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Old 05-22-2011, 04:29 PM   #16  
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I am more agnostic than atheist. I was in OA years ago and my sponsor was not great and I left the program after being told I would burn in **** for trying Buddism.

I now practice Wicca Religion.. I like the ritual and use the ways of nature.. burning a candle to help me focus.. writing out my positive affirmations. I saw some great advice in this thread and am again seeking help with my food addiction.

Hope we can provide support for each other.

Valerie
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:38 PM   #17  
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Originally Posted by dakiniverona View Post
I am more agnostic than atheist. I was in OA years ago and my sponsor was not great and I left the program after being told I would burn in **** for trying Buddism.

I now practice Wicca Religion.. I like the ritual and use the ways of nature.. burning a candle to help me focus.. writing out my positive affirmations. I saw some great advice in this thread and am again seeking help with my food addiction.

Hope we can provide support for each other.

Valerie
Did your sponsor say that? Outrageous that any person would say that to another, much less one sufferer to another. There are all kinds of approaches to HP, and a Wiccan approach would work very well. Personally, the approach that I take is very heavily influenced by Buddhism. Best wishes finding a more sympathetic sponsor.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:07 PM   #18  
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Thumbs down any atheists ? yes, I am also

You asked about other atheists at OA. I tried going to a couple of meetings years ago then again just at Christmas we tried again and attended a few meetings. I could not get past the religious emphasis on spirituality and using God every other word it seemed, Each step is heavily based on this spiritual belief and it just did not work for me. I am looking for another help group, I do need help and I know it but cannot afford any private therapy or a health spa. Maybe you will have better luck than I did. When we went to the meetings, it was very sad, people obviously in deep need of help also, I am sure many were just intensely lonely, and I wish I could have been able to stay and maybe contribute but it was impossible. So, that is my experience. My husband went with me and he also agreed.

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Old 01-20-2012, 04:47 AM   #19  
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Hey everyone,

TRG online has a loop for "OA Free Thinkers" which I have found really interesting and hopeful and helpful so far.

If you can't find it off their site listings, contact them and I'm sure they'll hook you up.

Lots of old-timers with recovery and a healthy critical perspective to OA, too.

Catherine
I am very glad for this group. Though it, I finally found a sponsor who I think just might be a good fit for me. That's something I never had before.

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Originally Posted by FloridaGoldenGirl View Post
You asked about other atheists at OA. I tried going to a couple of meetings years ago then again just at Christmas we tried again and attended a few meetings. I could not get past the religious emphasis on spirituality and using God every other word it seemed, Each step is heavily based on this spiritual belief and it just did not work for me. I am looking for another help group, I do need help and I know it but cannot afford any private therapy or a health spa. Maybe you will have better luck than I did. When we went to the meetings, it was very sad, people obviously in deep need of help also, I am sure many were just intensely lonely, and I wish I could have been able to stay and maybe contribute but it was impossible. So, that is my experience. My husband went with me and he also agreed.
While I agree there are a lot of issues to work around with the OA program as a hardcore skeptical atheist - private therapy is very expensive, and OA is cheaper and more available than most other stuff out there. That and I kinda like the challenge of seeing how I might be able to do it. Because if I can manage it, maybe others can too.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:36 AM   #20  
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I belong to another 12 step program and I think the replies you have received as well as the revision of the steps are great. I was raised as an atheist and had issues with an HP too; however, I've learned through the steps and the tools that you can learn to let go w/out an HP. For me I always liked the thought of the power greater than myself as being the collective consciousness of my home group.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:59 PM   #21  
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When I started going to OA I had a huge problem with the whole concept of a HP. After reading the AA BigBook I took it exactly as they teach it. Do you believe in a power greater then you. Any power. It opened the door and I actually do now have a relationship with a High Power.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:26 AM   #22  
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Never did OA but found that "a god as we understand it" hard to be taught, I'm still not sure as to whether I believe there is a hp or it is a coping mechanism so my brain can relieve itself of some pressure.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:31 AM   #23  
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I am agnostic. I left OA not because of the religious aspect, but because many of the mantras and the way it was set up was not for me I guess, but joining it did give me that extra oomph to deal with my binging problems.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:49 PM   #24  
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Hello What is TRG Online?
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:08 PM   #25  
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Here's a copy of a post that I just shared w/ the TRG Freethinker's Loop:

