Monday 30 June 2014


The unity, the effectiveness, and even the survival of A.A. will always depend upon our continued willingness to give up some of our personal ambitions and desires for the common safety and welfare. Just as sacrifice means survival for the individual alcoholic, so does sacrifice mean unity and survival for the group and for A.A.'s entire Fellowship.


I have learned that I must sacrifice some of my personality traits for the good of A.A. and, as a result, I have been rewarded with many gifts. False pride can be inflated through prestige but, by living Tradition Six, I receive the gift of humility instead. Cooperation without affiliation is often deceiving. If I remain unrelated to outside interests, I am free to keep A.A. autonomous. Then the Fellowship will be here, healthy and strong for generations to come.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Bob D. - AA Speaker - "Turn our will and our lives over to the care of God"

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
~ John Lubbock

Keep It Simple

If you don't know where you are going, You'll probably end up somewhere else. --- Lawrence J. Peter
The Twelve Steps are our plan of living. We must have a plan. Without one, we waste our energy.
We react instead of think. This is what we did as an addict. We lived our lives as out-of-control people. This caused a lot of pain for us and those around us.
Recovery brings us the Twelve Steps, and each Step gives us direction and wisdom. Each Step builds on the progress we made from the Step before it. Sometimes we follow the plan well. Sometimes we think we can do better on our own. Do I believe the Twelve Steps are a good plan of living?

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You have shown me a new way of life, a plan for living. Thank you for leading me to the Twelve Steps. Help me follow them.

Action for the Day: Today, I'll take time out to read the Twelve Steps. Then I'll list three reasons why the Steps are a good plan for living.

Elders Meditation Of The day

"Words hypnotize and deceive everyone at one time or another, but these hypnotic words cannot last long in the hearts of true warriors."
--Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

We are a part of an interconnected system. Words in themselves have no meaning. It is the spirit and intent behind the words that really show the meaning. We are connected to each other at the center of the atom which makes up the air and our body. The center of the air's atom system is connected to the center of our body's system. I am connected to you and you are connected to me in the center of our being. If my words have no meaning, you can feel this through the center of your being.

Great Spirit, help me make my word good. Let me do the things I say I will, and let me say the things I will do - and do it.

Maintaining the foundation

Page 188

"Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future."
Basic Text, p. 96

The foundation of our lives is what the rest of our lives is built upon. When we were using, that foundation affected everything we did. When we decided that recovery was important, that's where we began to put our energy. As a result, our whole lives changed. In order to maintain those new lives, we must maintain the foundation of those lives: our recovery program.

As we stay clean and our lifestyles change, our priorities will also change. Work and school may become important because they improve the quality of our lives. And new relationships may bring excitement and mutual support. But we need to remember that our recovery program is the foundation upon which our new lives are built. Each day, we must renew our commitment to recovery, maintaining that as our top priority.

Just for Today: I want to continue enjoying the life I've found in recovery. Today, I will take steps to maintain my foundation.

From the book Just for Today

© Copyright 1991-2013 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought for the Day

Alcoholics are unable or unwilling, during their addiction to alcohol, to live in the present. The result is that they live in a constant state of remorse and fear because of their unholy past and its morbid attraction, or the uncertain future and its vague foreboding. So the only real hope for the alcoholic is to face the present. Now is the time. Now is ours. The past is beyond recall. The future is as uncertain as life itself. Only the now belongs to us. Am I living in the now?

Meditation for the Day

I must forget the past as much as possible. The past is over and gone forever. Nothing can be done about the past, except to make what restitution I can. I must not carry the burden of my past failures. I must go on in faith. The clouds will clear and the way will lighten. The path will become less stony with every forward step I take. God has no reproach for anything that He has healed. I can be made whole and free, even though I have wrecked my life in the past. Remember the saying: "Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more."

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not carry the burden of the past. I pray that I may cast it off and press on in faith.

From the book Twenty-Four Hours a Day

© Copyright 1975 by Hazelden Foundation

On Cultivating Tolerance

During nine years in AA, I have observed that those who follow the Alcoholics Anonymous program with the greatest earnestness and zeal not only maintain sobriety but often acquire finer characteristics and attitudes as well. One of these is tolerance. Tolerance expresses itself in a variety of ways: in kindness and consideration toward the man or woman who is just beginning the march along the spiritual path; in the understanding of those who perhaps have been less fortunate in education advantages; and in sympathy toward those whose religious ideas may seem to be at great variance with our own.

