February 02, 2018
I just wanted to give a little overview of what we've covered the last few weeks on Spiritual Fridays. How we are beginning the new year, how we are accepting, appreciating, honoring the new life being offered to each one of us.
"Each morning we are born again. What we do today matters most.”
The first Friday in January we held our group in the Sanctuary at Unity Church. The patients participated in the Burning Bowl ritual, a sacred ceremony to release to Higher Power, Universal Energy, G-d, or whatever is holding them back from embracing and accepting their new lives in recovery.
Each patient received "flash paper,” a piece of lined paper and an envelope. To prepare for this inner "work" we offered meditation...
"Be still, allow your body, your mind, your heart to settle down, to be quiet. There is peace within you. So many of you have believed there can be no peace for you, but it is there, underneath all that needs to be removed, released, and forgiven.
There is a place within you untouched by the ravages of you addiction, a place of peace, love, wisdom, and strength. Accept it as you do this work, as you uncover, as you let go, as you accept the truth of who you really are.
You are not what you have done. You are a Spiritual being worthy and capable of a life filled with love and peace a sense of belonging and purpose.
Your bondage is not of God, but of your own unwillingness and fear of surrender. Surrendering is not losing anything, it is gaining everything. It is giving yourself space to accept all the good that you thought wasn't yours to ever receive.
Set yourself free from: self defeating attitudes, an individual, loved, your old self, your addict, shame, guilt, remorse, frozen anger, self centered behavior, mistakes, false beliefs, about yourself and others. All these things that literally weigh you down, keep you in self-imposed prison. Let it go, let yourself be at peace."
Following the meditation the patients (in silence) began writing down all those things holding the, in pain and suffering and in addiction. One by one, they dropped them in fire and in a flash the paper disappeared. Returning to their chairs they were asked to write down their partin helping their HP help them, what they are committed to doing to keepthemselves in peace.
The patients took the ceremony very seriously. It was a beautifully and gently symbol for them.
Some quotes read by patients are:
"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers in yourself that you have built against it." – Rumi
"The Hawaiian spiritual tradition teaches that every child born into this world is like a bowl of light containing the radiance of heaven. If rocks are placed into the bowl, the light of original innocence is hidden. Fear, guilt, shame, and unworthiness are some of the rocks that hide our light. Resentful, angry, fearful people have lots of rocks in their bowl while happy, grateful people have few. The game of enlightenment is not about going out and getting something we do not have or becoming something we are not. We are already enlightened. We have simply covered our wisdom with all of those rocks.
Happiness and peace and love are our birthright and we carry all we need to manifest all the good we seek. But first, we must remove that which works against the full expression of what we are.
What rocks are in your bowl? Begin to be aware of the beliefs and attitudes you hold that keep you from being who you want to be and living the life you dream of. When you let go, you Shine!” – Alan Cohen "A Deep Breath Of Life"
The patients really loved this story. It is hopeful and comforting to hear that what they need is within them.
"We walk into the rooms of AA with the solution inside." Tommy B
This beautiful idea is the essence of spirituality and this is what we tell the patients each Friday – that we are here to help you see, that you are so much more than you believe yourselves to be, that there is no need to seek "outside" what is already inside, it's just covered up.
"I saw the angel in the marble and cut, and cut until I set him free." - Michelangelo
This is our work, the chipping away, the letting go, the forgiving, the surrendering, the setting free - to finally be.
Following this ritual, the next Friday we begin a series of topics based on the 12 Spiritual Principles of the 12 Steps...
Coming up: Honesty and Hope.
Below, are the handouts that the patients received.
With heartfelt appreciation,
If I have harmed anyone in any way either knowingly or unknowingly through my own confusions,
I ask their forgiveness.
If anyone had harmed me in any way either knowingly or unknowingly through their own confusions,
I forgive them.
And if there is a situation I am not yet ready to forgive,
I forgive myself for that.
For all the way, that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself, judge, or be unknowing to myself through my own confusions,
I forgive myself.
Wondrous possibilities and opportunities await you. Stop dwelling on past mistakes. Surrender the past lovingly; there is nothing to regret. All is always in perfect and divine order. Everything that you’ve ever experienced has helped you in some way. The past is behind you; the path ahead is clear. Move forward joyfully, and fulfill your heart’s desire.