Sunday, 16 December 2018

Ethics & The Tao


Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox

“As you grow in true spiritual power and understanding you will actually find that many outer rules and regulations will become unnecessary; but this will be because you have really risen above them; never, never, because you have fallen below them. This point in your development, where your understanding of Truth enables you to dispense with certain outer props and regulations, is the Spiritual Coming of Age. When you really are no longer spiritually a minor, you will cease to need some of the outer observances that formerly seemed indispensable; but your resulting life will be purer, truer, freer, and less selfish than it was before; and that is the test.” 

― Emmet Fox, The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life 
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DAILY REFLECTIONS

PARTNERS IN RECOVERY

. . nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. . . Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress. . . . Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your resent circumstances!


~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 89, 100 

Doing the right things for the right reasons—this is my way of controlling my selfishness and self-centeredness. I realize that my dependency on a higher Power clears the way for peace of mind, happiness and sobriety. I pray each day that I will avoid my previous actions, so that I will be helpful to others.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc
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JUST FOR TODAY #essentialsofrecovery


Where There’s Smoke…

“Complacency is the enemy of members with substantial clean time. If we remain complacent for long, the recovery process ceases.”


~ Basic Text, p. 80 

Recognizing complacency in our recovery is like seeing smoke in a room. The “smoke” thickens when our meeting attendance drops, contact with newcomers decreases, or relations with our sponsor aren’t maintained. With continued complacency, we won’t be able to see through the smoke to find our way out. Only our immediate response will prevent an inferno.

We must learn to recognize the smoke of complacency. In NA, we have all the help we need to do that. We need to spend time with other recovering addicts because they may detect our complacency before we do. Newcomers will remind us of how painful active addiction can be. Our sponsor will help us remain focused, and recovery literature kept in easy reach can be used to extinguish the small flare-ups that happen from time to time. Regular participation in our recovery will surely enable us to see that wisp of smoke long before it becomes a major inferno.

Just for today: I will participate in the full range of my recovery. My commitment to NA is just as strong today as it was in the beginning of my recovery.

© 1991 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services Inc
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TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought for the Day

The way of A. A. is the way of faith. We don’t get the full benefit of the program until we surrender our lives to some Power greater than ourselves and trust that Power to give us the strength we need. There is no better way for us. We can get sober without it. We can stay sober for some time without it. But if we are going to truly live, we must take the way of faith in God. That is the path for us. We must follow it. Have I taken the way of faith?

Meditation for the Day

Life is not a search for happiness. Happiness is a by-product of living the right kind of a life, of doing the right thing. Do not search for happiness, search for right living and happiness will be your reward. Life is sometimes a march of duty during dull, dark days. But happiness will come again, as God’s smile of recognition of your faithfulness. True happiness is always the by-product of a life well lived.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not seek happiness but seek to do right. I pray that I may not seek pleasure so much as the things that bring true happiness.

© 1954, 1975, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation
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AS BILL SEES IT #essentialsofrecovery

Community Problem

The answer to the problem of alcoholism seems to be in education — education in schoolrooms, in medical colleges, among clergymen and employers, in families, and in the public at large. From cradle to grave, the drunk and the potential alcoholic will have to be completely surrounded by a true and deep understanding and by a continuous barrage of information.

This means factual education, properly presented. Heretofore, much of this education has attacked the immorality of drinking rather than the illness of alcoholism.

Now who is going to do all this education? Obviously, it is both a community job and a job for specialists. Individually, we A.A.’s can help, but A.A. as such cannot, and should not, get directly into this field. Therefore, we must rely on other agencies, on outside friends and their willingness to supply great amounts of money and effort.

~ GRAPEVINE, MARCH 1958

© 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous ® World Services, Inc
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery

OTHERS MUST NOT DEFINE US

Self-image


The thoughtless practice of lumping people into categories can be destructive. Some of us still seethe with resentment over the roles we were given in our families while growing up. We realize that this way of being defined was a put-down.

As adults living sober, we must now make sure that we define ourselves in ways that contribute to our success and happiness. If others attempt to attach labels to us, we must not accept this—at least not in our own minds.

If others are attempting to define us in this way, we must always ask whether we’ve invited such labeling. Did our behavior somehow give them this impression? Did we mask our true feelings to present an image with which we don’t really want to live? Whatever the answer, we must take charge of defining who we are and what we want to be.

If I don’t like the way people have been viewing me, I’ll change the signals I’ve been sending out. Any signals I send should fit the way I really want to be known.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

Charity sees the need, not the cause.

~ German proverb 

Charity is not just giving money to good causes. Charity is having a heart that’s ready to give. Charity is helping a friend at two in the morning. Charity is going early to the meeting to put on coffee without being asked. Service is how Twelve Step programs refer to “Charity”. Service and charity are a lifestyle. We see a need, so we try to help. Our values and our heart will guide us in how we help.

Service is a big part of our program. Service helps us think of others, not just of ourselves. We stop asking, “What’s in it for me?” The act of helping others is what’s in it for us. Sobriety is what’s in it for us. Serenity is what’s in it for us.

Prayer for the Day:

Higher Power, You have given me many talents. Help me see how my talents can make the world a better place. Giving of myself is believing in You and myself.

