11th Step Retreat – Open to members of all 12 step or other recovery programs, friends, and family.

John Bruna

Laura Bartels

“It is said that for meditation to be of value, the results must show in our daily lives.” (Pg 47, NA Basic Text)

“Emotional balance is one of the first results of meditation, and our experience bears this out.” (Pg 47, NA Basic Text)

“There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life.”  (Pg 98, 12 &12)

“The doors that open and close in our lives are not nearly as important as the person we are when we walk through them.”  John Bruna

Join us at Mt Alvernia, in Wappingers Falls, for a weekend of contemplation and practice focused on the 11th step. Our retreat is open to all, whether you are in recovery or simply want to enhance the use of prayer and meditation to improve the quality of your life. We often have friends, partners, and family members join us.

The retreat begins on Friday evening and we will spend our time in the peaceful, contemplative environment of Mt Alvernia cultivating the universal tools of mindfulness, meditation, and prayer to support our personal growth in living in alignment with our deepest values.

The retreat will be facilitated by John Bruna and Laura Bartels and will include exploration and unpacking of the 11th Step, instruction and practice in meditation, as well as time for self-reflection, group discussion and personal time.  

John Bruna has been in continuous recovery since 1984, had successful careers in addiction treatment and as an educator prior to spending over six years as an ordained Buddhist monastic. Grateful to have found recovery in the 12-steps and for all those that have carried the message helping him and countless others, John has dedicated his life helping others do the same.  He is known for his warmth, humor, and ability to make teachings practical and accessible. John is the author of The Wisdom of a Meaningful Life: The Essence of Mindfulness and The Essential Guidebook to Mindfulness in Recovery, and has presented at TEDx and conferences throughout the country. 

Laura Bartels is married to John and is a sought after teacher in her own right with a personal story of survival that is truly inspiring. In 2001, after a serious car accident and many other significant life challenges, Laura began finding the value of meditation and mindfulness as a way to grow through these challenges. Laura says, ”In retrospect, along with a meditation practice, early elements of my mindfulness practice included the balance that comes from knowing there are always silver linings to difficult circumstances, and the expanded perspective that comes from asking how to move through these challenges with grace.”


Registration is open!

Dates: July 19-21, 2019

Location: Mt Alvernia Retreat, 158 Delavergne Ave, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

Cost: $250 single room, $200 shared room per person. Includes room, meals, and snacks. John and Laura offer their time and teaching freely. There will be a donation basket available to cover their travel expenses. 

Questions – email us at [email protected]