Sunday, 29 March 2020


1961 - After a 4½ year trial Nelson Mandela is acquitted of treason in Pretoria.

1974 -  Chinese farmers discover the Terracotta Army near Xi'an, 8,000 clay warrior statues buried to guard the tomb of China's 1st emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

1959 -"Some Like It Hot", directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, is released in NYC.

1986 - Beatle records officially go on sale in Russia. (NYC).

DAILY DOSE OF EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery


Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteouness: for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6)

Righteousness is another of the key words of the Bible, one of those keys that the reader must have in his possession if he is to get at the true meaning of the book. Like earth and meek and comfort, it is used in a special and definite sense. Righteousness means not merely right conduct, but right thinking. In the Sermon on the Mount, every clause reiterates the truth that outer things are but consequences. As within, so without.

When people awaken to a knowledge of these truths, they naturally begin to apply them in their own lives. Realizing at last the vital importance of “righteousness” they begin immediately to try to put their house in order. The principle involved is simple, but unfortunately the exemplifying of it is anything but easy. Now, why could this be so? The answer lies in the potency of habit; and habits of thinking are at once the most subtle and the most difficult to break.

Perhaps failure to achieve righteousness is the failure of halfheartedness; you long but not too deeply. Your hunger and thirst do not rise from a sense of total need. Have a mental stocktaking or a review of your life. It could not happen that a wholehearted search for truth and righteousness, if persevered in, should not be crowned with success. God is not mocked, nor does He mock His children.

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery


They are servants. Theirs is the sometimes thankless privilege of doing the group’s chores


In Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis describes an encounter between his principal character and an old man busily at work planting a tree. “What is it you are doing?” Zorba asks. The old man replies: “You can see very well what I’m doing, my son, I’m planting a tree.” “But why plant a tree,” Zorba asks, “if you won’t be able to see it bear fruit?” And the old man answers: “I, my son, live as though I were never going to die.” The response brings a faint smile to Zorba’s lips and, as he walks away, he exclaims with a note of irony: “How strange—I live as though I were going to die tomorrow!”

As a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have found that the Third Legacy is a fertile soil in which to plant the tree of my sobriety. The fruits I harvest are wonderful: peace, security, understanding and twenty-four hours of eternal fulfillment; and with the soundness of mind to listen to the voice of my conscience when, in silence, it gently speaks to me, saying: You must let go in service. There are others who must plant and harvest.

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

Our Own True Will

God’s will for us consists of the very things we most value. God’s will… becomes our own true will for ourselves.”

~ Basic Text p. 46 ~

It’s human nature to want something for nothing. We may be ecstatic when a store cashier gives us back change for a twenty though we only paid with a ten. We tend to think that, if no one knows, one small deception won’t make any difference. But someone does know—we do. And it does make a difference.

What worked for us when we used, frequently doesn’t work long in recovery. As we progress spiritually by working the Twelve Steps, we begin to develop new values and standards. We begin to feel uncomfortable when we take advantage of situations that, when we used, would have left us gloating about what we had gotten away with.

In the past, we may have victimized others. However, as we draw closer to our Higher Power, our values change. God’s will becomes more important than getting away with something.

When our values change, our lives change, too. Guided by an inner knowledge given us by our Higher Power, we want to live out our newfound values. We have internalized our Higher Power’s will for us—in fact, God’s will has become our own true will for ourselves.

Just for today: By improving my conscious contact with God, my values have changed. Today, I will practice God’s will, my own true will.

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

Before I met A.A., I was very dishonest. I lied to my spouse constantly about where I had been and what I’d been doing. I took time off from my work and pretended I’d been sick or gave some other dishonest excuse. I was dishonest with myself, as well as with other people. I would never face myself as I really was or admit when I was wrong. I pretended to myself that I was as good as the next person, although I suspected I wasn’t. Am I now really honest?

Meditation for the Day

I must live in the world and yet live apart with God. I can go forth from my secret times of communion with God to the work of the world. To get the spiritual strength I need, my inner life must be lived apart from the world. I must wear the world as a loose garment. Nothing in the world should seriously upset me, as long as my inner life is lived with God. All successful living arises from this inner life.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may live my inner life with God. I pray that nothing shall invade or destroy that secret place of peace.

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

~ Page 88 ~

Will Power and Choice

“We A.A.’s know the futility of trying to break the drinking obsession by will power alone. However, we do know that it takes great willingness to adopt A.A.’s Twelve Steps as a way of life that can restore us to sanity.

“No matter how grievous the alcohol obsession, we happily find that other vital choices still be made. For example, we can choose to admit that we are personally powerless over alcohol; that dependence upon a `Higher Power’ is a necessity, even if this be simply dependence upon an A.A. group. Then we can choose to try for a life of honesty and humility, of selfless service to our fellows and to `God as we understand Him.’

“As we continue to make these choices and so move toward these high aspirations, our sanity returns and the compulsion to drink vanishes.”

~ LETTER, 1966 ~

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


Making the Right Choices

In the world of drinking, people lead each other down paths of further destruction. In the world of AA, that same destructive process can still go on through wrong thinking. It’s possible for AA members to encourage resentments, criticism, gossip, and other dead-end practices.

That’s why people are urged to “stick with the winners” in order to find and maintain sobriety. Seek out people who are doing well in the program, people whose progress is noticeable and admirable. They can be of real help as sponsors, as friends, or simply as role models.

