Click on the Meeting Button to go to connect with the meeting
To connect to a meeting, Click on the Meeting Button under Format Column
Online meetings are the same as face to face. We just meet through technology. We have added a few items to the format to reinforce community and to handle logistics of meeting through conference call platforms
Each meeting has a home page that includes the format and other reading materials. We make sure we have access to the materials during the meeting so that we can step up to read or volunteer. Engaging in the meeting helps others to get to know us - an essential part of our path
We take action to reach out to others between meetings. This helps us grow and strengthen our connections with others and with our program. See bottom of this page for steps that have been helpful for some of us
After making friends through meetings and outreach, we start work work with others regularly with others. We work on our inventories with Dharma Buddies or Mentors. We check-in with Action Partners
Meetings - doorway to cultivating beloved community
Getting more out of meetings.
There is a reason that, in Buddhism, community is held as one of three most precious refuges and practices for recovery and awakening. Even though it is precious, the road to connecting to community will be, at times, awkward and intimidating. The good news is that just like returning to the breath, we can return to the practice with kindness, compassion, gratitude and generosity.
Good luck, and welcome to our community! We may be a little shy ourselves at times, but we are very happy, and grateful, that you are here now.
In addition to providing an opportunity to listen to readings and practice meditations, meetings are an opportunity to get to know and connect with others in the community.
We want to note that there is an important and intentional effort in Recovery Dharma to ensure that we practice wise communication and wise community within our meetings. We are attempting to balance getting to know others with practices that are respectful. We are working to be particularly aware of how issues of race, class, gender, ability and other differences can impact our intentions and our actions.
Participate in Meetings
One of the best ways to be known by others on a meeting is step up and participate during the meeting.
- Help people to get to know you
It is true in any meeting but it is especially true with the online community - no one will be able to get to know you unless you speak up and/or volunteer
- Speak up: Introduce yourself, share during the discussion period
- Contact Information: Exchange contact information in the Virtual Parking Lot after meetings
- Volunteer: Read opening Readings, volunteer to serve as Spiritual Timekeeper
- Go deeper: Meditation Reader, Virtual Parking Lot Greeter, Meeting Facilitator
Get access to meeting materials
- Participation is easier if you own a paperback or kindle version of the book, Recovery Dharma (available wherever you buy paperbacks, ebooks or audiobooks)
- Deepen your understanding by listening to Dharma Talks and Guided Meditations
- Read the Recovery Dharma Website and/or the Recovery Dharma Action Guide
Cultivate Spiritual Friendships
After getting to know others, we start to connect with each other regularly. Some examples of spiritual friends include:
- Outreach Calls: Ask other members for their contact information at the end of the meeting. Then reach out by text, phone or email. See bottom of this page for more ideas.
- Sit Buddies: Join a group where members send a simple message such as "Sat 10 minutes"
- Daily Grounding: Agree to check in with each other at a regular time once a week or every day. Perhaps 10 daily or 30 minutes more regularly. Find ways to support each other in our efforts to awaken and practice compassion with ourselves and others.
- Dharma Buddies / Co-Mentors / Mentors: Set aside a weekly meeting time to share responses to inventory questions. Perhaps using the Dharma Buddies Meeting Format. You can also find an excellent example of how to engage in mentorship with this page about mentorship from Recovery Dharma Portland.
Go to Special Events
The relaxed and extended time of workshops, conferences and retreats offer a wonderful opportunity to deepen our practice and our connections with each other. Many of us, especially those from smaller communities and the online community, have found a revolutionary connection others, and an increased level of recovery, after attending special events. We have found great benefit in both online and face-to-face events. Special Events can last a half-day, daylong, weekend, a week or longer. In addition to learning more, we are able to connect with ourselves and with others during group exercises, coffee breaks and meals with each other. Check out the workshops hosted by Dharma Recovery ONLINE and keep an eye out for events in your region of the world. Better yet, find out how to host one!
Making outreach calls can be awkward and intimidating, but we have found that it is the glue that holds our online community together. Just like learning to pay attention to the breath, we have found that it requires intentional effort and action. Here is a process that some peer-support groups have utilized to add just a little bit of ease to the process.
- Take Note: Pay attention to shares and jot down the names of people with whom you would like to connect
- Ask for contact information: At the end of the meeting, request contact information of those you heard on the meeting.
- Text: Send a text to say hello and re-introduce yourself as being from the meeting. See if you can find a common time to chat for 10 minutes or so. (Keeping it short is helpful in so many ways.)
- Topic or question: Sometimes it's helpful to come up with a survey type question: "What is your experience with...?" (Mentorship, DR meetings, DR Path, Meditation, Dharma Talks etc.) It's kind of like a survey that turns into a mini meeting with your own personal topic.
- Call: At and agreed upon time. Keep it simple. 10 minutes or so.
- Repeat: Try sending 1-3 texts per day for a week and see where it goes.
- Give back what has be so freely given: Many of us have been surprised to find that our closest and most heartfelt friends in Recovery Dharma are those with whom we serve on volunteer committees.
- Return to the practice: You may notice that you have fallen away from the practice, just as with mindfulness of breath meditation. The invitation is to celebrate that you noticed (you woke up!) and, like the any other practice, simply, gently, with compassion and gratitude, return to the practice. In this case, the practice is cultivating deeper connections with others.