The theme for this retreat is: The Power of Vow: Addict Promises vs. Buddhist Precepts based on my new book, The Power of Vow. We’ll have an optional vow taking ceremony at the last session of the retreat. Our weekend course will include 12-Step Yogi practice, Tysa Fennern will offer Shamanic Archetype Practices and Tarot, Mike Papas giving Zen instruction and sitting sessions. As always, we’ll have silent sitting and daily walking groups, group discussion and the famous Aspects of Self Dialog process. So many people locally and online are participating in the revolution of consciousness in recovery-within 12-Step communities and beyond. We have several groups nationwide. If you’d like to learn how to form groups in your area, this retreat is the time to do it.
For our second summer retreat we’ll be working with some basic Buddhist concepts as they relate to steps 10, 11 and 12 of the AA literature. These are commonly referred to as the “maintenance steps” to be practiced in daily life after working through Steps 1-9. In Buddhism the system of the paramitas (Sanskrit for perfections) are used as a path to enlightenment. The Perfections are
Generosity, Discipline, Patience , Diligence, Meditative concentration and Wisdom. Similar to the way Step Six in the AA 12×12 is discussed as an ideal, we practice the perfections. The difference between 12-Step and Buddhism is that Buddhism aims for total liberation from suffering. Rather than saying we’ll never be perfect so why try, the Dharma teaches us how to get free-total liberation, just like Buddha.