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Healing from addiction is a personal process that differs for everyone. While many people choose a traditional 12-step program for their healing process, others may relate better to a different way to heal. Since 2014, one of those options has been Refuge Recovery, a program that allows you to forge your own path to healing.

A Life Free From Suffering Rooted in Ancient Teachings

The origins of Refuge Recovery are rooted in ancient Buddhist teachings. The man who eventually became known as the Buddha determined that the root cause of suffering in this life is an “uncontrollable thirst or repetition craving.” When this “thirst” is unchecked, it can be an addiction. Addiction causes suffering.

In an effort to find a way to end suffering, he found a way of living that could free him from the suffering caused by this “thirst” or craving. This way of living was both a practice and a process that includes meditation, compassion, and wise actions. He spent his life teaching others how to live a life free from suffering, to be able to live a life of freedom and well-being. His teachings became known as Buddhism, the system of beliefs which Refuge Recovery draws its core teachings from.

What Is Refuge Recovery?

Refuge Recovery is a treatment program for all forms of addiction that was developed in 2014 by Noah Levine, who wrote a book by the same name. The program, based on the book, utilizes the core teachings of Buddhism, but does not require any spiritual or religious affiliation. The teachings are simply used as wisdom to guide the recovery process. The only beliefs that you must have are to trust the process and believe in the hard work of recovery.

The program itself utilizes daily meditation practices, written work based on personal exploration, and the forming of a supportive community for your healing process. Through this community, a collaborative healing experience helps to enhance your experience and learning throughout the program. There are local meetings available in some areas as well as online meetings available to all. The pathway of healing is gradual but with the goal of achieving lifelong wellness and happiness.

The program is based on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, which are guides to a systematic approach of treating and recovering from addiction. By following the path with commitment and putting one foot in front of the other every day, you can achieve a full recovery from addiction.

The 4 Noble Truths of Refuge Recovery

Within the Refuge Recovery program, the foundation of recovery is based on Four Noble Truths. Comparable to, but simpler than the Twelve Steps, these truths form the basis for your recovery process, allowing you to explore and personally seek your own healing from the wisdom found within them. These four truths are:

  • 1st Truth: Addiction creates suffering
  • 2nd Truth: The cause of addiction is repetitive craving
  • 3rd Truth: Recovery is possible
  • 4th Truth: The path to recovery is available

Each truth has a statement that explains the purpose and helps to facilitate treatment and recovery as you grow and apply these truths in your own process.

Engaging the Eightfold Path

Based on the understandings gained in the Four Noble Truths, you then engage in the process of the Eightfold Path. This path serves to guide you through your recovery by using the following activities:

  1. Understanding
  2. Intentions
  3. Speech/Community
  4. Actions
  5. Livelihood/Service
  6. Effort
  7. Mindfulness
  8. Concentration

These eight different types of activities teach you how to go about the recovery process from day to day to find success in becoming free from the suffering of addiction.

Developing Wisdom Through Formal Meditation

The most important practice, or cornerstone, within Refuge Recovery is formal meditation. Using various forms of meditation is the medium used for developing wisdom because it is personal and applies specifically to you and your healing. Meditation is used as the tool to being able to clearly see and heal from the root causes and conditions that have led to your own suffering, also known as addiction. Multiple different types of meditation are used within the program. These forms of meditation are:

  • Mindfulness meditations
  • Heart practice meditations
  • Forgiveness meditations

It is through meditation that you are able to learn to live in the moment and be aware of the present in everything you do throughout your life. Within the program, this is known as taking refuge in the present. Through learning the wisdom and teachings of the program and following the truths and paths of Refuge Recovery, you can learn as Buddha did 2,500 years ago, to live a life free from addiction.

The process of healing from addiction is different for everyone, so everyone must forge their own path. For some, this is done through Refuget Recovery, a program that is based on the principles of Buddha, who taught how to live a life free from suffering. Through the cornerstone of meditation, you can learn to take refuge in the present. At West Coast Recovery Centers, we are here to support you on your chosen path. We offer a 12-Step program, Refuge Recovery, SMART Recovery, and other choices for you to choose what works best for your own healing. We offer truly individualized care with both evidence-based and holistic modalities for you to experience and choose from so that you have options. We help you transition back into healthy routines through our outpatient care environments. Call us at (760) 492-6509 to learn more.

West Coast Recovery Centers ( 370135CP), Valid through July 31, 2025
Jackson House Visalia (540056AP), Valid through May 15, 2025
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