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10th Step in Meditation
11th Step in Meditation
Personal 11th Step Meditation Story
IOCC 11th Step Blog
Sacred Connections
11th Step Meditation Intentions
Emmet Fox and AA
Meditation in the News

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Issue: # 33

October/November/2012

11th Step
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The 10th Step in learning and practicing 11th Step Meditation

Daily meditation to deepen our spiritual healing and continue to work the steps in meditation 

 

The first nine steps define and outline the basic steps required to achieve a strong foundation in building a new spiritual framework to think, feel and act within. Meditation is a tremendous aid in this process.

 

The miracle of the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is that they very clearly and Tire Steps concisely outline each action within the process of spiritual development. One of the key concepts is that this is a process.  We are all approaching life, sobriety and the steps from our own unique perspective. But, it does not matter from which particular spiritual level that we find ourselves today, just a beginner, or a little more advanced along the spiritual path, there is always more to discover.

 

We often hear the analogy of "walking the path of life." Life is certainly a journey, and what is the goal?  Our life goals are also progressive. Just to stay sober is an incredible goal and should be our primary purpose. Each step that we have worked is a goal that moves us ever closer to living life as a Spiritual Being, expressing our SpiritSelf, while overcoming the effects of living a life of self-will run riot, through our ego. The ultimate goal for the steps is a spiritual life with a "conscious contact with God," and to live a life of love and service to others.

 

The 11th Step Meditations work to create right inner relationships and foundations to help us move from living completely within our PersonalSelf and to move towards connecting and operating from our SpiritSelf.  To do this we need to learn to include each of the nine previous steps into our daily life and to continue to support these actions with our daily meditations. This is the goal of Step Ten.

 

Step Ten - Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

 

Meditation Aspect of Step Ten:

Continue our reflective meditations to be mindful of our errors and defects of the present and to make inner improvements to mirror our outer 10th Step actions.

 

Click here to read the rest of the article about Step Ten in meditation and to try an 11th Step meditation.

The 11th Step in learning and practicing 11th Step Meditation

Spiritual Homecoming through Conscious Contact

 

We have worked our way through all of the Steps learning to apply the 11th Step Meditation approach through each of the steps. We have learned that we suffer from a spiritual disease and we must learn to constantly turn our attention to God and away from ourselves if we are to learn to live a new life. We strive to be detached from our PersonalSelf and to express our SpiritSelf.

 

To live a spiritual life is very different from the life that we have learned andSunlight of the Spirit within our Heart  practiced our entire time up until this moment.  This new way of living does not happen without resistance from our PersonalSelf. We will find all kinds of distractions and excuses why we should not or cannot take the actions to lead a spiritual life.  Persistence and patience are keywords as we strive to create and maintain a conscious contact with our Higher Power.  We have learned and practiced concentration and meditation techniques that provide us with the tools and the foundation to continue building our 11th Step approach to life. Because we have practiced developing our 11th step understanding, throughout each of the steps, we have slowly expanded our knowledge of the spiritual actions and concepts of each of the steps with meditations to help express these spiritual qualities within us and outwardly in our lives. Now is the moment to see what the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous suggests about working 11th Step.

 

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.

 

Prayer and meditation for me are two companion practices. Two tools to use to connect to my Higher Power. They are not separate in their intent or practice, but may be different in intensity, concentration and in length. The founders of our programs were primarily from Christian backgrounds. I appreciate and relate to the ancient Aramaic language translation for the word "prayer" which 2000 years ago meant "to open oneself" and "to listen to the Divine Presence."

 

To me "conscious contact" relates to the quality of the moment to moment relationship I'm having with my Higher Power. Every moment I have a 3rd Step decision to make - do I take the well worn path of my old habits, the path of my defective habits, or , do I take the new, less traveled path toward Higher Power, love and a new way of living? When I am in closer "conscious contact," more connected, I make the decision toward Higher Power more easily and more often.

 

Click here to read the rest of the article about Step Eleven in meditation and to try an 11th Step meditation.

