Thursday, 18 January 2018

Jim P. - Big Book Recovery Workshop 4.



Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

GOD IS PRINCIPLE

The seventh main aspect of God is Principle, and this is probably the one that is least understood. What does the word principle mean?

Consider a few generally accepted principles. "Water seeks its own level." This is a principle. It is not only the course taken by a particular drop of water in a particular locality. It is true of all water everwyere. "The angles of any triangle always add up to 180 degrees." It makes no matter what kind of triangle on may consider; as log as it is a triangle , this principle holds. These principles were true a billion years ago and they will be true a billion years hence.

Jesus Chris the same yesterday, and today and for ever (Hebrews 13:8)

Prayer is answered because God is principle, eternally manifest in the same way. When we pray rightly we bring ourselves into harmony with His Law of Being. Prayer does not ask God to change the laws for our temporary convenience, but it tunes us in, so to speak, with divine Principle; if God were to make exceptions because we were in great difficulties (which, because of His nature, He could never do) we should never know where we stood. If the law of gravity were occasionally suspended without notice, say, because a very important man had fallen off a roof, you know what would happen to the world.

Each of the seven main aspects is a distance quality like the elements in chemistry. A chemical element, as you know, is just itself and nothing else. Oxygen is an element because there is nothing in it buy oxygen. Water on the other hand is a compound, a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. There are many attributes of God, such as wisdom, beauty, joy, and so forth, but they are compounds, made up of two or more of the seven main aspects. Wisdom, for example, is the perfect balance of Intelligence and Love.



Beauty is the perfect balance of Life, Truth, and Love. In any true work of art, you will find that these three aspects are balanced. There are many such relationships and interdependencies - "Thou canst not pluck a flower without the trembling of a star."

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Daily Reflections #essentialsofrecovery


WOULD A DRINK HELP?



By going back in our drinking histories, we could show that years before we realized it we were out of control, that our drinking even then was no mere habit, that was indeed the beginning of a fatal progression.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 23

When I was still drinking, I couldn’t respond to any of life’s situations the way other, more healthy, people could. The smallest incident triggered a state of mind that believed I had to have a drink to numb my feelings.  But the numbing did not improve the situation, so I sought further escape in the bottle. Today I must be aware of my alcoholism. I cannot afford to believe that I have gained control of my drinking – or again I will think I have gained control of my life. Such a feeling of control is fatal to my recovery.
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Just For Today #essentialsofrecovery

The Simple Inventory


” Continuing to take a personal inventory means that we form a habit of looking at ourselves, our actions, our attitudes, and our relationships on a regular basis.”


Basic Text, p. 41

The daily inventory is a tool we can use to simplify our lives. The most complicated part of taking a regular inventory is deciding how to start. Should we write it out? What should we examine? In how much detail? And how do we know when we’ve finished? In no time, we’ve turned a simple exercise into a major project. Here’s one simple approach to the daily inventory. We set aside a few minutes at the close of each day to sit quietly and check out our feelings. Is there a knot, big or small, in our gut? Do we feel uncomfortable about the day we’ve just finished? What happened? What was our part in the affair? Do we owe any amends? If we could do it over again, what would we do differently?

We also want to monitor the positive aspects of our lives in our daily inventory. What has given us satisfaction today? Were we productive? Responsible? Kind? Loving? Did we give unselfishly of ourselves? Did we fully experience the love and beauty the day offered us? What did we do today that we would want to do again?

Our daily inventory doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. It is a very simple tool we can use to keep in daily touch with ourselves.

Just for today: I want to keep in touch with the way I feel in living this life I’ve been given. At the end of this day, I will take a brief, simple inventory.
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought For The Day


The new life can’t be built in a day. We have to take the program slowly, a little at a time. Our subconscious minds have to be re-educated. We have to learn to think differently. We have to get used to sober thinking instead of alcoholic thinking. Anyone who tries it, knows that the old alcoholic thinking is apt to come back on us when we least expect it. Building a new life is a slow process, but it can be done if we really follow the A.A. program. Am I building a new life on the foundation of sobriety?

