I just read an excellent article about the purpose of meditation for those in 12 Step Recovery and wanted to pass it on to you.
Really thought-provoking. I find meditation crucial to my recovery and to my ability to find any sense of peace. When I miss a day, I am definitely not feeling as balanced. Plus, as I have written previously, every time I sit without running screaming out of the room when my body or mind is in pain, it teaches me to do the same thing when faced with obsession so that I can sit still and not act on it even if it is uncomfortable. Just as the racing thoughts or body pain in meditation pass if I continue sitting, so, too, does my death struggle with instant gratification pass if I just work my program and don’t give in.
In recovery from compulsive debting, we can’t always get our way with money. It is disappointing and I, for one, loathe that feeling. But disappointment won’t kill me.
I am reading the book “Drop the Rock” as my prompt for writing and working Steps 6 & 7. On pages 26 and 27, they talk about the concept of Reflection as the final piece in the triad of Prayer, Meditation, and Reflection:
Prayer is seeing answers and direction in life. Meditation is listening for answers from a Higher Power [HP] and developing the ability within ourselves to accept the answers. Reflection is the study of ways to turn the answers we get from prayer and meditation into action.
This may seem like a strange topic. How does fear of death relate to our DA program? For me, this has been a longstanding issue that permeates how I live my life.
I have come to see working my DA program as a practice. This has come up strongly for me in my current work on Steps 6 & 7. Just FYI, I am reading Drop the Rock: Removing Character Defects along with the Big Book and 12 & 12 to do this work.
What do I mean by practice? Let me first explain by using meditation as an example.
Steps 6 & 7 are the grit of the program, where we take up the mantle of willingness and work to get rid of our defects.
Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
The 12 Steps of Debtors Anonymous are the instructions for staying sober with money. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 & 12 are the textbooks we read to clarify these instructions. While the Big Book says there are no rules, only suggestions, in program, I think they say that so as not to scare off most addicts who rebel at rules. Plus, it is true that no one is holding a gun to one’s head to do this program. But in order to get well, one cannot just pick and choose which instructions to follow. It would be like baking a cake and leaving out the sweetener.
Step Eleven is an action step. It is one I find many people resist. Not so much the prayer part as the meditation. People are often scared of meditation. Who wants to sit still with the demons in our head running wild? But meditation has been integral to my ability to stay sober in multiple programs.