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Living in Step 10

A friend in Program says:

This is a very ancient story.

There was a monk, who was very old, but even so had only just been ordained. He knew little about the faith he represented. One day he begged for alms from an old lady, who promised she would feed him if he would preach to her.

He went into her house and she fed him well. Then she sat down expectantly to listen to the old man preach. Unfortunately, because he was so ignorant of his faith, he could think of nothing to say, and remained silent. After waiting patiently for a while, the old woman closed her eyes and fell asleep.

The monk realized that he now had an opportunity for escape from this awkward situation, and very quietly he got up, tiptoed out of the house, and set off down the road. Suddenly the old woman woke up. She saw the monk was gone, and began to chase after him. When she reached him, she bowed down before him and said:

"Forgive me. I am an old woman, and I fell asleep during your preaching."

The monk then bowed down before her and said:

"Forgive me. Though I am an old man, I know nothing of my faith, so I could not preach to you. When you fell asleep, I ran away."

The story says that at that moment, both the old man and the old woman were enlightened.

Step 10 says, "When we were wrong, promptly admitted it." The only person who can determine when I am wrong is me. The old lady thought she was wrong, and admitted it. The old man thought he was wrong, and admitted it. Neither expected anything of the other in return for the admission.

Step 10 is only about us, never about the other person. It's always about what we have done, felt, thought, said. And when we have made ourselves right with ourselves, our job is done ....

But the story shows something else. Step 10 is about transformation -- but not just of ourselves. When we practice it in this simple way, Step 10 has the ability to transform not just us, but our world.

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

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