Buddhist Recovery Group


Buddhist Recovery Group

The BRG is an SGI-USA special interest group that was started in Riverside California in 2009. We have monthly meetings at the SGI-USA Riverside Community Center that focus on recovery, addiction and the application of Nichiren Buddhism.

Location: Riverside, California
Members: 43
Latest Activity: Aug 14, 2022

Discussion Forum


Started by Ronald Reed Slater Oct 4, 2021. 0 Replies

Do you have Zoom meetings?   I'm a SGI member from Springfield, ORContinue

Does Anyone Have Nichiren Buddhism Study Material for Recovery?

Started by Matthew David Leichter. Last reply by Kanani Dec 2, 2013. 8 Replies

What passages in the WND do people find helpful? Or perhaps in writings of President Ikeda? Anything that is directly related to recovery?

Recovery and SGI

Started by Kari Carlile. Last reply by Frank M Jun 7, 2013. 2 Replies

I've been sober for 5 years and have been able to do so by utilizing AA and SGI. My Buddhist practice has taught me to listen for the good in others and to keep moving forward in human revolution. Is…Continue

Counselors: A source of Hope (from SGI Quarterly)

Started by Dan. Last reply by Marga Apr 15, 2012. 1 Reply

Subject: A series in which SGI members discuss their approach to theirprofession Counselors: A Source of Hope…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Joseph Sheridan on August 14, 2022 at 1:18pm
I only know of the Buddhist Recovery Group in Riverside as being sanctioned by the SGI USA. Our group was disbanded in New York despite sincere efforts to revive it. Still chanting that SGI USA comes to recognize Recovery as a community, accepted as our other communities within the SGI like LGBTQ or communities of heritage are.
Comment by Lucia on August 14, 2022 at 12:30pm

Im looking for a Sgi buddhist study group in palm desert

Comment by Amanda on December 25, 2015 at 11:53pm

Hellow to all my fellow Boddhisatvas! I am VERY INTERESTED in organized a BRG (or as I thought it was called a "Lotus Group") from a former district leader in NC. I have since moved to Atlanta, and we dont have anything like that here. Therefore I would LOVE any insight, wisdom, thoughts, suggestions, comments, etc. from any of you that have started, or participated in and SGI recovery group. I have received a lot of benefit from other 12 step programs. However, my main issue with AA/NA here is the powerlessness and focus on seeking hope and praying to a higher power to save you from your helplessness. Other than that the community and steps have been very helpful. However I know that a Buddhist 12 step recovery group here in Atlanta would benefits this community and the many people that go though the same issues but only see AA as a choice for recovery. Whereas I know that this support group could make a huge impact on members by giving them another perspective on the 12 steps and a new found source of hope.

Comment by Sue Walsh on December 17, 2013 at 4:41pm
Thanks so much for this info Matthew. We've heard about Vivitrol but will look into Naltrexone with your recommendation. It sounds like an amazing drug for helping addiction. My husband will be reading your discussion thread on Dragon Falls. He's been battling addiction for 11 miserable years now and is definitely interested in a new approach. Thank you so much for all of this support and information. All very much appreciated.
Comment by Matthew David Leichter on December 17, 2013 at 2:46pm

The injection is called Vivitrol. Vivitrol does not cure alcoholism as they must drink while on naltrexone to teach the brain how to reduce the opiod over-reaction. Vivitrol simply stops him from being able to get an endorphin rush altogether. I know the drinking with naltrexone method works tremendously (its called the Sinclair Method) and there is a best selling book from my friend and famous actress Claudia Christian called One Little Pill which talks all about the Sinclair Method and how it transformed her into a normal drinker.

There are studies which show Vivtrol works and studies which show it doesn't. Vivtrol is solely for abstinence. Naltrexone is for turning an alcoholic into a normal drinker. I know for a fact that the second is more effective. 

If you need to find someone to get you either Vivitrol or Naltrexone I could probably help. Let me know. 

