Thursday, 11 August 2022

Daily Dose OF Emmet Fox

Attention is the key to life. Whatever you really give your attention to, you become. Whatever you really concentrate upon will come into your life. We grow into the thing that fills our thoughts as inevitably as the stream merges into the ocean at last.

~ Emmet Fox    
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Daily Reflections

REMOVING “THE GROUND GLASS”


The moral inventory is a cool examination of the damages that occurred to us during life and a sincere effort to look at them in a true perspective. This has the effect of taking the ground glass out of us, the emotional substance that still cuts and inhibits.

AS BILL SEES IT, p. 140
My Eighth Step list used to drag me into a whirlpool of resentment. After four years of sobriety, I was blocked by denial connected with an ongoing abusive relationship. The argument between fear and pride eased as the words of the Step moved from my head to my heart. For the first time in years I opened my box of paints and poured out an honest rage, an explosion of reds and blacks and yellows. As I looked at the drawing, tears of joy and relief flowed down my cheeks. In my disease, I had given up my art, a self-inflicted punishment far greater than any imposed from outside. In my recovery, I learned that the pain of my defects is the very substance God uses to cleanse my character and to set me free.   
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Just for today


Active listening



“Through active listening, we hear things that work for us.”

Basic Text, pp. 106-107

––––=––––

Most of us arrived in Narcotics Anonymous with a very poor ability to listen. But to take full advantage of “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another,” we must learn to listen actively.

What is active listening for us? In meetings, it means we concentrate on what the speaker is sharing, while the speaker is sharing. We set aside our own thoughts and opinions until the meeting is over. That’s when we sort through what we’ve heard to decide which ideas we want to use and which we want to explore further.

We can apply our active listening skills in sponsorship, too. Newcomers often talk with us about some “major event” in their lives. While such events may not seem significant to us, they are to the newcomer who has little experience living life on life’s terms. Our active listening helps us empathize with the feelings such events trigger in our sponsee’s life. With that understanding, we have a better idea of what to share with them.

The ability to listen actively was unknown to us in the isolation of our addiction. Today, this ability helps us actively engage with our recovery. Through active listening, we receive everything being offered us in NA, and we share fully with others the love and care we’ve been given.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will strive to be an active listener. I will practice active listening when others share and when I share with others.    
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Just for today


Active listening



“Through active listening, we hear things that work for us.”

Basic Text, pp. 106-107

––––=––––

Most of us arrived in Narcotics Anonymous with a very poor ability to listen. But to take full advantage of “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another,” we must learn to listen actively.

What is active listening for us? In meetings, it means we concentrate on what the speaker is sharing, while the speaker is sharing. We set aside our own thoughts and opinions until the meeting is over. That’s when we sort through what we’ve heard to decide which ideas we want to use and which we want to explore further.

We can apply our active listening skills in sponsorship, too. Newcomers often talk with us about some “major event” in their lives. While such events may not seem significant to us, they are to the newcomer who has little experience living life on life’s terms. Our active listening helps us empathize with the feelings such events trigger in our sponsee’s life. With that understanding, we have a better idea of what to share with them.

The ability to listen actively was unknown to us in the isolation of our addiction. Today, this ability helps us actively engage with our recovery. Through active listening, we receive everything being offered us in NA, and we share fully with others the love and care we’ve been given.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will strive to be an active listener. I will practice active listening when others share and when I share with others.   
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

“While alcoholics keep strictly away from drink, they react to life much like other people. But the first drink sets the terrible cycle in motion. Alcoholics usually have no idea why they take the first drink. Some drinkers have excuses with which they are satisfied, but in their hearts they really do not know why they do it. The truth is that at some point in their drinking they have passed into a state where the most powerful desire to stop drinking is of no avail.” Am I satisfied that I have passed my tolerance point for alcohol?


Meditation For The Day

He who made the ordered world out of chaos and set the stars in their courses and made each plant to know its season, He can bring peace and order out of your private chaos if you will let Him. God is watching over you, too, to bless you and care for you. Out of the darkness He is leading you to light, out of unrest to rest, out of disorder to order, out of faults and failure to success. You belong to God and your affairs are His affairs and can be ordered by Him if you are willing.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be led out of disorder into order. I pray that I may be led out of failure into success.    
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As Bill Sees IT


One Fellowship–Many Faiths, p.223

As a society we must never become so vain as to suppose that we are authors and inventors of a new religion. We will humbly reflect that every one of A.A.’s principles has been borrowed from ancient sources.