Action for the Day:

Today, I’ll list my talents and I’ll think of ways I can use them to help others.

Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation
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FR. LEO'S DAILY MEDITATION #essentialsofrecovery

GENEROSITY

“Liberty is the one thing you cannot have unless you give it to others.”

~ William Allen White

Spirituality is rooted in a respect for self that demands an equal respect for others. I can expect to be treated with dignity if I afford dignity to others. In the one lies the key to the many.

For years, I lived a compulsive life that only made me self-centered and spoiled—and it didn’t work! I was unhappy, lonely, and resentful. In recovery, I have realized I need others and others need me. Together, we grow in the spirit of generous sharing.

Today I find that the more I give to others, the more I receive. Less is often more. In this sense, it is much easier to be good than bad, because goodness works!

Spirit of generosity, may I always reflect the gratitude that gives. 

© 2008 Leo Booth
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

Sometimes, on those bad days we all have from time to time, it almost seems that God doesn't want us to be happy here on earth and, for those of us who believe in an afterlife, that He demands pain and suffering in this life as the price of happiness in the next. The Program teaches me that just the opposite is the case. God wants me to be happy right here on earth—right now. When I allow Him to, He will even point out the way. Do I sometimes stubbornly refuse to look where God is pointing?

Today I Pray

I pray that I am not playing the perennial sufferer, dragging around in the boots of tragedy and acting as if suffering is the only ticket to heaven. May I look around, at the goodness and greenery of earth, which is testimony enough that our life here is meant to be more than just one pitfall after another. May no misconception of God as a master trapper, waiting in every thicket to snare us, distort my relationship with a loving, forgiving Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember

There is more to life than suffering.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

COURAGE

“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.”

~ Raymond Linquist 

(For many years, the pastor at the Hollywood Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, California)

A sponsor once asked me what I had against feeling good. I had no answer. I now see that in my sickness and ignorance I hung onto the familiar, what I perceived to be truth. Fear kept me from trying something new until I hurt bad enough to beg God for the courage to try a different way. I am amazed at how long I put up with a miserable existence, not even recognizing my fear of change. I understand now that, although physically full-grown, I am spiritually still growing and becoming.

One Day at a Time . . .

Do I have the courage to change? To even look at change?

~ Jeremiah 
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery

“If you have one hundred people who live together, and if each one cares for the rest, there is One Mind.”

~ Shining Arrows, CROW 

One of the principles of Community is Unity. The alignment of thoughts in groups of people will cause One Mind to form. One Mind is Unity. Each individual in the community must align their thoughts with what other members are thinking. If all the people think of helping one another, then the community will be service oriented and powerful results will be enjoyed. Having our thoughts aligned within a group will cause our children to experience a positive environment. When they have children, the grandchildren will automatically experience these results also.

My Creator, help me to contribute to positive group thought
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I had an easy life growing up. I was not serious, and I’m trying to make up for it now.

— Tom Harding

How we define an easy life may differ because everything is relative. Some of us were raised in prosperous homes, which might have meant we weren’t required to seek work or do chores around the house. But that kind of privilege didn’t guarantee an easy life. Wealth doesn’t eliminate the possibility for abuse of many forms.

To some, the easy life simply means there was little stress, few problems to contend with. Parents were supportive; school work came easy; friends really cared about us. Maybe we feel lucky if that’s how our lives evolved, or maybe we are like Tom and feel now that we need to make up for our lives of privilege. Let’s seek the counsel of others if that’s the case. It’s okay to have had the easy route. That doesn’t mean we have to pay for it now.

The important element is that we spend the present however we really want to. If we want to be more serious, that’s acceptable. If we want to be lazy, that’s okay too. If we want to have a positive impact on someone else’s life, perhaps someone who had a harder life than we experienced, that’s admirable, but not necessary. No one is grading us.

Today I’m free. The past isn’t of concern unless I make it so.

From the book:


Keepers of the Wisdom by Karen Casey
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery


Every alcoholic has at one time or another had such a load of troubles that there was surely no prospect of his ever being happy again.

On the other hand, there were moments of ectasy that were so great that our lives seemed completely filled and no cloud could ever possibly enter our lives again.

Both conditions existed only a brief while, until another mood appeared. Both, to a great extent, are products of our state of mind. Unhappiness can be guarded against and happiness can be cultivated.

Copyright Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / 350 – Hourglass #essentialsofrecovery


Life is like an hourglass.
Consciousness is the sand.


Imagine an hourglass.

Its shape is like the symbol for infinity. Its form recalls the double helix of DNA. Its two sections represent polarity. The material on one side, the immaterial on the other. The male on one side, and the female on the other. Hot and cold, positive and negative, or any other duality.

The sand runs in a stream, the same stream as the course of energy that runs up your spine, the same stream that is the road of life.

The movement of that sand is what we call Tao. Our consciousness alternates between the various states represented by the hourglass. It is as difficult to grasp as a stream of sand. Therefore, it is foolish to examine things minutely. It is unwise to focus on the material. It is wisdom to understand the movement.
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Daily Zen

Enlightenment is a way of saying that all things are seen in their intrinsic empty nature, their Suchness, their ungraspable wonder. Names or words are merely incidental, but that state which sees no division, no duality, is enlightenment.

-Prajnaparamita  
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