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6. Willingness

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

Principle: Willingness

Definition: Inclined or favorably disposed; ready to act; voluntary; self-determined; intentional.


This Step relates to Right Intention which is a threefold process: the intention of renunciation or detachment; the intention of good will; and the intention of harmlessness. These three are opposed to three parallel kinds of wrong intention: intention led by desire, by ill will and by harmfulness. Just prior to the Buddha's enlightenment he reflected that his thoughts could be separated into these two distinct groups (right & wrong). When those of the second kind arose he saw that they brought distress to himself or to others - or to both. They obstructed wisdom and led away from freedom. But whenever those of the first kind arose they were clearly beneficial, conducive to the growth of wisdom and an aid to the attainment of Nirvana.
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This step reminds us that we always have a choice - we were given free will. We can take the softer, easier way and do what we have always done with the same results, or we can make the hard decision to do what is right. This is the human struggle. This step requires us to live and grow in the integrity and values of our faith. It requires conviction. The previous steps have, however, prepared us through the practices of repentance, self-examination and confession. We have also come to believe that we are not powerless, knowing that God is an indwelling presence which provides us with a well of strength and hope.
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We become entirely willing to have all habits of illusion removed from our thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. We become willing to allow the Originating Mystery to transform us from within from being self-centered to other-centered.
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There are several ways of making amends for misdeeds from one's past: meditation which releases karmic energy from the body; contemplating the divine qualities of a favorite deity; and chanting the sounds resonant with divinity to purify one's consciousness and neutralize it from negative karmas. This practice is considered sacrificial because it requires taking our time to focus on God and divine qualities; self-reflection; and surrender to the Divine Will with gratitude and humility.
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Fasting is performed by Muslims in obedience to Allah. It helps Muslims learn the practices of discipline and self-restraint. It also clears the mind and the body and readies it for open and receptive communication with Allah through prayer and meditation.
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Our character defects define us and protect us at the same time. Thus we fear their loss would leave us fragmented, empty and vulnerable. When the early descendants of Adam corrupted the world, God saw fit to wash it clean. We rely on God to send for spiritual waters to cleanse us, to wash away our transgressions. Each time we see a rainbow we are reminded of God’s promise always to help cleanse us. God spanned the rainbow across the heavens to serve as an eternal reminder of His connection with us. We recite continually in our hearts: Baruch ata Adonai, zocher ha-brit. (Praised are You, Adonai upon whom we rely to remember this covenant.)
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Native American Spirituality

This step consolidates the process of self-discovery through which we identified our character defects and weaknesses. Now we are entirely ready to release them
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The heart of this step reminds us that all we need to do to change is take the first step. It is often the hardest step, but once it is taken, those that follow become easier. It also reminds us that we can't go back and do-over what is already done. All we ever have is now, this moment. This practice is also at the heart of the 12 Steps which emphasizes living one day at a time, and concentrating only on doing the next right thing. One step, one moment, one day at a time is the way of the Tao.
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