Vassa Buddhist Recovery Community in Birmingham

Vassa Buddhist Recovery Community in Birmingham

Recovery is a deeply personal process. The journey we take should reflect our own beliefs and better represent the goals we desire most to achieve.

For some in recovery, this means the 12 step program. Others, however, need something additional or different to grab hold of, a philosophy more tailored to their individual beliefs about how human suffering fits in with society, the world, and the universe at large.

In addition to the traditional 12 step program, the 4th Dimension hosts the Vassa Buddhist Recovery Community–a mindful and meditative program focusing on Recovery Dharma, 8 Step Recovery, Refuge Recovery and Buddhist 12 Step models.

Choosing the path that’s right for you begins with understanding your needs–both as someone in recovery and as a breathing, thinking, feeling human being. 

As with AA, you do not have to be a Buddhist to benefit from Vassa Buddhist Recovery.

What is Buddhist Recovery?

Vassa, like some other recovery models, uses traditional Buddhist practices in a recovery application. Tools for insight such as meditation, mindfulness, and self-inquiry combine with a community to create a spiritual path to recovery and the acceptance and understanding of suffering.

Named after an annual retreat observed by Buddhist Theravada practitioners, Vassa adapts the 12 step model along with several other unique philosophies to create a more cosmological approach to wellness. 

Recovery Dharma

Recovery Dharma is a peer-led community dedicated to the idea that traditional Buddhist teachings, the Dharma, empower each of us to break the cycles of suffering manifesting as addiction and addictive behavior.

Founded on the principles of compassion and mindfulness, and supported by a wise community, those who follow Recovery Dharma first identify and then attempt to heal those aspects of their lives which cause extra suffering.

8 Step Recovery

The 8 Step Recovery program, co-founded by Dr, Valerie Mason-John M.A and Dr. Paramabandhu Groves Ph.D., uses Buddhist teachings to expand on the 11th step of the 12 step program.

The 11th step is described as “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

The 8 steps involved in the Buddhist recovery method are: 

  1. Accepting that this human life will bring suffering
  2. Seeing how we create extra suffering in our lives
  3. Recognizing impermanence shows us that our suffering can end
  4. Being willing to step on the path to recovery, and discovering freedom
  5. Transforming our speech, action, and livelihood 
  6. Placing positive values at the center of our lives
  7. Making every effort to stay on the path of recovery
  8. Helping others to share the benefits I have gained

The Buddhist 12 Steps

The Vassa version of the 12 Step program offers a rewording of the traditional 12 steps. The revised language throughout the 12 steps removes certain references to “God” and to a “higher power” to make the steps themselves more palatable to those of different ideals. 

This allows for less disagreement between the self and the individual steps, further empowering those on the path of recovery to commit fully to the principles rather than the phrasing.

You can find the revised Buddhist 12 steps here.

Refuge Recovery

Refuge Recovery is a practice, a process, a set of tools, a treatment and a path to healing addiction and the suffering caused by addiction.  The main inspiration and guiding philosophy for the program are the teaching of Siddharta Gautama, a man who lived in India twenty-five hundred years ago.  

A Path for You

Not every journey abides by the same route, nor requires the exact same stops along the way. 

The Vassa Buddhist Recovery Community offers an alternative for those who might struggle with the traditional, Western spiritual implications of certain recovery programs and instead focuses on the unifying truth of human suffering–especially the suffering of addiction and the healing act of recovery.

Learn more about the Vassa Buddhist Recovery Community at the 4th Dimension!

Our beliefs and philosophies shouldn’t clash with recovery. Harmony between the method and the individual is vital for long-term recovery. When it comes to your journey, walk the path most suited to your spirit to forge a lasting peace.