Prayer & Meditationby Balboa Horizons | March 16, 2017
“Prayer is when we talk to God. Meditation is when God talks back.”
The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous has been helping people get sober from drugs and alcohol since the 1950’s. Each step in the program builds honesty, integrity and a connection to a higher power of one’s own understanding. The wisdom that is gained through this higher power, takes the place of addictive thinking. How does one stay in contact with such a power? The 12 Steps point to prayer and meditation in Step 11.
For some, the concept of a higher power or a god is hard to fathom. There are many atheists and agnostics who have been able to find sobriety through the 12 steps and practice prayer and meditation. It comes down to understanding the intentions of these actions aside from any former connotations.
Prayer can be seen as setting intentions for one’s day and life. Over the past few years, vision boards and goal setting have become popular. What people are doing is simply establishing what they want and daily reminding themselves of these things, making it more likely that they will act on their intentions. For the recovering addict they use the form of prayer for guidance in living a sober life, making healthy decisions, and for ways to be of service to others. The act of engaging in daily prayer keeps one connected to the wisdom of their higher powers voice and away from the addictive thinking.
The simplest form of meditation is sitting still and observing your breath come in and out of your body. When the inevitable thoughts about work, family, and what’s for dinner come up, you simply let them pass. Practicing meditation for 10 to 15 minutes at a time has been scientifically proven to alleviate people’s depression and anxiety. It also brings a sense of calm and relaxation. From this place of peacefulness, people report making more mindful decisions after they meditate. Some bring a question they are puzzled by and meditate on it. Afterward, they sense an intuitive nudge in a certain direction with a calmness about it.