencies in recovery programs
  • Comparing the main characteristics of different Buddhist Recovery models
  • The importance of boundaries in recovery: What is the difference between a bodhisattva and a codependent person?
  • How Buddhist Recovery relates to engaged Buddhism and social justice
  • Ways we can continue to communicate and work together after the Summit
  • How recovery is affected by trauma and stress
  • Diversity in sangha: people of color, LGBTQ, Christian
  • How Buddhist Recovery groups relate to other Buddhist communities?
  • Whether mindfulness-based recovery is Buddhist, or something entirely secular


7:00 Silent Meditation  
  • Sit and Share - led by Judith
  • Noble Steps - led by George John
  • 8 Steps - led by Karen Foley
  • Refuge Recovery
10:00 PANEL
The Intersection of 12-Step and Buddhist Recovery. (1hr 4min)

Chaired by Kevin Griffin.
Panelists: Dori Langevin, Gary Sanders, Barbara West, Kristi Bates
11:15 Small Group Discussions
Facilitated by George D, George J, Vimalasara (Valerie) Mason-John, Debra. Each breakout group takes notes so that we can hang them on the wall in the plenary session.
  • How does Buddhist Recovery intersect with the Twelve-Step model?
  • What are pros and cons of facilitated and peer-led recovery groups?
  • What does sponsorship or mentorship look like in the movement?
  • What do we have to learn from the 12-step tradition?
12:15 Small Group Feedback (20 minutes)

Facilitated by Vimalasara (Valerie) Mason-John and George Draffan
1:00 LUNCH
2:30 PANEL
What Are The Defining Characteristics of Buddhist Recovery? (1hr 30min)

Chaired by Judith Gordon.
Panelists Kevin Griffin, Vince Cullen, Noah Levine, Vimalasara (Valerie) Mason-John
Individual Panelists
8pm Talent show!


7:00 Silent Meditation
  • Sit and Share - led by Vince
  • Noble Steps - led by George John
  • 8 Steps - led by Vimalasara (Valerie) Mason-John
  • Refuge Recovery
  • Mindful recovery - led by Calico
10:00 BRN meeting (40 minutes)

Chaired by Paul Saintilan, co-founder and first President of the Buddhist Recovery Network (BRN)
Meeting about the future of BRN and it’s plans for 2018, a call for regionalization and forming of committees.
12:00 CLOSING Feedback from participants
  • More silence and sitting meditation
  • Schedule and provide a space for movement (yoga, qigong)
  • Less top-down design of the topics; make advance call for presentations
  • More panels
  • Shorter panels
  • More materials
  • More breaks
  • More diversity
  • Longer conference
  • Shorter, just one day
  • Have a bigger conference
  • Schedule it farther in advance
  • Alternate annually between conference and retreat

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