Breathing Under Water, Chapter 11

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.” Step 11 of AA

The word prayer, which Bill Wilson rightly juxtaposed with the word meditation, is a code word for an entirely different way of processing life.

“the calculating mind” vs “the contemplative mind”:  these are two entirely different types of software, and since the first one is almost totally and always in control, and has become your only operative hardware, you have to be carefully taught how to pray, which is exactly what the disciples asked of Jesus…”

One has to go through some initial withdrawal pains to switch processors, and this is why prayer takes some initial “work” to learn how to do that.

prayer, at its truest…was always an alternative processing system

Prayer is:

  • a positive widening of your lens for a better picture
  • emptying the mind and filling the heart
  • prayer is not about changing God, but being willing to let God change us

If you are able to switch minds to the mind of Christ, your prayer has already been answered.

Jesus goes into silence, into nature, and usually alone when he prays.

Since the thirteenth century, no one has been teaching us what to do with our minds when we are alone, at least in any systematic way.

It is the prayer of quiet and self-surrender that will best allow us to follow Step 11.

only contemplative prayer or meditation invades, touches, and heals the unconscious!

There is such a thing as addicted to religion…Religion can also be its own kind of demon.

Social prayer can hold the group together, but it does not necessarily heal the heart or soul of the group

Jesus tried to move history toward interiority whenever possible, and it has been a long slog.


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