 
Just getting started with meditation?  We suggest the SpiritStep CD's to help guide you through the first steps in 11th Step Meditation. Just click on the image to learn more. Great for gifts for the Holidays, also!
SpiritStep Two Let Go and Let Love SpiritStep One Beginning Meditation
There is no "I" in Together We can.  An 11th Step Meditation Story

By Hetty L. Calgary, AB, Canada

 

Did I ever had this step wrong before I walked into the rooms of ABA (Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous). My conscious contact with God was all about what I wanted, when I wanted it and how I wanted it. My prayers were very conditional and ended with a promise how I would change, if God gave me what I asked for, and conveniently forgot 5 minutes later what I promised.

 

The God of my understanding was also something tangible, it was somethingCandle on rocks  outside of myself that I was trying to chase. How I was chasing it? By staying addicted to my addiction and then blaming that there was no loving God and that my life was horrible. It never occurred to me that self-will was involved in all of this. Needless to say, I was very lost, felt very alone, very discontent, fearful and was wondering what life was worth living for.

 

In my mid 20's I tried to meditate. I thought that mediation was all about sitting down and shut my mind off. So here I was getting ready to meditate, sitting down on my pillow and screaming in my mind why I couldn't be quiet in my head, what is wrong with me that I cannot stop thinking. It just didn't work, I could not get my mind quiet, I could not stop thinking. So I quit after a few tries, just another thing I failed at and didn't work for me.

 

A few years later I took a mediation course and learned that it is OK to think, just don't give your thoughts any power. Try to stay focused on your breath. If you catch yourself thinking, bring yourself gently back to your breath. Hearing this was a breath of fresh air for me.

 

Click here to read the rest of Hetty's 11th Step Meditation Story

                 http://improveourconsciouscontact.blogspot.com/ 

                          Writings of fellow 11th step explorerers                    

 

Yoga - Meditation-Step 11

Top Meditation Blog

 

Many people think of yoga as stretching for fitness. What is really on the mat is preparation for meditation. It is working the body and mind to better settle into quiet. This quiet time helps to improve our conscious contact with a Higher Power.


No matter if your taking yoga class at a studio or practicing in the home allow yourself that extra time when finished to sit quietly afterwards. If coming from a yoga studio try to keep talking to a minimum or none until you can get to your meditation. You may need to quietly leave class when finished and find your quiet space either in your home or a special space outside. Some teachers leave time for a deep meditation period after class and that may be all you need.
 

 

Click here to read the rest of Gwen's Blogpost

"There are many helpful books also. Suggestions about these may be obtained from one's priest, minister, or rabbi. Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer. " page 87, Big Book

 

Interpretation of Step 11 defined by the Wisdom traditions


www.12wisdomsteps.com - principles from the ancient Wisdom Teachings that align with each step by Rev. Dr. Andrea Travers.
 

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. 

 

Principle: Spiritual awareness developed from the practices of meditation and prayer. 
 

Definition: Meditation is a disciplined practice in which the mind is focused on an object or the awareness of itself. It requires focusing attention on a single point of reference. The practice often results in the experience of a higher state of consciousness. It has been practiced for over 5,000 years and is present in most faith traditions.Spiritual awareness developed from the practices of meditation and prayer.

 

Buddhism

The primary function of Buddhist meditation is to transform the mind. Mindfulness is being aware of the conditions of the mind (of your thoughts). In Buddhism we learn there is an "observer" which can step aside and observe both our thoughts and our actions. There is a full range of conditions which can be experienced by the mind from serenity through fear and anxiety to the bliss of Nirvana.

 

Christianity

For most Christians, our goal is to become more Christ-like. In order to do so, we require wisdom and direction. We are encouraged to develop a personal relationship with Christ so we are available to learn and be directed. This relationship grows and matures through our ability to talk, to listen and to follow Divine guidance. It has often been said that prayer is our side of the conversation, and meditation is the time to listen.

  

Cosmology

Spirituality provides a way for us to remember who we are and to reconnect with our Source. It teaches us how to build relationship with the Originating Mystery.

 

Hinduism

Meditation is necessary for the mystical insight that alone could be the cause of liberation. Meditation firmly secures knowledge already gained. It is necessary for liberation. It prepares the person for the emergence of inner knowledge.

