A routine experience

“My spiritual life depends on an inner consciousness of God.  I must be led in all things by my consciousness of God and I must trust Him in all things.” 
To do this, I must practice daily my prayer and meditation in the pursuit of Knowledge of His Will for me and the courage to carry it out.  One of my favorite prayers is in the book "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz (listed below for you).
My morning prayer has the ability to awaken the deep connection between me and my Higher Power that stays with me throughout the day, God consciousness, then becomes a way of being.  When I do this daily, I live in the Sunlight of the Spirit!  I can see and share all the beauty around me and feel connected with everyone.
 Thank you, creator of the universe, for the gift of life you have given me.  Thank you for giving me everything that I have truly ever needed.  Thank you for the opportunity to experience this beautiful body and this wonderful mind.  Thank you for living inside me with all your love, and with your pure and boundless spirit, with your warm and radiant light.  Thank you for using my words, for using my eyes, for using my heart to share your love wherever I go.  I love you just the way you are, and because I am your creation, I love myself just the way I am.  Help me to keep the love and the peace in my heart and to make that love a new way of life, that I may live in love for the rest of my life.  Amen



Finding Resources For Your Journey

Staying plugged in keeps me growing.  My journey has been seeking and being.  For me this means I go into different modes.  I want to describe two of the modes I operate on.  There are more but let's keep it simple.  :) 

Seeking for me happens when I become restless, irritable, and discontent.  This is when I get into solution mode.  For me solution mode always comes to Step work with the main focus being on my conscious contact with my HP.  I will pick my sponsors brain, hit the book store for inspirational books and read read read.  Sometimes it is more about the sitting and being quiet.  I will light candles and just work on being still so I can be inspired by my God/HP/the universe.  In any case I go into seeking mode because  "God could and would if He were sought."   So I seek.

My next mode is being.  Just being in life.  Experiencing each moment.  Living through the ins and outs of each day.  Some days bumpier than others.  The seeking I do allows me to live.  To participate.  Not perfectly.  Not like saint like.  It allows me to have the strength, energy, freedom, to soberly live.

If your seeking ways to improve your conscious contact with God, start talking to others in your support network.  Hit the bookstore.  Hit your knees.  Go to your church, a yoga center, nature reserve, retreat house, etc.  Whatever you need to do to connect with your understanding of God.


Gwen R~
If you would like to contribute a post on Step 11 please contact Gwen R.


Prayer of Protection - Using Meditation as a Method of 12th Step Service

The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is! 

by James Dillet Freeman

This prayer was written by Freeman, for soldiers during World War II. The "Prayer for Protection" was also carried to the moon in 1969 by Apollo astronaut, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin who took the "Prayer for Protection" along on the first manned moon landing.

This is one of my favorite prayers to use for affirmations in meditation. I use each line as an affirmation and then change the pronoun at the of each line to "you," "them," or "us" depending who I am sending the intention towards.

example: "The light of God surrounds us."

Try this yourself in a mediation. Relax and begin your meditation as you usually do. Once quiet and centered, take the prayer one line as a time. Visualize the action of each line for yourself, or anyone else you wish to connect with through these intentions.

Remember, we can be of tremendous benefit to others by sending intentions during meditation. But, be careful to offer only general intentions such as these. We can not know what our Higher Powers will is for anyone so sending specific intentions for what we think another needs is not beneficial. But, by sending this open ended type of intentional energy we contribute to the highest good of Higher Powers purpose. 

Please let us know how this works for you!

Together in Meditation

Randy F.


Yoga - Meditation - Step 11

Many people think of yoga as stretching for fitness.  What is really on the mat is preparation for meditation.  It is working the body and mind to better settle into quiet.  This quiet time helps to improve our conscious contact with a Higher Power.

No matter if your taking yoga class at a studio or practicing in the home allow yourself that extra time when finished to sit quietly afterwards.  If coming from a yoga studio try to keep talking to a minimum or none until you can get to your meditation.  You may need to quietly leave class when finished and find your quiet space either in your home or a special space outside.  Some teachers leave time for a deep meditation period after class and that may be all you need.

Focus on the breath especially when distracted.  Distraction is normal in meditation.  Simply bring your concentration back to your breath.  Breathe deeply all the way down to the belly, expanding it like your belly is a balloon on your inhalations.  Keep your mouth closed and breath through the nose only. 

Most importantly do not judge your practice. If you have just started or have been doing this for years it is all good.  One baby step at a time.  One inhalation at a time.  One experience at a time.  Just keep practicing one day at a time.


Meditation for 12 Step - Cleaning the House

So during my yoga teacher training we had to write meditations for the beginning of our classes.  It was suggested since I will be teaching the Yoga of Recovery to write a recovery based meditation.  I have to say I really enjoy this process.  What is most fun is hearing what people visualized when doing the meditation. 

