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11. Spiritual awareness

Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation 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.

Principle: Spiritual awareness developed from the practices of meditation and prayer.

Definition: Meditation is a disciplined practice in which the mind is focused on an object or the awareness of itself. It requires focusing attention on a single point of reference. The practice often results in the experience of a higher state of consciousness. It has been practiced for over 5,000 years and is present in most faith traditions.

Buddhism

The primary function of Buddhist meditation is to transform the mind. Mindfulness is being aware of the conditions of the mind (of your thoughts). In Buddhism we learn there is an "observer" which can step aside and observe both our thoughts and our actions. There is a full range of conditions which can be experienced by the mind from serenity through fear and anxiety to the bliss of Nirvana. For any one to become fully awakened, they must learn the art and practice of mindfulness both during meditation and during normal day-to-day activities. Mindfulness keeps us in touch with ourselves and with the present moment. It provides the opportunity to make choices: changing our thinking, letting go of negative thoughts, and selecting actions from a range of options. With practice, mindfulness becomes a way of living.
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Christianity

For most Christians, our goal is to become more Christ-like. In order to do so, we require wisdom and direction. We are encouraged to develop a personal relationship with Christ so we are available to learn and be directed. This relationship grows and matures through our ability to talk, to listen and to follow Divine guidance. It has often been said that prayer is our side of the conversation, and meditation is the time to listen. Often the responses come through inspiration, through spiritual messages in books and church services, through opportunities that present themselves synchronistically. Part of our responsibility is to stay open, awake and aware.
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Cosmology

Spirituality provides a way for us to remember who we are and to reconnect with our Source. It teaches us how to build relationship with the Originating Mystery.
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Hinduism

Meditation is necessary for the mystical insight that alone could be the cause of liberation. Meditation firmly secures knowledge already gained. It is necessary for liberation. It prepares the person for the emergence of inner knowledge. The person who has realized the Self has transcended desire; lacking nothing and being free from compulsions. Because karma can interfere with the constant remembrance of Brahman, meditation is necessary.
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Islam

Prayer is called 5 times daily and devout Muslims stop and pray at these times. The prayer leader (muezzin) chants the Call to Prayer in Arabic. Muslims pray to express their faithfulness to God and to remind themselves of their devotion to Him and to His way of life. Prayer is a commitment of faith, it removes evil, and prepares one for final rewards in Heaven.
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Judaism

Judaism teaches we can come into contact with God through any activity with the right intention. God is present in all things and in all people so we can come into conscious contact with God through any of our interactions with the world. Through these interactions we become aware of God’s presence in our lives.
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Native American Spirituality

We have always been a people of prayer. Something inside us becomes alert when an Elder prays. This step is about re-awakening our gift of prayer and using it for recovery. Many of us view a path as a narrow trail, but a spiritual path is unlimited. Prayer and meditation widen the path and remove obstacles in our way. When we seek something bigger than our ego-self we find self-esteem. The deep root of our wellness is our relationship with the Great Mystery. Prayer and meditation keep our spiritual awareness of the unseen world of Spirit very close.
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Taoism

The Tao Te Ching describe Itself as invisible, inaudible, and intangible. Yet through our intuition we can see, hear and feel it as one presence. It is not something we can grasp and hold, but rather something that we can learn to be; and when we have some mastery in the practice we will experience "ease" in our life (tranquility, serenity, harmony, and freedom from suffering.
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