“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God……..” from Step 11 of ” TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, Alcoholics Anonymous
Did we ever meditate when we were drinking or drugging? Probably not too much. My meditative thoughts encompassed the vintage of my bottle of wine and whether I had enough to get a good buzz. Oh sure, sometimes when suffering a debilitating hangover I would meditate on why I was such a weak person unable to control my drinking and enjoy alcohol like my non-alcoholic friends. That process usually ended with me saying, “Oh, what the hell,” as I headed to the liquor store for the next round of fortification meditating on whether it would be Colt 45 beer, Cutty Sark scotch or a few bottles of Chablis or all three.
Seriously, for most of us newly sober drunks, meditation was something only the Buddhist monks did while chanting. It was a new and foreign activity which did not come naturally. But, we tried, we practiced, and we did not give up until some results were realized. I learned to appreciate the fleeting peaceful moments and the clarity of thought following 10 minutes of meditation. I knew that something within was being manifested which I had never known before. Not sure if it was a God thing or mind manipulation, I nevertheless pursued this newly discovered tool of sobriety because it often countered the insanity and chaos filling my head.
Many years later meditation and prayer are mainstays of sobriety happening sometimes in the quiet of a darkened room, sometimes under a bright blue, sunny sky, often in a straight back chair listening to soothing music such as that of classical masters, and occasionally chanting with the Buddhist monks on YouTube. I have also done meditative walking. Now that’s a trip which can transport a person out of this universe within less than a mile of step-ping, step-ping, step-ping. For me the variety of settings prevents the repetition which can lead to boredom and mental distraction.
I am by no means an expert. However, when I learn a new habit which enhances my sense of wellness, I try to incorporate that habit into a daily routine. As with all experiences in sobriety, I pursue spiritual growth rather than perfection. When I was searching for the “proper” way to meditate, I tried to emulate those whom I saw sitting in lotus position straight-backed and legs crossed.
“Oh no”, my body said, “we cannot sit that way.”
Feet firmly on floor, sitting alert in a straight back chair, with hands opened upward in my lap is my position of choice. The position is not set in stone. Other meditative trekkers have different approaches. For me it is not the body position, the mantras or the music that matters. It is where we go, God and I, during that time of quietness and introspection. It is what God and I accomplish during that half hour of communion. How’s your good heart today?