Bill Harris

Surfaces and Depths

One of the main insights of the great mystics, and one of the essential truths of Integral Recovery is that all suffering comes from identification with surfaces. This is not a dogma that one has to believe or buy, based on what I or anyone else is saying, this is an experiential given that one will discover as one practices and plunges again and again into the depths of one’s own being in daily contemplative and meditative practice. And yes, again, daily contemplative interior practice is an essential part of Integral Recovery practice. Someone recently defined practice as “cultivation through repetition.” This is the best short definition I think I’ve heard. What are we cultivating?  Read more »

Through the Dark Woods and Into the Light

I am working on the last few chunks of the book I am writing on Integral Recovery, and this weekend I wrote a brief bit called the “The Integral Recovery Relapse Prevention Kit.” In this piece, I wrote about the traditional AA wisdom of quickly removing yourself from the scene that is triggering the cravings, calling your sponsor, and getting to a meeting. This is good advice. But in the spirit of the Integral approach, we include this time-tested interventionand a lot more.

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News From the Inner Front

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I woke up a bit late this morning and noticed that I was feeling reluctant to do my hour’s meditation. I was feeling antsy and was tempted to make some excuse that perhaps I shouldn’t do it today. Actually, there was never a question as to whether I would meditate or not, because that is just what I do at this point; come rain, sunshine or blizzard, I do meditate. For me, practice has gone beyond a discipline and it is just what I do as an expression of my being. But today I noticed my reluctance. (I do Holosync™ binaural meditation, by the way; I am three years and two months into the process.)

For me, reluctance is always a sure sign that there is something that wants to emerge, something that I need to look at.  Read more »

The Transformational Event

Traditionally, in AA terminology, the transformational event that leads to the willingness to do the work necessary to begin the journey of recovery is called “hitting bottom.” This is when the shame, failure, and suffering caused by using drugs are simply no longer an option, no longer acceptable to the addict. The precipitating transformational motivators often come in the form of lost jobs, changed locks, criminal charges, and jail time. Bill Wilson described this as utter deflation and demoralization, which were the precipitating factors that lead to his own spiritual awakening, and eventually to the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

In many cases, if not most of the time, the motivators are of an external nature: intervention by family and friends, the law, or the boss simply leaves the suffering addict no wiggle room, and this leads to surrender and acceptance. “Okay.  Read more »

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