 

Islam

Prayer is called 5 times daily and devout Muslims stop and pray at these times. The prayer leader (muezzin) chants the Call to Prayer in Arabic. Muslims pray to express their faithfulness to God and to remind themselves of their devotion to Him and to His way of life.

 

Judaism

Judaism teaches we can come into contact with God through any activity with the right intention. God is present in all things and in all people so we can come into conscious contact with God through any of our interactions with the world. Through these interactions we become aware of God's presence in our lives.

 

Native American Spirituality

We have always been a people of prayer. Something inside us becomes alert when an Elder prays. This step is about re-awakening our gift of prayer and using it for recovery. Many of us view a path as a narrow trail, but a spiritual path is unlimited. Prayer and meditation widen the path and remove obstacles in our way. Prayer and meditation keep our spiritual awareness of the unseen world of Spirit very close. 

 

Taoism

The Tao Te Ching describe Itself as invisible, inaudible, and intangible. Yet through our intuition we can see, hear and feel it as one presence. It is not something we can grasp and hold, but rather something that we can learn to be; and when we have some mastery in the practice we will experience "ease" in our life (tranquility, serenity, harmony, and freedom from suffering.

 

Click here to explore these wisdom teachings on Step 11 in more depth 

 

11th Step Meditation - Intentions

Having had a deeper spiritual awakening as the result of our 11th Step Meditation practice, we tried to carry this message of meditation to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.   

 

Learn to meditate. I will persevere with patience to learn how to meditate to discover spiritual sobriety.

 

Meditate every day.  I will be an example of living and actively practicing 11th Step Meditation everyday.

 

Meditate in groups.  I will attend meditation groups or will start up an 11th Step Meditation Meeting in my community.  

 

Help others to meditate.  I will share my experience, strength and hope about my 11th Step Meditation practice with others.

 

Take 1 minute to learn about the power of our intentions from one of the leading experts. 

 

Cultivating the Attitude of Gratitude

By Sara Mclean

author, Soul-Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks with Meditation Soul Centered book

 

When you're feeling grateful, your mind is clear, you have a sweeter relationship to the universe and its creator, and you become more aware of the big picture. The world becomes a friendly place to live.Every moment offers an opportunity for thanks. And every "thank-you" can return you to the present moment (another way to become present to what is REALLY going on.)

 

Practicing gratitude does take a bit of attention and time, but it shouldn't only be reserved for that one big Thanksgiving Day. It might take us a few seconds or a few minutes every day to put our attention on Gratitude what we are grateful for, but it's worth it. Gratitude makes us feel good. It has been proven it can change our life, and the lives of others. According to the latest research on gratitude, by Dr Robert Emmons, a researcher and psychologist at U.C. Davis, grateful people really are different than those who aren't so grateful.

Here are some of the qualities of grateful people:

  • They have lower levels of stress and depression
  • They have a greater capacity for empathy
  • People see them as more generous and more helpful than others
  • They have a tendency to see the interconnectedness of all life
  • They have a responsibility and commitment to others
  • They place less importance on material goods, theirs and others
  • They are less likely to judge others based on materialism
  • They are more likely to share what they have with others who don't have as much
  • They are more satisfied with life and have more vitality and optimism
  • They have higher levels of positive emotions 

  

Click here to read the rest of Sara's article on the Attitude of Gratitude

Emmet Fox and Alcoholics Anonymous

By Igor S., Hartford, Conn.
February 1996 AA Grapevine

 

One of the very early recovering alcoholics who worked with co-founder Bill W. was a man named Al, whose mother was secretary to Emmet Fox, a popularEmmet Fox lecturer on New Thought philosophy. When the early groups were meeting in New York, members would frequently adjourn after a meeting and go to Steinway Hall to listen to Fox's lecture. To this day there are AA groups that distribute Fox's pamphlets along with Conference-approved AA literature.