The more I thought about it, the more I thought that the "Humanist 12-Step" list that I circulated this morning had some shortcomings. So, I took a stab at writing one. I tried to be true to the intent and aim of the OA and AA 12-steps,but substituted Humanist principles for the theistic ones. I'm interested to hear what you think, and I'm happy to hear any suggestions for improvement:

DAN Bís HUMANIST 12-Steps for Overeaters (DRAFT):

1. We admitted we were powerless over food and that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that it was possible to be restored to sanity by turning to a fellowship of other sufferers and by relying upon various tools and techniques that could enhance and strengthen our own power over food.

3. We made a decision to turn to that fellowship and to rely upon those techniques and tools in order to improve all aspects of our lives.

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. We admitted to ourselves and to another person, in a spirit of penitence, the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We became willing to improve ourselves and committed to address our shortcomings, which commitment included a willingness to accept the help of our fellowship and to rely upon tools and techniques that could assist us in this endeavor.

7. We made a symbolic gesture that had personal meaning to us that commemorated our willingness and commitment to be rid of our shortcomings.

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it

11. We sought to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Thank you so much for sharing these with us! I too felt extremely weird going to OA meetings and being an atheist. Reciting the serenity prayer and reading the steps did not really have an effect on me because I do not believe in a higher power. It makes so much sense that the higher power could be the group itself.

I have printed these steps off and posted them on my wall as well as putting a copy in my purse. I'm glad there is a way to work the programme as a Humanist
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:47 AM   #26  
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I just could never go to an OA meeting because of the religious overtones.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:14 AM   #27  
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Wow....this was very informative! I always feel out of place with my agnostic views.

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Old 05-23-2015, 09:02 PM   #28  
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There are loads of great resources for 12 step programs on the aaagnostica website, I love their reader Beyond Belief, it is incredibly helpful to my recovery.

I've been in OA for over 8 months and have lost 25% of my body weight (I am now at the higher end of a healthy BMI range). I'm an atheist and a compulsive overeater, so I need to find a way to be in OA as an atheist.

The higher power thing has been really tough for me and I'k still working through it, but I definitely need to be in OA, because the things that drives me to eat are deep seated emotional issues. I absolutely cannot stop of my own volition, I know because I have tried and failed for more than 18 years. The only successful 'diets' I ever did it now turns out I was displaying anorexic behaviour and exercise bulimia. Anyway, I'm glad I've found OA and it has made my life much better.

One thing I have found to be a total lifeline is having an atheist sponsor. They are not easy to find, but without one I would have seriously struggled with staying in program and overcoming my initial frustrations (some of which persist, but the rewards I've gained mean I understand that OA really works for me and encourage me to stick at it).

There is a freethinkers group I co-ordinate on yahoo under the name '12step freethinkers anonymous', this is a place for atheists, agnostics, and freethinkers to come and connect with others in the OA community who might be having similar issues with the Higher Power aspects of the program, or to share how they've successfully worked those elements.

I'm hosting my first skype meeting this Tuesday, 26th May 2015 (it'll be on Monday 25th May in the evening if you're in the USA). You can find it if you search skype for 'OAfreethinkers', the call is audio only and newcomers are welcome, all are welcome in fact! Hopefully I can get some members involved and make the meeting a regular thing.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:00 AM   #29  
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I am not into the monotheistic religions either. I prefer dipping my toe into Buddhism and doing the occasional Witchy chant.

I do think that there is an important place for a higher power in many athiests lives. And I get that some of you won't go there.

I've been reading studies on neuroplasticity and brain health. Some of those studies are showing a marked improvement in brain health (As measured by heat and energy output - I know, highly imperfect still.) When people pray and create rituals around a HP. Here's the thing - It really doesn't matter what that higher power is. One school had students pray to their university's first president. They achieved the same benefits as people who prayed to god.

What works for me is to take some object that isn't associated with anything I find distasteful, and to focus my "religious" step 2, 3, + 11 work on that. For example the tree outside my window.

I don't focus on the fellowship as my HP, because we are crazy. Its a whole group of drunks! How are we going to solved anything? There is **** going on in these groups that my HP is not cool with. For me, the fellowship is for community and outreach. My HP is all my own.
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