InstantZoom👇Script:🆔 873.8666.0871Inquiry Circle Meeting
Meets 10min after our main meeting
SectionQuestions (Inquiries from: )ParticipantsTODOS:Email
2021-02-07KimberlyIC Orientation• Determine meeting time (10min after our main meeting)
• Gather contacts
• Email: Create Googlegroups. Ask users to try logging into the zoomlink. What to expect. Questions?
• Signal: Create Signal room. Share Signal chatroom.
• Sheet: Create shared sheet & zoom links. Create Introductory Questions.
2021-02-14ThomasGetting to know one anotherOrientation ❖ Open sharing: Getting to know one another
• (re)read (9min) @ (pp. vii-xi)
• (re)read (7min) @ (pp. xii-xvi)
• (re)read (10min) @ (pp. 1-7)

• So, how'd you get to RD? What do you like most about RD?
• Do you have prior experiences with recovery? Therapy? Other programs?
• (Hint: )
• Email: Next week's Qs
• Randomly split groups into 2 to allow more sharetime?
2021-02-21Thomas1A1A ❖ 1st nt | There's Suffering
• (re)read (12min) @
• Let's begin by thinking back to your childhood (<18 y/o). What harmful behaviors did you witness or experience in your environment? You can list behaviors by caretakers, family members, friends, community members, or others. Note: the definition of “harmful” is up to your interpretation. If the behavior caused you to feel bad or uncomfortable, write it down.
10• Announce: Next week's questions
2021-02-28Kimberly1AA• Now think about your adult life (>18 y/o). Make a list of your own behaviors that you consider harmful. Without exaggerating or minimizing, write how you and others have suffered because of that behavior.
• For your list of behaviors above, rate each behavior by writing 1-10, depending on how harmful you feel the behavior is to you (with 10 being most harmful).
• How have your harmful behaviors been a response to the behaviors you witnessed or experienced as a child? (Trauma, pain, or conditionings?)
- Add column to spreadsheet
- Announce next week's questions (first bullet of 1b)
- Update questions breakdown within spreadsheet
2021-03-07Thomas1B1B ❖❖ 1st nt | Patterns & Healing
• Do you notice any patterns emerging over your life as an adult? What are they?
2021-03-14Thomas1BB• If you changed the patterns you listed in our last meeting, what are some ways that you might reduce suffering for yourself and others?
• What are some ways you can respond to the trauma, pain, and conditionings of childhood that nurture healing rather than avoiding?
2021-03-21Kimberly2A2A ❖ 2nd nt | A Cause of suffering
• (re)read (4min) @
• When you were a child (<18 y/o), how did others in your environment respond to difficult situations, circumstances, and feelings? In looking back at their behaviors, do you see any patterns of craving or avoidance?
Matthew, Thomas, Kevin, Ana, Al, Jana, Rachael, KimberlyNeed to send a Doodle to pick a new time
2021-03-28Thomas2A• Now think about your adult life (>18 y/o). How have you responded to difficult situations, circumstances, and feelings? Have you experienced craving or avoidance? If so, how have you acted on these?
• Are there troubling memories, shame, grief, or unmet needs hiding behind the craving or avoidance you experience today? How can you meet these with compassion and patience?
2021-04-04Thomas2B2B ❖❖ 2nd nt | Clinging causes craving
• Think back to childhood (<18 y/o). Did you ever see others cling to unreliable solutions trying to secure their own happiness or avoid pain? At what cost did they do these behaviors? (e.g. Did they give up Relationships, Financial security, Health, Opportunities, Legal standing, or other important things to maintain their behaviors?)
2021-04-11Kimberly2B (cont)• Now think about your adult life (>18 y/o). What things have you given up while clinging to unreliable solutions? (eg. Relationships, Financial security, Health, Opportunities, Legal standing, or other important things to maintain your addictive behaviors?)
• What are beliefs you cling to... (a) that fuel craving and avoidance? (b) that deny the truth of impermanence? (c) about how things in life “should” be?
Rachael, Stephen, Thomas, Kimberly, Stephanie, Jana
2021-04-18Thomas3A3A ❖ 3rd nt | Hope: Less craving → Less suffering
• (re)read (2min) @
• Think back to childhood (<18 y/o). Do you remember any examples of people in your environment who successfully overcame their hardships? (Ex: stress, trauma, dependencies, addictions.)
• Now think about your adult life ( 18 y/o). Have you ever seen anyone recover? (Perhaps it's someone you've seen in a meeting.) How can it help you believe you will recover?
• Continue thinking about your adult life (>18 y/o). What makes it so hard to overcome your addictive or dependent behaviors?
• Recovery is diverse. It can range widely from reducing the most harmful behaviors first, to fully renouncing all of them (at least for some period) as the wisest path to reduce suffering. What resources are available to help decrease your suffering and cultivate recovery?
2021-05-16Thomas3b3B ❖❖ 3rd nt | Craving can be overcome
• Last week we discussed difficulties we each face in overcoming our addictive or dependent behaviors. What would a supportive person say to you about the struggles you have in your recovery? (Perhaps, imagine what you would say to a friend--or even a child--that is facing the same struggles you're facing.)

