Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Big Book - Chapter 5 - How It Works (pg 63 & top 64)

When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn. We were now at Step Three. Many of us said to our Maker, as we understood Him: "God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!" We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him. We found it very desirable to take this spiritual step with an understanding person, such as our wife, best friend, or spiritual adviser. But it is better to meet God alone than with one who might misunderstand. The wording was, of course, quite optional so long as we expressed the idea, voicing it without reservation. This was only a beginning, though if honestly and humbly made, an effect, sometimes a very great one, was felt at once. Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal housecleaning, which many of us had never attempted. Though our decision was vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions. Big Book - Chapter 5 - How It Works (pg 63 & top 64)

Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox


Don’t H u r r y . Y ou are going to live forever—somewhere.

In fact, you are in eternity now; so why rush?

Don’t W o r r y. What will this thing matter in twenty

years’ time? You belong to God, and God is Love; so

w hy fret?



Don’t C o n d em n . A s you cannot get under the other

fellow’s skin, you cannot possibly know what difficulties

he has had to meet— how much temptation, or misunderstanding,

or stupidity within himself he has had to

overcome. You are not perfect yourself and might be

much worse in his shoes. Judge not!

Don’t R e s e n t . If wrong has been done, the Great Law

will surely take care of it. Rise up in consciousness and

set both yourself and the delinquent free. Forgiveness is

the strongest medicine.

Don’t G r u m b l e . Consume your own smoke. Your

own concept is what you see; so treat, and change that.

Don’t G r a b. Y ou cannot hold what does not belong

to you by right of consciousness anyway. Grabbing postpones

your good.

D o n’t  Shove. You are always in your right place at

the moment. If you don’t like it, change it scientifically
by rising in consciousness. This will be permanent. 
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Daily Reflections

MAKING A. A. YOUR HIGHER POWER

“You can make A. A. itself your ‘higher power.’  Here’s a very large group of people who have solved their alcohol problem, many members have crossed the threshold just this way, their faith broadened and deepened. Transformed, they came to believe in a Higher Power.”

-TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 27-28

No one was greater than I, at least in my eyes, when I was drinking. Nevertheless, I couldn’t smile at myself in the mirror, so I came to A.A. where, with others, I heard talk of a Higher Power. I couldn’t accept the concept of a Higher Power because I believed God was cruel and unloving. In desperation I chose a table, a tree, then my A.A. group, as my Higher Power. Time passed, my life improved, and I began to wonder about this Higher Power. Gradually, with patience, humility and a lot of questions, I came to believe in God. Now my relationship with my Higher Power gives me the strength to live a happy, sober life.  
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Just for today


Resistance to change


“Many of us cling to our fears, doubts, self-loathing, or hatred because there is a certain distorted security in familiar pain. It seems safer to embrace what we know than to let go of it for the unknown.”

Basic Text, p. 34


––––=––––

We have often heard it said that “when the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of changing, we will change.” Our fear can keep us from growing, afraid to end relationships, change careers, attend new meetings, begin new friendships, or attempt anything out of the ordinary. We stay in situations that are no longer working far longer than we have to simply because what is familiar feels safer than the unknown.


Any change involves overcoming fear. “What if I’m alone forever?” we might think if we consider leaving our lover. “What if I find out I’m incompetent?” we may wonder when we contemplate changing careers. We may balk at attending new meetings because we will have to reach out. Our minds manufacture a hundred excuses for remaining right where we are, afraid to try something new.

We find that most of our pain comes not from change but from resistance to change.  In NA, we learn that change is how we move forward in our lives. New friends, new relationships, new interests and challenges will replace the old. With these new things in our lives, we find new joys and loves.

––––=––––

Just for today: I will release the old, embrace the new, and grow.Resistance to change
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As Bill Sees It


Fear No Evil, p. 166

Though we of A.A. find ourselves living in a world characterized by destructive fears as never before in history, we see great areas of faith, and tremendous aspirations toward justice and brotherhood. Yet no prophet can presume to say whether the world outcome will be blazing destruction or the beginning, under God’s intention, of the brightest era yet known to mankind.

I am sure we A.A.’s will comprehend this scene. In microcosm, we have experienced this identical state of terrifying uncertainty, each in his own life. In no sense pridefully, we can say that we do not fear the world outcome, whichever course it may take.  This is because we have been established to deeply feel and say, “We shall fear no evil–Thy will, not ours, be done.”

Grapevine, January 1962 
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Walk in Dry Places #essentialsofrecovery

Trusting others
Personal Relationships


Some people trust others too much, while a few seem to have no trust at all. Either stance is wrong and leads to some kind of trouble.

