Monday Meeting Miracles: 11/18

I need to come up with a new way of saying that my Monday meeting was fantastic, because I fear I’m getting repetitive.  It was fantastic, 12 people, it seems these days that even when a regular attendee does not show up, I will have a newcomer to take his or her place.  Here’s what was cool about today’s meeting.  It is the third Monday of the month, which means a reading from the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.  Because it is November, we read the chapter dedicated to Step Eleven:  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.  Of course I know this is what we are going to be reading, and so I have been considering how I am faring with this step in my everyday life, and I find that I am comfortable with the prayer portion of the step, but still feeling very weak in the meditation part.  I have written about my struggles with meditation several times in the past, and I don’t feel as if I have progressed very far in this department.

Back to the meeting.  I am contemplating what I will be sharing, and I am focusing on what I can say about my struggles with meditation, and a car pulls into the parking lot that I do not recognize.  Out of the car steps a gentleman I have not seen in at least 6 months, maybe more, named Brian.  And, of course, it is always so wonderful to reconnect with someone you have not seen in a while, but here’s what is amazing:  the last I saw Brian he was attempting to start a meeting in the same club house I run my meeting.  And that meeting was to be a moving meditation meeting. He wound up shutting down the meeting due to a lack of participation, but how fortuitous is it that as I am gearing up to talk about my lack of progress in meditation, he drives into the parking lot!

So of course I needed to share this serendipity with him and the other early birds to the meeting, and we had a fascinating discussion about the benefits and practical application of meditation in everyday life.  It turns out that two other early birds are well-read on the subject, and I was able to learn so much from them in the 20 minutes before the meeting even started!

Now, when a meeting is that interesting and it hasn’t even started yet, you know it’s only going to get better, and it did not disappoint.  The other attendees had just as great things to share, both on meditation, and step eleven in general.  Here are some of my take-aways:

  • Meditation is a process, and therefore takes time, patience, and practice; the results are cumulative.  The goal is not for a white-light moment; rather, it is a slow and steady shift in perception that, over time, leads to a substantive increase in peace and serenity
  • It is beneficial to establish a routine:  create a spot in your home that brings you peace, and intend for that spot to be a place where you will meditate daily
  • Meditation is about the absence of judgment.  So whatever comes into your mind, let it come in and go out, negatively judging it will only lead to resistance in meditation
  • Keep it simple.  Forget about all the fancy clothes, incense, music, and whatever else is associated with meditation.  Be still, be quiet, focus on breathing in and out.  Keep that up, and you will find yourself meditating as surely as those in the cloistered monasteries all over the world!

… At least that was what I was told.  I committed to the group that I would designate a spot (which I have), and I will attempt to sit quietly in that spot for a few minutes each day, and see what happens.  I am still toying with the time of day to do this, but for now I will try different times to see what yields the best results.  I am hopeful that this new information will help me to make some serious progress, and I will check in at some point and let you know how it goes!

Today’s Miracle:

An absolutely gorgeous day on the East Coast, warm weather that is unheard of in mid-November.  I will appreciate it while I can!

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Posted on November 18, 2013, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I like this a lot Josie. We don’t have to be perfect in meditation, we just need to be.

    Hope you’ve been doing well!

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    • Christy!!

      On treadmill this morning, thinking about you (as I do while exercising, and listening to my boring playlist), and here you are on my comments… yay!!! I did try twice to meditate today (just for a few minutes each time), and I have to say, the idea of not judging the monkey mind is really helping me to stick with it.

      So glad to hear from you. I am not seeing the Words for the Weekend coming up in my email, so I am thinking I missed following the new blog. I need to fix that asap… you will see a comment when I figure out what I’ve done wrong!

      Like

  2. I need to make a special trip one day and come to your meeting.

    I love the energy that it has, and how you describe it. And it starts with the person who started it 🙂

    Meditation…I find that when I don’t do it for a while (like lately) I miss it (and I do). Everything you wrote there is true – it’s not a white light moment, it’s slow, steady, and practice…think yoga. I have had some of my most profound moments in meditation. Unforced,with no expectations. Just stillness and silence for me. I am trying to lengthen the time of my meditation, but I am not forcing it. I couldn’t do more than 1-2 minutes without getting all frazzled, but now I can got 10-15 minutes. Sometimes it’s only 5 minutes. They say that even breathing 4-5 times in quiet, before the ego catches on is just as beneficial. I have my best times of day to do it (not too late, or I fall asleep) and that has come through trial and error.

