Step 11 - "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."
We have been given all the tools necessary in Steps 1 through 9 in order to live a spiritual life. In Step 10 we begin our daily maintenance steps. We keep in conscious contact with our recovering selves by taking a daily inventory of our thoughts and actions. When necessary we immediately make amends so that we are clear of our stinkin' thinkin' making sure that there is NO foundation within for our addictive negative thinking (the drone mind) to build up so that we have no defense against that first bite.
In Step 11 we have cleared our minds and hearts and are ready to begin opening up to a stronger, continually improving conscious contact with our Higher Power. We are told that we do that through prayer and meditation. We are told very clearly that we pray ONLY for God's will for us and the power to see it through. This is the best type as well as the most powerful type of prayer (this has been proven) because a beneficial outcome for all concerned is assured. the ONLY power we ask for is the power to see God's will through. We are then humble power (vehicles for God's will) rather than power hungry (self will).
I have several ways that I pray. I talk to God during the day, this is not a formal prayer but rather an informal regular get together. I pray formally in silence. I do what is called Centering Prayer and that for me, is simply putting myself or being aware of myself as being in the presence of God. I do this in silence because that is God's language. She speaks clearly.
I do different forms of meditation. I have a formal meditation that I was taught with breathing technique and on days when I have a great deal of excess energy and can't sit still, I do a combination of yoga stretches, tai chi, and simple slow meditation walking (zen walking meditation).
Praying and meditating in some fashion most days, has afforded me the ability to stand back at different times during the day and view what is happening from a silent level of consciousness where my Higher Power resides. I also always reside there, but my ego (separate self) forgets that. Prayer and meditation help me to remember this fact much more frequently.
" Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is a sense of belonging that comes to us. We no longer live in a completely hostile world. We are no longer lost and frightened and purposeless. The moment we catch even a glimpse of God's will, the moment we begin to see truth, justice and love as the real and eternal things in life, we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human affairs. We know that God lovingly watches over us. We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter." (AA 12x12 p. 105)
all my love,
Meditation: " Sit quietly. Watch your thoughts and
feelings pass in front of you. Relinquish control and
the desire to get caught in them. See that nothing
in life is permanent. Your thoughts and feelings, and
perceptions all pass before you. If anything catches
you, gently release it. And simply continue watching."
Step 11 Questions:
1) Do you have a formal and informal way of praying?
2) Can you see the benefit of praying for only God's will
for us? Are you willing to pray ONLY in this fashion?
3) Do you meditate? Is your meditation in stillness or
do you use active meditation....or both?
4) Why is the 11th Step so essential to our ongoing recovery?
5) Do you feel that sense of "belonging" the AA 12x12
talks about? And if not are you willing to become involved
in taking the 11th Step?
6) Having taken all of these Steps so far to the best of
your ability, do feel a deeper sense of trust? and are
you able to be more patient now in waiting on God's will?
7) What 5 things are you grateful for at this point in
All my love,