Learning about Refuge Recovery

Learning about Refuge Recovery - Sober Living & Addiction Blog - Harmony Haus in Austin, TX - image__10_Another way that many people in sobriety engage with the process of recovering emotionally, mentally, and spiritually is participation in Refuge Recovery. Refuge Recovery is an abstinence-based, and Buddhism and mindfulness-based recovery program that ranks high in popularity, along with AA and SMART Recovery.
 
As Refuge Recovery’s website puts it: “Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist-oriented, non-theistic recovery program that does not ask anyone to believe anything, only to trust the process and do the hard work of recovery. In fact, no previous experience or knowledge of Buddhism is required. Recovery is possible, and this program provides a systematic approach to treating and recovering from all forms of addiction. When sincerely practiced, the program can ensure a full recovery from addiction and a life-long sense of well-being and happiness.” (https://www.refugerecovery.org/
 
Refuge Recovery members practice a daily recovery program that includes meetings, meditation and personal inventory, mentorship, retreats and service to others. A standard Refuge Recovery meeting is not dissimilar to an AA meeting, in that a topic or reading is presented and there is a discussion and sharing portion. Uniquely, Refuge Recovery meetings also include a 20-minute meditation. Meditation has been clinically proven to reduce stress, increase positive feelings, and help create a sense of serenity and peace in those who are working on overcoming addictions. Refuge Recovery attendees and members struggle with a variety of addictions, including sex, spending, food, and love--not just addiction to chemical substances. All are welcome!
 
Refuge Recovery uses a main text, like the Big Book. The book that is the basis for the recovery program includes detailed guidance of how to recover using the Buddhist practice of The Four Truths and Eightfold Path of Refuge Recovery, written investigations that explore the causes and conditions of addictions, daily meditation practices, personal stories of recovery, advice and inspiration for finding or creating community and a format for Refuge Recovery meetings. The book was written by the founder of Refuge Recovery; Noah Levine. Although Refuge Recovery is indeed founded on Buddhist principles, the program makes it clear that there is no required spiritual or religious aspect to it--Buddhist principles can be followed as a philosophy, not a religion. So there are many secular members of Refuge Recovery.
 
A possible downside to Refuge Recovery is that there simply aren’t as many Refuge Recovery meetings as there are AA meetings. An AA meeting, especially in a city like Austin, can be found anywhere at any time of day. Refuge Recovery meetings are fewer. In fact, and quite unfortunately, there are currently no in-person Refuge Recovery meetings offered in Austin, although there are some in Houston and San Antonio. Luckily, though, there are many online meetings that you can attend. And, as with any recovery program, you can always work to start your own meeting, which is a very rewarding experience! 
 
This blogger considers himself a Buddhist and has found great comfort in Buddhist teachings and practices throughout his recovery journey. I enjoy going to Austin’s Zen Center for their recovery meditation meeting every Sunday at 6 PM, where meditation is practiced and a non-AA reading is discussed. Meditation is a wonderful way to calm down, and for some reason doing it with a like-minded group of meditators in recovery is very powerful and meaningful. The Four Noble Truths--primarily, that excess desire leads to suffering--is applicable to all humans and perhaps especially to addicts. And, of course, Buddhism is a beautiful and ancient religion filled with deep culture, art, and lore--it is exciting to explore and get to know. As with any recovery program, there is a constellation of activities and practices that should be done in order to achieve serene and joyful sobriety--social connection, meeting attendance, daily practices, accountability, and usually clinical support. Refuge Recovery can be a wonderful piece in your recovery tapestry. Or should I say mandala? If you’re interested, be sure to check out refugerecovery.org or find a copy of their book read it over! 

The Family in Recovery

Active addiction severely strains our relationships with our loved ones. Addicts often engage in many behaviors that cause serious discord within families. We may lash out at others, or withdraw and cut off contact from loved ones. We may steal...

Dealing with a Relapse

Addiction is partly defined as a “chronic and relapsing disease.” In this way, similar to an ailment like diabetes, it takes daily work and lifelong commitment to manage addiction and remain abstinent. The idea is that addiction can be...

