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Bhakti Recovery Group Event in Alachua Inspires Healing and Growth
By Atma Tattva Das, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  Oct 14, 2023

L-to-R, Namamrita Das, Jiva Gaurangi Dasi, “Jiva G,” and Yogesvara Das.

Alachua, Florida – The Bhakti Recovery Group (BRG) Convention, held recently in Alachua, Florida, has emerged as a beacon of hope for individuals navigating the challenging path of addiction recovery within the devotee community. The convention, spearheaded by Jiva Gaurangi Dasi, “Jiva G,” the founder of BRG, and co-organized by Namamrita Das, brought together devotees from diverse backgrounds to explore the powerful fusion of Bhakti spirituality and the 12-step recovery program.

The convention, the first in-person meeting to manifest in Alachua, saw attendees from various walks of life. It aimed to provide a platform for devotees and individuals dealing with addiction to find a safe and supportive community while preserving their spiritual journeys. In a follow-up interview, Jiva G shared the essence of the convention, “We wanted to create a space where people can heal, grow, and share their experiences openly. It’s about building healthy communities where no one feels alone in their struggles.”

Namamrita, who played a crucial role in organizing the event, echoed this sentiment, “The convention was a testament to the power of compassionate service and the need for such initiatives in our devotee community. We wanted to bridge the synthetic gap between addiction recovery and spirituality.”

The convention featured diverse discussions and activities, primarily focusing on providing attendees with practical skills to host support group meetings. It emphasized the importance of adhering to the 12-step program’s principles while integrating Bhakti spirituality. Attendees learned that maintaining the program’s structure could create a safe space for healing and growth.

One of the standout moments from the convention was the realization that the 12-step program’s core values seamlessly align with the principles of Bhakti. Attendees understood that recovery and spiritual progress are interconnected journeys. “We had attendees from all backgrounds, and the moment they recognized the common thread of addiction and the shared desire for spiritual growth, it was a transformative experience,” said Namamrita, “People understood that they could recover while deepening their devotion.”

The convention’s impact was palpable, with attendees expressing their gratitude for the support and camaraderie they found. Devotees who had previously felt isolated due to their addiction struggles discovered a new sense of belonging.

Recalling a touching moment during the conference, Namamrita said, “We had a devotee who felt ostracized within their community due to their addiction. In the conference, they found acceptance, understanding, and the knowledge that they were not alone. It was a deeply emotional experience.”

A significant focus of the convention was to equip devotees with the skills necessary to navigate addiction recovery in devotee communities. Jiva G emphasized the importance of adhering to the program’s structure while maintaining an environment of love and compassion. “We want devotees to understand that they are contributing to their community’s healing by hosting support group meetings. But it must be done within the guidelines and principles laid out by the 12-step program.”

Namamrita added, “Creating a space where individuals can share their experiences without judgment is vital. Attendees learned that hosting meetings requires a commitment to service and the willingness to listen with empathy.”

Looking ahead, Jiva G and Namamrita have ambitious plans for BRG. They aim to take the convention to other devotee communities worldwide, fostering healing and growth in every corner of the globe. They aim to ensure that no devotee or individual grappling with addiction feels isolated or unsupported. As Jiva G put it, “Our mission is clear: we want to reach out to those who may have felt unloved and overlooked. We want to heal and uplift devotees by creating a network of support that spans the globe.”

The BRG Convention in Alachua was a remarkable milestone in this journey, bringing together devotees and individuals seeking recovery while imparting valuable skills for hosting support group meetings. As it continues to inspire communities worldwide, the convention’s legacy remains rooted in compassion, service, and a commitment to healing.

Interested individuals are invited to contact the Bhakti Recovery Group via their website for more information or to explore starting a recovery group in your community. Readers may also be interested in Jiva G’s new podcast. You can listen or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or the podcast platform of your choice.

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