Monday, March 11, 2013

Step 3: What was your original face ...

Step 3:  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Koan:  “What was your original face before your parents were born?”

Our group had a delightful and deep conversation with this Step and koan.  "Original face" had a different meaning to everyone in the room, and still a kind of oneness that pointed to the same source. 

I found myself vacillating between the notion of "original face" and true self.  When Step Three came to mind, I recalled the passage in the Big Book on page 53, "God either is, or He isn't."  This morphed into God is everything -- everything is God; so the key is turning my will/life over to or aligning with everything in any given moment.

What self am I turning over then?

It's my small self that I'm turning over...the self that depends upon this 12 Step program.  My larger self, my true self, this can't be turned over since there is nothing to turn over.  My true self is everything.  My true self is God, Dharma, Universe.

The next day came one of my favorite meetings,  The Third Step Meeting!  The General Service Representative had a short announcement and the words "bottom up" jumped out at me.  She was describing how our 12 Step fellowship is a bottom up organization -- where the ideas for change come from individuals to their group to eventually end up at our New York office.  We are not a bottom down organization with some CEO dictating changes and policy.

Our relation with the Third Step is totally bottom up, too.  Everyone at our meeting has a different perspective of their Higher Power.  We pray differently.  We meditate differently.  We are different and still the same...collectively, all holding hands, saying the Third Step Prayer at the end of the meeting, it's bottom up action.

It's the same for my practice whether I'm sitting with a Step or sitting with a koan.  Going more deeply into the Steps or koans is on one level a solitary job, looking inward -- yet this inward journey takes me to a heightened level with my Higher Power. 

On Friday the 8th we had eleven 12 & Zen participants and 5 of them were new!  As I was closing up the zendo and talking with one of the regulars about these new people, she said she knows one of them and asked her why she is coming.  The woman replied, "I wanted to start doing things that I like doing."

I hope you like doing this, too.

Bill K.