Meditation as an 11th Step Practice

Silence is letting go of thoughts
Stillness is letting go of desires
Simplicity is letting go of self-analysis

Christian Meditation as an 11th Step Practice is an outreach program for people in 12 step programs or recovery. Our purpose is to support one another in our journey of wholeness in the ‘joy of living’ to a spiritual awakening through love and service. All are welcome to join us – faith or no faith, agnostic or atheist.

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.
~ from the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

Mission Statement

We are  groups of men and women from 12 step programs, following the teachings of John Main and the World Community for Christian Meditation. We are not a replacement for, nor are we affiliated with, any 12-step program of recovery. We are here to share this ancient path of contemplative prayer as a way to practice the 11th Step.

How does Christian meditation as we practice it relate to the journey of the alcoholic and the addict?

Visit the Addiction and Recovery page on the WCCM Meditatio site for a fuller description of our 11th Step Groups and how they are structured.  

One meditator's story

An 11th Step meditator writes:

"When I first began to meditate in this way of Christian prayer, I was agnostic and, looking back, rather proud of my non-Christian spiritual journey in recovery. I had been meditating in the Eastern tradition for many years. When I was three months clean and sober I had a spiritual experience that left me knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a God that has no name but is all-loving, all-powerful, all goodness in the mysteries of darkness. It was that place of peace beyond human understanding.   Pure joy, pure peace, pure love.

"Although the ‘experience’ lasted only a few days, the memory of the truth of love and goodness has never left me. That memory is embedded in my heart.  This God-moment took me from the depths of depression to a seventeen-year search to find out the meaning and purpose of that moment. Grace led me years later to an afternoon of contemplative prayer with a group of Christians. The last place on earth I ever wanted to be! Grace brought me home even though I was kicking and resisting all the way.

"Up to the time Christian meditation found me through grace, I had tried every 12-step program that was out there and sought relief in a wide variety of spiritual teachings: A Course in Miracles, Joel Goldsmith, Infinite Way, Eckankar, Association of Research and Enlightenment (Edgar Cayce), The Triangle, Thich Nhat Hanh, Order of Inner Being, Self Realization Fellowship, chakra-balancing, rebirthing classes, healing breath work and sweat-lodges. They were all helpful and all part of waking up from the coma of self-preoccupation, but nothing sustained my inner longing. Soon I would be off and running again to find another seminar, retreat, guru or lecture. 

"Speaking of lectures, there is a saying that Heaven has two doors. One says Heaven and one says Lecture on Heaven.  I was always the one lined up for the lecture on heaven.  Surely, I told myself, the ‘it’ that I heard about in the rooms of recovery, the ‘it’ that would get better, must be out there someplace.

"It continues to be my experience that many people come to the rooms of recovery and remain at the level of the lecture.  The literature of AA reminds us over and over that to friends, colleagues, family and clergy, the alcoholic is a riddle. But to us, he or she is not. For those of us in recovery, we understand the answer to the riddle. The spiritual life is not a theory; we have to live it. Failing to live a God-conscious life leads to relapse and relapse leads to jails, institutions and death. 

"The main problem of the alcoholic centers on his mind. In my mind, even after years of recovery and dabbling in a variety of meditation practices, there remained a constant chatter of self-analysis and rehashing of the dramas - my own or somebody else’s! The inventories turned into just another form of self-absorption. When I heard the term ‘monkey mind’ in Christian meditation, it really hit home for me.  The ‘mind’ said that if only I did another inventory, worked harder, did more service work, then I would find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I was stuck in Martha, complaining that no one was helping me find the answer!  Even though I wanted to stop spinning, and felt drawn to silence, I remained powerless through all my efforts to be transformed in the renewing of my mind.  Christian meditation gave me a way to plug into that current of love that Bill W. wrote about in The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety and which John Main calls the divine energy, the stream of love."

Christian Meditation as an 11th Step Practice Groups

Jacksonville, FL
WCCM Neptune Beach Center
Christian Meditation as an 11th Step Practice
Wednesday Evenings 7 pm-8:15pm
1112 Third Street Suite #9
Neptune Beach, FL 32266
(904) 241-4738
wccmneptunebeach@att.net

Western Springs, IL
St. John of the Cross Parish Center
Monday mornings 10:30 am – 11:30 am
5005 South Wolf Road
Western Springs, IL 60558
Janet (708) 246-4866
jccadc@sbcglobal.net

Philadelphia, PA
New Jerusalem Now
Tuesdays 2:00 – 3:00 pm
2011 West Norris Street
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Call to verify current meeting times.
Art Lerner (215) 499-7421
arthurlerner01@hotmail.com

Milwaukee, WI
Lake Park Lutheran Church
Saturdays 10:45 – 11:15 am
2647 N. Stowell
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Heather Albinger
(414) 491-0516
hsalbinger@gmail.com

In the UK:
Kairos Center
Mount Angelus Road
Roehampton
contact: maymbnicol@aol.com