Home » Blog

Mystery

Author: Herb K.

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
herbk12@hotmail.com
www.herbk.com

A Meditation

Love is God.

Loving is us.

Are we the image and likeness?

To know who we are – image?

To be who we are – likeness?

A very slow process of awakening.

Waking up to the delusion of twoness.

Living as the reality of oneness.

Until we become aware of the reality of unity.

Meanwhile we foster it:

            With all our mind;

            With all our heart;

            With all our strength.

And we do this through conscious acts of anonymous helping; in the beginning contrary to our inclination; over time, organically becoming an orientation of compassionate service; one with Love Loving.


Herb K. was given the gift of freedom from alcohol February 21, 1984. As a result of the application of the Twelve Steps as contained precisely in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, he experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1988. Since then he has been very involved in carrying the message of recovery through presentations, facilitating workshops, and leading retreats.

He has authored three books to help people access the instructions and confirm the actual process contained in the Big Book for experiencing a spiritual awakening: Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11 (2017), Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (2004) and Twelve Steps to Spiritual Awakening: Enlightenment for Everyone (2010). His books are available on Amazon and other locations.

We Continue Awakening by Dealing with Internal Disturbances – PART THREE

Practicing the Here and Now

Being Intentional with Step 11 Using Prayer & Meditation to work All the Steps

An Excerpt from Chapter 7: Sanity Has Returned

We have been placed in a position of neutrality with respect to our addiction. We are not fighting. Sanity— healthy thinking— has returned. We are living within a spiritual shield— protected, invulnerable to the onslaught of our addiction obsession (imagine the force fields in Star Wars). We recoil from temptation as we would from a hot flame.

This is in direct contrast to being in the grip of our addiction, repeatedly putting our hand on a hot stove, not remembering that last time it burned us (page 24).

We have a new attitude: “We are safe and protected.” We have received the gift of physical sobriety. But we are not cured.

We need to “keep in fit spiritual condition” (page 85). We cannot rest on our laurels or past accomplishments, which is yesterday’s spiritual work. We have a daily reprieve, a stay of execution. Each day has its own work. Psychiatrist Dr. Harry Tiebout confirmed in his pioneering work on alcoholism in the 1950s that Bill W. got it right: the first nine Steps deflate the ego at depth. But the ego has an uncanny way of regenerating itself.

Remember the “dimmer switch” discussed earlier: it is spring-loaded to go backward. We need to lean gently into it, pushing it forward: one notch at a time, one day at a time, one spiritual practice at a time.

How do we grow in both understanding and effectiveness? The Big Book connects Steps Ten and Eleven with this transition. “Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities” (page 84).

Whose vision? My vision . . . of God’s will. The purpose of meditation is guidance, the “knowledge of God’s will for us” part of Step Eleven. Each morning we sit to envision our day, receiving both knowledge and power. We ask in prayer: “How can I best serve Thee— Thy will (not mine) be done” (page 85).

In meditation, we are using our mind to reflect on and receive guidance about this invitation from our Higher Power today. We ask (pray) about our daily activities: “Think about the twenty-four hours ahead” (in meditation). We ask (pray) about operating principles: Who am I going to be today? “We consider our plans for the day” and “employ our mental faculties with assurance” (page 86).

This is the proper use of our mind in meditation. The next suggestion for maintaining our spiritual condition is to “exercise our willpower” along this line all we wish. We decide, with our free will, to seek the truth— the immutable guiding principles of reality; and to align our decisions and actions with these perceived truths— to be in harmony with reality as we see it, to the best of our ability. This is the proper use of the will (page 85).

The body depends on instinct; the mind develops a reliance on intuition. With continued practice, our will learns to receive, trust, and respond to inspiration (spiros— the breath of God in us).

 

PART ONE                    PART TWO

Herb K.

Herb K. was given the gift of freedom from alcohol February 21, 1984. As a result of the application of the Twelve Steps as contained precisely in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, he experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1988. Since then he has been very involved in carrying the message of recovery through presentations, facilitating workshops, and leading retreats.

He has authored three books to help people access the instructions and confirm the actual process contained in the Big Book for experiencing a spiritual awakening: Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11 (2017), Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (2004) and Twelve Steps to Spiritual Awakening: Enlightenment for Everyone (2010). His books are available on Amazon and other locations.


This is part one of a special five part blog series on HerbK.com to help those preparing for an Emotional Sobriety workshop reflect and meditate. It is an excerpt from Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11.  Specifically it is Chapter 7,  "We Continue Awakening by Dealing with Internal Disturbances."