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

A minister in Thailand wrote, “We took A.A.’s Twelve Steps to the largest Buddhist monastery in this province, and the head priest said, “Why, these Steps are fine! For us as Buddhists, it might be slightly more acceptable if you had inserted the word ‘good’ in your Steps instead of ‘God.’ Nevertheless, you say that it is God as you understand Him, and that must certainly include the good. Yes, A.A.’s Twelve Steps will surely be accepted by the Buddhists around here.’”

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

St. Louis oldtimers recall how Father Edward Dowling helped
start their group; it turned out to be largely Protestant, but this
him not a bit.

A.A. Comes Of Age
1. p. 231
2. p. 81
3. p. 37   
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Walk In Dry Places


What is real Open-mindedness?
New Ideas


When we’re urged to be open-minded, what’s really involved? Open-mindedness certainly can’t mean accepting every idea that comes down the road, because some of them are worthless or harmful.

Open-mindedness really means a readiness to put our deeply held opinions aside long enough to consider new ideas. If we simply refuse to listen to anything new, we’ll avoid the bad ideas, but we’ll also miss out on the ideas that can help us.

If we’re really honest, we can look back to see many ideas that helped us after we reluctantly agreed to consider them. It’s important to screen ideas as they come to us, but we can’t block them out completely. All a good idea needs to help us is a fair chance.

I’ll work at being more open-minded today. It’s possible I’ve been blocking out ideas that could help me.   
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Keep It Simple



The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.

— Lily Tomlin
Alcoholism is rat race. Drug addiction is a rat race. We were always trying to keep one or two steps ahead of the cat. We were always sneaking around, and everyone was disgusted with us.

Our goal in recovery is stop acting like a rat and join the human race again. Recovery teaches us sayings like Easy Does It and One Day At a Time. Our sayings remind us to pace ourselves. Our sayings remind us that healing takes time.

We live by human values: honesty, respect from others, fairness, openness, self-respect. We work at just being ourselves. We learn that this is enough. We are enough.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me accept my humanness. I am part of the human race, not the rat race.

Action for the Day: Just for today, I’ll pace myself. I’ll list ways I often go to fast for my own good. I’ll ask friends how they pace themselves.   
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation

INDIVIDUALITY


“The race advances only by the extra achievements of the individual. You are the individual.”

— Charles Towne

The spiritual program that involves a “love of self” has made me get in touch with my individuality. Although we can identify with other people’s feelings and situations, we are also not exactly the same. Our dreams and aspirations are different, our gifts and achievements vary, our personal individuality adds to the variety of life.

My “difference” needs to be nurtured alongside my spiritual growth, especially since being a recovering alcoholic I am tempted to “please” the crowd. Today my personal inventory revolves around my needs, hopes and dreams that are realistic. Spirituality is reality.

In helping myself to the abundant richness that is within me, I am contributing to society and the world.
Thank You for making the world with such creative difference; may I continue to risk in this knowledge.     
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


INDIVIDUALITY


“The race advances only by the extra achievements of the individual. You are the individual.”

— Charles Towne

The spiritual program that involves a “love of self” has made me get in touch with my individuality. Although we can identify with other people’s feelings and situations, we are also not exactly the same. Our dreams and aspirations are different, our gifts and achievements vary, our personal individuality adds to the variety of life.

My “difference” needs to be nurtured alongside my spiritual growth, especially since being a recovering alcoholic I am tempted to “please” the crowd. Today my personal inventory revolves around my needs, hopes and dreams that are realistic. Spirituality is reality.

In helping myself to the abundant richness that is within me, I am contributing to society and the world.
Thank You for making the world with such creative difference; may I continue to risk in this knowledge.    
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A Day at a Time


Reflection for the Day

When I dwell on piddling things that annoy me – and they sprout resentments that grow bigger and bigger like weeds – I forget how I could be stretching my world and broadening my outlook. For me, that’s an ideal way to shrink troubles down to their real size. When somebody or something is causing me trouble, I should try to see the incident in relation to the rest of my life – especially the part that’s good and for which I should be grateful.

Am I willing to waste my life worrying about trifles which drain my spiritual energy?

Today I Pray

May God keep me from worrying unduly about small things. May He, instead, open my eyes to the grandeur of His universe and the ceaseless wonders of His earth. May He grant me the breadth of vision which can reduce any small fretful concern of mine to the size of a fly on a cathedral window.

