Five years have passed, since I met Bob and Lorna here in Montreal, at the Dorval Round Up. They, members of The Atlantic Group, in New York City, had been invited here to share their methods of working The Book, and their brand of sobriety.
It came as a surprise to me, when at one point, Bob looked at the crowd, from the lectern and raised The Book in his hands and asked if people actually read the book ?
People shook their heads … No they didn’t.
He then continued with a question …The Prayers, that are in the book, Do you say them, The Prayers, he questioned ?
People shook their heads … No they did not know the prayers from the book.
After that talk, I went up to Bob and asked him what he meant, because I was twelve years sober at that point and had read the book many times over, and worked series of steps as well. Nobody took the constituent parts of the book, and ever broke them up for me, giving me a plan of action to follow.
People in Montreal Sobriety are like … Aw, we’ll do it later…
Bob said to go to the book and write out the Third, Seventh, and Eleventh Step Prayers on paper and put them where I would see them. Pray them, say them, recite them daily.
By then, a friend had given me the very same prayers on little cards, which I did attach to my computer, so I would see them all day and night.
Everything starts with prayer and meditation.
Just prior to the Round up, I met some of my long time women friends, now, working steps with their women, then. They read the book before meetings, and they were doing this 10th step, which turned into an arranged phone call the next morning.
I Had no idea what that was all about, but many guys were intrigued.
Months went by, prior to the Round Up, watching this go on in front of us. We finally asked some of the women to sponsor us, so we could do it too …
They said No to that request.
Bob said to me, at that Round Up, that if I prayed every day, like I meant it, or would learn how to mean it, that my life would change.
It did … About six months later.
A Vision for You, comes to mind.
I finally knew, what it was that I had to give. One night my phone rang, and not long after I met my now best friend, too. Since that time, only my best friend and my friend Juan, still exist in my sober working life.
But I know what it is that I have to give.
I’ve got five years of working the Book, the Steps and the Prayers, the way I was taught to do, by people, who were not from here.
I talk about this process to people at meetings, and they cannot seem to wrap their heads around this Very Simple Process.
The Big Book, is NOT Rocket Science.
It took Bob and Lorna to show me how it was done. I learned that process, and I have refined that practice, over the last five years. I took another soul through the book this past fall. He’s sort of disappeared since.
I use the tenth Step and the eleventh step daily myself. And I show new prospects how to write a simple inventory at night, even if they aren’t at step ten or eleven yet. Because if you begin to practice prayer and meditation, early on, you will know how they work when you finally reach that point in your steps.
Basic simple inventories are good for simple, on the ground conversations, later. Because they give us something to talk about. Like a simple template.
Our young people cannot be bothered to ponder simple templates.
That’s just too much to process for them.
And I heard it again tonight. One of my young people, whom I have reached out to over and over, tell us how insane he is in his head and that he needs simple direction to get himself on the beam, and I just stared at him incredulously …
Really ? What have I been telling you over these past six months ????
Numb and Dumb …
The Book is not rocket science.
The message has been lost on complicated minds.