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“…… you have to practice every day and you must stay connected to your own sources of inspiration.”

Rolf Gates: Meditations from the Mas

In this meditation, Mr. Gates is speaking of the yogic niyama, svadhyaya, the practice of self-study.

I quickly connect to our 12-step practices of 10, 11, and 12. I look to the continuous practice of taking personal inventory, improving conscious contact with God through prayer and meditation, and practicing these principles in our daily lives.

The Christian scriptures encourage us to “pray always’, 1 Thess 5: 16-18.

Each of these practices leads me to a deeper, more conscious connection with my God, and a growing recognition of the evidence of God in every aspect of life, yours and mine.

My challenge: practice every day. What is your challenge?

First of all, Mr. Gates says “you have to practice every day”. Damn! I do not like to be told what to do, or that I have to do this or that. However, as you may have noticed in my thoughts over the past few weeks, I am also challenged to surrender to God. So, Greg, what’s it going to be? Will I continue my stubborn, childish refusal to listen to the Power greater than myself knowing that I will be sacrificing my sobriety to the desire to do things my way? Or, will I surrender?

Today, I’ll listen and surrender. As I ponder the results of my past experiences of surrender, I am convinced that my sobriety will be strengthened.

Why must I practice every day? Well, I feed my body every day. In fact, I feed my body very well. (Dark Chocolate) When I miss a meal, I get hungry. Hmmmm?

I must admit that the more I practice daily meditation and prayer, when I miss an opportunity, I sense the hunger for this Spiritual nourishment. I really do recognize a hunger for this time to connect to God, and disconnect from the dangers of my mind. I notice a growing fullness of life.

My next challenge is to identify my sources of inspiration. I must admit that this is not much of a challenge any more. I recently finished steps 4 and 5. This daily practice of being present to my God serves to reveal the Divinity in more and more subtle experiences. While active in my addiction, I need a volcanic eruption to grab my attention. With each day of sobriety, my attention is drawn more closely to the whispers of life. It all depends on the status of my mind versus the status of my Spirit. The more active my mind, the louder God needs to speak. The more active my Spirit, the more keen are my sensitivities to the presence of God.

Simple! Be still and know God.

Here are a few more thoughts from Mr. Gates:

“ Svadhyaya is about connecting to the energy you find healing and inspiring.”

“A part of Svadhyaya is to be open to inspiration where you find it.”

“If your mind is open, it is impossible to be in life without your perceptions being permanently changed.”

Call it svadhyaya, self-awareness, mindfulness, Spirituality, or whatever. I come to know that this is the practice of sobriety. This is my vow to sobriety, mine and yours. It is the practice of the 12 Steps. It is the practice of daily connection to my Higher Power. It is the mindfulness of the growing evidence of God’s patient and persistent love for us.

It is our way of life. We bring the evidence of God’s presence into our sobriety, our failures, our willingness to forgive 70 X 7, our recognition of our relationship to each other as we meet beside restful waters. It is our life of gratitude.


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