Let’s Talk About 12 Step Programs and Buddhist Recovery @ East Bay Meditation Center
Feb 17 all-day

EBMC presents the first Regional Buddhist Recovery Summit:

Let’s Talk about 12 step programs and Buddhist Recovery

with Dr. Vimalasara Mason John, Shahara Godfrey, and Special Guests

The daylong will include two panels including speakers from the 12-step, Buddhist Recovery and mindfulness communities. Speakers will discuss the relationship between Buddhist Recovery and 12-step programs, and also discuss what does the World need in the midst of the current addiction crisis. There will be an opportunity to attend a recovery meeting in the morning at 9:30 am prompt.

Guest Speakers:

Father Tom – 12 step Programs

Enrique Collazo – Refuge Recovery

Laura Burges – San Francisco Zen Center

Vimalasara Mason-John – 8 Step Recovery

George Gomez – Heart of Recovery

Steve Tierney – San Francisco Zen Centre

Augusta Hopkins – Mindfulness Coach

Panels hosted by Shahara Godfrey and Walt Opie

Mindfulness Based Addiction Recovery Training in Toronto @ Institute of Traditional Medicine ITM
May 30 @ 3:12 am – Jun 2 @ 4:12 am

Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery (MBAR) Training for Health Professionals and Mindfulness Teachers

Who is the Training for?
The training is for experienced meditation practitioners, people with an understanding of mindfulness, and health care providers working in the field of addiction. Group skills and teaching skills preferred but not an absolute requirement.

Outcomes of the Training

  • Understand the MBAR course and be able to co-facilitate a course in your institution as part of your work practice or at your local Buddhist center.
  • Understand the nature of addiction and compulsive behaviors and how it relates to your own life.
  • Understanding of meditation and mindfulness in relation to addiction.
  • Identify your existing skills in working effectively with mindfulness for addictions and compulsive behaviors and increase your confidence in applying them.

About the Training

MBAR is a mindfulness-based approach to preventing relapse and promoting recovery from addiction. Originally called mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP), the course was developed by Dr. Paramabandhu Groves (in collaboration with Valerie Mason-John). Dr Groves has led it at Breathing Space and in the NHS since 2005. Valerie Mason-John has also delivered the course in the UK, Europe, Mexico, Canada and USA. The course can be delivered 2 hours a week for 6 to 8 consecutive weeks.


The training will cover mindfulness and meditative techniques including three minute breathing space, four basic needs of the heart, body scan, and working with difficulties in meditation. MBAR models such as the vicious cycle, fact and interpretation, triggers and high risk situations will be introduced. There will also be personal reflection and rehearsal of parts of the course.

If you have a question or would like more information about the training  please email


“Vimalasara Mason-John is one of the most profound teachers of our time. She leads her studies with love, compassion and lived experience. Her teachings will change the way you see and treat yourself and other living beings.” Dr Neil Stephenson – a medical doctor and runs an addiction clinic in Norway.

“This fascinating course led by Vimalasara gave us a great insight, on both a practical and theoretical level, of the various ways in which mindfulness techniques can be used to help others recover from addiction – and more importantly stay in recovery. I would highly recommend it to any professional  working in the healthcare or substance misuse field.” Liam Watson (MSc, BSc (hons), PGDip), Director,

As part of the training you will receive:
  • A PDF manual of the course with handouts for participants.
  • Downloads of the guided meditations.
  • A copy of Eight Step Recovery.
Where The Rubber Meets the Road – GEN X Buddhist Teachers Gathering 2019 @ Great Vow Monastery
Jun 12 @ 3:40 am – Jun 16 @ 4:40 am

Gen X Dharma Teachers Conference is one of the first ongoing gatherings of dharma teachers with the purpose of fostering communication and collaboration across different traditions of Buddhism. Teachers from around the globe have the opportunity to meet other teachers, deepen relationships, discuss the particular concerns of teachers of our generation, and address issues that the international Dharma community of the future faces today.

Given the divisive social-political conditions in many parts of globe and the recent scandals in our own Buddhist circles, the 2019 planning committee felt that ethics would be an apropos topic at the next conference. With the title of “Where the Rubber Meets the Road”, we aim to both reiterate how ethics is a foundation of all our lineages’ practice and to provide a platform for engagement of how ethics can be relevant and supportive to ourselves as teachers and as sanghas in contemporary times.