Allen Berger, PhD and Herb K. have been hosting workshops as more people recognize the importance of Emotional Sobriety, especially in long-term recovery.  Bill W. first coined the term in a letter written and then published in AA Grapevine in 1958 (see The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety for more background.)

In addition to workshops and retreats on the topic of Emotional Sobriety, Allen Berger and Herb K. have founded the Institute for Optimal Recovery and you can find resources, events updates and more on the Facebook page OPTIMAL RECOVERY.


 

“We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness.”

— BIG BOOK, page 84

Keep these questions in mind

  • Am I aware of my tendency to fall asleep, unintentionally unconscious?
  • Am I committed to a daily practice to stay awake, intentionally conscious?
  • Am I willing to work at keeping my channel clear to enable – a vital prayer and meditation practice? – a life of compassionate service based on universal principles?
  • Am I willing to have a guide or teacher?
  • Am I willing to be accountable for my daily inventory practice and my daily behavior?

Forgiveness

Author: Herb K.

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
herbk12@hotmail.com
www.herbk.com

A Meditation

Breathe - in and out - experience my soft belly.

Breathe - in and out - open my heart to the healing Spirit.

Breathe - in and out - remember the hurts of my history.

Remember the ways I have hurt others, how I have been insensitive to their feelings, betrayed their trust, disappointed them, caused them suffering.

Be willing to feel regret - to have remorse - to make a commitment to change my behavior.

Remember the ways I have harmed myself, been unfaithful to the real me - what I wanted and didn't want for my life - how I betrayed my inner voice.

Be willing to feel sorrow - to weep for the losses - to resolve to embrace personal integrity.

Remember the ways I have been wounded by others; these events did happen; I was hurt.

Be willing to feel anguish - to respond with compassion for their personal pain - to suspect their history that brought them to such hurtful actions.

Be willing to decide to release my feelings about them and these events - to let the past be the past and vow to live the present in loving-kindness.

Grieve my history of hurting and being hurt.

Feel the truth of the pain.

Mourn my history of losses.

Touch the pain to honor it; it is my personal journey of helplessness and hopelessness.

Feel my breath, feel my pain, feel my tears - be present and aware of my vulnerability.

Gently breathe and feel the sorrow; embrace it with tenderness and compassion.

Trust my breath, trust my feelings, trust this process, trust my life.

Resolve to let go of my entire history and to be vulnerable to my present.

Resolve to remember so that I don't repeat.

Resolve to accept reality as it is.

Resolve to hold an open heart to hear the invitation to be present to my self.

Resolve to hold an attitude of compassion for others. All of us are imperfect humans, awkwardly doing the best we can.

Hold the intention of harmony to replace hurt with healing.

Hold the intention of a bridge of tenderness to the separated.

Hold the intention of tender love for the healing and transformation of all.


Herb K. was given the gift of freedom from alcohol February 21, 1984. As a result of the application of the Twelve Steps as contained precisely in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, he experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1988. Since then he has been very involved in carrying the message of recovery through presentations, facilitating workshops, and leading retreats.

He has authored three books to help people access the instructions and confirm the actual process contained in the Big Book for experiencing a spiritual awakening: Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11 (2017), Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (2004) and Twelve Steps to Spiritual Awakening: Enlightenment for Everyone (2010). His books are available on Amazon and other locations.

We Continue Awakening by Dealing with Internal Disturbances – PART TWO

Practicing the Here and Now

Being Intentional with Step 11 Using Prayer & Meditation to work All the Steps

An Excerpt from Chapter 7: How Step Ten Works

The promises articulated on pages 83 and 84 of the Big Book “will always materialize if we work for them” (italics added). The initial work is Step Ten. The continued work is to improve and enlarge our consciousness through our practice of Steps Eleven and Twelve, respectively. The work of these three steps Bill W. calls “our way of living.”

We have walked the path of the “destruction of self-centeredness”: Steps One through Nine. As we’re cleaning up the past, doing Step Nine, we are to grow “in understanding” (through meditation and prayer) “and effectiveness” (through consistent practice of principles). Now we have turned, have been turned, “. . . in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all” (Big Book, page 14). We have emerged from the world of self, and we have entered the world of Spirit.

And we can continue to address these disturbances “when they crop up” (page 84). When, not if! So we continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear.

These are the major components of the original problems examined in the Step Four inventory. So we apply the remedy, the solution we applied in Steps Five through Nine:

  1. “We ask God at once to remove them”: Prayer . . . because we have experienced that we are powerless— Steps Six/ Seven: “My Creator . . . .”
  2. “We discuss them with someone immediately”: Confession . . . because we’re human and want to hold ourselves accountable— Step Five: No secrets.
  3. “Make amends quickly . . .”: Love and tolerance becomes our code . . . because our intention is to be a healthy human being living in harmony in a community of human beings— Steps Eight/ Nine: Forgiveness.
  4. “We resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help” . . . because the ultimate remedy for our self- centeredness is the “turning” to be other-centered— Step Twelve: Service.