I am reminded in this connection of the picture of a hub with its radiating spokes. We all start at the outer circumference and approach our destination by one of many routes. To say that one spoke is much better than all the other spokes is true only in the sense of its being best suited to you as an individual. Human nature is such that without some degree of tolerance, each one of us might be inclined to believe that we have found the best or perhaps the shortest spoke. Without some tolerance, we might tend to become a bit smug or superior - which, of course, is not helpful to the person we are trying to help and may be quite painful or obnoxious to others. No one of us wishes to do anything that might act as a deterrent to the advancement of another - and a patronizing attitude can readily slow up this process.

Tolerance furnishes, as a by-product, a greater freedom from the tendency to cling to preconceived ideas and stubbornly adhered-to opinions. In other words, it often promotes an open-mindedness that is vastly important - is, in fact, a prerequisite to the successful termination of any line of search, whether it be scientific or spiritual.

These, then, are a few of the reasons why an attempt to acquire tolerance should be made by each one of us.

Copyright © AA Grapevine, Inc July 1944

Sunday 29 June 2014

Daily Zen

Massed peaks pierce
The cold-colored sky;
A view the
Monastery faces.
Shooting stars pass
Into sparse-branched trees;
The moon travels one way
Clouds the other
Few people come
To this mountaintop
Cranes do not flock
In the tall pines.
One Buddhist monk,
Eighty years old,
Has never heard
Of the world's affairs

- Chia Tao

DailyTao - Moderation

Filling a cup to the brim
is not as good as
stopping in time.
Staying constantly sharpened
can wear out the blade.

One cannot protect
a home full of jewels.

Position and prestige
lead to arrogance
and eventual downfall.

When your work is done,
gently withdraw.

This is the natural way.

Elder's Meditation Of The Day

“We forget so we consider ourselves superior. But we are, after all, a mere part of the creation and we must consider to understand where we are and we stand somewhere between the mountain and the Ant. Somewhere and only there is a part and parcel of the creation

–Chief Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA

Every human being gathers information from the center of a circle. If we are not careful, we soon think we are the center of all things. Therefore, it is easy to become self centered. Once we become self centered we start to think we are above all things and therefore superior. But we are really only one part of a great whole.

The universe is all connected. Each part is here to do something special and according to its design. We are here to honor and respect the job of each part. We are neither above nor below anything. We need not be ruler over anything, we need only to live in honor and harmony with the system.

My Creator, help me to view and conduct myself in a manner of respect, dignity and honor to all creation. Let me see You in all things.

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

Once we surrendered and came to The Program, many of us wondered what we could do with all the time on our hands. All the hours we’d previously spent planning, hiding, alibiing, getting loaded, coming down, getting “well,” juggling our accounts — and all the rest — threatened to turn into empty chunks of time that somehow had to be filled. We needed new energy previously absorbed by our addictions. We soon realized that substituting a new and different activity is far easier than just stopping the old activity and putting nothing in its place. Am I redirecting my mind and energy?

Today I Pray

I pray that, once free of the encumbrance of my addiction. I may turn to my Higher Power to discover for me how to fill my time constructively and creatively. May that same Power that makes human paths cross and links certain people to specific situations, lead me along good new roads into good new places.

Today I Will Remember

Happenstance may be more than chance.

Fr. Leo's Daily Meditation

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it.”

–Mark Twain

I need to risk in life. I need to try again. I need to face life and not run from it. Early in my sobriety I was scared to try new things because I was afraid I might get hurt. I was afraid to express my feelings. I hid in the idea of simply “not drinking”.

Spirituality is about being willing to reach out into new areas, engage in new and different relationships, enjoy the richness of God’s world. As I grow in sobriety I develop the capacity to react differently to painful situations and overcome them. I learn that mistakes can make for new conquests. That lasting joys and achievements are born in the risk.

Teach me to overcome yesterday’s sorrows with today’s optimism.