Consider this: Take a moment to consider Buddha nature. The Dharma suggests that everyone is born with Buddha nature--it is the compassionate and wise seed that you are cultivating in this moment of inquiry. Buddha Nature is the good that existed in you before the world “got to you” or harmed you. It can be thought of as your enlightened self. Buddha nature is still present in you right now. It's the part of you that found Recovery Dharma, and it continues to blossom with the light of healthy self-care.

• To cultivate your Buddha nature, what would the compassionate and wise part of you say about the struggles you have regarding your recovery?
• Practice "letting go" of a subtle craving. Notice that the craving doesn't last (cravings are always impermanent). Do you feel that little sense of relief when you let it pass? That's a little taste of freedom. What does it feel like?
2021-05-23Thomas4a4a ❖ 4th nt | Eightfold path → End of Suffering
• (re)read (2min) @
• What is your path in recovery?
• What does it mean to you to take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha for your recovery?
2021-05-30[optional]4b[optional] 4b ❖ Karma Garden: for Selfcare and Harm reduction of Processes
•Read the trifold pamphlet on how to create your own Karma Garden (renunciation for process addictions) with examples, here:
• Bottom Pit: (verb: Pitting) On a sheet of paper, near the bottom: Draw a red circle (big enough to write a short list). Write down and list the harmful behaviors/habits/things that I wish to stop. Then rate each one 1-10 (with 10 being most harmful) to help inform me of my plan.
• Middle Slopes: (verb: Sloping) Outside the Pit, I see the downward gravity slopes that pulled me under. Draw a larger yellow-orange circle around the red circle. List all the causes/triggers/risky situations/boundaries-crossed/feelings/causes that have led to Pitting.
• Top Garden: (verb: Gardening) Outside the Slopes is my boundless Garden. Notice that the Garden doesn't have a circle around it. It smells refreshing out here, and I see people and things I like. Perhaps I'll light a candle/incense for selfcare. What positive karmic seeds can I plant, water, grow, and give light? Write down all the positive karmic seeds that don't fuel my addictions. Bullet-point each with a green seed/seedling to indicate growth, harm-reduction, and selfcare. Include items of selfcare for my inner child. This list is the most powerful of all—because when I'm craving, these are healthy alternatives as replacement behaviors. There's so much I love to do, that I can water instead.
2021-05-30Thomas5AB5AB ❖ Understanding | Cause and effect
• (re)read (6min) @ Wise
Consider this: Trauma can be passed from parents to children. This "intergenerational" trauma can include experiencing domestic violence, spiritual abuse, or systemic racism and marginalization. “Our trauma is not our fault, but healing from it is our responsibility, and our right.” (Recovery Dharma, p. 13)
• How is karma—the law of cause and effect—showing up in your life? For example, are you still dealing with the aftermath of events from the past (including childhood)? Are you still dealing with the aftermath of actions you've taken yourself?
• Describe a current situation in your life that is causing you unease.
• Try to observe the feelings you're having as a result of the situation above. Are your feelings informed by previous life experiences? (For example, notice if any similar situations in the past have caused you unease.)
• In the situation you described above, are you seeing clearly? Or is your vision clouded by hatred, confusion, clinging, attachment, or craving? If so, how?
• In the situation you described above, is there another “truth” that you haven’t considered yet?
2021-06-06Thomas6A6A ❖ Wise Intention (Heart Practice)
• (re)read (17min) @ Wise
Heart Tip: CAKE // GF • Compassion, Appreciation, Kindness, Equanimity // Generosity, Forgiveness
• Can you name the 4 Heart Practices by heart? And the 2 choices?
• Have you ever seen someone apply the principles of heart practices (esp Forgiveness or Compassion) when making up for a harm they caused? Describe.
2021-06-13Thomas6B6B ❖ Restoring Balance with Yourself
