The REAL 12-Step Program to Spiritual Recovery

I came across a recent post at The Huffington Post, titled “The Untethered Soul: Twelve-Step Guide to Spiritual Awakening,” by Michael Singer.  The post is about twelve steps to Self-realization.  I believe the twelve steps outlined there constitute the real components of an authentic spiritual recovery program for ALL human beings (without exception), who are actually spiritual beings recovering from the addictions of human nature and the delusions of the human condition.  Here are those twelve steps identified in the post.

    The Untethered Soul: Twelve-Step Guide to Spiritual Awakening
    (by Michael Singer, Author, The Untethered Soul)

    Spirituality is meant to bring about harmony and peace. But the diversity of our philosophies, beliefs, concepts and views about spiritual matters often leads to confusion or even conflict.

    Photograph of Michael Singer with Oprah

    Michael Singer with Oprah

    The fact is that the very act of seeking spiritual freedom causes notions of success and failure, and these notions serve only to bind us to our own self judgments: Am I growing? Have I done anything wrong? Am I meditating enough?

    Truth is only complicated because we pass it through our habitual thought patterns. When we step back from ourselves, truth becomes simple. There are not many paths to freedom, there is only one. In the end, no matter what particular patterns of thought we have managed to build in our minds, freedom always means transcending these personal thought patterns.

    But how does one go about transcending the personal self and awakening to spiritual freedom? What is needed for this journey are succinct steps that are so universal that they can echo through the halls of any religion as well as support intellectual understanding. The following is a universal road map to Self Realization.

      1. Realize that you are in there.
      You must first come to realize that you are in there. From deep inside, you are experiencing this world. You are experiencing your physical body, your thoughts, and your emotions. You are conscious and you are experiencing what it is like to be human.
      2. Realize that you are not okay in there.
      Look to see what’s going on inside. If you want to understand why you’ve done everything you have ever done, if you want to see what’s really going on, just observe your mind and emotions — just experi­ence your inner state. If you objectively look, you will see that you are never completely at peace. You will see that you are not okay in there.
      3. Realize that you’re always trying to be okay.
      At any point when you look at the state of your inner being, you will see that something is bothering you. You will then notice that this causes urges, drives, and impulses to do something about it. You will find yourself constantly trying to either get something or avoid something. All of this is done in an attempt to be okay.
      4. Realize that your mind has taken on the job of figuring out how everything needs to be for you to be okay.
      If you watch, you will see that your mind is always telling you what you should and should not do, what others should and should not do, and how things should and should not be. All of this is the mind’s attempt to first create a conceptual model of what would make you okay, and then try to get the outside world to match it.
      5. Realize that the process of defining how the outside needs to be is not going to make you okay.
      You must seriously look at this process of trying to be okay. You’ve been at it your entire life — you’ve just tried different things at different times. While it’s true that sometimes you manage to make it better for short periods of time, you know that you’ve never even come close to reaching a state of permanent peace. Watch very closely how you react to the things your mind has preferences about. You will see that if your mind gets what it wants, you feel joy; if it doesn’t get what it wants, you feel disturbance. Likewise, when your mind experiences what it doesn’t want, you feel disturbance, and when it avoids what it doesn’t want, you feel relief. You will never be okay playing this game because the world will never match the conceptual model your mind has made up. Eventually, you will come to see that struggling to be okay does not work. At some point, you will try to find a different way to be okay in there.
      6. Learn to not participate in the mind’s struggle to be okay.
      This step is about learning to sit in the witness, the part of you that notices the inner urges to be okay. You must become comfortable with sitting in there and not participating in the inner energies. You learn to relax in the midst of them. You come to see that there is a habitual process in which the moment you feel inner disturbance, you are drawn into doing something about it. You must learn to sit inside and not participate in this process. If you truly understand that going outside to try to be okay inside doesn’t work, then you’ll be willing to sit inside and simply allow the disturbance to pass through. It is not difficult. If you can do this, all disturbance will cease by itself.
      7. Learn to go about your life just like everyone else, except that nothing you do is for the pur­pose of trying to be okay.
      If you aren’t so preoccupied with trying to be okay, you will be free to sit inside and quietly love, serve, and honor whatever naturally unfolds in front of you. When you reach this point, you are no longer living for yourself. You are interacting with life, but not for the purpose of being okay.
      8. As you sincerely let go of the inner energies you are watching, you begin to feel a deeper energy come in from behind.
      Up to this point, everything you were watching inside was in front of you. But now that you are no longer being drawn into those personal energies, you’ll realize that your inner universe is actually very expansive. You will begin to feel Spirit flow in from behind. It lifts you and brings you great love and joy.
      9. Your inner experience becomes so beautiful that you fall in love with the energy itself, and you develop a very deep and personal relationship with it.
      It will become completely clear to you that there is an absolute trade-off between your personal ener­gies and the amount of Spirit that you feel. The more you get drawn into your personal energies, the less Spirit you feel. The more you don’t participate in your personal energies, the more Spirit you feel. You now have a direct relationship with the spiritual energy, and you will find yourself constantly longing to experience it.
      10. You begin to feel the energy pulling you up into it, and your entire path becomes letting go of yourself in order to merge.
      Will is no longer needed. Now your path is strictly about releasing yourself into the pull of the higher energy. You must surrender deeply enough to be able to overcome the fear of losing your connection to the personal self. You must to be willing to die to be reborn.
      11. Once you get far enough back into the energy, you realize that your personal life can go on without you, leaving you free to become immersed in Spirit.
      This is the greatest miracle: You’ve surrendered and your entire life is about Spirit, yet people, places, and things continue to interact with you. The difference is that these interactions require none of your energy. They happen naturally, by themselves, leaving you at peace and absorbed in Spirit.
      12. Now you are truly okay and nothing inside or outside of you can cause disturbance — you have come to peace with it all.
      Because you are now completely okay, you don’t need anything. Things just are what they are. At this point, you know yourself as Self. The world, mind, and heart cannot disturb you. You’ve transcended them all. What is more, instead of feeling drawn into Spirit, you now actually experience yourself as Spirit. You have no boundaries in time or space. You have always existed and you will always exist. You have no form, shape, gender, or body. You simply are, have always been, and will always be — Infinite Spirit. (Emphasis supplied.)


