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HOW: Open-mindedness and Step 11

A friend in Program says:

Step 11 is about improving our conscious contact with God as we understand God. However, we have a question to ask ourselves before we start this work, and the answer we give to that question will very likely determine the result we get. The question is quite simply this: Are we so smart, before we commence to work Step 11, that we know who this God is and where we're to find him/her/it/them?

If we have already decided who or what God is, if we've already determined where God is to be found, then there is no doubt that our practice of Step 11 is going to be considerably easier. We will pray and meditate, and if we don't get the result we know we ought to get then we'll know we're not praying or meditating properly. Yes, meditation can be so much easier to understand and do when we're serenely confident of what's supposed to happen when we do it.

However, if we decide that we are not, and cannot be, clever enough to determine who, what, and where God is before we start to work Step 11, then our practice of this Step is going to be completely different. First, it's going to have to be undertaken alone, or at best in the company of others who are just as ignorant as we are. Second, it's going to be hard work. Third, it offers the possibility of drawing us to conclusions about the nature of God which call into question a great deal of what we have taken for granted so far in our spiritual journey.

This question -- about whether we already know who, what, and where God is -- is absolutely key to our practice of Step 11. It can make the difference between an approach to prayer and meditation which comfortably confirms what we already believe, and one which will take us on a new, unknown, uncomfortable, and potentially transformative path of self-discovery.

"The spiritual life is never one of achievement:
it is always one of letting go."

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