Keep It Simple

I don’t believe in the life afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear.
—Woody Allen

Most of us have many questions about a Higher Power. Sometimes we have more questions than answers. No matter how much we believe about God, there are always questions. Why do bad things happen if God is good? Does God punish people?

Is God called Jesus, Buddha, the Great Spirit? Perhaps we’ve chosen a name for our Higher Power, or maybe we haven’t. Yet, we know there is some Power great than ourselves that’s helping us in recovery.

We know what we need to know about God for today. We know how to ask for help, and how to accept help.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to know You more clearly. There’s much I’m not sure about. For now, I will act as if the help I get comes from You.

Action for the Day: I’ll think of three ways my Higher Power has done just the right thing for me.

As Bill Sees It

Community Problem, p. 180

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 immortality 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.

Twenty Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The program of Alcoholics Anonymous involves a continuous striving for improvement. There can be no long resting period. We must try to work at it all the time. We must continually keep in mind that it is a program not to be measured in years, because we never fully reach our goals nor are we ever cured. Our alcoholism is only kept in abeyance by daily living of the program. It is a timeless program in every sense. We live it day by day, or more precisely, moment by moment – now. Am I always striving for improvement?

Meditation For The Day

Life is all a preparation for something better to come. God has a plan for your life and it will work out, if you try to do His will. God has things planned for you, far beyond what you can imagine now. But you must prepare yourself so that you will be ready for the better things to come. Now is the time for discipline and prayer. The time of expression will come later. Life can be flooded through and through with joy and gladness. So prepare yourself for those better things to come.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may prepare myself for better things that God has in store for me. I pray that I may trust God for the future.

Keeping Recovery Fresh

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

Basic Text, p.80

After the first couple of years in recovery, most of us start to feel like there are no more big deals. If we’ve been diligent in working the steps, the past is largely resolved and we have a solid foundation on which to build our future. We’ve learned to take life pretty much as it comes. Familiarity with the steps allows us to resolve problems almost as quickly as they arise.

Once we discover this level of comfort, we may tend to treat it as a “rest stop” on the recovery path. Doing so, however, discounts the nature of our disease. Addiction is patient, subtle, progressive, and incurable. It’s also fatal-we can die from this disease, unless we continue to treat it. And the treatment for addiction is a vital, ongoing program of recovery.

The Twelve Steps are a process, a path we take to stay a step ahead of our disease. Meetings, sponsorship, service, and the steps always remain essential to ongoing recovery. Though we may practice our program somewhat differently with five years clean than with five months, this doesn’t mean the program has changed or become less important, only that our practical understanding has changed and grown. To keep our recovery fresh and vital, we need to stay alert for opportunities to practice our program.

Just for today: As I keep growing in my recovery, I will search for new ways to practice my program.


Having learned to live so happily, we'd show everyone else how. . . . Yes, we of A.A. did dream those dreams. How natural that was, since most alcoholics are bankrupt idealists. . . . So why shouldn't we share our way of life with everyone?


The great discovery of sobriety led me to feel the need to spread the "good news" to the world around me. The grandiose thoughts of my drinking days returned. Later, I learned that concentrating on my own recovery was a full-time process. As I became a sober citizen in this world, I observed a rippling effect which, without any conscious effort on my part, reached any "related facility or outside enterprise," without diverting me from my primary purpose of staying sober and helping other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Saturday 28 June 2014

Mark H. - AA Speakers - "What God can do" (Steps 10,11, and 12)

A positive attitude is like a fire – Unless you continue to add fuel, it goes out.”
~ Alexander Lockhart

What Is Heard At Meetings Compared To The Program Of Alcoholics Anonymous

Before taking a look at what is so often heard in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, let’s examine some of the statements made by the Authors of this Basic Text. For example:
“We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book.” AA, pg. xiii

(Note: PRECISELY – “Exactly or sharply defined or stated. Minutely exact; not varying in the slightest degree from truth.” Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – circa 1936.)
So, let’s examine the TRUTH!

“ If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may be asking – ‘What do I have to do?’ It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically. We shall tell you what we have done.” AA, pg. 20 Sharing experience,strength and hope.

“Lack of power was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?