Heart Tip: CAKE // GF • Compassion, Appreciation, Kindness, Equanimity // Generosity, Forgiveness
Gentle Guidance: Like in metta practice, we begin by reconciling with ourselves, first. "Amends are about restoring the balance in our relationships, not about asking for forgiveness from others. In a sense, it is an action we take to forgive ourselves." (p.30)
• Think about the ways you've been harmed by your addiction. What were your intentions? Do you sense any underlying motivations of self-soothing or coping based on avoiding discomfort? Describe.
• [optional] Would these situations have turned out differently if you practiced the heart practices then? How? (CAKE GF)
• Moving into the future, how might the heart practices help you restore balance with yourself?
2021-06-20Thomas6C6C ❖ Restoring Balance With Others
Heart Tip: CAKE // GF • Compassion, Appreciation, Kindness, Equanimity // Generosity, Forgiveness
Gentle Guidance: When we are ready, we may begin reconciling with others.
• Think about the ways you've harmed others in your addiction. What were your intentions? Do you sense any underlying motivations of self-soothing or coping based on avoiding discomfort? Describe.
• [optional] Would these situations have turned out differently if you practiced the heart practices then? How? (CAKE GF)
• How can you restore balance in the relationships where you've caused harm? Can you do it without harming yourself or the other person? Note: Restoring balance may not require direct interaction with the other person.
• How might the heart practices help you move forward, without an attachment to being forgiven? (CAKE GF)
• Can you set an intention to stop repeating these behaviors that have caused suffering
Last week, we inquired about self-forgiveness and self-restoration. This week we'll inquire about restoring balance with others.

Fortunately, this program doesn't require us to make an amends!

It simply asks us what an intention to make amends might look like, and what good might come from restoring balance with this individual, whether directly or indirectly. And by setting that intention, we might feel more confident that when the time feels right and when it's safe, perhaps we'll be more ready to ask for and offer forgiveness.
2021-06-27Thomas7AB7AB ❖ Speech/Communication/Listening
• (re)read (6min) @ Wise
Consider this: “Wise speech includes all the ways we use our voices, including in writing and online.” - Recovery Dharma p. 33
• When you were young, did you learn how to speak without causing harm?
• Without skillfulness, our words can cause great harm. Describe a time when you caused a lot of harm with speech (whether intentionally or unintentionally).
• Many in active addiction use false speech to cover up or present a false image or reality. What are some ways you've been dishonest or harmful in your communications?
• Going forward, can you set an intention of compassionate and loving speech?
Consider this: As there can be no writer without a reader, there can be no speaker unless there is a listener. Cultivating Wise Speech means to also cultivate Wise Listening. “Deep listening—without selfishness or an agenda—an act of generosity that lets us build true connection.” - Recovery Dharma, p. 35
• When you were young, did you learn how to listen with compassion?
• Listening is an essential part of wise speech, and helps inform wise understanding. Can you give an example where deep listening has opened your heart to more compassion?
2021-07-11Thomas8A8A ❖ Action & Five Precepts
• (re)read (5min) @ Wise
Note: Precepts 1 2 3 4 5 | ↩️ Harm • Theft • Lust • Lies • Toxicity
Consider this: The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent a wholesome and concrete expression that results as each of the five precepts are undertaken. Each Mindfulness Training gives us a beautiful vision—a tangible goal to strive for, instead of an intention to NOT do something. So for each precept, we'll introduce the section with the corresponding Mindfulness Training to offer you a glimpse of the fields of positive karma seeds we're planting by undertaking each precept.
• What part(s) of the five precepts do you agree with? Describe.
• Can you recall an example of a time you were about to act unskillfully, but chose not to? How did you feel?