Meditation For The Day

I will pray daily for faith, for it is God’s gift. On faith alone depends the answer to my prayers. God gives it to me in response to my prayers, because it is a necessary weapon for me to possess for the overcoming of all adverse conditions and the accomplishments of all good in my life. Therefore, I will work at strengthening my faith.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may so think and live as to feed my faith in God. I pray that my faith may grow because with faith God’s power becomes available to me.
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As Bill Sees It #essentialsofrecovery


Companion and Partner, p. 18


“Dr. Bob was my constant companion and partner in the great A.A. adventure. As the physician and great human being he was, he chose work with others as his prime A.A. vocation and achieved a record which, in quantity and in quality, none will ever surpass. Assisted by the incomparable Sister Ignatia at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, he–without charge–medically treated and spiritually infused five thousand sufferers.

“In all the stress and strain of A.A.’s pioneering time, no hard word ever passed between us. For this, I can thankfully say that the credit was all his.”

************************************************

I took my leave of Dr. Bob, knowing that he was to undergo a serious operation. The old, broad smile was on his face as he said almost jokingly, “Remember, Bill, let’s not louse this thing up. Let’s keep it simple!” I turned away, unable to say a word. That was the last time I ever saw him.

1. Letter, 1966

2. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 214 
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Walk In Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery


The Greatest Thing In The World
Love and Goodwill


In a famous sermon, Henry Drummond described love as a spectrum with nine ingredients. Love is patience, kindness, and generosity; it is humility, courtesy, and unselfishness. Finally, it is also good temper, gentleness, and sincerity. Drummond called love the “greatest thing in the world.”

Growth in sobriety includes improvement in all the nine ingredients that make up love. It has been fashionable in recent years to talk and sing about love as something the world needs, and we have an opportunity to practice love when we strengthen the qualities that make us loving people. And if we are uncomfortable with love as a word, we can call it goodwill.

If we are practicing the elements of love or goodwill, we won’t have to sing about it or tell people what we’re doing. They will see the change in our own lives and will be attracted by it. Love acts the part, and even people who cannot define love will respond to it. If love is present in our AA activities, it will cover a multitude of sins and will make up for many other shortcomings.

I’ll try to practice the nine ingredients that make up love. Around difficult people, I’ll remember that God’s love is always present with us.
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Keep It Simple #essentialsofrecovery

The reality is that changes are coming….they must come. You must share in bring them.–John Hersey

Change. It’s scary. It’s hard. It’s needed. Sometimes it feels bad. But one thing is for sure: it keeps on happening. Just when our life seems settled, it changes. We can’t stop life. We can’t stay this age forever. The world changes. Life moves on. There are always new things to do and learn. Changes means we’re always beginners in some ways. We need to ask for wisdom and courage. We get it by listening, by praying, by meditating. When we ask, our Higher Power will teach us to be part of good changes.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me believe that Your plans call for good changes.

Action for the Day: Today I’ll think about the changes in my life. I’ve lived through a lot. I’ll be okay when more changes come, with God’s help. I can keep on growing.
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation #essentialsofrecovery

GLUTTONY

“Gluttony is not a secret vice.”

— Orson Welles

The unspoken disease of food: hide in food, bury anger with food, cry behind food. Food addiction — eating, forever dieting, starving — is the hidden disease that is becoming more obvious. But are we talking about it? Recovering alcoholics minimize it and get lost in ice cream and doughnuts. For many people the pain around food is as real as alcohol or any other drug. And the family and relationships suffer.

Today I am willing to talk about it. Spirituality affects all my life and this involves my eating habits and body weight. God does not make junk and so I choose not to eat junk. Today I choose to talk about the buried emotions that I am stuffing behind the food. That is a step towards living.

When I bless the food at meal time, may I also bless my abstinence.
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A Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection For The Day

If we are determined to stop drinking or using other chemicals, there must be no reservations whatever, nor any lurking notion that our allergy of the body and obsession of the mind will some day reverse themselves. Our regeneration comes through the splendid paradox of the Twelve Steps: Strength arises from complete defeat, and the loss of one’s old life is a condition for finding a new one. Am I convinced that in powerlessness, Power comes? Am I certain that by releasing my life and will, I am released?

