Monday, February 15, 2010

Step 11

There is one thing I am happy about this morning. I woke up early, I have time to be introspective and I don't have to go to work. I can journal and reflect and be at peace while letting go temporarily of the demands of daily living. For awhile at least I can just be. I need these moments to feel somewhat at ease with the world.
I have been experiencing quite a few moments of unease and unhappiness. I berate myself because I don't measure up to where I think I should be. Sometimes I feel so discouraged and hopeless. It is such a relief to let go of all that and not worry mostly about what I didn't do that I said I would do at least to myself. I find myself wishing that I could temporarily withdraw from the world and somehow I think that if I could just do that, I could recenter, rebalance and generally be ok. It sounds like a retreat would be just the ticket. For now I will just enjoy this morning of solitude and quiet.
Step 11
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
I meditated for half an hour this morning. Many thoughts arose and passed away. Apparently if I do this often enough, my mind will quiet and I will know stillness and serenity.
"This doctrine of reincarnation, which at first seems so grim and heartless, actually implies a profoundly optimistic belief in the justice and order of the universe. If it is we - and not God, or our parents, or our fellow men - who have made our present predicament, then it is we who can change it. We have no excuse for self-pity and no reason for despair. We are not helplessly doomed... All we need is courage and a determination not to give up the struggle." (How to Know God - The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, page 125)
To really understand the context of this quote, I would have to quote quite a few pages from the book. But what really jumped out for me in this discussion of reincarnation and karma is the notion that I have the power to change. It is only an illusion that I am stuck. In 12 step circles there is the concept that we do the work and leave the results up to God. I may not be able to determine how or when karma will unfold, but I have the confidence that my present circumstance will lead to my future circumstance. What I do today will impact my future either skillfully or not skillfully, positively or negatively and in ways that I cannot imagine. I quit drinking and using drugs more than 8 years ago. My life has not been perfect but I have enjoyed a stability I had not known up to that point. I overeat and don't exercise enough and I gain weight - another expression of karma. Reading and contemplating and meditating and going to meetings and working the steps will lead to some positive outcome in the future. I don't know what and I don't know when. I just have to be patient and accept what comes along.

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