Monday, 1 June 2020

12 STEPS IN 30 MINUTES by Bill W.


AAs are always asking: "Where did the Twelve Steps come from?" In the last analysis, perhaps nobody knows. Yet some of the events which led to their formulation are as clear to me as though they took place yesterday.

So far as people were concerned, the main channels of inspiration for our Steps were three in number--the Oxford Groups, Dr. William D. Silkworth of Towns Hospital and the famed psychologist, William James, called by some the father of modern psychology. The story of how these streams of influence were brought together and how they led to the writing of our Twelve Steps is exciting and in spots downright incredible.

Many of us will remember the Oxford Groups as a modern evangelical movement which flourished in the 1920's and early 30's, led by a one-time Lutheran minister, Dr. Frank Buchman. The Oxford Groups of that day threw heavy emphasis on personal work, one member with another. AA's Twelfth Step had its origin in that vital practice. The moral backbone of the "O.G." was absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness and absolute love. They also practiced a type of confession, which they called "sharing"; the making of amends for harms done they called "restitution." They believed deeply in their "quiet time," a meditation practiced by groups and individuals alike, in which the guidance of God was sought for every detail of living, great or small.

These basic ideas were not new; they could have been found elsewhere. But the saving thing for us first alcoholics who contacted the Oxford Groupers was that they laid great stress on these particular principles. And fortunate for us was the fact that the Groupers took special pains not to interfere with one's personal religious views. Their society, like ours later on, saw the need to be strictly non-denominational.

In the late summer of 1934, my well-loved alcoholic friend and schoolmate "Ebbie" had fallen in with these good folks and had promptly sobered up. Being an alcoholic, and rather on the obstinate side, he hadn't been able to "buy" all the Oxford Group ideas and attitudes. Nevertheless, he was moved by their deep sincerity and felt mighty grateful for the fact that their ministrations had, for the time being, lifted his obsession to drink.

When he arrived in New York in the late fall of 1934, Ebbie thought at once of me. On a bleak November day he rang up. Soon he was looking at me across our kitchen table at 182 Clinton Street, Brooklyn, New York. As I remember that conversation, he constantly used phrases like these: "I found I couldn't run my own life;" "I had to get honest with myself and somebody else;" "I had to make restitution for the damage I had done;" "I had to pray to God for guidance and strength, even though I wasn't sure there was any God;" "And after I'd tried hard to do these things I found that my craving for alcohol left." Then over and over Ebbie would say something like this: "Bill, it isn't a bit like being on the water-wagon. You don't fight the desire to drink--you get released from it. I never had such a feeling before."

Such was the sum of what Ebbie had extracted from his Oxford Group friends and had transmitted to me that day. While these simple ideas were not new, they certainly hit me like tons of brick. Today we understand just why that was. . .one alcoholic was talking to another as no one else can.

Two or three weeks later, December 11th to be exact, I staggered into the Charles B. Towns Hospital, that famous drying-out emporium on Central Park West, New York City. I'd been there before, so I knew and already loved the doctor in charge--Dr. Silkworth. It was he who was soon to contribute a very great idea without which AA could never have succeeded. For years he had been proclaiming alcoholism an illness, an obsession of the mind coupled with an allergy of the body. By now I knew this meant me. I also understood what a fatal combination these twin ogres could be. Of course, I'd once hoped to be among the small percentage of victims who now and then escape their vengeance. But this outside hope was now gone. I was about to hit bottom. That verdict of science--the obsession that condemned me to drink and the allergy that condemned me to die--was about to do the trick. That's where medical science, personified by this benign little doctor, began to fit in. Held in the hands of one alcoholic talking to the next, this double-edged truth was a sledgehammer which could shatter the tough alcoholic's ego at depth and lay him wide open to the grace of God.

In my case it was of course Dr. Silkworth who swung the sledge while my friend Ebbie carried to me the spiritual principles and the grace which brought on my sudden spiritual awakening at the hospital three days later. I immediately knew that I was a free man. And with this astonishing experience came a feeling of wonderful certainty that great numbers of alcoholics might one day enjoy the priceless gift which had been bestowed upon me.