Today I Pray

May I know power through powerlessness, victory through surrender, triumph through defeat. May I learn to relinquish any trace of secret pride that I can “do it by myself.” Let my will be adsorbed and steered by the omnipotent will of God.

Today I Will Remember

Let Go and Let God
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One Day At A Time #essentialsofrecovery

~ LOVING WORDS ~


One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.
–James Earl Jones

Many years ago I had difficulty in expressing feelings of love and caring and warmth and concern. Contrary to this, I had no difficulty in expressing criticism, unkind words or constant critiques. Over the years I have learned so much about myself and others … and now I can express feelings to my friends and loved ones about everything.

Those who are imprisoned by emotional constipation do little to make life better for themselves or for others. To be able to look at someone in your life and tell them you love them is such a beautiful gift. To tell a store clerk that you like something about them makes their heart sing. To look a little child in the eyes and tell them they have a good heart and you admire them takes them through the rest of the day on wings.

One Day at a Time . . .
Here’s to letting the words out of hearts.

~ Mari ~ 
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day #essentialsofrecovery

“Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit.”

–Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), SANTEE SIOUX

Be still and know. All new learnings, all ideas about new things, creativity, daydreaming and mental effectiveness come to those who learn about silence. All warriors know about the power of silence. All Elders know about stillness. Be still and know God. Meditation is about the place of silence. This is the place to hear God’s voice. We can find tremendous amounts of knowledge in the place of silence. This is the sacred place of God.

Great Spirit, teach me the power of silence.
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Today’s Gift #essentialsofrecovery


The stream that was locked up for the winter now ripples and gurgles along its way.

—John F. Gardner

Winter presents us with a frozen world, silent, sometimes forbidding. It seems like such a harsh time, forcing us indoors, letting us out only when we’re wrapped in extra woolens, extra boots, extra hats and mittens. But beneath the snow’s blanket, the earth is resting. Just as we sleep at night, the earth naps, nurturing its roots and bulbs, replenishing its moisture and minerals, refreshing itself. Spring is the earth’s first stirring; it opens one eye, then another, wiggles a toe, stretches, yawns. The earth rises, shaking leaves off, brushing twigs away. It sends new shoots up to welcome the day.

We, too, are part of nature, and as such we experience our own seasons. Sometimes we are happy, full of energy, always able to handle obstacles. When we are down, when things seem to be too much for us to handle, we must remember that it is natural and proper to feel that way, and that soon, without our even trying, a new season will lift our hearts.

When I feel low, what can I do best?
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The Eye Opener


We admit that for US, whiskey is bad; but whether it is bad for someone else is simply a matter for them to decide.

We have no fight with alcohol itself, its brewers, distillers, distributors or retailers. We say its abuse is bad, but we do not curse the darkness; rather we tend to positive, constructive efforts to help that individual who is groping in the darkness. For him, we light a candle of Hope which becomes a beacon upon which he may set a new course to a peaceful harbor where the weary alcoholic may find peace and rest.

Hazelden Foundation 
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Daily Tao / 018 - SPECTRUM

Pure light is all colors.

Therefore, it has no hue.

Only when singleness is scattered

Does color appear.





When we see pure sunlight streaming down upon us, it is a pure radiance so bright that we can discern neither details nor hues from its source. But when light strikes the gossamer wings of a dragonfly, or when it shines through misty rain, or even when it shines on the surface of our skin, it is polarized into millions of tiny rainbows. The world explodes with color because all the myriad surfaces and textures fracture the light into innumerable, overlapping dimensions.

The same is true of Tao. In its pure state, it embodies everything. Thus, it shows nothing. Just as pure light has all colors yet shows no color, so too is all existence initially latent and without differentiation in Tao. Only when Tao enters our world does it explode into myriad things. We say that everything owes its existence to Tao. But really, these things are only refractions of the great Tao.




Colored light, when mixed together, becomes pure, bright light again. That is why those who follow Tao constantly speak of returning. They unify all areas of their lives and unify all distinctions into a whole. There cannot be diversity within unity. When our consciousness rejoins the true Tao, there is only brightness, and all color disappears.
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Daily Zen

Irrigators guide the water. Fletchers shape the arrow shaft. Carpenters shape the wood. The wise control themselves.
- Dhammapada, 6, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. 
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