Those who work the 12 Steps are promised to have a spiritual awakening — a notion which, at first, seemed to me to be unattainable if not outright fanciful. After all, how could someone like me, with all of my prejudices, ever become awakened to the mystery and beauty of this life? Looking through the prism of active addiction, life appeared bleak, purposeless, and vacuous. However, faced with no other alternative than to surrender or die, I set aside my prejudices and opened my mind to new possibilities. Now, having undertaken the work of the 8th and 9th Steps, I have no doubt that a spiritual awakening is not only possible for me, but that it has been happening all along.
Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India, and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. A prolific author, Kornfield has written more than a dozen books that have been translated into twenty languages. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology and is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society and of Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California.
The following meditation on forgiveness is taken from his website at www.jackkornfield.com:
I am the owner of my karma.
I inherit my karma.
I am born of my karma.
I am related to my karma.
I live supported by my karma.
Whatever karma I create, whether good or evil, I shall inherit.
— The Buddha —