THIRD INFLUENCE
At this point a third stream of influence entered my life through the pages of William James' book, "Varieties of Religious Experience." Somebody had brought it to my hospital room. Following my sudden experience, Dr. Silkworth had taken great pains to convince me that I was not hallucinated. But William James did even more. Not only, he said, could spiritual experiences make people saner, they could transform men and women so that they could do, feel and believe what had hitherto been impossible to them. It mattered little whether these awakenings were sudden or gradual, their variety could be almost infinite. But the biggest payoff of that noted book was this: in most of the cases described, those who had been transformed were hopeless people. In some controlling area of their lives they bad met absolute defeat. Well, that was me all right. In complete defeat, with no hope or faith whatever, I had made an appeal to a higher Power. I had taken Step One of today's AA program--"admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable," I'd also taken Step Three--"made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to God as we understood him." Thus was I set free. It was just as simple, yet just is mysterious, as that.

These realizations were so exciting that I instantly joined up with the Oxford Groups. But to their consternation I insisted on devoting myself exclusively to drunks. This was disturbing to the O.G.'s on two counts. Firstly, they wanted to help save the whole world. Secondly, their luck with drunks had been poor. Just as I joined they had been working over a batch of alcoholics who had proved disappointing indeed. One of them, it was rumored, had flippantly cast his shoe through a valuable stained glass window of an Episcopal church across the alley from O.G. headquarters. Neither did they take kindly to my repeated declaration that it shouldn't; take long to sober up all the drunks in the world. They rightly declared that my conceit was still immense.

SOMETHING MISSING
After some six months of violent exertion with scores of alcoholics which I found at a nearby mission and Towns Hospital, it began to look like the Groupers were right. I hadn't sobered up anybody. In Brooklyn we always had a houseful of drinkers living with us, sometimes as many as five. My valiant wife, Lois, once arrived home from work to find three of them fairly tight. The remaining two were worse. They were whaling each other with two-by-fours. Though events like these slowed me down somewhat, the persistent conviction that a way to sobriety could be found never seemed to leave me. There was, though, one bright spot. My sponsor, Ebbie, still clung precariously to his new-found sobriety.

What was the reason for all these fiascoes? If Ebbie and I could achieve sobriety, why couldn't all the rest find it too? Some of those we'd worked on certainly wanted to get well. We speculated day and night why nothing much had happened to them. Maybe they couldn't stand the spiritual pace of the Oxford Group's four absolutes of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love. In fact some of the alcoholics declared that this was the trouble. The aggressive pressure upon them to get good overnight would make them fly high as geese for a, few weeks and then flop dismally. They complained, too, about another form of coercion--something the Oxford Groupers called "guidance for others." A "team" composed of non-alcoholic Groupers would sit down with an alcoholic and after a "quiet time" would come up with precise instructions as to how the alcoholic should run his own life. As grateful as we were to our O.G. friends, this was sometimes tough to take. It obviously had something to do with the wholesale skidding that went on.

But this wasn't the entire reason for failure. After months I saw the trouble was mainly in me. I had become very aggressive, very cocksure. I talked a lot about my sudden spiritual experience, as though it was something very special. I had been playing the double role of teacher and preacher. In my exhortations I'd forgotten all about the medical side of our malady, and that need for deflation at depth so emphasized by William James had been neglected. We weren't using that medical sledgehammer that Dr. Silkworth had so providentially given us.

Finally, one day, Dr. Silkworth took me back down to my right size. Said he, "Bill, why don't you quit talking so much about that bright light experience of yours, it sounds too crazy. Though I'm convinced that nothing but better morals will make alcoholics really well, I do think you have got the cart before the horse. The point is that alcoholics won't buy all this moral exhortation until they convince themselves that they must. If I were you I'd go after them on the medical basis first. While it has never done any good for me to tell them how fatal their malady is, it might be a very different story if you, a formerly hopeless alcoholic, gave them the bad news. Because of the identification you naturally have with alcoholics, you might be able to penetrate where I can't. Give them the medical business first, and give it to them hard. This might soften them up so they will accept the principles that will really get them well."

