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​Spiritual Friday: Discipline

Our topic last Friday was Step Nine and the spiritual principle of discipline which I never thought would be met with so much interest and enthusiasm by the patients. It was awesome.

We changed things up a bit for our opening. We rang the Tibetan Bells and did our spiritual reading as usual. Then, Charlene played her crystal bowl for a nice meditative sound followed by a song by Lisa Gerrard titled “Abwoon” (The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, the native language of Jesus). Prior to these musical offerings, I asked the patients to think about what they were grateful for and told them that immediately following the music, they would all lead the meditation one by one, sharing what they were grateful for. It was beautiful, powerful, inspirational, and heartfelt; everyone participated, including the CAs and leaders.

One of the patients asked to read the following:

“The longing for G-d is the strongest and most misdiagnosed force in our lives. Because the ego wants no part of a Higher Power; however it gives us other explanations for our unhappiness. When our hearts tell us that G-d is missing in our lives, the ego jumps in and tells us that more money will fix this, or more sex, or more power. Its arguments are so persuasive that we pursue each of these goals to disappointing dead ends.

Today, let’s allow the longing in our heart to express itself. Imagine the joy of truly acknowledging how much you want to be close to your Higher Power…”

-Sandy Beach

In smaller groups, there were some really insightful comments about discipline:

  • “Discipline is about exercising choice.”
  • “It’s not punishment; engaging in Spiritual Discipline will give me courage to do Step 9.”
  • “Discipline is about doing what needs to be done.”

One group was asked: “In what areas of your life do you need to make changes to your own discipline?” Answers included: Handling resentments, being positive, being nice, reaching out, relaxing, connecting emotionally, openness, honesty, spirituality, and accountability.

One patient shared, “Not doing the program doesn’t work; discipline is needed because it’s a process.”

We then passed our bag of “If” Questions around:

Q: If you could rate your ego on a scale of 1-10, what would you rate it?
6.5. It is usually higher, but I prayed twice today. I know my ego gets in the way of my Higher Power.

Q: If you could say what the most joyous thing about life is, what would you say?”
Being free from drugs today.

Q: If you could choose a time in your life when prayer was most helpful, how would you answer?
This week I was really praying hard. My dad was here and it was good to have this time with him.

Q: If you could describe the greatest cause of unhappiness in life, how would you answer?
Running away from yourself and not being true to yourself.

I wish everyone a beautiful, blessed week.

Reverend Laurie Durgan