You will note that the entire process is an inward process in the mind.  You will also note that the steps start with the acknowledgement of one’s ego or human self.  Then it progresses with the subtle dismantling of the false self or egoic system by disrupting one’s emotional programs for happiness and the de-conditioning of the mind.  Eventually the process reveals the true Self as the divine God-Self or Spirit-Self that we are. Note that this revelation occurs as the natural consequence of the human ego’s falling away.  That is the key word to describe the process — it is a NATURAL process, one that will unfold by itself as long as we abide by the process.

Joel Goldsmith said it isn’t necessary to struggle to become God because we already are God.  The effort lies in unbecoming that which we are NOT — in releasing the illusion or error of a personal or human selfhood existing separate and apart from God.  The foregoing twelve-step process is exactly the same simple transformational process of The Infinite Way which we advocate in our site and in our work.  

Truth is one, and truth is simple in its oneness.

Go to the top of this blog ↑

About Marc of Contemplative Pathways

Marc teaches contemplative meditation in the context of "contemporary mysticism" under the style of "Contemplative Pathways." His spiritual work is backed by a profound understanding of mystical teachings and the mystical life, that is rooted in fifty (50) years of personal study, practice and spiritual unfoldment (inner realization and spiritual experience).  In the course of his spiritual journey, he has received the gifts of mystical discernment and spiritual transmission. Marc has been conducting classes and meetings on contemporary mysticism and meditation at the San Francisco Bay Area for over fifteen years, usually in a classroom, lecture, seminar, workshop, online meeting, or group practice setting. He has facilitated study groups and workshops for centering/contemplative meditation practice meetings since the 1980s. Marc's teaching work meaningfully shifts consciousness in students through the process of spiritual transmission and mystical transformation.  He enables others to embark on the spiritual journey by understanding the Truth teaching and by living its principles in their daily lives. His methodology of instruction is divinely inspired and firmly rooted in pure, authentic mysticism.  Marc's approach to the subject of contemporary mysticism is essentially nondenominational, nonsectarian, culturally interfaith, transreligious, definitively unitive, and unequivocally nondualistic. Within the context of the great shift in consciousness presently occurring all over the planet, Marc’s work focuses on individual and collective spiritual instruction and transformation. He promotes the practice of contemplation or meditation as the vehicle for spiritual transcendence and ascension to the higher dimensions of mystical consciousness. His other contributions to worldwide spiritual awakening and the global contemplative movement include spiritual mentoring, spiritual direction, and spiritual healing work. Marc is firmly committed to the vision of a global spiritual awakening and the divine promise of humanity’s mystical illumination. His brand of mysticism is the only true contemporary mysticism born of 21st century illumination and spirituality.  
This entry was posted in Consciousness & Spirituality, Contemplation/Meditation, Mind, Mysticism, Oneness, The Mystical Life, Transformation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The REAL 12-Step Program to Spiritual Recovery

  1. Dezzie says:

    I love this. I think I will print it out and post it on the fridge as a reminder. Thanks for posting.


  2. With havin so muchh content do you ever run into any problems of
    plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot
    of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without myy
    agreement. Do you know any methods to help protect against content from being ripped off?
    I’d truly appreciate it.


    • Quite frankly, it is not easy to protect or prevent one’s own Internet published intellectual property or literary creation from becoming plagiarized, used or reprinted without permission from the author.

      In my case here at The Mystical Path, I am prepared for such an eventuality; however, I might likely dismiss the unauthorized reproduction where the dissemination of spiritual truth teaching content from the site is concerned. I may as well consider such activity as an unsolicited service in support of our avowed mission to promote the spiritual enlightenment of humanity.

      Plagiarism or improper use might be a different situation where the act results in a gross distortion or perversion of the published original message, as would defame or tarnish the reputation and integrity of our Website.

      Offhand you can take legal action against the offender but at the risk of financially spending more in prosecuting your case than recovering damages from it. Then of course, you can always resort to using a Web publishing site or domain that allows you to limit or control your site viewership and page readers selectively.

      In the final analysis, being a Zen Buddhist follower might be of practical assistance to you when your work is plagiarized online: You can always take in a deep breath followed by a sigh of resignation, and then remind yourself of the “suchness” of living in a world of impermanence.


  3. Wow, this piece of writing is good, myy sister is analyzing these things,
    soo I am going to tell her.


  4. It’s an remarkable article for all the webb users; they will get advantage from it I am sure.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s