Comment by Sue Walsh on December 17, 2013 at 2:36pm
Wow....thank you so much for all of this info Matthew! Very helpful to me in understanding the challenges in going to both AA meetings and SGI meetings. Actually, my husband is on the path that you suggested in going to more SGI meetings in place of the AA meetings and working with a therapist more than his AA sponsor. His AA sponsor is not supportive of his Buddhist practice at all and I'm feeling that he is doing more harm than good. He has also heard about the injection to curb cravings but we're having a hard time finding a physician willing to order the drug and give the monthly injection...not sure why?? We live in a rural area and may have to find a physician in a local city to work with him on getting the injection.
We are very interested in starting a Buddhist 12 Step Recovery Group at our local SGI Cultural Center. We're in NJ. Where are you?
Comment by Matthew David Leichter on December 16, 2013 at 5:12pm

I also wanted to address your question about my maintaining sobriety. The first thing is to really understand what is AA. AA is a religious organization that have "basically" group therapy sessions on a daily basis. The bulk of force that AA offers to counteract drinking are these daily meetings where people share their feelings. In addition, they have an individual non-professional therapists called sponsors. 

Now how can someone stay sober in SGI without AA? The first part is to find a group of sober people or a social network that encourages sobriety. SGI is great for this as long as he is open for help in this area. The second part is a professional therapist is actually better than a sponsor and I encourage you look into that. Also have him look into SMART recovery meetings which do follow SGI much better than AA. 

Finally, you may want to consider the Sinclair Method. The Sinclair Method can be prescribed by your doctor. It is a treatment of a drug called naltrexone which literally CURES alcoholism. I mean it. It has a 76% success rate in CURING alcoholics. It turns them into normal drinks. So you may want to explore that option. 

Comment by Matthew David Leichter on December 16, 2013 at 4:53pm

SGI ultimately is impossible to reconcile with AA. There is a group of people who utilize AA as meetings to share feelings and a sponsor as a therapist. This is not what AA actually is intended for but how many use it. The problem is how to reconcile the basic philosophy of AA that is an alcoholic is powerless and must recognize their powerlessness in order to receive spiritual help externally. There are books such as the Zen of Recovery which discuss the idea of worshiping the moment, but then actually following the steps which require direct prayer becomes impossible. 

The idea of a GOD at all is in contradiction to SGI which claims the individual has ultimate power. I cannot have ultimate power and be powerless at the same time as AA claims. Humility in AA means to recognize your limitations as a human being, in direct contradiction to the SGI tenet that we have no limitations if we chant to the gohonzon. 

I assume someone can attend AA meetings and SGI at the same time, but at what point does the message of powerlessness and surrender conflict with SGI's message of strength, individual power, and victory. They are complete opposites in moral function. I will re-emphasize what I said on October 4th:

"I once read in an AA meeting an excerpt from President Ikeda's quotes about never surrendering and gaining true victory in your life and the response was horrible. They condemned Ikeda very deeply claiming he had no idea of what spirituality is."

So let me say this again. AA members CONDEMNED Ikeda as unwise and inexperienced in the knowledge of spirituality. If you wish to test this, simply bring a quote about victory and individual strength to an AA meeting and watch it happen. 

The very tenets of AA acceptance, surrender, powerlessness as the tools of spiritual advancement. There simply is no way to bring AA in alignment with SGI logically. It is impossible. 

Comment by Sue Walsh on December 16, 2013 at 12:39pm
Thanks so much for your replies. Will pass this along to my husband. He seems to be having some challenges with AA philosophy
Comment by Kanani on December 2, 2013 at 9:02pm

Mathew David Leichter and Sue Walsh.. in my first bout of sobriety I was able to successfully stay sober for 5 years using both AA and SGI.. having an open mind and a great sponsor who didn't push me to believe in HER GOD was the key to my success. Then after not having contact with AA for a while, I eventually became inconsistent with my practice and eventually drank again. My new slobriety date is June 22, 2012 and I am back with AA.. and keeping that conscious contact with my Gohonzon (consistent practice).. I am also in Alanon cuz I need ALL 3 programs to keep me grounded.. thank you


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