Compassionate Recovery Meeting Format 002 – Guided Meditation

CR Meeting Format 002

Download a PDF of this meeting format for printing. 

Why We’re Here

Compassionate Recovery (CR) is for those who struggle with anything on the Spectrum of Addiction, from problematic attachments to full-blown addictions (attachment gone wild). Our first practice is Self-compassion. From there we can turn our hearts and minds to helping others. Most of us will need to train ourselves to integrate Self-compassion into our lives. The good news is that the practices we do are “dose-related,” meaning that the more we do them, the more effective they are.

The main purpose of Compassionate Recovery is to support us in loving ourselves enough to get free of addiction, believe in ourselves, and to choose healthy behaviors and relationships.

From there we can bring true compassion to our community.

Please join me in the Healing Commitment:

There is a lot of suffering in the world.

I commit to work on healing myself and others.


Reenergize, Reset, Restore

We begin with a collective breathing practice to reset our nervous systems.

Instructions: breath in really deep, fill up completely, hold at the top of the inhale. Without forcing, just let go of the breath with an open throat haahh. Don’t force or push the air out. Pause in the empty space before breathing in. Notice what you notice.


Breath in. Hold gently.

Let go, exhale, haahha.

Pause. Relax empty for a moment before breathing in.

Again, inhale deeply, fill up, exhale and let go.

Last round, inhale even deeper, hold at the top.  

Exhale it aalll out.

Next we say AH to feel the vibration together in our compassionate hearts.


Exhale, Aaaahhh.

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  or tell them how they should feel. Use non-judgmental listening. Listen to their answer. Then, switch roles. Become the listener.

When you answer, you can do so without words.

If you choose to talk, use feeling words. For example:

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

What is Compassionate Recovery?

Compassionate Recovery is a paradigm for healing. It’s open to anyone who wants to attend. CR is open to use solutions from any system or 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

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 a guided meditation. Option to do a different meditation of your choice.

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, (can be printed on 3×5 cards).

Please join me.

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all who suffer.

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

May everyone practice compassion for self and others.

May we all stay present and mindful.”