Prayer AND Meditation, Not Prayer OR Meditation

Recently, I awoke early to start my day before it became hot and humid. I prayed my usual prayers, but thought to myself that I would save morning meditation to a more convenient time. Perhaps this was the beginning of obsession trying to creep into my mind as I ignored the line, “On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day …” (AA 86). Later, I listened to an AA speaker podcast and was laughing along with the speaker, feeling inspired until the same speaker began to share the “What it’s like now” part of his story. He shared about his four years of marriage and six-month-old baby. I felt upset, inadequate, perhaps self-centered. I said to myself, “Where’s mine? I deserve that!” I then said it to God. The next thing I noticed was a strange, dark sexual thought that I should act out sexually via porn and masturbation so I could know what my sponsees go through when they slip. Further insanity!

A warning concerning Step 11 from the Big Book came to my mind, “It is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas” (AA 87). So, it is about “progress, not perfection” with prayer and meditation. If I wanted to experience a reprieve from lust and defects of character, then I had better work the Steps on this. I texted a local sponsee. In the text, I worked Steps One through Four. I admitted my wrongs to God, to myself and the sponsee.

We worked the 12 Steps together, quickly, and urgently. I prayed silently, “God, please show me who to help?” I believed the action would be living amends, as the Big Book says, “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” (AA 83).

I then noticed a notification on my phone about a sponsee in Europe who had another Step Five to give away. If I had spent time in meditation, thinking about the day ahead, I would have seen the appointment on my calendar. Forgiving myself, I gave a quick prayer of gratitude and prepared for hearing the 5th Step. I probably got out of it more than the sponsee. We have different religions and cultures, but there was such unity and Real Connection in sharing with each other our Higher Power’s will for us when we experienced quiet time/meditation together. There is a line in the White Book, “Meditation has proven to be not only beneficial to mind and body but one of the best natural methods of quieting our inner disturbance. These results can appear in meditation even apart from any prayer or religious association” (SA 139). I continue to get so much out of SA! Thanks to my sponsees, my sponsor and the fellowship. Thanks for letting me share!

Hal C., Virginia, USA

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