    I hope it comes to you and you found inspiration with Brian being there!

    Thanks again for this inspiring post.

    Love and light,
    Paul

    Like

    • Well, as exciting as my meetings are, that would be the ultimate! Man, would we get some blog mileage out of that visit!!!

      10-15 minutes sounds pie in the sky to me, but I know, from working at other things (sobriety, exercise, to name but a few), the more I work on it, the easier it will get. I did try twice today, and, as I mentioned to Christy above, the idea of not judging the wandering thoughts has helped a lot, and feels like something I can stick with, and build on.

      Let me know when you’re coming, so I can roll out the red carpet 🙂

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  3. Believe it or not, I find peace in the bathroom! Lol! I have to just sit there sometimes and take a moment and regroup, breathe, let go of the judgement and settle my thoughts. My house is full, but no one bothers me in the bathroom! Lol!

    And Josie, where are you? Because I am on the east coast too, and it was like 70 degrees here too, ok I know east coast is quite big… But maybe we are close by? I’m near Washington DC, would love to come to your meeting!

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    • Hi Maggie,

      Just a short Amtrak ride away, I’m in a suburb of Philly. The weather today’s just a bit different, eh? It was good while it lasted!

      I will have to try the bathroom, that is practical and good time management!

      And, like I said to Paul, if you are ever heading up to the meeting, let me know so I can get the red carpet ready!

      Josie

      Like

      • Aww you’re sweet, no red carpet need, I am just a garden variety drunk! Lol! But oh that would be very cool. Maybe after the holidays. And I’ve never been to Philly. I’ll have to plan it out. 🙂

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  4. I’m new here. I commented yesterday but it is gone.

    Like

    • Welcome! I did not see any comments before this one, but I am far from tech-savvy, so I couldn’t guess where the comment has gone! Sorry I missed it, but glad to have you, and I look forward to connecting with you on your blog!

      Like

      • One thing I was sharing was a way that I like to meditate.
        I base it on EMDR which I was able to use in a psychologist’s office. I don’t have such a machine so I rely on visualization utilizing windows, mirrors or lights lined up in a room. I use them for the yeye motion. I “visualize” a sound at the end of each time I rotate my eyes back and forth. I also have a small stone of significance in each hand and “visualize” a pulsation at the end of each time I rotate my eyes. I pray that no foreign influences will interfere with my meditation and I think on a particular item of concern. It works well for me.
        Life is full of “miracles around the corner.” Thanks for sharing.

        Like

      • Thank you for sharing this technique. It sounds like a technique that requires a skill set I don’t quite have yet, but I look forward to advancing to that level! I have really been enjoying my (as yet) limited attempts at meditation, and I am hopeful that my ability increases as I continue to practice.

        Thanks again!

        Like

  5. Love this. All the Monday meetings are fantastic and I love that you love them every week. The post: The answer is in the silence. Who would imagine that a girl like me could get silent and just be? So glad I found a way to be without altering my mind with booze and crazy thinking. xox

    Like

    • Hi Lisa, since I picture you in the lotus position, in a white flowing robe, I actually can imagine a girl like you getting silent 🙂

      I am working on the silent. Getting the external is easy, the internal is a work in progress. But I am trying, and the easier parameters I was given yesterday was the impetus I needed to get this going. I hope to have a positive progress report to give in the upcoming months!

      Like

  6. Thank you, I will try again. I was thinking a simple “outstanding” might be usable for some of your “fantastics”.
    I was also sharing a meditation technique I like to use to help solve little problems that show their faces from time to time. If you would like me to share it, let me know.

    Like

  7. Oh, sorry for the additional reply, but thanks for the suggestion, I will be sure to use outstanding the next time I post!

    Like

  8. Thank you for sharing your insights on meditation. I enjoy my yoga every week and the meditation that goes with the poses is sooo therapeutic. I am glad it is also a strategy in AA’s recovery and maintenance. I would venture to say that all individauls would benefit from it. Continue the great ‘FANTASTIC’ work! ~Thea

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  1. Pingback: Friday Night Pep-Talk: Meditation | Sober Courage

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