1st Precept: ↩️Harm | 1st Mindfulness Training: “Reverence for Life. Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of all beings.”
• We all cause harm. How have you caused harm? (Harm can be physical, emotional, mental, karmic, financial, legal, moral, etc.)
• Have you ever chosen inaction in a situation when you could've protected the well-being of another? And when have you stood up to protect someone?
2nd Precept: ↩️ Theft.
| 2nd Mindfulness Training: “True Happiness. Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting.”

• We're given many things in life—but sometimes we want (or think we need) more than is given. We might steal goods, possessions, time, energy, or even recognition. With this understanding of stealing, how have you taken what has not been freely given?
• How might practicing generosity (with possessions, time, energy, recognition) be beneficial to both yourself and other beings?

3rd Precept: ↩️Lust. | 3rd Mindfulness Training: “True Love. Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and communities.”

The fruits of undertaking the 3rd precept is sometimes said to be true intimacy. Have you ever experienced true intimacy? How would you define it?
Consider the following while reviewing your sexual activities or partners:
• Were you mindful of other existing relationships, families, or commitments?
• Were you fully aware of the mental/emotional conditions of those involved, including your own?
• Were you motivated by craving and self-interest, or care and commitment?
We've been meeting for 5 months. We've written on our inquiries. We've shared intimately and bravely held space for one another. And now we have only 5 weeks left and then you can be one of the few in Recovery Dharma who can honestly say, "I completed my inquiries."

Let's do this! We're on Theft (or True Happiness) and Lust (or True Intimacy) and for me these are some of the most important inquiries.
2021-07-258C[Optional] 4th Precept: ↩️Lies | 4th Mindfulness Training: “Loving Speech and Deep Listening. Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and by not listening, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate, active listening.”
Note: Feel free to skip this, if you've already done the inquiries on Wise Speech.
• [Optional] In what areas of your life have you practiced loving speech?
• [Optional] In what areas of your life have you spoken with harshness, dishonesty, or manipulation? (This can include stating falsehoods, denying or misrepresenting the truth, and speaking with an ulterior motive.)
• [Optional] Investigate the source of unskillful speech throughout your life. Has it been based on pain, fear, or confusion?

5th Precept: ↩️ Toxicity & Intoxication | 5th Mindfulness Training: Nourishment and Healing. Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful and nourishing consumption.”
• Have you used intoxicants or other behaviors that cloud the ability to see clearly? (“Other behaviors” include obsessing about lust, money, power, manipulation, anger, or ego.)
• What substances and processes have you relied on? How have they clouded your awareness?
• If you have periods of abstinence, were the substances or processes replaced by other ways to avoid being present to your feelings? How?
• During periods of abstinence, have you noticed any positive changes in your mental or physical health? Please describe these changes.
Let's skip Precept 4 (lies—it's basically wise speech inquiries repeated) and focus on Precept 5.

Precept 5 in our book says, "Avoid intoxicants & intoxicating behaviors" that lead to heedlessness (moral recklessness—it results in dukkha). This includes consumption of tech/food/media when it results in numbing.

