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oboygirl
06-24-2011, 08:08 AM
I am 6 months into recovery and I am still confused about a Higher Power. I would be grateful to anyone who would care to share about how they found theirs.

Patrick Meninga
06-24-2011, 04:38 PM
I explored literature. Read all sorts of books about Taoism, Zen, even the New Testament (read the whole thing).

But I think what really helped me most was to pray every single day without fail. Even when I did not necessarily believe. Just do it. Go through the motions.

Later on, 2 things deepened the spiritual connection that I had:

1) Exercise.
2) Helping other people.

But ultimately, I still go back to the idea of daily prayer.

I have experimented a LOT with meditation as well, and have done some very long 45 minute sessions. (Trust me, that is a long time to sit in silent meditation...at least for me!)

But I found exercise to be much more powerful than meditation, because it includes meditation (depending on how you approach it....watching television at the gym does not count....running outdoors on the open road with no headphones = blissful).

Just my 2 cents.

Seek and ye shall find. Remember, it is more the seeking, not the finding. You define "spiritual" however you want.

Julliet
06-25-2011, 08:12 AM
I second what Patrick has said here. I also sought out information. Read much of the same literature that Patrick mentions, and I have studied parts of the Quran, and literature about the teachings of The Buddha.

What I have found in my studies is that there are many archetypal themes that run through all religions or spriitual teachings. I personally found more similarities than I did differences. Maybe some would say that I was seeking the similarities. That may be true, but for me it is the similarities that speak the Truth.

What I have come to believe is that it is unconditional love and acceptance of ourselves, and others that leads to a HP. That underlying what we consciously percieve as chaos in life and in the Universe, is a constant energy that is omnipresent and omnipotent. That the chaos brings meaning to our lives through acceptance that all is perfect as it is. I have found peace in my coming to know this, and this for me is my HP.

I agree that excercise is powerful, and I have been incorporating it into my daily routine, even if it is only a brisk 30 minute walk. I have found that meditation or prayer has also been helpful.

This was my journey to what I call God, for someone else the path may be different, but I truly believe it all leads ultimately to the same place.

I hope that you will find the peace you seek in your journey.

kjbp
06-25-2011, 08:37 AM
Hi oboygirl,

I'm doing much the same as Patrick suggests. I can't get my hands on enough literature right now. I was that way as a child, but fell away from it when the drinking took over my life. I also grew up quite active in the church community, but again, drinking took over.

I've since found that my reading goes through stages as my recovery process has morphed. I have several books "in process" right now. Besides "Through the Bible Through the Year", I'm also diving into "The Zen of Recovery" by Mel Ash. I think you might really like this one. It takes the 12 steps and blends them into a spiritual experience with Zen's eightfold path. It includes how to meditate and put the book into action to help us live more profoundly "one day at a time."

A particular chapter I recommend is titled "An Interpretation of the 12 Steps". It starts the outline of Step 2 (Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity) by saying "...all this asks for is a restoration of our childlike faith. We don't have to believe in anything at all, even in the existence of a hypothetical Power greater than ourselves. First we are basically asked to have faith in just ourselves and our potential for belief."

This chapter goes on to say "Our Higher Power cannot be sought or found, because it was never lost or hidden. For Zen practitioners, the Higher Power might be roughly defined as a process, rather than an object. This process is the unfolding of awareness in each moment. Conscious contact with this process consists of experiencing each moment uncritically and without expectations or worry. Just let it be. When we can become simply mindful and pay attention to our lives, the pattern and the way are revealed." It suggest that our Higher Power has always been there - it is our true self. The true self we begin to discover as we become grounded.

For me, layering this into my practice as a Presbytarian, has been, well, very powerful and given new clarity to recovery. Patrick, you say it beautifull, "It is more about the seeking than the finding." The very best to you oboygirl!

oboygirl
06-25-2011, 09:01 AM
I so appreciate the response I have gotten about how others see their Higher Power. I had another talk with my sponsor about it yesterday and her take is that HP is our Higher Self rather than our ego-driven small self. When we are stuck in ego we cut off the 'flow' of life which is our connection to our higher self. I agree with this since I have experienced it!

So it is about getting out of the way, getting out of our 'self', in order to be able to let spirit in.

I have read Patrick's writings at Spiritual River about a holistic approach to recovery and I agree with him that besides prayer and meditation, exercise and being of service help us to connect to a HP.

I needed somewhere to start, and a way to clarify my thinking and I thank you all for your help.