Meditation is not about getting into altered states of consciousness or seeing and experience anything out of the ordinary. It is about entering more fully into the ordinary and discovering thereby the absolute wonder of it, the presence of God: that the ordinary is shot through with the extraordinary.
As you grow more steady in keeping your twice-daily meditation periods, you will find that the regularity becomes important to the whole balance and peacefulness of each day. If you miss a meditation period, you feel the lack of something essential.
It is in you daily life and especially in your relationships that you will notice the fruits of meditation. Your awareness of this personal inner change may not be rapid or dramatic.
It may be reflected to you from those you live and work with. They may remark you have changed! The change can be described in what St. Paul called the ‘harvest of the Spirit” – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity, gentleness and self-control
Think of each of these qualities in terms of your own personality. You know better than anyone except the Spirit, which ones you most need.
Notice that love is placed first – the “highest gift.” In its path, we also find a new joyfulness in life, even in times of stress and suffering.
Joy is deeper than pleasure or happiness. It is found in a new taste for the simple and natural things in life. Peace is the gift Jesus gives us in his Spirit. It is the energy of his own deep inner harmony with himself, with the Father and with all of creation.
Patience is the cure for our bursts of irritability, rage and intolerance and all the ways we try to control and possess others. Kindness is the gift of treating others as we would like them to treat us.
Goodness is not ‘ours’ but we are essentially good, and our human nature is godly because we were created by God and God lives in us. Fidelity is the gift that comes through the discipline of the daily meditation and the mantra. For any relationship to be fully human and loving, it is necessary that we deepen it with fidelity.
Gentleness is the practice of non-violence towards others as well as toward ourselves. Self –control is necessary if we are to enjoy life in the full liberty of the Spirit. It is the fruit of the balance of meditation, the middle way between all extremes.
The fruits of the Spirit grow gradually in us because we begin to turn to the power of love at the center of our being. All these gifts are released as we learn to listen to the language of the heart, which is the silence waiting for us beyond the orbit of our noisy self-fixation.
The source of our being is also the source that heals us and makes us whole. To be whole is to be holy. In meditation we are sanctified in and by the process of being healed.
We invite you to reflect on the reading and how it may resonate to your journey of a spiritual awakening in the 12 steps of recovery, and in particular to 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 carry that out.”
One of its first fruits is emotional balance. 12&12 Step Eleven, p.101
Then he asked for the grace to bring love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light, and joy to every human being he could. 12&12 Step Eleven, p.101
Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, A.A.’s speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity. BB BB Into Action, p.83
So we clean house with the family, asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love. Foreword to Fourth Edition, p.xxiv
Plainly, I could not avail myself of God’s love until I was able to offer it back to Him by loving others as He would have me… This seems to be the primary healing circuit: an outgoing love of God’s creation and His people, by means of which we avail ourselves of His love for us…” Grapevine Article 1958 “The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety” Bill W
Courtesy, kindness, justice, and love are the keynotes by which we may come into harmony with practically anybody. 12&12 Step Ten, p.93
The joy of living we really have, even under pressure and difficulty. BB Bill’s Story, p.15
One feels that something more than human power is needed to produce the essential psychic change BB To Employers, p.143
Though you are providing him with the best possible medical attention, he should understand that he must undergo a change of heart. BB The Doctor’s Opinion, p.xxix
They flatly declare that since they have come to believe in a Power greater than themselves, to take a certain attitude toward that Power, and to do certain simple things, there has been a revolutionary change in their way of living and thinking. BB We Agnostics, p.50
Being wrecked in the same vessel, being restored and united under one God, with hearts and minds attuned to the welfare of others, the things which matter so much to some people no longer signify much to them. BB A Vision For You, p.161
A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole. 12&12 Foreword, p.1
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.