Contact for Meditation and Addiction:
Meditation empowers us to face the addictions and compulsions that affect most of our lives — to a greater or lesser degree. As part of an assisted programme of recovery, simply learning to meditate helps us face and resolve those conditioned patterns of mind that need to change. As the simple, gentle practice becomes part of us, a new clarity of perception and generosity of heart open up. Meditation does not make us perfect. But it helps us resonate with the self–forgiving love inherent in us all, and which is strengthened within the fellowship of our communities.
In Christian meditation we realise how the practice expresses and releases our personal freedom. We see how it is love that does this work because meditation is more than a technique or a course. It is the ‘work of love’ and even, in time, a way of life.
Mental agitation and defeatism are two strong elements of all addiction. They toss us around on waves of distraction. But as they subside through the practice of meditation we are opened to the luminous stillness of the present moment in which the power of love is revealed as the centre of all reality.
Meditation is a healing process. What is healed is the wound of our divided self that separates us from others, from God and so from our full potential.
Meditation as an 11th Step Practice
We are a group of men and women from 12 step programs, following the teachings of John Main and the World Community for Christian Meditation. We are not a replacement for, nor are we affiliated with, any 12-step program of recovery. We are here to share this ancient path of contemplative prayer as a way to practice the 11th Step: 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.”
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
• Moment of silence . . .“room to breathe room to be”
• Invite someone to read the Mission Statement:
We are a group of men and women from 12 step programmes, following the teachings of John Main and the World Community for Christian Meditation. We are not a replacement for, nor are we affiliated with, any 12–step program of recovery. We are here to share this ancient path of contemplative prayer as a way to practice the 11th Step:
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.”
• How To Meditate — In your own words or the CD (If newcomers are present briefly go over the format of the evening)
• Reading from the 11th Step or other AA Literature that relates to the week’s teaching.
• Example: “Meditation is something which can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height. Aided by such instruction and example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure, something which each of us works out in his own way. But its object is always the same: to improve our conscious contact with God, with His grace, wisdom, and love.” 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, p.101
• Opening prayer — together (Found online, written by Fr. John Main)
• CD 20 minute Meditation
• Lord’s Prayer
• Pass out the Teaching of the Week (Light Within example)
• Faith sharing. This is a brief time of identifying with the readings in relation to our journey of a spiritual awakening in the practice of Step 11
• Announcements — includes suggestion for donation to cover expenses and support of WCCM
• Mystery of Love Music CD
• Closing Prayer — together (Found online, written by Fr. Laurence Freeman)
Readings used by the Meditation as an 11th Step Practice online group:
READING INTO THE SILENCE
“We have to find a life in the world of grace and spirit, and this is certainly a new dimension for most of us. Surprisingly, our quest for this realm of being is not too difficult. Our conscious entry into it usually begins as soon as we have deeply confessed our personal powerlessness to go on alone, and have made our appeal to whatever God we think there is — or may be. The gift of faith and the consciousness of a higher power is the outcome. As faith grows, so does inner security. The vast underlying fear of nothingness commences to subside. Therefore we find that our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening.”
The Best of Bill: This Matter of Fear
READING FOR FAITH SHARING
“The extraordinary phenomenon of our time is the nameless fear that haunts people. There are so many people adrift in their lives, without signposts, without standards. They live in a world in which they feel that anything goes, old rules seem outdated and old systems of thought or theology seem irrelevant. The result is that we are left with a haunting fear of rootlessly wondering where we are, where we are going and what will happen next. Meditation is a return to being rooted in essential reality. A return to our spirit. A return to the base from which we can come into direct contact with the basic structure of reality.”
The Heart of Creation: Meditation A Way Of Setting God Free In The World
Western Springs, IL 60558
Contact Janet: 708-246-4866, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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