It’s important to remember that the winners can be from all walks of life. The first AA member in Detroit earned only a modest living, while the second Detroit member became a wealthy manufacturer after finding sobriety. In AA terms, both men were winners. They stayed sober, they stayed active in the fellowship, and they helped others.

“Sticking with the winners” does not mean we should shun people who are having difficulty with the program. It does mean we should avoid accepting ideas and ways of living that do not lead to sobriety.

I’ll spend time in the company of people who have a good record of following the program.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation 

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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

Whatever is in the heart will come up to the tongue.

~ Persian proverb ~

During our illness, we wouldn’t let people get close to us. We spoke much of what was in our heart. And much of what filled our heart was sadness, anger, and hopelessness. Those who wanted to be close to us heard what was in our heart. In short, we had become our illness.

Recovery is about changing what’s in our heart. We open our heart to the program and to its healing. We open our heart up to our Higher Power.

The first three Steps are about opening our hearts. They’re about honesty and needing others. They’re about turning our will and our lives over to a Higher Power. If you’re wondering where you are with these Steps, listen to the words you speak.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, keep my heart open to the first three Steps.

Action for the Day

Today, I’ll work at really listening to what I have to say.

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


“Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.”

~ Thomas Mann ~

As a result of my sobriety, I have opinions on a great number of subjects. Drugs have a tendency to make insane remarks appear brilliant. Drunks often see them-selves as unsung poets or victimized geniuses when they are “in alcohol.” I did not have opinions when I was drinking but rather a series of chaotic and incoherent reactions.

Today I have considered opinions. I am able to think and make decisions. I make a contribution to life and the world in which I live. I am involved. More than this, I have the spiritual confidence to fight for what I believe and speak out my concerns in love. I am alive, and I love it!

Let me always hear the opinions of others but not fail to express my own. 

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Reflection for the Day

What is the definition of humility? “Absolute humility’ said A A co-founder Bill W., “would consist of a state of complete freedom from myself, freedom from all the claims that my defects of character now lay so heavily upon me. Perfect humility would be a full willing-ness, in all times and places, to find and to do the will of God.” Am I striving for humility?

Today I Pray

May God expand my interpretation of humility beyond abject subservience or awe at the greatness of others. May humility also mean freedom from myself, a freedom which can come only through turning my being over to God’s will. May I sense the omnipotence of God, which is simultaneously humbling and exhilarating. May I be willing to carry out God’s will.

Today I Will Remember

Humility is freedom.

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


Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man.

~ Thomas Carlyle ~

This past summer I was forced to play catch-up at work in order to compensate for time lost while recovering from a serious ankle injury. As a result of my increased responsibilities, I stopped touching base with my friends and family ─ Program family included ─ except via the occasional email or phone call.

Fortunately, my friends and my sponsor are not the shrinking violet types. They took me to task about my whereabouts and well being. Because COE is a disease of isolation, it’s extremely important to make sure we’re making contact with others. We do this by using the tools of the Program: sharing with our support group, meetings, and sponsor.

When we don’t allow ourselves to have regular, daily social outflow and personal accountability – even with a good excuse – we are more likely to relapse.

One day at a time

I will make a determined effort to connect and share with others.
~ Rob R. ~ 
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery

Tell the people not to cry. Tell them to be happy.

~ John Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA (told to his son, Archie) ~

Our Elders know about the two Worlds, the Physical World and the Spiritual World. Many times, before we pass to the Spirit World, our relatives, who have gone there before us, will come for us and they will help us. The Spirit World, the Elders say, is a good, happy and harmonious place. When we die, it means we have only entered another world. We will all see one another again.

Great Spirit, allow me to understand both the Spirit World and the Physical World. Today, let me be happy.
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery

Do you want to be happy? Then go buy that strange kid on the corner a bag of candy. It may help cause his teeth to decay but what’s a tooth between glad hearts.

Published by Hazelden 
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Daily TAO – Interpretation #essentialsofrecovery

The sage whose words are ambiguous you call great.
Those who advocate discipline you shun.
With one, you treat words the way you want.
With the other, you resent having no quarter.

It is unfortunate that we need the words of the wise. Though they are essential to our beginnings on a spiritual path, they can cause problems because they must be interpreted to be understood. Because words are imperfect, every generation rewrites itself.

People love ambiguity, especially when it comes to religion. They can interpret things any way they want. If they are unhappy with the cast given to a particular teaching, they invent ways to circumvent it, which is why we have so many authorities, schools, and sects.

It is no accident that the most revered sages are dead. They aren’t around to correct our misguided notions, to change their teachings, or even to make mistakes that might mitigate our reverence. Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, Lao Tzu — how many of us are actually devoted to the wisdom that they embodied? Or have we made them mere screens upon which we project our own ideas?

It is important to spend time with a living teacher, one who can correct mistakes and discipline you. But the object of such study should not be the creation of a new orthodoxy. Rather, your goal should be to bring yourself to a state of independence. All teachings are mere references. The true experience is living your own life. Then, even the holiest of words are only words. 
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery

Kuei-shan asked Yun-yen,
What is the seat of enlightenment?
Yun-yen said,
Freedom from artificiality.

- Kuei-shan (771-854) 
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