Well, that is exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself that will solve your problem.” AA, pg. 45

“Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered.” AA, pg. 29

There is a Spiritual Axiom that applies to recovery from alcoholism:

“Noah, an amateur, with God’s guidance, built the Ark. Professionals, with all their

smarts, built the Titanic.”

Now, let’s review what is so often “Heard” in the meetings.

Heard – “Just keep coming back. You’ll be OK.”

That, of course, is a lie. Rigorous honesty?

BB – “Here are the steps we took which are suggested as a program of recovery.”

Heard - “Don’t drink and go to meetings.”

“Don’t drink” are words you would expect to hear from a non-alcoholic. If a person

knew how to “Don’t drink,” they would have no reason to go to meetings.

Heard - “Don’t drink, no matter what.”

Real alcoholics drink, no matter what.

Heard - “Don’t drink even if your ass falls off.” (How ridiculous!)

Don’t you think an untreated alcoholic would reach for a drink if their “ass started

falling off?”

BB –“Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it—this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.” AA, pg. 34

Heard – “I have a choice of whether or not I take a drink today.”

Then why did they come to Alcoholics Anonymous?

“Think before you drink.”

“Just think the drink through.”

BB – “The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink.” AA, pg. 24

“We are without defense against the first drink.” AA, pg. 24

“Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective defense against the first drink.” AA, pg. 43

Heard - “There is no such thing as a recovered alcoholic.”

Who were the Authors of the Basic Text for Alcoholics Anonymous?

BB – “The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism.” AA, Title Page

“We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, know thousands of men and women who were once just as hopeless as Bill. Nearly all have recovered. They have solved the drink problem.” AA, pg. 17

(Note: The word “Recovered” is used ten (10) times in the Basic Text by “Recovered” alcoholics.)

Heard – “Don’t rush into taking the steps. Take your time.”

BB – “On your first visit tell him (your prospect) about the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. If he shows interest, lend him your copy of this book.” AA, pg. 94

“Suppose now you are making your second visit to a man. He has read this volume and says he is prepared to go through with the Twelve Steps of the program of recovery.” AA, pg. 96

“We, in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of drowning men.” AA, pg. 28

If the newcomer doesn’t rush into taking the steps, they will most likely rush into a bar or liquor store.

Heard – “The gift of sobriety.”

Gift – a present that is given, not paid for.

BB – “Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid.” AA, pg. 14

Heard – “My sponsee(s).”

BB – “That the man who is making the approach has had the same difficulty, that he obviously knows what he is talking about, that his whole deportment shouts at the new “prospect” that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, axes to grind, no people to please (except your Sponsor), no lectures to be endured—these are the conditions we have found most effective.” AA, pgs. 18 – 19

“Continue to speak of alcoholism as an illness, a fatal malady. Talk about the conditions of body and mind that accompany it. Keep his attention focused mainly on your personal experience. Explain that many are doomed who never realize their predicament.

Doctors are rightly loath to tell alcoholic patients the whole story unless it will serve some good purpose. But you may talk to him about the hopelessness of alcoholism because you offer a solution. You will soon have your “friend” admitting he has many, if not all, of the traits of the alcoholic. If his own doctor is willing to tell him that he is alcoholic, so much the better. Even though your “protégé” may not have entirely admitted his condition, he has become very curious to know how you got well.” AA, pgs. 92 & 93

The word “friend” is used many times in the Basic Text.

The word “prospect” is used eleven (11) times in the Basic Text.

The word “protégé” is used one (1) time in the Basic Text.

The word “sponsee” cannot be found in the Basic Text. Nor can we find the word “sponsoree.”

As a matter of fact, neither can they be found in current dictionaries.

Heard – “Who keeps us clean and sober?”

BB – “And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone—even alcohol. For by this time sanity has returned. AA, pg. 84

“Even so has God restored us all to our right minds.” AA, pg. 57

Yes, God will restore us to sanity where alcohol is concerned, if we take the Steps, but He doesn’t give baths.

Heard – “(1) I can’t help myself. (2) How could I possibly help anyone else?”

BB – (1) - “We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.” AA, pg. 84

(2) – “We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”

AA, pg. 132

Heard – “This is a selfish program.”

BB – “Selfishness – self centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.”