 

An account sets forth in "Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers" tells of the influence of Emmet Fox and his classic work, "Sermon on the Mount." An AA old-timer recollected: "The first thing he (Dr. Bob) did was to get Emmet Fox's 'Sermon on the Mount'....Once when I was working on a woman in Cleveland, I called and asked him what to do for someone who is going into DT's. He told me to give her the medication and he said, 'When she comes out of it and she decides she wants to be a different woman, get her Drummond's 'The Greatest Thing in the World.' Tell her to read it through every day for thirty days and she'll be a different woman.' Those were the three main books at the time; that and 'The Upper Room' and 'The Sermon on the Mount.'

 

Read the rest of this article

Quotes of the month from our literature

"Prayer and Meditation are our principal means of Conscious contact with God." 12 & 12 pg. 96

  

 "On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives." Big Book, pg 86

 

"There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. TakenSunlight of the Spirit within our Heart separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life." 12 & 12 pg. 98

 

"....we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives." Big Book pg. 86

 

"Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle." Big Book pg 86

 

"There are many helpful books also. Suggestions about these may be obtained from one's priest, minister, or rabbi. Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer. " Big Book pg 87

  

"But, first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun." 12 & 98

 

"And let's remember that meditation is in reality intensely practical. One of it's first fruits is emotional balance. With it we can broaden and deepen the channel between ourselves and God as we understand Him." 12 & 12 pg. 101-102

 

"Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. We no longer live in a hostile world. We are no longer lost and frightened and purposeless. 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." 12 & 12 pg. 105

 

"Meditation is something which can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height. Aided by such instruction and example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure, something which each one of us works out in his own way. But it's object is always to the same; to improve our conscious contact with God, with his grace, wisdom, and love." 12 & 12 pg. 101

 

"It works - it really does." Big Book pg. 88

Meditation in the News and on the Web

Meditation can lead us to who Christ is
The Catholic Register
Laurence Freeman, the director of The World Community for Christian Meditation, is essentially giving readers a road map to happiness via the mind and spirit, should they choose to follow his lead. But first he debunks the widely held misconception that ...
Lead By Achieving Nothing. Seriously
Forbes
By now we've all heard about the mainstreaming of mindfulness meditation, of the art of sitting still for defined periods. Hospitals are using it as a pain management tool, psychologists are helping clients manage their anxiety and depression with it ...
Meditation fights flu better than pills
Times of India
Meditation ould be very useful at preventing winter ailments than popping vitamins or herbal remedies as "insurance policy" to stave off colds and flu, a new study has revealed. According to a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, adults who 

Strongest Study Yet Shows Meditation Can Lower Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
TIME
Most doctors say meditation can't hurt you, but now there's reassuring evidence that it may help you as well when it comes to warding off disease. Previous studies have linked better health outcomes among heart patients who practiced meditation ...

 

11th Step Meditation Retreats

 

Centering Prayer 11th step retreats

http://cp12stepoutreach.org/events 


Kevin Griffin - Buddhism and Recovery meditation retreats and classes

http://www.kevingriffin.net/ 

 

Hazelden's Dan Anderson Renewal Center - 12 Step Retreats

http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/renewal_center_recovery_retreats.page 

 

Spirit Recovery has created programs, journeys and events that promote expansion beyond the limitations of your beliefs

http://spiritrecovery.com/

  

Science and Spirituality Audio and Videos

 

 Video: Alan Watts introduces America to meditation & eastern philosophy ...
"The Silent Mind" runs 28 minutes (1960), and it offered American viewers an introduction to the philosophy and practice of meditation, something still considered exotic. Watts became one of the foremost popularizers of Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoisim, which made him something of a celebrity, especially when the 60s counterculture movement kicked into gear.  

 

Simple Relaxation -- A Guided Meditation

This guided meditation is from http://www.quietmindcafe.com and is one part of a three-part relaxation and stress management system. This guided meditation uses visualization techniques and a subtle rhythm to guide your mind to the relaxing Alpha state. You will experience a deep relaxation of the body and mind. The focus of this meditation is to quiet the Somatic Nervous System (Voluntary Nervous System). Created by QuietMindCafe.com

 

Father Thomas Keating: Oneness & The Heart of the World 

In this talk, Father Keating discusses the dynamic nature of God and the paradox implicit in experiencing divine oneness. With humor and wisdom, he explores the practice of contemplative prayer, and how we might begin to approach God through being present to our senses.