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Recovery Dharma Circle Updates

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Outreach Circle

Since our last Outreach Circle check-in we have had a lot of interest, expertise, and willingness to contribute to the conversation. We have added 30+ new members to the Slack channel, including treatment facility professionals. There have been contributions to meditations, refined meeting scripts, and insightful discussions on treatment facility approaches, and we have been field testing the meeting notebook with these contributions.

There is a desire to differentiate ourselves from 12-step terminology so the discussion has revealed that we are not comfortable with the name Hospitals and Institutions (H&I). The discussion keeps coming back to the term Outreach Treatment. Within the Circle, sub-groups could form that focus on both professional and public outreach.

Future outreach treatment items that we are discussing:

  1. Facilitator training – if and how to conduct formal “training” or co-facilitation (or both).
  2. Inpatient Recovery Dharma (RD) presentations.
  3. Treatment professional RD presentations.
  4. Family component to Recovery Dharma (similar to Al-Anon)

Finally, we want to make sure that all of what we are working on can be shared with the larger community for wise intention and wise speech as it reflects Recovery Dharma’s core intentions and values. A lot of people have contributed to this circle and deserve much gratitude.

Circle Coordinator: Brent Tryon, stirfryit2002@yahoo.com

Literature Circle

The Literature Circle has been working on reviewing a lot of new material including a meeting packet for institutions and beginners by the Outreach Circle, new Four Foundations meditations and a meditation on Impermanence, and a professionally produced audiobook of the Recovery Dharma book to be released on Audible. The Circle will be meeting in early 2020 to discuss planning for the first quarter of the year, and we always welcome new members!

Circle Coordinator: Dirk Wethington, dwethington@recoverydharma.org

Community Wisdom Circle

The Community Wisdom Circle is a new circle whose goal is to create platforms for wisdom-sharing among community members, as well as developing and distributing resources that foster personal and community growth.

Our first project was an open community Zoom call about “How to start a Recovery Dharma Meeting” on Dec 10. We invited both those with experience starting meetings and those seeking guidance to join us and share their wisdom and questions. The call was a big success with many participants, and the resulting FAQ will be shared as soon as possible. To watch the recording of this call, click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBtS1Dl__Bo

You can contact the Community Wisdom circle with any questions or ideas for future calls at rdcommunitywisdom@gmail.com

Circle coordinator: Critter Spinneret, critter@recoverydharma.org

Inclusion Circle

The Inclusion Circle is continuing its work reviewing and providing feedback on new and existing RD materials on how they can be more inclusive and accessible to diverse audiences. We’ve also begun work on FAQs and pamphlets about diversity and safety in our sanghas. We continue to seek diverse collaborators representing various identities to join our circle and help cover our blind spots. Contact us at rdinclusioncircle@gmail.com.

Circle coordinator: Critter Spinneret, critter@recoverydharma.org

Wise Friendship Circle

The Wise Friendships Circle has been actively working on a guide that describes how to build a strong Buddhist-inspired recovery support system using the Wise Friendship concept. The guide offers suggestions for different kinds of support in our community ranging within peer-to-peer and peer-to-group methods. We also provide best practices for those seeking support and those offering support. We brought this document to the community for feedback on a Zoom call on January 8, 2020, which the Circle is incorporating for the community. The recording of this call will be made available soon.

Circle coordinator: Paul Acciavatti, paul@recoverydharma.org

Core Intentions

The Core Intentions Circle has been hard at work incorporating the feedback we received during our October and November community meetings.  We held another set of community meetings in the first week of December to review our second released draft. The announcement which includes the updated draft of the Core Intentions.

Circle coordinator: Gary Matulis, garymatulis@recoverydharma.org

Structure Development

The Structure Development Circle recently held its first meeting. The purpose of the circle is to define and document structures for Recovery Dharma community support at the global, regional, and intersangha levels.  In cases where these structures already exist, we’ll reach out to those involved and document common practices that have worked. More details on the circle can be found in our announcement.

Circle coordinator: Gary Matulis, garymatulis@recoverydharma.org

Sangha Support

The Sangha Support Circle was originally formed during the origination of Recovery Dharma by a group of former Refuge Recovery Regional Representatives with the intention to offer support and guidance to our Recovery Dharma Sanghas.  Since that time, Sangha Support Circle volunteers have worked to provide outreach to support local groups and create systems for organizing data related to meetings, contact persons and community needs.

The Sangha Support Circle has experienced a degree of “burnout” and decline in membership, and we were planning to open the Circle to new members in an effort to better serve our growing community.  In light of the newly formed Structure Development Circle, and based on general consensus of our members, we decided to disband the Sangha Support Circle and offer any organizational systems and data over to the Structure Development Circle to use as they see fit.  We trust in the peer-led and grassroots structure of our organization, and in the members of our communities to guide us in their needs. Many of us committed to continuing the actual outreach and community-building we were already working on outside the structure of the SSC, and are eager to re-join whatever new structures come into being through the Structure Development Circle. 

We appreciate the opportunities we’ve had to connect with each other, and with members of Recovery Dharma around the world, and we will continue to be of service to our communities.

Website Team

The Website Team has been working hard to ensure that our website is stable and a source of support to our community. We were hacked repeatedly a few weeks ago, which prompted us to tighten our security features. Web Team members worked tirelessly to get the site back up and running and, fortunately, no permanent damage was done. Over the next several months, the Team will be focused on refreshing the website to give it a unique look and feel. Our website was originally developed during a very short timeline and we now have the opportunity to build a site that is specific to our community’s needs. Our goal is to make the website a rich source of information and connection for all who are interested in following the Recovery Dharma path. 

Merchandise Circle

The Merchandise Circle was formed at the end of 2019 to support and coordinate efforts to market Recovery Dharma swag. It will formally kick off in early 2020, so keep an eye out for tee shirts and more!

This article is featured in the Winter 2020 Newsletter.

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