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- August 29, 2016 at 3:01 pm #3737020
This is an online Step Study. Each of the 12 steps will have its own thread, so you can participate at whatever level you are comfortable and discuss your own experience with concepts in each step. It’s a combination and compilation of step studies – some from Al Anon, some from Nar Anon and some from CODA.
Sources include Paths To Recovery, Al-Anon’s Steps, Traditions and Concepts ©1997and How Al Anon Works for Families and Friends of Alcoholics ©1995, along with some readings from Courage to Change, One Day at a Time in Al Anon II ©1992.
Each of us works the steps in our time, and in our own manner. Most often, step work is done by those who attend face-to-face meetings and have a sponsor. That doesn’t mean that you MUST, it’s just a suggestion. Please don’t feel as though you must rush thru these steps… it took some of us a few years in the program before we began, and we found ourselves stuck on at least one of the steps for a year or more. The questions and postings here will be an outline, a framework from which you can begin your journey. If nothing else, the questions will provoke some thought and self-reflection, and some great discussions and dialogue.
Others who have worked the steps before may find that they wish to do the steps again. Many people who work one step per month every year – 12 steps for 12 months. The more you learn about yourself, the more you know, and the more you wish to learn!
Step Eleven: Sought thru 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.
Taken from Paths to Recovery, Al Anon’s Steps, Traditions & Concepts pp 110-111
Although referred to as the second maintenance step, Step Eleven does introduce new action – the action of seeking through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God. What is prayer? What is meditation? How are they different? An important note to make is that this Step guides us with the words prayer and meditation, not prayer or meditation.
To some, prayer is seen as a religious act of placing one’s hands together, getting on one’s knees and talking to God. Others ask their sponsor, an Al Anon member or spiritual person to guide them. In Al Anon some begin with simple prayers, such as the Serenity Prayer or “not my will but thine be done.” Some pray every morning or evening, some pray throughout the day. Reading the prayers found in Al Anon literature opens the door for others. Many read daily from One Day at a Time in Al Anon, Courage to Change: One Day at a Time in Al Anon II or Alateen: a Day at a Time, using the day’s message as a form of prayer. Writing letters to God works, too. We learn to pray from example and from other’s personal experience. To some of us, it may feel artificial. Sometimes prayer works and we are delighted, while at other times nothing seems to happen. Accepting God’s will and God’s time can mean saying a prayer and letting go.
Meditation has been used in many cultures as a spiritual practice for thousands of years. Finding a quiet time in our busy lives can be difficult. Many find it helpful to schedule a specific time at a set location to meditate. In the beginning we many not need a great deal of time. In fact, success may come by trying for a few minutes at a time until we become more comfortable with the action. Almost all of us can find the few minutes needed, if we want. As we have success disciplining our minds, these brief periods of meditation will increase.
What is meditation?” Al Anon leaves that question open for each of us to answer in our own way. Drawing upon the experiences of other Al Anon members can help us to find our own path.
The Second part of Step Eleven, “… praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out,” focuses our prayers in a specific direction – God’s not ours, Asking only for God’s will means surrendering our own. Working previous Steps has helped us to become willing. Before recovery some of us accepted unacceptable behavior in others, believing we were doing God’s will. Despite sincere efforts, we are not always able to separate God’s will from our own, but we can strive for improvement. When we experience a new joy, we now celebrate with newfound gratitude. When we make a mistake, we learn from it and continue to grow – One Day at a Time.
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
Although referred to as the second maintenance Step, Step 11 does introduce a new action-the action of seeking through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God. What is prayer? What is meditation? How are they different? An important note to make is that this Step guides us with the words prayer and meditation, not prayer or meditation
How do I do find the difference between prayer and meditation? Can I talk to my sponsor, another Al-Anon friend or someone I’m sponsoring about the difference?
Am I willing to try prayer and meditation today?
What can I do to add prayer and meditation to my life today?
Do I have a special time and place to pray and meditate? What can I do to create one?
How have I sought to improve my conscious contact? Have I sought out help from my group? My sponsor? Anyone else in Al-Anon?
What personal spiritual experiences can I draw on to help me improve my conscious contact with a Higher Power?
What does it mean to me to pray only for God’s will and not my own? How can I distinguish between God’s will and my self-will?
How have I been mistaken about God’s will? How has my self-will caused me difficulties?
How am I willing to be guided today?
Is something blocking me in this Step today? What is it? What Steps can I review to help me feel connected again?
What do I need to have the power to carry out God’s will for me? Have I asked God for that power?
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