is the founder of the Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society with centers in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Calif., and affiliated groups internationally. He created a process of addiction recovery based on the teachings of the Buddha called Refuge Recovery. He is the author of Dharma Punx and other books.
We are always taking refuge in something. For most, it is seeking safety and happiness in material things and sensual pleasures. During this holiday of American Thanksgiving week, there is so much pressure to be with family and friends. For some, family has been a refuge. For others, family has been a source of great difficulty. Those of us who have seen the truth that our happiness will never come from outside ourselves begin to seek a reliable internal refuge — a way of practice and lifestyle that supports being wise and compassionate.