This years committee organizers of this conference include myself, Vimalasara (Valerie) Mason-John, Grace Song, Lien Shutt, Kim Allen, Yeshe and Jogen.
All of whom are senior teachers in their lineage.
On Tour in Europe @ Spain
Jul 1 @ 3:28 am – Jul 15 @ 4:28 am

I am on tour in Spain and England. Please check back to see what my dates are in Spain. Or email – if you are wanting to find out my tour details or if you can book me. Thank you

Mindfulness Based Addiction Recovery MBAR Online
Aug 5 @ 9:23 pm – Sep 1 @ 10:23 pm

This 4 week online intensive course if for anyone who is connected to addiction or recovery, through their personal or professional life story. In fact if you are so inspired by the course you could go on to be an MBAR Facilitator, or learn to deliver aspects of the course in your own personal life, ie: on yourself, or in your professional context at work.

Mindfulness Based Addiction Recovery MBAR is a secular mindfulness-based approach to promoting recovery from addiction and understanding relapse. Originally called mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP), we decided to focus on building Recovery Capital, which is internal and external resources that can promote harm reduction, abstinence and sobriety of mind. The course was developed by Dr. Paramabandhu Groves in collaboration with Dr Valerie Mason-John M.A. (hon. doc.) CMT-P,  MBAR is a member of the UK Mindfulness Network.

MBAR is a secular Mindfulness Course for anyone who has behaviour that is substance related or not, that brings temporary pleasure or relief. Or where one craves, acts out of the craving, and is unable to stop despite negative consequences. This course is also for professionals working in the field of addiction, and who would like to understand addiction through the Mindfulness lens, and may want to go onto do MBAR, the train the trainer course that is delivered internationally

Every day starting from August 5, there will be either a pre-recorded session, a meditation, and suggested exercises to do at home. Vimalasara will conduct a Zoom Call at a time to be announced. All are welcome.  Please Register Here

More info on how to train as a trainer here. But first do this course for yourself. Put the mask on yourself first, and discover your own addictive habits, and relationship to recovery.

Buddhist Recovery Network International Summit @ Gwinwood Christian Camp and Conference Center
Sep 5 @ 4:00 pm – Sep 8 @ 2:00 pm

Hi I’m the current President of the BRN – and this is our Bi-Annual Summit – where we aim to bring together as many people who are part of the Buddhist Recovery Movement. This includes, lived experience, thinkers, leaders, teachers, facilitators, and anyone interested in adopting Buddhist Recovery as part of an existing or alternative program. More details about this year’s theme will be listed in February/March. For more info – email – 

Here is our latest newsletter 

Transforming Our Addictive and Compulsive Behaviors: A Retreat For All Beings @ Flowering Lotus
Sep 13 @ 5:02 am – Sep 15 @ 6:02 am

Back By Popular Demand – Vimalasara offers us another retreat on the theme of vision and transformation. Together we will explore 8 steps specifically created for overcoming our addictive and compulsive behaviors.

The perfect boot camp, to help re-charge your recovery and help cultivate sobriety mind, with the teachings of the four noble truths, and loving kindness. It’s possible to break the vicious cycle of stinking thinking, addictive and compulsive behaviors. The Buddha taught everything changes, a reminder that nothing stays the same. Come sit with me and in the words of Bob Marley “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.”

Freeing Ourselves from Mental Slavery With the Power of the Breath @ New York Insight Meditation Center
Oct 19 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Join me on this day-long – and have a glimpse of freeing yourself from mental slavery with the inhale and exhale.
Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley both knew that it was possible to “Free ourselves from Mental Slavery, and none but ourselves can free our minds”. They were freedom fighters, and still, they did not put the blame on others.

Garvey knew that transformation of any situation must come from our personal work. This is what the Buddha taught, the reformation of the human mind.

Together during this daylong program, we will explore the power of the breath, and the challenging task of coming home to the body. Come see for yourself, and have a taste of freedom on this daylong.

New York State Recovery Conference
Oct 20 @ 4:50 am – Oct 22 @ 5:50 am

Keynote Speaker – at New York State Recovery Conference – The Listening Body – Mindfulness Approaches for Addiction

Plus 2 workshops

Free Yourself From the Prison of Your Mind @ Big Bear
Dec 4 @ 4:00 pm – Dec 8 @ 11:00 am
Come sit with me and Senior insight meditation teacher Diana Gould for four nights and five days, and spring clean your neighborhood.
Very often it seems that our minds are out to get us; that our mind is like a bad neighborhood we daren’t go in alone. And yet, while it is true that a huge part of our suffering is produced by the mind, it is also true that the same mind contains all that we need to free us from that suffering and addictive behaviors.
Many of us try to escape from “the prison of our minds” with addictive substances or compulsive behaviors, activities and patterns that, by trying to avoid pain and suffering, only cause more.  In this retreat we will explore healthier and more productive possibilities, based on ancient spiritual teachings still amazingly relevant today. We will see how the teachings of the Buddha can be utilized to liberate us from stinking thinking, negative thought loops, insecurities, destructive  and addictive behaviors that can sabotage our liberation and freedom.