I often try to summarize concepts as concisely as I can. When I looked at the 5th precept, I thought "Intoxication" was a great succinct fit. But then I was stumped reading Buddha Vacana excerpts (The Word of the Buddha) that looked like precepts 1-4, but with a wacky mismatched precept 5. Humor me:

Example A. "[1] destroys life ✅, [2] takes what is not given✅, [3] goes to the wife of another✅, [4] speaks falsely✅, [5] prompts others to do the same" 🤯 [1-4] make sense, but [5] here isn't quite intoxication... (ref: AN3-66. )

Example B. "[1] kills breathing things ✅, [2] takes what is not given ✅, [3] commits adultery ✅, and [4] utters falsehood ✅, and [5] he gets another to do likewise." 🤯🤯 again not intoxication. (ref: AN3-67. )

I lamented, before looking deeper. In both examples, Precept [5] looks like a codependent behavior of managing/controlling/manipulating *leading others to heedlessness*. Here, the human has become the toxin, the human infecting others with heedlessness. They've become the weapon, of mass dukkha-slinging.

It's not perfect, but I can rest easy with a summary for precept 5 of "toxicity."

2021-08-15Thomas9AB9AB ❖ Livelihood/Service
• (re)read (2min) @ Wise
Good news: We're nearly done! Just 4 sections left, and the questions for inquiry are lightweight and are *not* divided in half. It'll take 4 more sessions! Now's a good time to begin a commemoration party.
• Does your job cause harm? What is the specific nature of that harm?
• How can you do your job more mindfully and with an intention of compassion and non-harm?
• What part does greed play in the choices you make in your lifework?
• How might you bring a spirit of generosity to your life, both in your profession and outside it? (For example, how can you be of more service to your family, friends, Sangha?)
2021-08-2210AB10AB ❖ Effort | Balanced Energy to Recovery and Awakening
• (re)read (4min) @ Wise
Consider this: It's easy to let ourselves get overly focused on just one part of our lives (e.g., work, recovery), and we may forget about putting energy in other areas (e.g., play, selfcare). Wise effort is less about the quantity of hours we put in, it's more about ensuring we balanced attention to all areas of our lives and staying centered.
• Are you dealing with any overwhelming desires, aversions, restlessness, laziness, or doubts in your life? How do those hindrances affect the choices you're making?
• Are there any areas of your life where you are avoiding feelings by checking out and giving up, or by overworking and overexerting?
• What efforts have you made to connect with wise friendships, mentors, or dharma buddies who can help you develop and balance your efforts in all areas of your life?
• Think of a situation that is causing you discomfort or unease right now. What kind of effort are you applying to this situation? Pay attention to whether it feels balanced, or if you're leaning too far in the direction of either inactivity or overexertion. Is there anything you would like to do differently?
2021-08-29Thomas11AB11AB ❖ Mindfulness | Non-Judgemental Awareness
• (re)read (8min) @ Wise
Consider this: For meditation, it's been said that 3 minutes a day is better than a 30-minute sit each week. And like the practice of gratitude, starting small yields big results.
• What are steps you can take to be more mindful throughout the day? (E.g.: Checking in with yourself about how you're feeling, taking a few deep breaths to disengage, or mindfully focusing on daily chores.)
• What are steps you can take to sit with discomfort when it arises? (Hint: "This is a moment of discomfort.")
• What are steps you can take to question the "truths" that your mind tells you, rather than automatically believing the stories? How can being aware of your own misperceptions change your reactions to situations?
2021-09-05Kimberly12AB12AB ❖ Concentration | Notice, Refocus
• (re)read (6min) @ Wise
Consider this: Wise concentration isn't just about being undistracted. It's also about redirecting the mind back to the object of refocus (e.g. the breath). There's tremendous value to be gained during meditation, as you notice a distraction, and willfully choose to refocus.
• What are some simple steps you can take to support a daily meditation practice?
• When distracted, what are steps you can take to maintain focus/study/work/meditation (without judging yourself)?
• What are ways you can take care of yourself during meditation?
• How can you use concentration to understand more clearly and act more wisely?