THEN CAME AKRON
Shortly after this history-making conversation, I found myself in Akron, Ohio, on a business venture which promptly collapsed. Alone in the town, I was scared to death of getting drunk. I was no longer a teacher or a preacher, I was an alcoholic who knew that he needed another alcoholic, as much as that one could possibly need me. Driven by that urge, I was soon face to face with Dr. Bob. It was at once evident that Dr. Bob knew more of spiritual things than I did. He also had been in touch with the Oxford Groupers at Akron, But somehow he simply couldn't get sober. Following Dr. Silkworth's advice, I used the medical sledgehammer. I told him what alcoholism was and just how fatal it could be. Apparently this did something to Dr. Bob, On June 10, 1935, he sobered up, never to drink again. When, in 1939, Dr. Bob's story first appeared in the book, Alcoholic Anonymous, he put one paragraph of it in italics. Speaking of me, he said: "Of far more importance was the fact that he was the first living human with whom I had ever talked, who knew what be was talking about in regard to alcoholism from actual experience".

THE MISSING LINK
Dr. Silkworth had indeed supplied us the missing link without which the chain of principles now forged into our Twelve Steps could never have been complete. Then and there, the spark that was to become Alcoholics Anonymous had been struck.

During the next three years after Dr. Bob's recovery our growing groups at Akron, New York and Cleveland evolved the so-called word-of-mouth program of our pioneering time. As we commenced to form a society separate from the Oxford Group, we began to state our principles something like this:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol
2. We got honest with ourselves
3. We got honest with another person, in confidence
4. We made amends for harms done others
5. We worked with other alcoholics without demand for prestige or money
6. We prayed to God to help us to do these things as best we could

Though these principles were advocated according to the whim or liking of each of us, and though in Akron and Cleveland they still stuck by the O.G. absolutes of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love, this was the gist of our message to incoming alcoholics up to 1939, when our present Twelve Steps were put to paper.

I well remember the evening on which the Twelve Steps were written. I was lying in bed quite dejected and suffering from one of my imaginary ulcer attacks. Four chapters of the book. Alcoholics Anonymous, had been roughed out and read in meetings at Akron and New York. We quickly found that everybody wanted to be an author. The hassles as to what should go into our new book were terrific. For example, some wanted a purely psychological book which would draw in alcoholics without scaring them. We could tell them about the "God business" afterwards. A few, led by our wonderful southern friend, Fitz M., wanted a fairly religious book infused with some of the dogma we had picked up from the churches and missions which had tried to help us. The louder these arguments, the more I felt in the middle. It appeared that I wasn't going to be the author at all. I was only going to be an umpire who would decide the contents of the book. This didn't mean, though, that there wasn't terrific enthusiasm for the undertaking. Every one of us was wildly excited at the possibility of getting our message before all those countless alcoholics who still didn't know.

Having arrived at Chapter Five, it seemed high time to state what our program really was I remember running over in my mind the word-of-mouth phrases then in current use. Jotting these down, they added up to the six named above. Then came the idea that our program ought to be more accurately and clearly stated. Distant readers would have to have a precise set of principles. Knowing the alcoholic's ability to rationalize, something airtight would have to be written. We couldn't let the reader wiggle our anywhere. Besides, a more complete statement would help in the chapters to come where we would need to show exactly how the recovery program ought to be worked.

12 STEPS IN 30 MINUTES
At length I began to write on a cheap yellow tablet. I split the word-of-mouth program up into smaller pieces, meanwhile enlarging its scope considerably. Uninspired as I felt, I was surprised that in a short time, perhaps half an hour, I had set down certain principles which, on being counted, turned out to be twelve in number. And for some unaccountable reason, I had moved the idea of God into the Second Step, right up front. Besides, I had named God very liberally throughout the other steps. In one of the steps I had even suggested that the newcomer get down on his knees

When this document was shown to our New York meeting the protests were many and loud. Our agnostic friends didn't go at all for the idea of kneeling. Others said we were talking altogether too much about God. And anyhow, why should there be twelve steps when we had done fine on six? Let's keep it simple, they said.

This sort of heated discussion went on for days and nights. But out of it all there came a ten-strike for Alcoholics Anonymous. Our agnostic contingent, speared by Hank P. and Jim B., finally convinced us that we must make it easier for people like themselves by using such terms as "a Higher Power" or "God as we understand Him!" Those expressions, as we so well know today, have proved lifesavers for many an alcoholic. They have enabled thousands of us to make a beginning where none could have been made had we left the steps just as I originally wrote them. Happily for us there were no other changes in the original draft and the number of steps still stood at twelve. Little did we then guess that our Twelve Steps would soon be widely approved by clergymen of all denominations and even by our latter-day friends, the psychiatrists.

