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Author Archives: Craig W

New LifeRing Meeting to Start in Berkeley, CA

A new LifeRing meeting is coming to Berkeley, CA, the city next door to the LifeRing headquarters in Oakland. The meeting will be on Thursdays starting Feb. 12th at the Alta Bates Herrick Hospital on Dwight Ave. near Shattuck St. Meeting time is 7:30 pm. New LifeRing convenor Larry L. reports that “it is in the CC Conference room on Level A at Herrick. Take the “B” elevator to Level A.”

The Herrick facility has long hosted LifeRing meetings and has been the site of several Annual Meetings for the organization. LifeRing meetings are held there also on Mondays at 8 pm.


Martin Nicolaus’s Prepared Remarks for the 2014 LifeRing Annual Conference

Below is the talk that LifeRing’s founding leader wanted to give at our recent Annual Conference. Unfortunately, Martin Nicolaus ran into car trouble which you can read about on his personal blog Here. So what follows is what Marty would have presented to the Annual Conference had he made it on time:


MartyThank you for inviting me to speak here today.  To have served this organization as founder and its initial CEO has been an honor and a privilege.  I am deeply grateful for the support I’ve received over the years from the LifeRing network.

I get a great warm feeling from seeing the caliber of the people who are taking the lead in serving the organization today.  The basic principles of LifeRing address urgent societal needs.  A cadre of people with exceptional vision, energy, talent, and endurance has coalesced around these principles. On this basis, the outlook for LifeRing’s future is very good.

The time for me to participate in guiding the organization is past.  However, I have been asked for my view of the road ahead.  Of course, I have no crystal ball, and life has a way of laughing at our best-laid plans.  But here goes.

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Dr. Candice Shelby’s Presentation on “Biocoding” Posted on Website

ShelbyCandice Shelby, Ph.D., an associate professor of Philosophy at the University of Denver campus, is a valued friend of LifeRing. She knows a great deal about how brains and minds function, including the biological, psychological and, yes, philosophical factors that determine what we are, and why we are that way. She gave a talk a few years ago at a LifeRing Annual Conference in Denver that was very well-received and continues to draw heavy readership on this website (click Here for the earlier presentation). Dr. Shelby was kind enough to quickly supply a copy of her talk so that we could post in on The new presentation is concerned with “biocoding” and can be read Here.  Here is a brief excerpt:

What I would like to consider specifically today is the way in which the processes of addiction and recovery are connected to processes of meaning development and change. The level of meanings that I’m going to focus on here are at the semantic, psychological, and social levels. These meanings are encoded into individuals through the interaction of their highly complex organic systems with the highly complex environments in which they are embedded. The correlation of the meaning shifts with the transitions into and out of what we generally call addiction is so close that we could reasonably call addiction essentially a phenomenon of meaning, were it not for the oversimplification that such a characterization would invite.

The concepts dealt with in the talk are fascinating even while sometimes hard to grasp by the layman (or at least by me). Still, it is very much worth a read. Go Here




LifeRing Annual Conference a Big Success

LifeRing Congress 2014 Poster     Concluding yesterday, June 1, the 3-day LifeRing Annual Conference in Santa Rosa, CA, came off without a hitch. Here’s a brief summary of what happened (warning, it relies on the not-always-reliable memory of the author).
     Friday’s event was at the Arlene Francis Center, a funky, warm-hearted facility located on the wrong side of the tracks along with several shelters for homeless people. There, the early arrivals met for socializing and a convenor workshop. The socializing, as always happens at LifeRing gatherings, was lively and very talkative. There was a presentation on a large screen of a number of greetings sent by members or groups of members, both snapshots and brief videos. Despite a few technical glitches, the greetings were very well received and established a precedent that I hope will be continued at future conferences.

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Spring/Summer LifeRing Newsletter Now Available

newsletterCarola Ziermann, editor, announces that the latest LifeRing Newsletter is hot off the press. See it Here. Featured are a number of articles about LifeRing’s Annual Conference which is coming up later this week. Other articles deal with LifeRing news about new meetings, dealings with other organizations, and how to donate.