Saturday, July 11, 2015

Step 7: What is the Way?

A reminder of the Way 

Step 7:  Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Koan:  “What is the Way?  A clearly enlightened person falls in a well.”

What is the Way?

What way comes to you?  Is it he supreme Way?  We’re told that the way to stay sober is to integrate all the Steps into all aspects of our life.  And here we’re asking, what is the way to do Step 7?

Is there a special, top-secret way to do Step 7?  Not really … experience shows us that we can be working this Step and not realize it. In the beginning, when we are new, we’re given a tip to what works, what helps in efficiency and effectiveness and gets better results to working this Step.  To be humble in this matter as we relate to our Higher Power and, I think, being sincere is also helpful.

After all, in Step 3 it tells us that selfishness and self-centeredness is at the root of our problem.  Now that we’ve gone through Steps 4-6, we would hope that some of the “self” has been whittled away.

A clearly enlightened person – a clearly God-conscious person -- who is this?

It’s you and I of course.   Buddha means the enlightened one.  Whatever this enlightenment is, we already have it. We are already enlightened, we are already Buddhas.  From another perspective, we already have God-consciousness.  It’s just that most of the time we don’t realize this.

But I don’t feel enlightened.  I don’t feel close to God.  I’m not perfect; I make mistakes; I’ll always have shortcomings AND I fall in a well at times.  This is what clearly enlightened people do.  Just when I feel a shortcoming has been removed, some person will push my buttons and BAM, the shortcoming returns in all its glory.  I’ve fallen into the well again.

We're human beings.  We fall down.  We're always falling down.

What do I do when I find myself at the bottom of the well…again?  Climb out, of course!  Just realizing where I am is a good thing.  It’s during the climbing out when my whispered 7th Step prayer has more sincerity.

It’s establishing a contact with my Higher Power who will help me get out of the well. Once out, I can go about my life with a new perspective at what just took place, as well as more engaging practice of Step 7. Then, the next time it happens, and it will, when I find myself at the bottom of the well, my practice of the Way pays off.

Bill K.