Monday, November 17, 2014

Step 11: Prayers that reach the gods

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.

Koan: "Collecting firewood and carrying water are prayers that reach the gods."
-- Layman Pang

There’s a lot of activity going on here, with both Step 11 and this koan … sought, consciousness, collecting, carrying and praying.  It’s really about our life right now.  To be truly aware of our daily activities is a gift.

·      Collecting firewood and carrying water

·      Brushing teeth and taking out the garbage

·      Going to a meeting and setting up chairs

·      Paying the water bill and emptying the cat box

The God’s will thing, I look at it this way – whatever is in front of me, whatever is happening right now, is what the Universe has presented me with.  This is my life for which I am grateful.  My thanks go to my Higher Power, the Universe … the Dharma.  Or when things go awry sometimes, caused by others or myself, it’s time for me to call for help.  “H.P, I need some help here.” This calling is prayer.  This seeking is prayer.

But first I need to be aware of matters.  Things and circumstances don’t exist unless I’m aware of them.  To be conscious of something is to be aware.  No matter what I’m doing, this doing offers a pathway, an opportunity for prayer.

As one person said last night, when I simplify work [awareness] I can listen to my heart.

Another person agreed that there is a lot going on here, a lot of stuff to do.  When I’m doing the 11th Step, it’s a form of self-caring.  When I’m collecting firewood and carrying water, this is also self-caring.  Praying and meditation is how I care for myself, too.

To be of maximum service to my Higher Power and other people, this is what we strive for.  In a village setting, collecting firewood and carrying water is a service for the common good.  Practicing Step 11 is a way to become good at helping others.  When I contribute to the greater good, it’s my prayers of action that bring about a rewarding life.

Bill K.

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