The Great Reality Deep Within


The Great Reality Deep Within
A virtual retreat held August 14-16, 2020
By  the12-Step Outreach Service Team


As we say in 12-Step, we do the footwork and turn the results over to God. The retreat far exceeded our expectations and that of many of the participants. Some comments:

“The people, the sharing, the conference, the panel discussion, the prayer and the music! Exquisite, sublime, funny, so freakinhonest…”

“Your witness of affirming each other and deep desire to share the good news of the practice was a gift…”

I found in strengthening and enlightening…”


We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us.” AA Big Book, p.55


With determination and some apprehension, 12-Step Outreach hosted The Great Reality Deep Within virtual retreat the weekend of August 14-16, 2020.  We leaned into the pandemic by venturing into unknown territory for us! We offered the retreat free of charge and provided an opportunity for donations. To our surprise, more than 800 individuals registered from 16 countries and 41 states in the U.S., and an average of 350-385 individuals tuned in. We were also blessed with an outpouring of generous donations.

The 3-day schedule was provided in 4 time zones. Headliner speakers were Lindsay Boyer, who facilitated a refresher on “Centering Prayer and Practice”; Father Bill Sheehan, who shared on Fidelity to “The Practice of Centering Prayer”; and Mary Dwyer, who presented “the Human Condition and the Welcoming Prayer Practice”. We provided follow-up Q & A sessions for Lindsay, Father Bill, and Mary, which allowed participants to actively engage with the presenters. We also included a Community Building Panel to explain what 12 Step Outreach is all about and to help people form Centering Prayer 12-Step groups and Meditation Meetings in their area.

There were communal Centering Prayer periods, Welcoming Prayer practice sessions, and 12-Step speaker meetings with well-spaced break times. The pandemic provided an opportunity to try a new way of experiencing a retreat by having an intimate experience right in the safety and comfort of their own homes.  We are grateful to have been of service to the International 12-Step community and we are now reaching out to attendees who signaled a desire to get involved in service to provide support and guidance for growing a Centering Prayer community in their geographic area.

The retreat was recorded and is available for everyone to view free of charge on Please check out our new Website.