The Twelve and Twelve describes this formula as the Step Ten inventory process to be used on the spot:

  • to take “a continuous look at our assets and liabilities”
  • “to keep in emotional balance”
  • “to learn and grow”
  • to create “a habit of self-searching, accurate self-appraisal, unsparing self-survey”
  • to admit and accept the truth
  • to correct what is wrong, to rebalance those excesses of negative emotions
  • to live serenely We have recovered, as the Big Book suggests (pages 84– 85).

PART ONE                    PART THREE

Herb K.

Herb K. was given the gift of freedom from alcohol February 21, 1984. As a result of the application of the Twelve Steps as contained precisely in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, he experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1988. Since then he has been very involved in carrying the message of recovery through presentations, facilitating workshops, and leading retreats.

He has authored three books to help people access the instructions and confirm the actual process contained in the Big Book for experiencing a spiritual awakening: Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11 (2017), Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (2004) and Twelve Steps to Spiritual Awakening: Enlightenment for Everyone (2010). His books are available on Amazon and other locations.


This is part one of a special five part blog series on HerbK.com to help those preparing for an Emotional Sobriety workshop reflect and meditate. It is an excerpt from Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11.  Specifically it is Chapter 7,  "We Continue Awakening by Dealing with Internal Disturbances."

Allen Berger, PhD and Herb K. have been hosting workshops as more people recognize the importance of Emotional Sobriety, especially in long-term recovery.  Bill W. first coined the term in a letter written and then published in AA Grapevine in 1958 (see The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety for more background.)

In addition to workshops and retreats on the topic of Emotional Sobriety, Allen Berger and Herb K. have founded the Institute for Optimal Recovery and you can find resources, events updates and more on the Facebook page OPTIMAL RECOVERY.


 

“We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness.”

— BIG BOOK, page 84

Keep these questions in mind

  • Am I aware of my tendency to fall asleep, unintentionally unconscious?
  • Am I committed to a daily practice to stay awake, intentionally conscious?
  • Am I willing to work at keeping my channel clear to enable – a vital prayer and meditation practice? – a life of compassionate service based on universal principles?
  • Am I willing to have a guide or teacher?
  • Am I willing to be accountable for my daily inventory practice and my daily behavior?

Four Questions

Author: Herb K.

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
herbk12@hotmail.com
www.herbk.com

We need to be empty in order to receive:

 

  1. What fills me now? Does holding that make me miserable?
  2. What prevents me from letting go? Am I willing to live with it in a different way?
  3. How do I empty my self of all that bothers me so that I can get into the flow of life? Do I experience that resistance to change is the source of my suffering? What would it look like if I changed? What would it look like if I stopped resisting?
  4. What is the one thing necessary that I should fill myself with to satisfy me while at the same time leaves me open for more?

Herb K. was given the gift of freedom from alcohol February 21, 1984. As a result of the application of the Twelve Steps as contained precisely in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, he experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1988. Since then he has been very involved in carrying the message of recovery through presentations, facilitating workshops, and leading retreats.

He has authored three books to help people access the instructions and confirm the actual process contained in the Big Book for experiencing a spiritual awakening: Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11 (2017), Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (2004) and Twelve Steps to Spiritual Awakening: Enlightenment for Everyone (2010). His books are available on Amazon and other locations.

We Continue Awakening by Dealing with Internal Disturbances – PART ONE

Practicing the Here and Now

Being Intentional with Step 11 Using Prayer & Meditation to work All the Steps

An Excerpt from Chapter 7

STEP TEN IS A TOOL that captures and releases the transformative power of Steps One through Nine for the continued “deflation of ego at depth.” The fact is, we never transcend our basic humanity: we are finite body, mind, and will: all functions that regularly misfire.

Step Ten is the tool that keeps open the gate to the world of Spirit, the instrument through which we establish and foster emotional sobriety.

The Twelve and Twelve (page 90) suggests a spiritual axiom: “Whenever I’m disturbed there is something wrong with me.” It further explains that Step Ten is a “spot-check” inventory. That is, on the spot, at the very moment of our “disturbance,” we pause, taking responsibility for that disturbance. We apply the Step Ten formula immediately— not in writing, not at night. We are to address the disturbance right now as a method of dealing with this very moment’s disturbance. Our body’s survival instinct is to react, generating emotions. These feelings direct our attention and behavior toward what we feel, at that time, is in our best interest. Our mind’s function is to receive all this data, to think, perceive, and know (intuit) what’s truly best for us in that moment.