This little fragment of history ought to convince the most skeptical that nobody invented Alcoholics Anonymous.

It just grew. . .by the grace of God.
Bill W.

The Grapevine July 1953
Vol. 10 No. 2

ON THIS DAY June 1st - JUST FOR FUN


1495- First written record of Scotch Whisky appears in Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, Friar John Cor is the distiller.

1998-1998 European Central Bank is founded in Brussels to define and execute the European Union's monetary policy.

1968- Simon & Garfunkel's single "Mrs Robinson" from "The Graduate" hits #1 (first rock song to win Grammy for Record of the Year).

1974 - The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims is published in the journal Emergency Medicine.

1896 - Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (41) marries Charlotte Frances Payne-Townshend (41) in Covent Garden, London..

Gary B. AA Recovery Speaker



Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous - The Vicious Cycle - pp. 224-225

How it finally broke a Southerner’s obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia. As long as things were tough and the job a challenge, I could always manage to hold on pretty well, but as soon as I learned the combination, got the puzzle under control, and the boss to pat me on the back, I was gone again. Routine jobs bored me, but I would take on the toughest one I could find and work day and night until I had it under control; then it would become tedious, and I’d lose all interest in it. I could never be bothered with the follow-through and would invariably reward myself for my efforts with that “first” drink.

  Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous  - The Vicious Cycle - page. - 224-225

Daily Dose Of Emmet Fox



Holiness Unto the Lord

This phrase is used several times in the Bible, and in our ordinary King James Version the whole phrase is always printed in capitals, indicating unusual importance. Now what do these very important words mean? Well, they contain nothing less than the master key to life.

Holiness unto the Lord means that there is nothing in existence but the self-expression of God--that and nothing more. It naturally follows from this that you yourself, and every condition in your life today, are simply part of God's manifestation or self-expression, and therefore must be perfect, beautiful and harmonious. It may not seem so to the limited human mind, but nevertheless it is the Truth of Being.


This is not a mere abstract truth, but is an extremely practical matter, because to know this and to have faith in it rapidly clears up any kind of difficulty that may be in your life. Instead of a mere academic speculation it is the most powerful healing agent in existence. It will heal the body, readjust every kind of difficulty with other people, solve all business troubles, bring you inspiration and courage, and move you into your true place if you have not already found it.

These words were written upon a golden crown which surmounted the headdress of the high priest, and a later prophecy says that in the day of triumph these words shall be upon the bells of the horses. Of course, you yourself are really a high priest, as Aaron was, when you are engaged in realizing the presence of God where a negative condition seems to be, and it is in your day of triumph (when your prayer is answered) that the words will be seen upon the bells of the horses. You know those horses--and at that time the three inferior horses will have been redeemed forever.

A bell is a proclamation; a summons. Church bells are rung to proclaim that a church service is about to be held and to summon the people. And bells used for secular purposes have the same essential significance. The bells on your horses will proclaim the power of prayer and will summon other people to Higher Thought because when they see the changes that have come over you they will hasten to obtain the same blessings.

Do not accept trouble at its face value. Realize the holiness of god where the trouble seems to be. Have faith in it, and all will be well.

Fox, Emmet (2010-09-07). Stake Your Claim: Exploring the Gold Mine Within (pp. 32-33). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Daily Reflections

A CHANGED OUTLOOK

Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. 

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

When I was drinking, my attitude was totally selfish, totally self-centered; my pleasure and my comfort came first. Now that I am sober, self-seeking has started to slip away. My whole attitude toward life and other people is changing. For me, the first “A” in our name stands for attitude. My attitude is changed by the second “A” in our name, which stands for action. By working the Steps, attending meetings, and carrying the message, I can be restored to sanity. Action is the magic word! With a positive, helpful attitude and regular A.A. action, I can stay sober and help others to achieve sobriety. My attitude now is that I am willing to go to any length to stay sober!
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Twenty-Four Hours A Day #essentialsofrecovery

A.A. Thought For The Day

On a dark night, the bright lights of the corner tavern look mighty inviting. Inside, there seems to be warmth and good cheer. But we don’t stop to think that if we go in there we’ll probably end up drunk, with our money spent and an awful hangover. A long mahogany bar in the tropical moonlight looks like a very gay place. But you should see the place the next morning. The chairs are piled on the tables and the place stinks of stale beer and cigarette stubs. And often we are there too, trying to cure the shakes by gulping down straight whiskey. Can I look straight through the night before and see the morning after?

