Principle behind Step 11 – Spiritual Awareness
Step 11 suggests prayer and meditation. I see it as a guide on how to keep in “fit spiritual condition”. The Big Book, on pg. 84, tells us “It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all our activities. ‘How can I best serve Thee? – Thy will (not mine) be done’. These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is proper use of the will.”
The Big Books contains specific directions. Pg. 86 in the Big Book states “It would be easy to be vague about this matter. Yet we believe we can make some definite and valuable suggestions”.
If you go to www.oabigbook.info you will find the Step 11 form that provides all the specific instructions from pg. 86 to 88 in the Big Book for doing this step.
The Big Book has three kinds of prayers and meditations.
1. What we do on going to sleep, pg. 86 in the Big Book
2. What we do on awakening, as discussed in the last two paragraphs on pg. 86, and the first three paragraphs on pg. 87 in the Big Book.
3. What we do during the daytime, discussed in the last paragraph on pg. 87, going to pg. 88 in the Big Book.
For me, this is another one of the Steps that I work very differently from when I first took the Steps 12 years ago. Honestly, up until a few years ago I did this step very, very sloppily – and inconsistently. I didn’t pay much attention to this Step, after all, I was already praying morning and night so I thought I was already doing it. I had lost a significant amount of weight and believed I had “arrived”. I was full of ego. I didn’t look at the “how” or “why” I need to do this Step. I now know I must practice this Step because I am a COMPULSIVE OVEREATER and I am powerless over my addiction. And the only way to get a daily reprieve from my condition is by staying in “fit spiritual condition”.
And even over the last year to the present, my doing Step 11 has changed significantly. And this has made a positive difference in my life. My days go much smoother – no matter what is going on – if I stay connected to my HP. I wish I could say I do it perfectly and with the same enthusiasm every day – but I don’t. It sort of ebbs and flows – but the mere practice of doing it every day has made my life much more joyful and serene. And those days when I am fully off center, and reacting rather than responding, are fewer and farther in between.
If we do what the Big Book suggests, our Step 10’s are done when we begin not to feel so spiritually fit, and Step 11 is to be done every day – morning, evening and throughout the day. These acts help keep us recovered, and must be practiced faithfully. I don’t believe these practices have to take a long time. Rather our main focus should be on service, which is the crux of our next step – Step 12.
Read in the Big Book the bottom of pg. 85..Step Eleven to pg. 88 end of chapter.
Answer and share with loop:
1. How do you feel about the notion of praying for the right thought, action, or decision and then just letting go?
2. How does time in prayer and meditation affect you?
3. In what way does God speak to you?
4. What do you need to do to stay aligned with this higher spiritual power?
The Twelve Steps
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