Step Eleven: 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.
Many of us were not well developed in the spiritual life. Addiction drives
out spirituality. Many of us had concluded that if there were a God, he
certainly wasn't much good to us. We prayed hard, and got fatter still.
But the Late Liz, Gertrude Bahana, remarked in her talks that all we had was
a good case of the gimme God blues. What we had not learned to do, possibly
could not learn to do in our addiction(s), was to go to the center, finding
the Divine there, and listening to that voice with our intuition.
Once we get used to that process, we find that our lives begin to conform to
the energetics of the Divine spirit that flows through the universe. It is
something like learning to float, so the stream can carry us effortlessly to
where we need to be.
And that means that each day, at least once, and without fail, we have to
sit down and be still. Even if only a few minutes. When we do, we find that
there is more power than we ever dreamed of available to us, power that
leads us only in the direction of recovery, and in so doing, leads us in all
the right directions, and makes the impossible possible. many of us learn to
be doing this kind of prayer all through the day, taking time for a few deep
breaths and centering ourselves back in our HP. Many also regular times to
do this kind of prayer each day. We have our own sacred spaces, our gardens.
We go there, and we are not alone. If ours is a disease of isolation, this
is certainly the ultimate way to break out of it. This is the one connection
that does not fail.
Working Step 11 is also the difference between merely being abstinent, and
having true recovery, the soul changing kind. If you want to go for the gold
and know that you will get it, just work step 11 each day.
If anyone wants a short course in centering prayer, I will be happy to talk
to you about it. It does not require any specific religious faith, but is
also perfectly in line with all of them. Spirituality is a human thing, the
experience of our Higher Power within us.
STEP ELEVEN ~ QUESTIONS
The kind of prayer I discuss in the essay is not exactly petition or
intercession. In fact, it may be nonverbal altogether, or in some part. This
is the "prayer" of the inner journey, which every one of us must take if we
are to recover. Some call this religion, but it seems to me that they really
don't know what they are talking about. Yet religious people find increase
of faith in doing this.
1. Do you know how to meditate in the manner this step is talking about? If
so, please share something of the process of it with the rest of us.
2. Do you know what intuition is, and what it does? Share your ideas or
experiences on this subject.
3. Are you willing to let go and let God to the extent that you are ready to
stay in constant contact with your Higher Power? How have you held back from
4. Most people find in their spiritual life that there is some guiding image
sound, whatever. For me, my guiding image is light. People also have guides
sometimes. Often these are perceived as guardian angels, although at one
time for me it was a tree. (The tree went places with me.) For many in
Western culture, the guide will be Jesus, whether they are Christian or not.
Whatever it may be, it is archetypal -- for you.
Can you share some of the ways you find yourself led on your journey?