As we grow in our Twelve Step program, we learn the truth about trust. We can trust others if our expectations aren’t too high. We have to remember, however, that as human beings they can fail us. However, it’s also unrealistic to be suspicious of everyone. The truth is that most people aren’t out to get us or to hurt us. They are pursuing their own interests, just as we must do.

As we grow emotionally, we come to see that we have less difficulty trusting others. We no longer make outrageous demands on them or stretch their patience to the limits. We also realize that there are many times when we can work co-operatively with everybody’s interest in mind.

I’ll think realistically about others today, being careful not to expect either too much or too little from the. I’ll certainly not expect more from them than I could reasonably expect from myself.
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Keep It Simple


He who laughs, last.

—Mary Pettibone Poole

It feels good to laugh again! Our disease took away our sense of humor. Recovery gives it back. That’s why there’s so much laughter at our meetings. By seeing the funny side of things, we ease up.

A person in treatment was talking about the Higher Power he had come to believe in. The counselor asked, “Does God have a sense of humor?” The group had fun talking about this idea for a while. The next day, the counselor came to work and found a note on her door. It read: “Of course God has a sense of humor. He made you, didn’t He? Laughter helps us heal.


Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me ease up today. Let me see the funny side of things.

Action for the Day: I’ll let myself laugh today. 
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


FEAR

“Nothing is so much to be feared as fear. ”

–Henry David Thoreau

Fear is a killer. It stops the God-given spirituality in our lives from taking shape and making life enjoyable. Fear is connected with doubt – doubt of self. Low self-esteem develops along with fear and in order for confidence to develop, the fear must be faced, confronted and talked about.

Fear is not going to go away because we wish it away or hope it sway or even pray it away. Fear needs to be identified, located and seen for what it is – or, as in most cases, what it isn’t. Fear of people, things, tomorrow or life itself grows so long as we forge that we are creatures of God. There is nothing that cannot be faced or overcome – as long as we remain drug-free. God is on our side – but we need also to be on our side. Fear is never stronger than our spirituality. We need to bring our fear into the light; then it can be overcome.

I ask to stay in the light of sobriety, not the darkness of alcoholism.  
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day



“Today, what is important for us is to realize that the old sacred ways are correct, and that if we do not follow them we will be lost and without a guide.”

–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

A long time ago the Creator gave to the people all the knowledge on how we should live and conduct ourselves. The Native people have been influenced by outside “tribes” who don’t know about the Sacred Way. Our Elders still know about the old sacred ways. We need to consult and talk to them before it’s too late. Every family needs to seriously evaluate whether they are living according to the old knowledge. If we are fault finding, putting one another down, being selfish, being violent to our spouses or children, if we are cheating and being dishonest, then we are not living the old Sacred Way. The old way is about respect, love, forgiveness and sharing.

Great Spirit, today, teach me the old Sacred Way you taught my ancestors  
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Today’s Gift


Bad moments, like good ones, tend to be grouped together.

—Edna O’Brien

Once in a while, we have days when we think the whole world is against us. A parent has reprimanded us, a brother broke our new game, or the teacher at school disciplined the whole class. We sometimes let our thoughts center on a cluster of bad moments and forget the good moments of the day.

We shouldn’t forget about the two ducks we fed part of our sandwich to, the friend who made us laugh, or the gym teacher who praised the whole class. Deciding to think about these good moments can allow our spirits to rise and make the bad moments fade away.

After all, if life were all good moments, we would take them for granted. Let us accept the bad ones gratefully, then, as opportunities to appreciate the good.

What good moments can I remember right now? 
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Daily Tao / 196 - MANDALA


What did I do today?

I exercised. I said good-bye

To a departing friend.

I went to market, ate my meals.

Took a walk. Took out the garbage.

Read a little. Meditated. Slept.

This was my mandala.



A mandala is most commonly a diagram or painting that one uses during meditation. the painting is usually brightly colored and extremely complicated. By beginning at the outer perimeter of the picture and gradually working inwards (sometimes pausing at certain parts to contemplate), the meditator becomes completely absorbed. By the time that the center is reached, all normal egoistic notions should have been dissolved and the profundities of the mind should have been opened.

Other religions have various other ways : mass, chanting, sacrament, reciting holy scripture, contemplating. These too become their mandala -- their objects of worship.

But it is not enough to go to church or temple once a week, or to read a bit of a holy book every morning. Can Tao be confined to such simple rituals? No. We could fly to the very height of the cosmos, plunge to the greatest depth, swim the length and breadth of eternity, and still not come to the limits of Tao. Therefore, we should look for Tao in every day. We should ask ourselves each day how Tao manifested itself to us. Our daily activities are our mandala.

Tao reveals itself to us in our mundane doings.
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Daily Zen

If those who are like wanton children
Are by nature prone to injure others, What point is there in being angry-- Like resenting fire for its heat?

-Bodhicaryavatara
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