So I won't write word for word what I did.  But I will give you something to visualize when meditating. 

Picture a set of 12 steps.  What do they look like?  Are they outside?  inside?  wood?  stone?  carpeted?  Get a good visual of your steps.

Notice there are obstacles on your steps.  As you slowly walk up your stairs clean up your stairs so you can walk through.

Once on your twelfth step look back down and notice this path you have made.  Notice how it feels.  Will you have to unload and go back down to clean up more? 

That is a shortened version and a general idea of the visual.  I was more specific and had people stop at specific Steps and related specific obstacles to pick up (character defects, etc.)

So what did people see? 

Types of steps - clouds, wood on a beach, wide with a red carpet, marble etc.
Obstacles - toys, dirty socks, assorted clutter etc.
Looking back down - still much to clean up but a path was made

Using these visuals can help in many ways.  It can help give us the confidence to work the Steps and clean up our stairs.  It lets us know it is a process.  We may not get our stairs fully clean the first time around but a path is made and that is but a beginning.  It is now easier to go back down the stairs and clean more, clearing our path a little more each time.  We can connect with our feelings in this process.  Although many don't like the feelings it may bring up which can help us dig even deeper. 

So WHY would we do any exercise like this?  Ultimately to let in the sunlight of the spirit.  To get closer to God, your Higher Power, deepen your spiritual connection.  It does not matter how you word it, clean house so there is nothing between you and spirit.  Then we can give back to others.  Our cups are full and we have something to give.  To keep our cups full so we are not drained "We 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 it out."

Yours in service,
Gwen R~


An IOCC Reader Shares His Experience Strength and Hope on Step 11

I would love to have a conversation with God, to sit close and hear
actual words being spoken by my Higher Power, especially as S/He
clearly explains the perfect direction for my life. If that’s not
possible, could I have a fresh email from my Higher Power sitting in
my inbox each morning? Isn’t that what step 11 is all about, finding
the knowledge of God’s will for us?

I had heard of a Step Eleven meeting at a nearby town. Twenty minutes
of mediation and 40 minutes of sharing was the weekly agenda. I went
with expectations for I was struggling with depression and fear. I was
tired of coping and had a deep hope that someone or some God could
alleviate my pain. I wanted a deeper connection with God, often
frustrated that I could go through the day without a thought of God. I
had attempted mediation in the past, trying to still my mind, to quiet
the endless stream of thoughts that poured down those well worn
groves. Those attempts always ended in frustration, the noise of my
thoughts getting louder as I attempted to hush them. Thoughts that
made breathe difficult. I could never repeat my experiences in group
meditation where I had long moments of peacefulness. But on my own?
Nada. The shitty committee moves in and throws a party.

So I found that meeting, sat in the circle among welcoming faces, and
enjoyed the next twenty minutes of quiet. Listening to the swish of
breathe, small sounds of people adjusting their positions, my breathe
becoming one with theirs. It was peaceful, serene, and I was not
alone. Then the sharing started and I listened as others shared of
their frustrations and successes with meditation. When I shared, it was
of my desire for a deep connection with my Higher Power, for direction
in my life. I must have alarmed the next speaker, for he softly warned
me that, perhaps, my expectations were too high. I reacted in old
ways, feeling scolded and unloved. The color of the meeting changed,
became cold and unwelcoming. Old fears welled up, precipitating into
anger. I sat quietly, waited for the meeting was over so I could put
my coffee cup away in token service, then exiting with tears revealing
my frustrations and self-pity.

I walked a long time till I found a spot to sit and ponder; trying to
understand what was the purpose of mediation. I tried to look at my
part but couldn’t, still resentful of others. I found the Grapevine
booklet “The Best of Bill” in my pocket and opened it up to the essay
on Love. I read:

“Suddenly I realized what the matter was. My basic flaw had always
been dependence - almost absolute dependence - on people or
circumstance to supply me with prestige, security, and the like.
Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and
specifications, I had fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my

Then I could see my part. I wanted that damn magic wand again, my
Higher Power’s wand that would make my problems go away, that would
arrange my life in perfect order. Hmmmm, perhaps sloth comes to mind,
laziness, not wanting to do the work, an easy out. Reminds me of

I understand there will not be a conversation with my Higher Power to
map out my life or even just today. My journey will be like that of
others, the path to be discovered as I travel through the day, while
being unable to avoid the painful episodes that life’s circumstances
bring. And what is God’s will for me? Just to be helpful to the person
in front of me, not expecting or demanding anything in return. To

Submitted by an IOCC reader...