When we think of meditation in relation to the Twelve Steps, we often think of the Eleventh Step. However, I have found that my meditation practice has much to do with my Tenth Step. Step ten encourages us to continue to take personal inventory. People do this in a number of ways: writing, talking to a sponsor every night, or by honest self-reflection.
I have found that meditation is crucial for me in my personal inventory. As I meditate sometime during the day, I try to be mindful of whatever is arising. When I feel a tension in my body, I look for the cause of it. It often is anxiety, fear, or worry about the future. My meditation practice has helped me become more in touch with my body, allowing me to use it as a barometer of where my mind is.
Furthermore, when an emotion arises, I am able to deeply touch the root of this emotion. Rather than run from my feelings or wonder why I am feeling a certain way, meditation has allowed me to meet my emotions head on. I am not perfect with this, nor am I able to do it every time I sit. In general, my meditation practice has allowed me to greatly increase my awareness of what is going on within, of taking an inventory.
As emotions arise, I try to take an objective look at them (as difficult as this may be). When I investigate my emotions, I often find that they are dependent upon my karma, my actions. When I don't make my bed, don't call someone back, or tell a small white lie, I often feel slightly off. Before I began meditating, I did not truly notice how these actions affected me. I may have understood the effects intellectually, but had not truly experienced them. Similarly, I notice the way I feel when I act wisely and wholesomely during my day....