Recovery is Possible

The English words seen below can also be found in the book Recovery Dharma under “Recovery is Possible,” pages 68-72.

The Pali words listed in the toggle buttons are from the Glossary on page 103.

Recovery Dharma is founded on, and inspired by, Buddhism that originated in India and later on flourished in other regions of Asia (e.g., South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia). We deeply appreciate the Buddhist heritage that was protected and freely offered by the ancestors of these cultures.

“In the pages of this book is a path, a set of principles and practices, that can lead to the end of our suffering and see us through the damage that we piled onto ourselves through our addictions.”
Page 68, Recovery Dharma


We can check in with our sangha—our wise friends—for added perspective and compassionate support.


There is no magic bullet, no single action or practice that will end suffering.


(Pali; anitya in Sanskrit) the belief that all things, including the self, are impermanent and constantly changing: the first of the three basic characteristics of existence.


(Pāli and Sanskrit): a personal title, meaning “the awakened one” or “the enlightened one;” most commonly used for Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

Ethical Action

We can begin to choose more appropriate actions and responses to our experience, and it is in this choice that we find freedom and relief from suffering.


An expansive approach to life, being able to sit with and move through feelings of discomfort, dissatisfaction, and discontent.


(Pāli and Sanskrit): Generosity; charity. Traditionally refers to the giving of alms or donations to monastic or spiritually-developed people.


(Sanskrit; Dhamma in Pāli): the teachings of the Buddha; the nature of reality; phenomena.


We gain the opportunity to develop generosity, lovingkindness, forgiveness, and equanimity.


Whenever we’re confused or feel lost, we have meditation tools that we can use to simply return to the present moment.


(Pāli; Duḥkha in Sanskrit): sorrow; stress; unsatisfactoriness; the suffering in life caused by clinging to temporary phenomena as if they were permanent.


(Pāli; Kalyāṇa-mitra in Sanskrit): good friend; wise companion; a teacher or mentor in understanding the Dharma.


May you find your path to recovery. May you trust in your own potential for awakening.


We can start to notice and reflect on experience without getting attached to it or to the stories we tell ourselves about it.


(Sanskrit; Kamma in Pāli): action; doing; cause and effect; intentional activity that leads to immediate and future consequence(s).


(Pāli and Sanskrit): compassion; kindness; the desire for harm and suffering to be removed from oneself and others.


We come to understand that our practice isn’t just for ourselves, but is based on the interconnectedness and happiness of all living beings.


We sometimes have to deal with people and situations that are painful or uncomfortable.


(Pāli; Maitrī in Sanskrit): lovingkindness; benevolence; friendliness; goodwill; an active desire for the well-being and happiness of oneself and others.


(Pāli and Sanskrit): the sympathetic, appreciative joy in the success and happiness of others.


(Pāli; Saṃgha in Sanskrit): traditionally, the communities of Buddhist monks and nuns; followers of the Buddha, whether monastics or lay-people.


(Pali; smṛti in Sanskrit) mindfulness or awareness, a spiritual or psychological faculty (indriya) that forms an essential part.


(Pāli and Sanskrit): quiet joy; ease; unhindered flow; the opposite of Dukkha.


(Pāli; Upekṣā in Sanskrit): equanimity; evenness of mind; serenity; unshakeable freedom of mind; a state of inner equipoise that cannot be upset by gain and loss.

The Gift We Give to Ourselves

Recovery is the lifelong process of recovering our true natures and finding a way to an enduring and nonharmful sense of happiness. In recovery, we can finally find the peace so many of us had been searching for in our addictions. We can break through our isolation and find a community of wise friends to support us on our path. We can build a home for ourselves, within ourselves, and we can help others do the same.