Christian Meditation as an 11th Step Practice – The Way of Unknowing, Fr. John Main, OSB

We invite you to reflect on the readings and how they may resonate in your journey of a spiritual awakening in the 12 steps of recovery, and in particular the 11th Step – “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.” 

It is difficult for us to meditate because we are so hyper self-conscious.  We cannot help, as it were, looking at the little television monitor serviced by the ego and seeing ourselves, thinking about ourselves, analyzing ourselves.

But meditation is concerned with a definitive silencing of the monitor screen. Meditation is a time of poverty, of silence, of self-forgetfulness, not a time for analyzing ourselves, for thinking about our motives or imaging ourselves to be spiritual or sinful. But a time to be absolutely still in mind as well as body. 

Meditation is the journey beyond our existence to our being. To our own unique being. It is the journey to the essential core of what and who we are.

The wonderful thing we know in the Christian revelation is that, even more than that, it is the journey into the heart of Being itself. It is the journey into God.

The Way of Unknowing, Fr. John Main, OSB

“It is to be hoped that every A.A. who has a religious connection which emphasizes meditation will return to the practice of that devotion as never before.” 12&12 Step Eleven, p.98  

“What we do is only changed deeply and permanently by what we are. Humility and responsibility they hold up for us the very essence of right being and right doing”    Bill W. Grapevine Article 1965

“Ever deepening humility, accompanied by an ever greater willingness to accept and to act upon clear–cut obligations-these are truly our touchstones for all growth in the life of the spirit.  They hold up to us the very essence of right being and right doing  It is by them that we are enabled to find and to do God’s will.”   Bill W. Grapevine Article mid 60’s.

Passages from the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions are reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.  The A.A. Preamble, copyright © The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., is reprinted with permission.  Permission to reprint does not in any way imply affiliation with or endorsement by Alcoholics Anonymous or The A.A. Grapevine, Inc.

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