Today I Will Remember


Microscopic irritations can ruin my vision.

Hazelden Foundation   
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day



“May there be peace when we meet.”

–Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA



The Elders tell us the greatest gift we can seek is peace of mind; to walk in balance, to respect all things. For us to do this, we must have peace within ourselves and peace within ourselves cannot come unless we are walking the path the Creator would have us walk. Sometimes the tests on this path are difficult, but we know that each test makes us stronger.
Oh Great Spirit, I ask You to whisper Your wisdom in my heart. You are the only one who knows the secret to peaceful living and the mystery of harmony. Teach me of Your peace, understanding and balance, and guide me onto your good path.   
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Today's Gift



We honor the spirit in other people when we listen to them

God’s messages surround us. The 24 hours before us are special, never to be repeated. The people we share the day with carry our lessons within their words and actions. Let’s be vigilant in our attempts to listen.

We have so much to learn, and that’s why we’re here. Our lives have purpose, even though we might fail to grasp it. Remembering that God is trying to reach us in even the most mundane of circumstances keeps us attentive to everyone in our lives. Our attention to others triggers their lessons too.

The cycle is never-ending. We are not here by accident – we are here by design. The role addiction plays in our lives is part of the design. We can learn our lessons and fulfill our purpose only by acknowledging the spirit, the presence of God, within each person God has ushered to us.

I will pay special attention to the people in my life today. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing they are part of God’s plan for me.

From the book:


A Life of My Own by Karen Casey

                            A Life of My Own by Karen Casey. © 1993 by Hazelden Foundation   
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The Eye Opener


None of us has ever personally known a person who died and surely went to Heaven. As all men are sinners, we are told, then it is assumed that even the saintliest of men have some hidden sins in their past, either of omission or commission.

We do know of many cases, however, of people who have died the living death of Alcoholism and who have come back to make a little Heaven here on earth for themselves and all those around them.


Hazelden Foundation   
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Daily Tao / 223 - CHARLATANS

He sits on a throne with smug confidence.
Skin in bright gold, eyes are reptilian marbles.
Lips are smeared with honey, tongue is virile red.
He exhorts his followers to purge inhibitions.
"Whatever you feel is Tao, and should be indulged."
They scream, they sob, they dance madly.
"Yes! Yes!" he exclaims. "Whatever you do is Tao!"


There are all too many charlatans in spirituality these days. If you meet such self-proclaimed masters, you must be wary. If the way they present to you seems easy, it is probably false. Why should spirituality be any different than any other endeavor? Can you become a ballet dancer easily? Did you learn your job easily? Was it simple to graduate from school? Everything takes effort.

It does not stand to reason that spirituality will be established simply by sitting in the presence of a master. Yet people continue to fall victim to this logic. In mass gatherings, a mild hysteria and a herd mentality are cleverly exploited. A teacher will tell you that whatever you do is holy. Whatever is said, though, the teacher cannot claim to give you Tao.

Tao is only gained by the self. Masters are hard to find, and following the road takes solitary discipline. It takes daily work, so how could you get it at a rally? Indulgence is not Tao. True Tao cannot be gained without understanding and strength.  
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Daily Zen



The Buddha described what we call "self" as a collection of aggregates - elements of mind and body - that function interdependently, creating the appearance of a woman or a man. We then identify with that image or appearance, taking it to be "I" or "mine," imagining it to have some inherent self-existence. For example we get up in the morning, look in the mirror, recognize the reflection, and think, "Yes, that's me again." We then add all kinds of concepts to this sense of self: I'm a woman or a man, I'm a certain age, I'm a happy or unhappy person -- the list goes on and on.



When we examine our experience, though, we see that there is not some core being to whom experience refers; rather it is simply "empty phenomena rolling on." It is "empty" in the sense that there is no one behind the arising and changing phenomena to whom they happen. A rainbow is a good example of this. We go out after a rainstorm and feel that moment of delight if a rainbow appears in the sky. Mostly, we simply enjoy the sight without investigating the real nature of what is happening. But when we look more deeply, it becomes clear that there is no "thing" called "rainbow" apart from the particular conditions of air and moisture and light. Each one of us is like that rainbow - an appearance, a magical display, arising out of our various elements of mind and body. 


Joseph Goldstein on "Non-Self" -- from Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Vol. VI, #3
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