When I came into AA, I was advised do a series of simple things, many of them seemingly unrelated to my “problem,” all of them somehow “spiritual.” Showing up at meetings, listening, praying, meditating, helping others, doing simple acts of service.
And I was advised to work all twelve Steps, which have been called “spiritual experiences leading to a spiritual awakening.”
With time, I learned that the only act that brought about real and lasting change in my wounded, angry, egocentric personality was deliberately ands consciously giving myself and my problems to a Higher Power, directly in Steps 3 and 7, and indirectly in the other Steps.
I took a particularly firm hold on Step 11, which advises us to make use of resources from the great spiritual and religious traditions of the world as we strive to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power.
In recovery I became very interested in spirituality in many forms, from Zen meditation to Catholic theology, Hindu devotional songs to Jewish mysticism.
On May 9, I’ll talk about some of my adventures in these realms, with particular emphasis on the times that I tried to stay emotionally sober on Hinduism or Buddhism or Catholicism, or a mixture of the above, while de-emphasizing the Program — which is, of course, far less colorful and dramatic. (Hint: things didn’t go too well.)