Why Are We Sober?

Things change and shift as we journey through sobriety. Our goals, emotions, thoughts, philosophies, and spiritual approaches all change. Our daily lives change. And so, then, it is only natural that our attitudes toward recovery and our personal...

What is SMART Recovery?

There are many different paths that people take to recovery from addiction, as we have discussed before in this blog. For many, AA is a great fit. Others explore other options, all of which seem to be equally effective and which provide the...

The Sober Life in Austin, TX

One of the best things about getting sober is having the energy, peacefulness, optimism, and joy in your life that makes you want to finally get out and do things! No longer do we have to deal with hangovers, lethargy, guilt, and sadness that so...

What does self-care look like in sobriety?

During active addiction, many of us used substances to boost our mood, boost our energy, deal with negative life events, socialize, relax, and “take the edge off” our daily lives. In the modern world, with all of its fast-paced, hectic...

Dealing with cross-addictions

After the long, hard, incredibly rewarding journey of achieving sobriety, it can be tough to realize that there are still parts of us that behave addictively--albeit, not toward our drugs of choice. These lingering addictive behaviors usually...

The Addicted Brain

Addiction medicine is still a burgeoning field, but it has made great strides in recent decades. Researchers and doctors understand now that there is a large genetic component to addiction, and that addictive chemicals act in certain areas of the...

Staying Busy in Recovery

There are many drug addiction recovery homes in Austin, Texas. The city is a great place to get sober and to find a new, exciting, joyful life. The best recovery homes make sure to keep their residents accountable and encourage them to stay busy as...

Finding a Sponsor and Sponsees in AA

Many recovering addicts choose to attend AA meetings as part of their overall recovery program. There are many AA meetings in Austin, TX, where Harmony Haus Sober Living is located, and they are full of wonderful people who can support you and help...

Learning Acceptance

Attending drug rehab, such as in the many top-tier drug rehabilitation centers in the Austin, TX area, can be a scary and life-changing event. Going to rehab can be very disruptive; many have to put their jobs on hold or not see their families for...

Collecting chips and counting sober time

One of the traditions in AA is collecting chips to commemorate milestones of sobriety time. The usual procession of chips is a 24-hour “desire” (to stay sober for the next day) chip, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year,...

The Benefits of Having a Sober Coach

In AA, one of the important traditions is for “sponsors” (members with lengthy sobriety and experience in the AA program) to take “sponsees” (newcomers) under their wing and help them through the Twelve Steps and offer them...

Alcohol Use Increased During Covid-19

A recent study published in JAMA Network Open in September of 2020 discussed how alcohol consumption among Americans (and particularly women) has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study hypothesized that more people may be turning to...

Building Your Best Life

Harmony Haus is a recovery home in Austin that believes that one of the best ways to be sober is to create a life for yourself that is, quite simply, more fun, more rewarding, more full of love, more peaceful, and all around more joyful than the...

Pets and Sobriety

When getting sober, it is important to have as many supportive people around you as possible. And having support around you can also come in the form of a pet! Many people, especially those who live alone, find that having pets can alleviate some of...

Dealing with Guilt and Shame

When we enter recovery from addiction, and even after we have been sober for a while, it is common to look back on the past with feelings of remorse, sadness, guilt, and shame. It’s easy to do, as our time of abusing substances--especially...

Overcoming “sober slumps”

During the best times of our sober journey, we are full of passion and excitement for our new life, and filled with gratitude that we have managed to leave the darkness of our past behind us. We support each other, attend meetings, work with...
Page: 123 - All
Our Mission:
Provide leadership in Austin’s transitional sober living recovery residence industry through professionalism, integrity & attention-to-detail; fostering recovery communities conducive to members adding color + vibrancy back in their life, achieving long-term sobriety & life goals.
Our Vision:
Set the platinum standard for integrative transitional sober living recovery residences, with focus on providing inspiring environments, amenities, and services.