Recovery Dharma Friends Act 

 Practice Resource Guide

How to Use this Guide

About this Page

An overview of the guide and the complete list of all the sources linked throughout the guide

About This Guide

This Guide connects the book, "Recovery Dharma, " with the reading, "The Practice." Each page includes concrete suggestions for actions and links to relevant resources. 

The items in "The Practice," have been re-ordered to go with the commitments to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. 

Accepting an invitation

The writers of the book, Recovery Dharma,  invited members to expand on the ideas for practice - while staying true to the basic foundations of a Buddhist path.  I accepted this invitation and found that I needed to make a couple of adjustments for my personal program.  I believe these adjustments remain true to the original idea and expand on the ways to practice the program

Inquiry and Investigation:  This guide offers inquiry practices for every page, even when there were none in the book.   Additionally, the inquiries in the Four Noble Truths section are different from the book.  As always, choose your own adventure to decide if these alternatives are a helpful addition for you. 

The Three Jewels:  The Introduction section of this guide are matched with the practice of taking refuge in The Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, and Sanga). Engaging in concrete practices of loving- kindness and compassion helps to grow a sense of trust and deepen understanding of the three refuges. I have found this to be a beneficial doorway to enter the path for so many reasons - building confidence in my own capacity and really getting to know the community before I decide to take refuge were both practices in making healthy connections with others.

The Four Noble Truths: Listening to teachers and practicing with this section repeatedly has brought me new insight.  The Four Noble Truths offer a powerful foundation to cultivate the ability to:

All of the resources in this section of the guide point - again and again - to the doorway of mindfulness to start the rest of the path and to cope with the rising and passing of craving.  

How to Use this Guide

Each page of this guide can be used to practice with any of these formats:

Review, Practice Reflect

The first two sections of each page provide an introduction of the concepts and how they apply to and help with a path of recovery. If you work with a wise friend or mentor, try reading at least these first two sections first and make an initial decision about which practices you want to try. This may change during the week, but it helps provide some orientation before beginning. 

Choose your own Adventure

Each page has many more readings, talks, and practices than could be covered in a week. Since all the resources on a page are relevant to the same concepts, any practices can help to deepen understanding. Perhaps try choosing one from each section to have a rounded experience.  Having many resources also supports the Growth aspect of The Practice.  Each time we return to a page, we start as a new person with a deeper understanding than before. That can radically change our understanding of the same material.  

Wise View

Remembering to approach each aspect of this material with the following attitudes or views can be very helpful. 

Curiosity, Kindness, and Generosity

Key attitudes that help us to enter this path and stay on it when life presents us with difficulties.

Patience, Trust, and Flexibility

Sometimes we act on automatic pilot - expecting meditation and recovery to bring relief as quickly as our addictive behaviors did. 

The invitation is to practice cultivating trust by remembering that every time we meditate we are transforming both our mind and our physical brain a little bit at a time. 

Resolution, Effort, and Growth

Whether your path involves practicing like your hair is on fire or filled with slowly emerging flowers; one thing is certain, this is a lifelong practice.  "If you don't use it, you lose it." seems to apply to all ways to practice this path. 

Time frame - fast, slow and a middle way

Feel free to choose your own adventure. One idea, though is to start by spending one week with each page to get an overview of the concepts. Then, repeat the process, spending a month with each. Others have found that this provides an opportunity to explore more options on each page and enjoy the benefits of repeating a practice for a whole month. This helps to cultivate a deeper understanding and integrate it into life with more ease and joy. 

Refuge in the Dharma

Practices that explore and deepen understanding of the Concepts

The Path

Read the Book

This section of each page will provide direct links to the relevant chapters of the book. 

This includes both pdf and recordings of the sections of the book. 

Ways to Practice

The Path / Growth

Listen to Talks

Our program does not rely on any single teacher, but we do listen to the wisdom of wise friends who generously share their insights with us.


This site has gathered talks that are relevant to our path from a variety of sources.  The criteria for inclusion on the RD Friends act site can be found here.


Stay Curious

Buddhist Love Lists!

All of the readings in this book are based on a few interrelated sets of teachings. These phrases have been used to search for Dharma Talks and the focus of the practices. 

Dharma Lists Click here to see the complete List of Lists. 

Refuge in the Buddha

Practices  that connect us to our deepest Wisdom


Rewire the Brain for Recovery

This section includes resources for three different types of meditation

Repeat a Mantra

Mantras are brief phrases that can be used to focus attention and quiet the mind. They can help us enter into other meditative spaces, or simply ride out a craving. 

