Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 900-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 30th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Meditation Practice

Each morning the first thing I do when I wake up is meditate for half an hour. The practice I follow is called Mindfulness Meditation.

And the first event I attended this year was not a New Year's Eve party or New Year's Day party. Instead, it was a meditation session where 15 or 20 of us gather every Wednesday evening at seven PM for 90 minutes of instruction and meditation practice.

One of the reasons I got into meditation in the first place is because in the 12 steps where it says "sought through prayer and meditation... " there are no instructions about how to meditate. Now when I saw that phrase it seemed kind of strange that it didn't go any further than that. So I started seeking to learn a little bit about meditation.

Eventually, once TLC was about three years old, I employed a Transcendental Meditation instructor for a few days to teach several members of our staff how to meditate. Today there are only four of us out of the 20 who started meditating who still follow the practice. And a few years ago after experiencing a few Mindfulness Meditation sessions, I switched over to that meditation practice. I found it to be much more fulfilling and to offer many more variations in the type of meditation practices that it offers.

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions but I think that if any of you non-meditators want to start something new this year meditation would be one thing that you would find to be beneficial. And I don't ask you to take my word for it. There's an abundance of literature on YouTube and on the Internet about the practice. How to do it. Where to find places to do it. Schools of thought about different types of meditation. Whatever you pick, I would suggest that you try to find something simple that works for you.

There is much scientific evidence out of Harvard Medical School and other well-known universities around the world where the benefits of meditation have been studied in great depth. Studies have included not only brain scans but also the behavioral results in those who practice meditation.

And let's face it: anything that can aid us in our sobriety is worth looking into if we're serious about living a sober peaceful life.

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