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Old 08-12-2013, 08:21 AM   #1
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Default Spiritual Look at the 12 Steps


Spiritual Look At The 12 Steps

Twelve Step programs are about recovery from our fundamental darkness. This may manifest as alcoholism, drug addiction, compulsive overeating, gambling, or many other ways. Working the 12 Step concepts synergies well with living Buddhist beliefs.

The concepts of Honesty, Openness, and Willingness form a repeating pattern through the 12 Steps.

Honest Admission and Realization

1. We admitted we were powerless over _______ “and that our lives had become unmanageable.“

We admitted that by ourselves we were powerless to overcome our own fundamental darkness and live what we truly believe.

Open to Believe and Hope

2. We come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

We open to leaving our self-imposed isolation and raise our life condition. We release the delusion that we are alone or unsupported in an indifferent, or hostile, world. We come to believe "we are many in body and one in spirit".

Willing to Make a Determination and to Accept

3. We make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

We vow to allow our true self to manifest. This is a determination that aligns our lives with the rhythm of the living cosmos, or Mystic Law.

Honestly Confronted Ourself

4. “We make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”

This inventory must be as honest as we can be at this time. We must include our good, or bad, thoughts and actions. As Buddhists we know good and evil are two, but not two. Can we be as thorough in listing our basic goodness as the times we have been angry, full of self-pity, guilty, resentful or spiteful?

Openness to Share

5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Mel Ash wrote that this step "is a big step towards realizing our whole self." We no longer blame people, places and things for our lack of progress. "By admitting our defects to another being, we are admitting our interdependence." It was our denial of our interdependence that led to our original dysfunction."

Ready and Willing.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Entirely ready to let your true self reassert itself in the world.

Honestly Ready Change to Our Karma

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

As we allow our true nature to emerge, our thought and actions change.

Open to Amends - Open Again

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Changing the poison of our past into medicine for today. This step is a reflective step showing ourselves the effects of our disease and denial on others. We can not longer say that we did not hurt anyone except ourself. We are preparing to change our karma. We become responsible for our own spiritual evolution.


9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Mel Ash in the Zen of Recovery states: "Although we may feel powerless when making amends, we discover that we've always had the real power to change for the better and wake up. By seizing the moment and making amends, we are ensuring that our disease becomes fully integrated into the whole, real human being we are becoming." We embrace the world and the universe itself by recovering our true nature, which was betrayed by our denial. "The only amend that the universe will accept is your consent to become a real human being and resume your correct job of being attentive to this moment."

Continued Daily Honesty

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Anything that drains our hope & life force limits of what we think is possible. Living with Awareness. Honest awareness is key.


11. We seek through prayer and mediation 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.

Twelve Step programs grants us the freedom to discover our own meaningful definitions, ones that will work for us. Mel Ash wrote "If our Higher Power is present and implicit in each moment, then we can gain conscious contact by becoming aware of our place in the universe."

Attaining Wisdom/Connecting

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message and practice these principles in all our affairs.

This is the bodhisattva step in recovery. We came into this life to share our recovery, our awakening, our enlightenment. As we attain a way of life that is in agreement with the deepest dictates of our being, we know joy.


As some of you know I'm keen in Buddhist philosophy, as it frequently describes our AA philosophy exactly.

Anyway, thought this was interesting! It came from here:

Seems to me as if I am learning about the steps in all of the philosophies that I am interested in...hmmmmm

They seem to be incorporated somehow into them all!
I have no doubt that they are spiritually inspired.

Original Source Unknown. Not written by me. Gotten from another site and posted on my site, JoAnne's Recovery Road.

Love always,


I share because I care.

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