Program Listings

Register now and get CAD $75.00 off the program price. Offer valid until Jun 2, 2024.
  • Lodge: Single Occupancy Room – CAD $1,075.00
  • Lodge: Double Occupancy – CAD $825.00
  • Drala Cabin: Single Occupancy – CAD $1,025.00
  • Drala Cabin: Double Occupancy – CAD $800.00
  • Shrine Room Floor: Garuda – CAD $650.00
  • Live or Staying Locally – CAD $525.00

Date & Time Details: Arrival Friday, Sept 10 by 5 pm. Departure Sunday, Sept 15 after lunch.

Location: Dorje Denma Ling

Address: 2280 Balmoral Road, The Falls, NS B0K 1V0, Canada

Contact: Amara McLaughlin-Harris
[email protected]

Email us about program

Walking the Path of Recovery: Buddhism & the 12 Steps

with Margaret Jones Callahan and Brian Callahan

September 10 - 15, 2024

The path of Dharma and the path of recovery complement each other and work together to support and deepen sobriety. Buddhism and the 12 Steps each offer a template or method for one’s personal, spiritual journey. Both Buddhism and the 12 Steps begin with looking at life on its own terms: either acknowledging life’s unmanageability (as in Step 1) or acknowledging the truth of suffering. Both paths lead to the discovery of joy, compassion, and a deeper spiritual relationship to the world. Both Buddhism and the 12 Steps shine a light onto the path towards freedom.

Who Should Attend

Participants who have a commitment to bringing caring attention to an addiction are welcome to attend. Previous experience with meditation is not necessary, nor is experience with the 12 Step recovery method. Participants will be guided through the teachings and practices of both of these disciplines.

What to Expect

During our six days together we will journey through the 12 Steps, applying mindfulness practices and contemplations. Meditation instruction for Calm-Abiding practice will be offered. We’ll begin and close each day with meditation.

Each day will also offer opportunities for discussion, mindfulness-based journaling and art, contemplation, and sharing. All of these activities will bring insight into and spaciousness within our struggles with ourselves.

Recommended Reading

  • One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps, Kevin Griffin (Rodale Books, 2018)

Overview of  the Schedule

The typical day of retreat will begin at 7 am and end around 9 pm, with a few exceptions such as arrival and departure days. There are breaks for meals, tea, and mid-day chores.

Arrival: Tuesday, Sept 10 by 5 pm. Dinner is at 6:30, with orientation and the first talk beginning around 7:30.

Departure: Sunday, Sept 15 after lunch. A more detailed schedule will be posted when you arrive.


All prices listed in $CDN.
Tuition & Meals: $525
Lodging: Extra: varies by type. Visit the Registration Form or this page for a list of options and pricing.

Early Bird Discount of $75 applies if you register by February 11, 2024.

Generosity Policy: If you need financial assistance in order to attend, please complete this form and our Finance Director will contact you. If you have questions or would like to set up a payment plan, contact our Finance Department at [email protected].

Registration and Cancellation Policies

Please take note that our registration and cancellation policies have been updated. You can read our registration and cancellation policies here.

Covid Considerations 

Please read the full details of our Covid policy here.

Useful Links

Participant Info
How to Get Here
Financial Aid Form


Margaret Jones Callahan
​Margaret believes in the transformative power of Mindfulness Based Art. She leads mindfulness-based education programs combining her coaching skills with her experience as a senior meditation instructor, clinical counselor and registered art therapist. Margaret has taught Mindfulness Art for 40 years, and offers Open Studio sessions at Windhorse Studio, in Indian Harbour, NS. In 2011, she founded the Mindfulness Based Art Therapy Summer Institute to train clinicians and educators. She has led MBAT training sessions internationally and consults to School Boards and mental health agencies. With Brian, her life partner, Margaret lives and works in the vibrant artist community of…
Learn more about Margaret Jones Callahan
Brian Callahan
Brian began studying Buddhism in 1972 while also studying for ordination as a Catholic priest. Ordained in 1981, Brian resigned from ministry in 1985 when he became a Buddhist. He joined the Shambhala community in 1986, received transmission from the Vajra Regent in 1988, and received Vajrayogini Abhisheka from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in 1994. Brian completed the Söpa Choling 3-year retreat in 2003. Pema Chodron and the monastic council invited him to stay on at Gampo Abbey and serve as the Abbey’s executive director. Brian held that post until March of 2005. Since then he has taught Vajrayana and Shambhala…
Learn more about Brian Callahan