Stop, Observe, Breath, Expand, Respond

Pause to notice the world for 90 seconds several times a day has been shown to be as effective as sitting for the same amount of time.  Not in all aspects of recovery, but enough to rewire the brain. 


Sitting is the core of this program.  Practice, practice, practice!

Inquiry and Investigation

Explore and Experience

Options for working with the questions

There are many ways to work with this inquiry.  Chose one or more of these options for our practice


Practice Letting Go

Being able to simply let go can require a lot of groundwork. 

The practices in this section will use a combination of mindfulness practices from traditional Buddhism and Mindfulness-based therapeutic models including Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Refuge in the Sangha

Practices that cultivate connections with wise friends and mentors


Attend and Befriend

First, we have to find meetings, then we need to go through the awkward phase of getting involved and engaged. 

This section will provide ideas for baby steps that may seem simple but have a powerful impact on our ability to connect with others at meetings. 

Wise Friends and Mentors

Develop Deep Connection

"How do I find a Mentor?" 

Perhaps one of the most repeated phrases of new members. 

This section site provides practice ideas for both new members and sangha group members to strenthen their network of wise friends and mentors.  

Like meetings, these practices include seemily simple, but effective practices to help cultivate trust between new friends. 

Core Intentions

Support the Sangha

Generously giving back what has been so freely given, is a core concept of both recovery programs and Buddhist practices.  

The section will connect Recovery Dharma's Core Intentions to Sangha Practice and integrate it with the rest of our recovery practice.

Connect with others who have traveled this path.  Each of the links on this list addresses the concepts of this section. So feel free to start with any link. If none of these recordings interest you, then use the concepts listed under the Growth heading to search for talks from the Buddhist Sources page.

Insight Community

Insight Meditation (Or Vipassana: literally translated as ‘seeing deeply or clearly‘) is the practice of developing a calm and mindful investigation into the nature of experience, leading to wisdom, compassion, and the end of suffering. 

Sanghas (Communities)

Sample of some teachers

Thai Forest, Theravada

The Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah is a Mahanikai monastic organization in the Thai Forest Tradition composed of the students of Ajahn Chah Subhaddo. 

Sanghas (Communities)


Secular, Academic, Therapeutic


Secular Buddhism is a non-dogmatic way of understanding and practicing Buddhism. Secular Buddhism allows for this ancient wisdom to be added to whatever background/worldview you already possess. 


This is not a specific category, but refers to teachers and sources that have used Buddhism, mindfulness, and scientific research to ground their offerings. 

Sanghas (Communities) and Sources


Buddhist Recovery

Communities or Teachers who have a special focus or experience with applying Buddhist principles to the process of recovery from addiction.

Sanghas (Communities)


Trauma-Informed, Coping with Pain and Changing Habits


Zen Buddhism is a stripped-down, determined, uncompromising, cut-to-the-chase, meditation-based Buddhism. 

Sanghas (Communities)



Apart from classical Mahāyāna Buddhist practices like the six perfections, Tibetan Buddhism also includes tantric practices, such as deity yoga and the Six Dharmas of Naropa as well as methods which are seen as transcending tantra, like Dzogchen. Its main goal is Buddhahood.[3][4] The main language of scriptural study in this tradition is classical Tibetan. 

Sanghas (Communities)



Amplified Voices

Recordings from people who are members of communities that are currently underrepresented, marginalized, or discouraged from speaking in Western Buddhist sanghas will be pulled from the list above and highlighted here.


Guide Sections

Easy Start

A Simple Plan

Start with the first column of each of the three Refuge sections below. 

Even Easier

Still too much?  Choose just one item on the page. Try the practice, and then celebrate! Or even better, celebrate the actions you have already taken. 

Celebrating can be difficult or awkward, but practice! Our brains tend to focus on failures more than accomplishments. To shift the default focus, our minds need training repetition.

We start to cultivate connections with, and take refuge in, community, Buddhist teachings, and ourselves.

Once we are connected with community and compassion, we begin to explore the truths of our lives

We deepen our understanding of the wisdom of Buddhist teachings. We explore and connect with our deepest intentions

We learn how acting skillfully in our relations serves as another essential foundation for recovery

We deepen our practice of meditation and  begin to see how essential it is to our recovery