This Way of Living

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

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Doing Step 10 before Step 11
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.

Step 10 first
Step 10 is primarily intended to help us deal with our fear. The Big Book tells us that fear, if it is allowed free rein, leads to resentment, and to selfish and dishonest behavior.

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.

We have discovered that the purpose of Step 10 is not to immunize us against fear. It is to deal with our fears when they arise.

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