Meditation For The Day

God finds, amid the crowd, a few people who follow Him, just to be near Him, just to dwell in His presence. A longing in the Eternal Heart may be satisfied by these few people. I will let God know that I seek just to dwell in His presence, to be near Him, not so much for teaching or a message, as just for Him. It may be that the longing of the human heart to be loved for itself is something caught from the Great Divine Heart.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have a listening ear, so that God may speak to me. I pray that I may have a waiting heart, so that God may come to me.
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As Bill Sees It

Miraculous Power, p. 152

Deep down in every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that Power in human lives are facts as old as man himself.

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

“Faith may often be given through inspired teaching or a convincing personal example of its fruits. It may sometimes be had through reason. For instance, many clergymen believe that St. Thomas Aquinas actually proved God’s existence by sheer logic. But what can one do when all these channels fail? This was my own grievous dilemma.

“It was only when I came fully to believe I was powerless over alcohol, only when I appealed to God who just might exist, that I experienced a spiritual awakening. This freedom-giving experience came first, and then faith followed afterward–a gift indeed!”

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 55
2. Letter, 1966 
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Walk in Dry Places


Selfish is always wrong
Inventory

It’s unfortunate that members sometimes refer to the Twelve step idea as a SELFISH program. If selfishness is considered a human shortcoming, why should we describe our wonderful program as selfish?

What we’re really trying to say, it seems, is that our true self-interest lies in the direction of helping others and sharing our experience and strength with them. To do this is to lose the “bondage of self” that is so destructive in the life of every compulsive person.

In this process, we’ll probably also discover that too much self-concern has made us unhappy and ill. Selfish, we’re likely to learn, is always bad.

When people say that ours is a selfish program, they really intend to convey the idea that it’s a “self-improvement” program. It’s our concern about others that leads to the higher forms of self-improvement.

Though exercising prudence and good judgment, I’ll take a healthy interest in helping others and sharing with them today. I know that my Higher Power will be with me in all my actions. 
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Keep It Simple


We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

-Step Six

Character defects include being stubborn, feeling self-pity, and wanting to always be in control. We must be ready to give up these defects, or they will hurt us. Being ready is our part of Step Six. Our Higher Power will remove these defects. We don’t need to know how. We just need to be ready to give them up when God asks for them. We don’t need to know when. We just have to be ready.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, take away my self-pity, fears, anger, and anything else that hurts my recovery.  Help me make room for peace.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll get ready to have my character defects removed. I will list them and ask myself, “What do I get from keeping them?” 
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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


OLD

“Old age is when you realize other people’s faults are no worse than your own.”

-Edgar Shoaff


Age is a great leveler! I am on a journey to God and this involves many stages of experience – some good and some bad, some painful and some exceedingly joyful, some confusing and others understandable. These experiences will take me into a period of life called “old age”.

Many people fear this period of life because it is connected with poor health, helplessness and death. I was afraid of age because a part of me feared the “mystery” of death. The “uncertainty” of death brought with it a lack of control! I am sure that guilt and fear of God were also involved.

Today I realize that we all have similar fears and concerns. Mystery brings with it a sense of awe! Today I have a loving God. Today God is involved in my life. Today, in my recovery, I have a perspective in my life – I am not all bad! Age is bringing balance.

Thank You for the balance that comes with personal forgiveness.
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A Day at a Time


Reflection for the Day


Slowly but surely, I’m becoming able to accept other people’s faults as well as their virtues. The Program is teaching me to “always love the best in others – and never fear their worst.” This is hardly an easy transition from my old way of thinking, but I’m beginning to see that all people – including myself – are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong.

Am I approaching true tolerance? Am I beginning to see what real love for my fellows actually means?

Today I Pray


May God give me tolerance for any shortcomings or sick symptoms or insensitivities of others, so that I can love the qualities that are good in them. May God instruct me in the truest meaning of love – which must also include patience and forgiveness. May I not overlook the faults of those I love, but may I try to understand them.

