Meditation as an 11th Step Practice
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.”
Addiction & Recovery outreach shares an ancient path of contemplative prayer as a way to practice the 11th step. We are not a replacement for nor are we affiliated with any 12-step program. All are welcome, faith or none, 12 step or not.
Let us begin with a moment of silence…
Thousands of people in recovery hear these words every day at 12 recovery meetings held all across the world. This “moment”—usually five seconds at best—represents the first intentional encounter that many addicts have with silence. The purpose of this outreach is to share Christian Meditation as a simple way to enter more deeply into the silence, where we can achieve the “conscious contact with God” sought in the 11th Step.
Whether you are a newcomer to recovery, or an old-timer seeking to enhance your spiritual life, Christian Meditation can reinforce the God-centered spirituality of the 12 Step paths to healing and growth. “The essence of meditation is learning to stand back and to allow God to come into the forefront of your life, to take that step away from self-centeredness to God Centeredness,” said John Main, the British Benedictine monk who rediscovered this way of prayer.
Christian Meditation is the practice of silence, stillness, and simplicity. Silence means letting go of thoughts. Stillness means letting go of desires. And simplicity means letting of self-analysis.
By cultivating these three spiritual principles, Christian Meditation represents a contemporary expression of the centuries-old stream of contemplative prayer within the Christian tradition. It offers the quiet, interior, and transformative approach to God followed by the ancient Desert Fathers and Mothers, the great mystics and monastics like Julian of Norwich and John of the Cross, and spiritual writers like George Herbert and Evelyn Underhill.
While deeply rooted in the Christian tradition, this way of practicing the 11th Step stands open to us all, whatever our conception of God may be. The silence beckons to us from the core of the world’s great spiritual traditions, and in that silence we find confirmation of what the early members of Alcoholics Anonymous discovered: “To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek.”
May this simple way of prayer be useful across the broad spectrum of 12 step programs – and beyond. “To be alive is to be addicted, and to be alive and addicted is to stand in need of grace…Grace is our only hope for dealing with addiction, the only power that can truly vanquish its destructiveness.” Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions by Gerald May M.D.
Guidelines for a Group
It is important to have a basic understanding of The Essential Teaching of Christian Meditation and the guidelines for How to Start A Group. This will be the foundation for your group.
“Meditation begins with a call that awakens us out of the coma of self–preoccupation. We are called, we are chosen. Meditation is our response to that call from the deepest center of our awakened consciousness...by letting go in meditation we learn how to love.” John Main OSB
- Welcome (Reminder to mute microphones)
- Introduce ourselves by name and where we are from
- Read or ask someone to read the Mission Statement.
- Read How to Meditate
- Reading into the silence
- Opening Prayer
- Meditate 25 Minutes
- End Silence with Serenity Prayer
- What is Faith sharing? Contemplative faith sharing is a time of listening with the ear of the heart to the reading and to one another. Listening for a word, phrase or thought that resonates with your practice of meditation or your spiritual journey of faith. Faith Sharing is experiential and brief.
- Reading for Faith Sharing – Slowly three times
- Invitation to stay afterwards briefly for any questions or concerns
- Conclude with a reading of the Closing Prayer
Addiction & Recovery 11th Step Contact Information
Contact: Linda Kaye (firstname.lastname@example.org)