Spawned from punk rock, Buddhism and the 12 Steps, Refuge Recovery has emerged as “a Buddhist-oriented, nontheistic recovery program that does not ask anyone to believe anything.” Its core features include meditation, forgiveness, compassion, community, and renunciation of all intoxicating substances and addictive behaviors.
While Refuge Recovery in some ways remains an upstart movement, being an alternative to the overwhelmingly predominant, God-based recovery model, it has spread to over 400 weekly meetings around the world and counting. As in the 12-step model, there are no leaders — only volunteers who rotate their service positions as determined democratically by the group.
This weekend, Refuge launches “Black Sabbath Sundays” at the legendary Log Cabin located at 621 N Robertson Boulevard, part of the West Hollywood Recovery Center. The Log Cabin reputedly is where even the Black Sabbath founder himself, Ozzy Osbourne, and so many other rockers tried to kick their substance addictions.
The weekly Refuge meeting will run on Sundays from 8pm to 9pm. It will instantly become the only in-person, Buddhist-based recovery meeting in West Hollywood. For newcomers, the co-secretaries of “Black Sabbath Sundays” want you to know that “no prior knowledge of Buddhism, heavy metal, or punk rock is required!” The meeting format includes 20 minutes of guided meditation, a brief reading from the “Refuge Recovery” book, and a chance for addicts to share their experience and struggles with the group.
The Refuge Recovery movement did not throw out everything from the 12-step model. Hardly. Like AA, NA, CA and the rest, Refuge is free, non-profit, peer-led, and heavily invested in the value of developing community and mentorship. But unlike nearly all other recovery programs, this one is a “refuge” for people suffering from all forms of addictions. Under one roof, Refuge Recovery welcomes people struggling with disorders relating to alcohol, fentanyl, meth, cocaine, heroin, food, sex, love, porn, video games, shopping, anger, and all other forms of addictive behavior.
More information about Refuge Recovery, including a directory of other RR meetings, can be found at www.refugerecovery.org.