This Way of Living

Working Steps 10, 11, and 12.
Building a personal practice.
Creating a small group practice.

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... Practicing Step 11 in the form of meditation is something we do at least once a day, and some of us do it more frequently than that. We describe elsewhere how some of us meditate ...

... Again, we don't do this in large groups, or (with a few exceptions) in a 12-Step meeting. There are many 12-Step meditation meetings across the country, and they work well for some members of 12-Step groups. But we have found that doing Step 11 without first doing Step 10 doesn't work too well for us, and - as we said - we have also found that Step 10 is usually best done in a small group or community. We describe here how we do this ...

... We meditate as a matter of course. Some of us spend 40 minutes or more in morning or evening meditation. Some of us take four minutes or less. "Little and often" seems to work just as well as "sometimes and at length. ...

... Each of us meditates differently but we all have to start somewhere. Our experience suggests that - initially - the simpler the better. Here is a basic meditation which anyone can do. Some of us have used it for many years ...

... It follows that - if we don't do Step 10 first - it's more likely that our prayer and meditation will be influenced by our fears. To some degree at least, we will meditate or pray in order to get what we want, or to avoid what we don't want. We'll be meditating in the hope that it will make our fears go away. That's getting things backwards ...

... Why prayer and meditation tend to be less effective if we haven't dealt with our feelings ...

... Plenty of people around the world, from different faiths and spiritual movements, spend time in prayer. Rather fewer people meditate ...

... Similarly, plenty of people in 12-Step programs pray; rather fewer people in 12-Step programs meditate ...

... Comparatively few people in 12-Step programs do Step 10 before they pray or meditate. We have found that, if we don't work Step 10 first - that is, before we pray or meditate - we end up praying or meditating with an agenda ... and that is rarely a good thing ...

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