AA literature contains a lot of information besides the 12 step program of recovery. It has historical facts, personal stories and many paragraphs meant to encourage us to use the program. But, the program itself is not very long and is actually very simple.
We can break it down to 4 simple practices-
- How to stay away from the first drink, one day at a time.
- How to handle our thoughts and emotions so we can respond well and face life successfully.
- How to amend past mistakes.
- How to share these practices with others so they can recover from alcoholism.
This meeting focuses on these basic practices so that you can stay sober today and help others to recover from alcoholism. Plus, by using these simple practices you will recognize and experience what AA calls your “innermost self” or “spirit.” Each time you practice these you will awaken to your spirit more and more.
The term spirit is not meant to be religious. It simply means the conscious part of you. The part of you that is aware of your physical body and aware of the thoughts in your mind. AA also calls this our innermost self. Pg. 30 Alcoholics Anonymous
Awakening to our spirit or innermost self is going to be easy because we are already very familiar with it. You know it best when you take a moment to get calm and are conscious or aware of your surroundings. It’s like stopping and paying attention to something. It’s the experience of noticing that you are aware.
For example, right now, notice that you are hearing the sound of my voice. The sounds are coming through your ears and the words are in your mind- but it’s your innermost self or spirit, beyond them, that is aware of these things. It’s the part of us that observes, contemplates, considers and decides.
Everyone has a spirit or innermost self, so we don’t need AA to create one for us. We are merely using some simple AA suggested practices to remove the things that are blocking us from recognizing and experiencing this quiet place of conscious awareness.
It’s easier to recognize our spirit when we are at ease or relaxed. When our emotions are calm and when the details of our personal life are quiet we are less distracted and more consciously aware. This is why AA focuses on simple practices which settle our thoughts and emotions. With these parts of our “self” quieted down we are less reactive and can easily recognize and experience our spirit or innermost self. Anytime we move into this position we are experiencing what it means to be spiritually awake.
This meeting is not meant to replace other types of meetings or do away with any parts of the AA literature not mentioned. It’s just here to present the steps made simple so that anyone can live sober today, awaken to their spirit and help others to recover from alcoholism.
Let’s get started. Click to go to Part I