The mind’s problem is that it is a lens formed by our biology, psychology, social framework, and experiences. It sees reality as we are, not as reality objectively is. Our will— that function in us that makes us uniquely human— relies on our instincts, our feelings, and our intuitions to make its choice for action. If any of these prior functions go awry, we will make unhealthy choices and therefore take unhealthy actions.

Step Ten is our spiritual instrument of intervention, for recalibration of our various systems for surviving and flourishing.

 

PART TWO                    PART THREE

Herb K.

Herb K. was given the gift of freedom from alcohol February 21, 1984. As a result of the application of the Twelve Steps as contained precisely in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, he experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1988. Since then he has been very involved in carrying the message of recovery through presentations, facilitating workshops, and leading retreats.

He has authored three books to help people access the instructions and confirm the actual process contained in the Big Book for experiencing a spiritual awakening: Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11 (2017), Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (2004) and Twelve Steps to Spiritual Awakening: Enlightenment for Everyone (2010). His books are available on Amazon and other locations.


This is part one of a special five part blog series on HerbK.com to help those preparing for an Emotional Sobriety workshop reflect and meditate. It is an excerpt from Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11.  Specifically it is Chapter 7,  "We Continue Awakening by Dealing with Internal Disturbances."

Allen Berger, PhD and Herb K. have been hosting workshops as more people recognize the importance of Emotional Sobriety, especially in long-term recovery.  Bill W. first coined the term in a letter written and then published in AA Grapevine in 1958 (see The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety for more background.)

In addition to workshops and retreats on the topic of Emotional Sobriety, Allen Berger and Herb K. have founded the Institute for Optimal Recovery and you can find resources, events updates and more on the Facebook page OPTIMAL RECOVERY.


 

“We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness.”

— BIG BOOK, page 84

Keep these questions in mind

  • Am I aware of my tendency to fall asleep, unintentionally unconscious?
  • Am I committed to a daily practice to stay awake, intentionally conscious?
  • Am I willing to work at keeping my channel clear to enable – a vital prayer and meditation practice? – a life of compassionate service based on universal principles?
  • Am I willing to have a guide or teacher?
  • Am I willing to be accountable for my daily inventory practice and my daily behavior?

Delusional Seeing

Author: Herb K.

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
herbk12@hotmail.com
www.herbk.com

Delusional Seeing

How we see determines what we see.

The ego’s agenda is narcissistic self-development, protection and survival. We reframe reality to reflect the picture we want to see. We look through the lens of our beliefs and create our reality. No wonder we have problems!

Our ego is a construct of our energies for survival:

            To have life itself;
            To have pleasure;
            To have meaning;

When it is focused totally on me it is the construct of my false self – insuring survival but isolation and unhappiness.

This ego is the enemy within; the devil that defeats us.

In the beginning, it is a natural and necessary development of our personal evolution. However, if not transcended, it becomes a false persona that prevents the revelation of our true self.

The truth will set you free; but first it will annoy you!


Herb K. was given the gift of freedom from alcohol February 21, 1984. As a result of the application of the Twelve Steps as contained precisely in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, he experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1988. Since then he has been very involved in carrying the message of recovery through presentations, facilitating workshops, and leading retreats.

He has authored three books to help people access the instructions and confirm the actual process contained in the Big Book for experiencing a spiritual awakening: Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11 (2017), Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (2004) and Twelve Steps to Spiritual Awakening: Enlightenment for Everyone (2010). His books are available on Amazon and other locations.

Co-Creating Our Lives

Author: Herb K.

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
herbk12@hotmail.com
www.herbk.com

Co-Creating Our Lives

Vocabulary, what is said to us, positive and negative, forms us; the negative that we repeat to ourselves deforms us. Thus, we co-create our life:

            Drop good and bad – they judge and deform.

Use:

                        appropriate and inappropriate

                        healthy and unhealthy

                        helpful and not helpful

                        useful and not useful

            They evaluate, inform, and transform.

Be conscious of self-talk vocabulary. Use words that name who you are and how you want to be!

 

Reality

Reality is what it is. Our belief about reality does not change or direct reality. There are natural laws of physical evolution, for instance, gravity. There are spiritual laws of an unfolding Universe, for instance, humility – a sense of true perspective: we are finite, not infinite.

To act contrary to these laws is to act contrary to Nature and the natural flow of Energy. This creates chaos. To choose actions that are in alignment with the Energy flow creates harmony. Our work is to become conscious of these spiritual principles and to conform – become one in the flow of Energy.


