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: “You’ve already found your home – although you still must seek it.” *
I feel like I'm one of the fortunate ones – early on in my sobriety, even though I’m introverted by nature and always avoided large gatherings, I felt “at home” in the meetings. This was a pleasant surprise. Whatever was going on in my life I knew I could find refuge in a meeting. All I had to do was sit there…and listen. Little did I know that my entire world would change.
Then I learned about having a home group; the meeting to never miss; and if I did, people would call me to see if I was OK. Friendships have grown over these past decades, in many ways we're like family.
I was also pretty much at home with the Steps with my sponsor, becoming more comfortable with them and no longer wondering if they could really help me. By now I had some experience, proving what they could change things for the better.
By the time my sponsor and I were at the 11th Step together, I had acknowledged a home group. I think I was their coffee maker, too. The group relied on me to make the coffee and bring some cookies; and in return, I could rely on the group to help keep me sober. This is the AA family in action. A family dynamic means helping the other.
Above all, I was sober! My home life was improving, my health was improving, there was more serenity, too. I knew that this was a process and I was headed in the right direction. When I was drinking I knew I was headed in the wrong direction; but didn’t know how to “not drink”.
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: Step 3 is like an insurance policy to stop drinking and bring about recovery. As with all insurance policies, one must pay the premiums. Step 3 comes with a price. Step 11 is the premium I must pay. If I stop paying my premiums (practicing Step 11) this valuable insurance policy (Step 3) will eventually drop to the wayside…and bad things will return.
I’ve found a home in AA and I’ve found my home in the 12 Steps. To maintain these homes I must seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with my Higher Power, my ultimate home of homes.
Prayer and meditation are spiritual exercises to be practiced daily.
Toggling between acceptance and gratitude provides a wonderful home life indeed.
From Sutra: PRAISE SONG FOR MEDITATION — Hakuin Ekaku
Truly is anything missing now?
Nirvana is right here, before our eyes;
this very place is paradise,
this very body, the Buddha.
* Gary Brandt gave this koan to us one Monday evening. He adapted it from “Memories of a Catholic Girlhood” by Mary McCarthy—specifically, from the foreword “To the Reader.” The quote in the edition I have is on pages 22-23 (she just refers to him as “an older priest”): “I do not suggest to you where you will find your spiritual home—but you will find it—of that I am certain—the Spirit will lead you to it. Indeed, for me you have already found it, although you still must seek it.”