Today I Will Remember


Love is understanding.

Hazelden Foundation
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One Day At A Time

PERFECTION

“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents, and I lay them both at His feet.”

-Mahatma Gandhi


I don’t know why I used to think that if something wasn’t done perfectly, it wasn’t worth doing. I was an all-time overachiever and to fail at anything was totally unacceptable. Since I set such impossibly high standards, it was hardly surprising that I couldn’t love — or even like — myself. I was constantly pushing to excel at those things I was good at, and I would beat myself up if I failed to meet my high expectations. I was especially critical of my body. I thought that if I had the perfect body, my life would be perfect.


When I came into the program I had to learn to not be so hard on myself. For the first time I began to realize that I was human and could still be lovable and worthy ~ even with all my imperfections and character defects. I am lovingly reminded by my sponsor and my friends in the fellowship to be gentler with myself. They remind me that I don’t even have to do the program perfectly. I just need to do the best I know how for that day; then I can see progress one day at a time. I don’t have to push myself to be perfect all the time in order to win approval or gain love. What a relief that is!

One day at a time …

I don’t have to be perfect all the time. I just need to be the best me that I can be for today … and that’s the way God intended me to be.

~ Sharon S.
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Elder's Meditation Of The Day


“I’m an Indian, I’m one of God’s children.”

–Mathew King, LAKOTA

My Creator, today let me remember the reason I’m here on Mother Earth. Let me look into my own eyes and see the beauty You have created. Let me have good thoughts.

Being Indian is not the color of my skin. Being Indian is to listen to my heart, to think only the things You have taught, to watch nature and live in harmony.

Being Indian is to walk in prayer, to talk to You constantly during the day. Being Indian is to act and to walk in a sacred way.
Today, let me think in beauty, let me walk in beauty, let me pray in beauty.
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Today’s Gift


Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.

—Helen Keller

Close observation of small children playing, ants moving across a dirt mound, a bird building a nest, a plane flying overhead, tomatoes ripening in a garden are quiet reminders of the many miracles surrounding us at any moment. Often we may wonder just how a carrot grows from a small seed. What enables a robin to fly south in the winter without getting lost? And then we remember the power of the Creator, and the presence of that power everywhere.

Just as the squirrel knows to collect nuts for winter, each of us knows we’re always being watched over by God. When we remember that, we feel safe and happy wherever we are, at school, a new friend’s house, home alone in the evening. Every moment is full of wonder, and God is always present.

What small things will I share with God today?
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The Eye Opener


Each of us has only so many hours to live, and we alcoholics have wasted far too many of them in the past.

New men, by the thousands, are crowding our doors, searching for our Message of Hope. Those who are endeavoring to carry the Message are frequently pushed to the limit of their available time for this purpose.

Have you the right to monopolize the time of the Twelve Steppers by indulging yourself in so-called slips?

Hazelden Foundation
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Daily Tao / SLEEP - 152


Sleep is like a swift train
Plunging into long black tunnels,
Slicing day with red and black light.
No worry about the skeleton engineer.
Head to pillow is like head to track,
Listening to the rumble of destiny,
Knowing that the opening will come.
In sleep, as in the tunnels,
The sound seems ever closer.


When you sleep, some insist that the world as you know it ceases to exist. The world exists because something inside of you asserts that it is so. When awake, are you then no longer dreaming? Or are you just dreaming another dream?

Going to sleep takes letting go. As any insomniac will tell you, it can't be forced. But we so identify control with waking, is it possible that the uncontrolled aspect of sleep is an equal reality?

Sleep seems so real, and then we awake. Waking life seems so real, and yet we need to let go of it every day. This strange contrast is one that those who follow Tao contemplate continually. If life is mere shifting from one dream to another, they constantly ask : What is truly real?
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Daily Zen

What is enlightenment?

Coming to understand, coming to realize that you are not the body. you are the light within, not the lamp, but the flame. you are neither body nor mind. Mind belongs to the body, mind is not beyond body, it is part of the body. Minds is also atomic, as body is atomic.

You are neither body nor the mind - then you come to know who you are. And to know who you are is enlightenment.....

Enlightened means you have realized who you are.