Herb K. was given the gift of freedom from alcohol February 21, 1984. As a result of the application of the Twelve Steps as contained precisely in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, he experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1988. Since then he has been very involved in carrying the message of recovery through presentations, facilitating workshops, and leading retreats.

He has authored three books to help people access the instructions and confirm the actual process contained in the Big Book for experiencing a spiritual awakening: Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11 (2017), Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (2004) and Twelve Steps to Spiritual Awakening: Enlightenment for Everyone (2010). His books are available on Amazon and other locations.

Herb Kaighan Recognized by Share! with Susan Laufer Award for Outstanding Contribution to Support Group Awareness

(Culver City, CA – November 12, 2017)  Herb Kaighan was honored at the 2017 SHARE! Recovery Awards tonight with the Susan Laufer Award for Outstanding Contribution to Support Group Awareness.

The Susan Laufer Award recognizes Outstanding Contribution to Support Group Awareness. Susan Laufer was the founder, publisher and editor of Steps for Recovery, a newspaper serving the recovery community of Los Angeles.

“In 1996 Herb started a 12-Step Workshop in Palos Verdes, taking people through the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous,” stated the SHARE! Award Program. “He helped them understand the meaning of each step as they worked them together. He has written three books about 12-Step Recovery to help people access the precise instructions in the Big Book. Herb sponsors people in the program, facilitates workshops, leads retreats, and runs telephone workshops for callers in Australia, the United Kingdom, and North America.  Herb’s work has evoked spiritual awakenings in thousands of people, carrying the message of the Big Book and the 12 Steps to those who still suffer.”

Herb Kaighan receives Susan Laufer Award. (Left to right) Jason Robison (Share), Herb Kaighan, Allen Berger, Brian D. Ulf (Share)

Among those attending to celebrate with Herb were his wife Mary Kaighan, daughter Kym Livesay, friends Ed Storti, Jerry and Ann McDonald, Suzy Herbert and Kristin Witzenburg, and friend and colleague Allen Berger, Ph.D., who provided an introduction before the award presentation.

SHARE! Founder and Executive Director Ruth Hollman said the organization placed 18 percent of all mental health consumers housed in Los Angeles in 2015 for the cost of housing less than two people by traditional methods. SHARE! Board President, Brian D. Ulf noted last year SHARE! was recognized nationally by the American Psychological Association as thought leaders for delivering programs to recovery and the homeless that are innovative, evidence based, impactful, cost effect, and all on a $2.3 million annual budget.

“Our primary purpose since our founding is to help the newcomer who still suffers,” said Hollman. “In 24 years we have never turned any one away.”

SHARE! hosts more than 140 weekly meetings with monthly attendance of over 5,000 people.
SHARE! Downtown are friendly, accessible and supportive centers where a large community of self-help groups meet each week, addressing all kinds of issues such as anger management, health, depression, self-esteem, relationships, childhood abuse, substance abuse, reaching goals, and many more. For more information call (877) SHARE-49 or write info@shareselfhelp.org

Herb and Mary Kaighan
Herb Kaighan and daughter Kym Livesay.
Herb Kaighan and Ed Storti
Herb Kaighan and Allen Berger
Herb Kaighan and Jerry McDonald
(left to right) Kristin Witzenburg, Suzy Herbert, Herb Kaighan and Mary Kaighan
(left to right) Herb Kaighan, Mary Kaighan, Allen Berger

I am Shadow and Light

Author: Herb K.

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
herbk12@hotmail.com
www.herbk.com

I am Shadow and Light

By running from our shadows, we feed our inner darkness.
We reduce and eliminate our shadows by moving into and becoming light.
I am a product of Love and therefore in my very nature I am love.
When I am true to my very nature, I am love loving.

I sit in the Light becoming light.
My shadows begin to wane and then disappear.
As I become Light I am a channel of Light.
Giving light to those around me helps the shadows to wane and disappear. Being a conduit of Light allows them to become light – to become truly who they are: Love loving.

                        Reflections while reading Tara Brach “Radical Acceptance”


Herb K. was given the gift of freedom from alcohol February 21, 1984. As a result of the application of the Twelve Steps as contained precisely in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, he experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1988. Since then he has been very involved in carrying the message of recovery through presentations, facilitating workshops, and leading retreats.

He has authored three books to help people access the instructions and confirm the actual process contained in the Big Book for experiencing a spiritual awakening: Practicing the Here and Now: Being Intentional with Step 11 (2017), Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (2004) and Twelve Steps to Spiritual Awakening: Enlightenment for Everyone (2010). His books are available on Amazon and other locations.