If it were not for finding a practical way to experience the 11th step I would be dead
By Christophe, San Pedro, CA
What was it like before I began meditating?
I got to AA in June of 1984, my sobriety date is Aug 4,1984. My 1st sponsor insisted that I go to an 11th step meeting on Thursday night even though I had not taken that step yet. So I went and prayed but could not meditate...that meeting is still my home group, but at the time I hated it.
Years went by, I was sober, attending meetings, sponsoring people, going on retreats, etc...but no real prayer life and no meditation to speak of. By early 1994 I was unraveling; my father had died in December of 1993 and that had triggered a full depression; my career was gone and my marriage a disaster. I was fully aware of it all and could not do a thing about any of it.
What happened? How did I get started meditating?
I was reaching another bottom in some ways worse than the one which brought me to AA. Going back to alcohol and drugs was not an option but insanity and suicide were. In March of 1994 my sponsor at the time, Jay S, invited me to a workshop on Saturday March 5, 1994 at St. Cross in Hermosa Beach. I had no idea what it was about, I said yes and showed up.
It was an introduction to Centering Prayer given by none other than Thomas Keating himself. That day became my Centering Prayer date.
My life was changed though at the time I did not know it.
I joined a Centering Prayer group meeting every Tuesday night to sit 20 minutes and get reinforcement to sit daily; needless to say it took a while but gradually it took hold of me.
What is it like now? How has meditation affected my program and my life.
Words do not describe what is.
What I know is this: the depth of my program and the joy in my life are without measures.
I also know that if it were not for finding a practical way to experience the 11th step I would be dead.