Recovery Retreats with John Bruna

We are grateful to now be able to offer recovery and 12 step retreats with John online. This allows people from all over the world to participate, making time to cultivate the tools of prayer and meditation to deepen their connection to their spiritual path and flourish in their recovery. 

John Bruna
John Bruna

John Bruna has been in continuous 12-step recovery since August 21, 1984. Having had to opportunity to transform his own life as a result of the 12 steps, John has devoted his life to helping others transform theirs.  This lead to careers as a substance abuse counselor, a teacher in a low-income minority high school, and as an ordained Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition. In 2012, John transitioned from monastic life and continues to be of service in any way that he can, remaining active in the 12 step communities. John has authored two books, The Wisdom of a Meaningful Life and The Essential Guidebook to Mindfulness in Recovery,  is the co-founder of the Mindful Life Program and Mindfulness in Recovery, and the spiritual director for the Way of Compassion Dharma Center. To learn more about John, visit his website, A Meaningful Life


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Upcoming Retreats and Workshops

Men’s Spiritual Retreat at Graymoor, Garrison, NY with John Bruna, March 18-20, 2021

John is looking forward to returning to Graymoor for our annual Men’s retreat! This year the focus will be on living the third step. It will be wonderful to once again meet in person and support each other in these challenging times. Here is the link for details and registration – Men’s Spiritual Retreat.

11th Step Retreat with John Bruna and Peter Kuhn in Auburn, CA at the Mercy Center.

We are excited to announce that we are able to once again be able to return to Mercy Retreat Center and resume our annual 11th Step Retreats in person. This year, we will once again be able to spend time in contemplation and practice focused mindfulness, meditation, and prayer to support our recovery.

Since our retreat is on Labor Day weekend, this year we will begin on Friday evening, September 3rd, and end late Monday morning. Our retreat is open to all, whether you are in recovery or simply want to enhance the use of prayer and meditation to improve the quality of your life. We often have friends, partners, and family members join us. Click here to learn more.

Healing Wisdom of the 12 Steps Online Workshop with John Bruna

From February through April 2021, John Bruna took over 70 participants through the 12 steps in a loving, open, and universal way, empowering them to engage deeply with each step from their own perspective. It was a transformative experience and we have received many requests to have the course repeated. John once again offered his time freely and lead a second group. Now, with John’s permission and support, we are able to continuously offer the recorded version of the course to all. Click here to learn more and access the course. 

Meditation for Recovery, February 21st 

Join us on Sunday afternoon, February 21st for this special offering with John. Many people struggle with meditation and often have never had any formal instruction in the different types and applications of meditation. This workshop will focus on demystifying meditation, provide clear and practical instruction to establish a meditation practice, explore the different types of meditation and their appropriate application to support recovery. The workshop is open to all and offered on a free-will donation basis.  Learn more and register.

Questions – email

November 15th:  A Time to Heal – Loving-Kindness online retreat with John Bruna

Join us for an afternoon dedicated to healing our relationships with others and self-care. John Bruna will facilitate this timely retreat focused on developing the wisdom and application of loving-kindness for self and others. In these divisive times, John feels strongly that loving-kindness is foundational for healing ourselves and our communities.

As we cultivate the wisdom and practice of loving-kindness, we free ourselves of hatred, develop more peace and ease, and improve our relationships, and become more skillful in our interactions, including those we find difficult or challenging.

The retreat is on Sunday afternoon. It is online and will consist of three sessions that are approximately fifty-minutes long with a ten-minute break in-between. Everyone will receive audio of the guided meditation practice. As usual, John will be donating his time. All donations will go to the Way of Compassion Foundation.

October 18th:  Returning to Sanity, Step 2 Workshop with John Bruna

In our current times, with a pandemic, instability, social, and economic upheavals, many of us have struggled with increasing stress, anxiety, and fear.  It is easy to get caught up in rumination and let our mind drag us around from one potential outcome to another.  In the process, we forget that the majority of that stress, worry, and fear is coming from our own minds and not from our actual experience.  We also forget that the real source of our well-being does not come from external events,  rather it comes from how we perceive and respond to them.

The second step invites us to remember there’s a much greater truth than our mental and emotional ruminations and fears. That we are not the center of the universe rather a valuable part of it.  Instead of being a prisoner of our self-centered ruminations and exaggerations, we can return to sanity, grounding in our recovery and reality – the current moment. 

Offered on a donation basis to benefit the Way of Compassion Recovery Resources program. 

September 13th: Workshop on Steps 6 and 7 with John Bruna

Steps six and seven focus on the skills of removing our defects, unhealthy habits and tendencies, and increasing our connection with our spiritual path to recognize our value and purpose.  We get to discover that we are not broken or less-than, we are worthy, capable, and have much to offer the world.

Offered on a donation basis to benefit the Way of Compassion Recovery Resources program. 

Here is a link to listen to an audio recording of the workshop – 6th and 7th Step Workshop Audio.

Here is a link to the 10-minute guided meditation, Transforming Shortcomings.

September 3-6, 2020: 11th Step Retreat with John Bruna and Peter Kuhn

“There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation and prayer. Taken separately these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life.”  (Pg 98, 12 &12)

“Emotional balance is one of the first results of meditation, and our experience bears this out.” (Pg 47, NA Basic Text)

This is an online retreat offered on a donation basis to benefit the Mercy Center in Auburn. 



Video Resources – Recovery Education


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