Co-NNections Recovery Stories

The Daily Eleventh Step…


The Daily Eleventh Step

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The Daily Eleventh Step


When
I first began in recovery, over eight years ago, I read in a daily
meditation book about a woman who used the eleventh step as a guide to
the other steps. As I was an experienced meditator I latched on to this
concept. Meditation was a familiar tool, and I have used it daily to
increase my understanding of all 12 of the steps.

When I
meditate, I breathe in harmony with the slogan “Let Go, Let God”. I
breathe out while holding in my mind the thought “Let Go”. I breathe in
while holding in my mind the thought “Let God”.

That’s it, that
is the whole process. I repeat this process over and over, for as many
minutes (or hours) as possible. Inevitably, my mind wanders away from
the process. When I have noticed I am no longer meditating, I simply
begin again.

Although it helps to be in a quiet, distraction
free environment, it is also possible to meditate under just about any
conditions. At first you will be lucky to maintain concentration for a
dozen cycles of breath. Stay with the process, though, and some amazing
results will occur. You will discover that if you learn to let go of
your illusion of control, it is possible to align your thoughts and
actions with your Higher Power’s will.

Praying only for
knowledge of God’s will for me, and the power to carry that out has led
me to the conviction that it is possible to find and follow the flow of
the Living Process of the Universe (my definition of God). It is like
the difference between trying to swim with the current of a river or
tide, or swimming against it.

When I teach meditation to
newcomers, I use the analogy of two-way radio communication to explain
the difference between prayer and meditation. When transmitting
(praying), I hold the mike button down and say what I need to
communicate. When receiving (meditating), I let go of the mike button
(stop thinking), and simply keep the radio on (receptive) and pay
attention (alert).

Similarly, when I pray, I simply think: God,
please grant me knowledge of your will for me, and the power to carry
that out. Then I stop trying to direct my higher power, and keep my
communication channel open so I will hear and understand when
communicated to.

Several times a day I use the “Let Go, Let God”
technique, and some other contemplation techniques, and I pay attention
to where my thoughts are guided. Even a few minutes of prayer and
meditation can recharge me. When I experience feelings of hopelessness,
fear, desperation, anger, self-doubt and other negative feelings, I
pray and meditate. The result is often like a quick clean shower for my
mind, and afterward I often know what I need to do. That’s what
meditation is all about.

Daniel O. (2000)

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