What 12-Steppers tell you in the beginning is that you can choose your own concept of what that Higher Power is, as long as you choose something. That said, one big criticism of 12-Step programs is that even though they say you can choose your own HP, they really mean God when they say God. The subtext: if you don’t believe in God, you’re not going to make it. And if you argue about it, you’re not willing.
I get a certain feeling in certain places. I’ve tried to determine if it’s a memory, an association, a flashback, a deja-vu or what. I’m pretty sure it’s a spiritual experience, but I’ve tried to be objective. The places where I feel this feeling are often where lamas dwell, teach, have made blessings and so on. During the weekend of teachings by His Holiness Dalai Lama (April 27-29th, 2007) in San Francisco, I had this feeling almost constantly.