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MY sponsor took me to a meditation centre in Bristol for an introduction to this essential part of our wonderful spiritual Programme. I had given little thought to a spiritual life before I came to AA. I laughed at religious people as I laughed at everyone else whilst my alcoholic life spiralled out of control. I was very much the drunk lying in the gutter looking down at everyone else.

The previous Steps had helped me to clear my side of the street in what had been a painful and destructive life, causing much harm to others. I learned, in my Eleventh Step, practices to be able to sit calmly with myself every morning and to take ‘time-outs’ throughout the day to reset when needed.

I ask the God of my understanding to guide my thoughts every morning as I look forward to the day ahead. I ask to be able to identify my defects of character as they crop up and find it useful to name those I have experienced recently. I ask for God’s help to overcome my defects and to be shown the next right thing to do as I go through the day.

I had some spiritual books suggested to me which have been helpful. AA’s Daily Reflections is really good. I have also read quite a few non-AA books on spirituality and spiritual practices. I have learned that eternal life as I understand it is simply living in the moment. Eternity is now, which quickly passes. The better I am at looking after my spiritual condition, the more I am able to live in the present moment. This is a lifetime’s work which I don’t ever believe I will fully achieve. I do enjoy trying every day though and it certainly helps me to live a sober and productive life.

SIMON D, Barry, South Wales