Reading for June 12

“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of Meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back,
and choose the path that leads to wisdom.” Prince Gautama Siddhartha (563–483 B.C.E.)

Peace and balance are the rewards for practicing Step Eleven. For the young at heart, the exercise of Meditation might seem dull
or unimaginative—peace and balance may be synonymous with boring. How about living life to the fullest? Try going days without
boring old sleep, taking in maximum stimulation—live extreme sobriety! So, how’s that working out so far? Is it rewarding or is
the net result somewhat unfulfilling? No matter how much lust for life we have, the art of living well is to live in balance.
There’s no rule against overdoing it periodically and living through the consequences. We don’t want to live rigidly. But we value
the HALT warning—don’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Over-stimulation leads to exhaustion, leaving us susceptible to
all-or-nothing thinking. This may lead to acting out and then remorse. We think of Meditation as a path to discovering the secret
to how we tick. Peacefulness comes from self-knowledge. Jung said that those who look outside themselves will dream and those who
search inside will awaken. If our answer to the dream-turned-nightmare that addiction was is to find a better dream—fine. But to
awaken, we don’t seek out there for wisdom. We find it in here. After exercising mindfulness in our Routines we see that reckless
abandon was not much of a lifestyle choice. The truth turned out to be that we were not living life to the fullest; we were
escaping it—on the run with nowhere in particular to go. A little bit of letting our hair down, self-indulgence and even overdoing
it periodically, is vital to a rich and spontaneous life. Rigidity is not sobriety. We learn to trust our instincts and we can tell when we are living life to the fullest or hiding out in plain view.

What is my attitude toward balance, serenity and peace? Do I entertain fears about recovery making me boring?
Does sobriety ever seem lame?

C., Joe. Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life: Finally, a daily reflection
book for nonbelievers, freethinkers and everyone!

back to main page