Meditation is a powerful tool. Not just for people in recovery, but for anyone that wishes to use it. It is always beneficial and never detrimental. Meditation is slightly different for everyone, but the basic idea is the same. Listening. Listening to the world around you. Listening to God. Listening to your heart. There is something to be said for stopping the constant wheel of thoughts that take place in your head and just…listening. There is a magic about it; the kind that can’t really be done justice with descriptive words.
In recovery, there is a fundamental idea that depicts a life that is not run on self-will, but instead run on God’s will. A heated topic among people in recovery is how to distinguish God’s will from self-will, and the answer to that question lies in a cornerstone of recovery – meditation. The practice of meditation is an exercise in actively listening for God’s instructions on how to proceed with your life; how to do the next right thing when confronted by the enigma of choices that make up existence as a sentient human being. As a species of greater intelligence, we have the ability, and the solemn duty, to make choices that will not only further our individual lives in the best way possible, but also contribute to humanity in the most selfless way possible. How do we know what choices to make that will accomplish this lofty mission? We have been granted the gift of intuition; the ability to know, within our heart of hearts, what the best choice is. Some may call that intuition the voice of God. Others call it the voice of the universe. It does not matter what you call it. What matters is that it exists within all of us. It separates us from the primal need to be selfish. With a consistent practice of meditation, you can refine the ability to listen to your intuition, and make informed decisions that will not only benefit you, but will also benefit those around you.
Drug addicts and alcoholics have a history of being consumed by the survival mechanisms of the brain, and during active addiction, even the most selfless person can be reduced to little more than an animal, driven by primal desires and the base need. When an addict or alcoholic rises out of their addiction, they rejoin the ranks of a humanity that works towards the greater good, and in order to continue to have awareness distinguishing right from wrong, meditation is used as an essential tool to listen to God, the universe, intuition…or whatever you want to call it. Meditation allows us to refine our awareness of our surroundings, and a practice of meditation can lead to heightened senses in all areas of our lives. Though impossible to perfect, meditation creates its own rewards with the practice of it. Like the pursuit of self-actualization, the practice of perfecting meditation is rewarding in the journey towards something that is unattainable, and there is a singular beauty in chasing perfection in a practice that could not only change the course of an individual life, but make the world a better place.