Compassionate Recovery Meeting Format 002 – Guided Meditation

CR Meeting Format 002 – Guided Meditation

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Download .PDF of this format.

Our Primary Purpose

If you struggle with anything from difficult attachments to full-blown addictions (attachment gone wild) Compassionate Recovery (CR) welcomes you. Our main principle of CR is to practice self-love and self-healing first, then turn our hearts to helping others. Most of us will need to train our hearts and minds to do this. The main purpose of the program is to enable individuals to love themselves enough to get free of addiction, build a life, believe in oneself, choose healthy behaviors and relationships, educate oneself and care for oneself. From there we can bring true compassion to our community.


Please join me in the Healing Precept:

Traumas are numberless, I vow to heal them all.


We begin with a collective breathing practice to reset our nervous systems. Instructions: breath in really deep, let go with an open throat and say haaaaaaaahhhh. Don’t force or push the air out.


Inhale, exhale

Inhale, exhale, hhhhaaaaaaaaaa

Relax empty before breathing in

Again, inhale deeply, fill up, exhale, hhhhaaaaaaaaaa

Last round, inhale even deeper. Exhale it aaaalllll out.


Next we say OM to collectively unite our compassionate hearts.


Exhale OM


Now please turn to the person next to you. We only spend 20 seconds on this. Ask them how they feel. Make eye contact and listen with your heart to their answer. Don’t offer advice please or tell them how they should feel. Use non-judgmental listening.


Use feeling words, not thinking words. For example:

Happy, sad, excited, angry, energized, depressed, joyous


Listen to their answer. Then give your answer.


I’ve asked someone to read, What is Compassionate Recovery?

What is Compassionate Recovery?

Compassionate Recovery is a new paradigm for healing. It’s open to anyone with any degree of attachment and uses solutions from any system, tradition, technique, meditation or treatment. The meetings are dynamic in that they can focus on specific topics, addictions, principles such as life skills, meditation, yoga, non-violent communication as a regular format. Meeting facilitators and members can change topics based on the needs of the community.

Traditional 12-Step programs are normally limited to a specific problem, such as alcohol, and a single solution, such as the 12 Steps. Unlike these limited models, CR is fully inclusive of anyone on a Spectrum of Addiction that ranges from problematic attachments to full blown addictions.

The solutions CR employs are 100% inclusive of any tradition or tool that can be used for healing. CR doesn’t conform to a static, unchanging set of steps that, like AA says, have to be worked in order and can’t be deviated from. The 12 Steps of AA are based on principles which, after a while can be applied out of order of the steps. To simplify and broaden opportunities for healing CR is focused on principles that can be practiced in any order or manner at any time in the course of a person’s recovery. See the book, Compassionate Recovery (Fall 2019) for the complete program.

Attachment is defined as an unhealthy bond, fixation, obsession or preoccupation that causes a life disruption. In CR, addiction is defined more loosely as any attachment to a process, event, substance or person that the individual wants to be free of.

Addiction is attachment gone wild.

Recovery too is defined as any reduction, elimination or progress on that path. One can opt to claim one or more “clean dates,” for different afflictions, or opt out of the traditional timelines and anniversaries of 12-Step models.

What Compassionate Recovery is Not

(download the separate sheet for, “What Compassionate Recovery is Not.”)

Compassionate Recovery is not patriarchal, macho, hierarchical, theological or monotheistic. The program is built on the premise that everyone is included, so there no in-group or out-group. There is only the whole group.

CR is not built on a specific teaching, teacher or platform but is 100% all inclusive to any teaching, any tool that works.

CR is not a free-for-all. To preserve the quality and experience for members, some structure is necessary. Speakers are limited to the time that they share and can be reminded to bring it back to the topic should they stray.  

CR is not a 12-Step program but is based on universal, secular and spiritual principles for healing.

2) Leader continues:

The format of this meeting is to listen to a guided meditation, then speak on a topic related to the meditation. I will call on people to share on the topic, as it relates to recovery. The leader shares last.

During the meditation period we ask that everyone be quiet and still out of respect for the practice. If you need to leave, please do so silently. If there are questions, someone will talk with you after the meeting.

Meditations may be downloaded from the link below or directly from Soundcloud:

3) Play the guided meditation.

4) Repeat the topic of the meditation or something related to it. Please keep the topic short. Do not share until everyone else has shared.

5) Turn it over to the secretary to pass the basket and make announcements.

“The leader shares last, after reflecting on everyone’s input. We share about our experience with the meditation on this topic, as it pertains to our recovery. You can pass or share for a few minutes. At _:55, we’ll stop to let the leader share.”

Leader chooses how people will be called on, tagged, go around the circle, etc. At _:55, you, the leader get to share.

7) _:00:  Lead the group in the closing dedication.

“We remain seated for the closing dedication, printed on the 3×5 cards. Please join me.

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all suffering addicts.

May everyone be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.

May everyone practice compassion for self and others.

Keep coming back, it works if you surrender.”