AA, pg. 62

“Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness to others.

Then only might I receive. But that would be in great measure.” AA, pg.13

“While I lay in the hospital the thought came that there were thousands of hopeless alcoholics who might be glad to have what had so freely been given me. Perhaps, I could help some of them. They in turn might work with others.” AA, pg. 14

“It is important for him to realize that your attempt to pass this on to him plays a vital part in your own recovery. Actually, he may be helping you more than you are helping him.” AA, pg. 94

(Note: A paradox of Alcoholics Anonymous. We come to Alcoholics Anonymous to save our lives and learn we must pass our message of hope on to others if we are to live. So, the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous is both selfish and it is selfless.)

Heard – “We learn to live life on life’s terms.”

BB – “Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.” AA, pg. 77

It would appear from this that we are to learn to live our life on God’s terms.

Heard – “I haven’t had a drink today so I am a complete success.”

BB – “The elimination of drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs.” AA, pg. 19

Heard – “It really doesn’t make any difference what your problem is. AA has the best program.”

BB – “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” AA, pg. 564

What part of “only stop drinking” do so many people not understand?

“Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.” AA, pg. 564

An AA group is for alcoholics only (Tradition Five). We all have problems other than our drinking but alcoholism is our only common problem. And the Founders of over 200 Twelve Step Programs that have nothing to do with drinking would disagree with what is “Heard.”

Heard – “Don’t make any major decisions for the first year.”

BB – “Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a)That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b)That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

Being convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and life over to God as we understood Him. AA, pg. 60

Heard - “I’m feeling pretty crappy. I need a meeting.”

BB - “I was not too well at the time, and was plagued with waves of self-pity and resentment.

This sometimes nearly drove me back to drink, but I soon found that when all

other measures failed, working with another alcoholic would save the day. Many times I have gone to my old hospital in despair. On talking to a man there, I would be amazingly lifted up and set on my feet. It is a design for living that works in rough going.” AA, pg.15

Heard – “You ought to go to 90 meetings in 90 days.”

BB – “ We (chronic alcoholics) are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.” AA, pg. 24

Why would a right thinking member of Alcoholics Anonymous direct a newcomer to sit in meetings with untreated alcoholics to listen to them “discuss” the “issues”, problems, ideas and opinions of untreated alcoholics for 90 meetings in as many days? That has proved to be a death sentence for many alcoholics.

Heard - “You are feeling emotionally disturbed? You ought to get some professional help.”

BB - “There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.” AA, pg. 58

(Note: One of the largest fellowships today is “Emotions Anonymous.” They have found a Solution for many who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders through their adaptation of our Twelve Step program.)

Heard - “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

BB - “The rule is we must be hard on ourselves, but always considerate of others.” AA, pg. 74

Heard - “Alcoholism is a problem of denial.”

(Note: Denial - “Refusal to admit the truth. - Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary - circa 1936.) Sure sounds like lying, doesn’t it? Alcoholics are real good at that.

BB - “Whatever the definition of the word may be, we call it plain insanity.” AA, pg. 37

“However intelligent we may have been in other respects, where alcohol has been

involved, we have been strangely insane.” AA, pg. 38

“Again it was the old, insidious insanity--that first drink.” AA, pg. 154

And what is the hope of Step Two? That we can find a Power greater than ourselves that could restore us to sanity.

Heard - “It is my opinion that …………………” or

“I don’t know anything about the Big Book but here is the way I do it.’

BB - “We have concluded to publish an anonymous volume setting forth the problem as we see it. We shall bring to the task our combined experience and knowledge. This should suggest a useful program for anyone concerned with a drinking problem.” AA, pg 19

(Note: The Big Book is based solely on the experience and knowledge of the first one hundred recovered alcoholics. The Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous has been unable to find any way to improve on its effectiveness since it was first published. It contains no opinions because one thing the early members learned was that opinions have the power to kill alcoholics.)

Heard – “My sponsor told me that, if in making an amend I would be harmed, I could consider myself as one of the ‘others’ in Step Nine.”

BB – “Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences might be.” AA, pg. 79

Heard – “Be good to yourself.”

BB – “ The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others.”

AA, pg. 74

Heard – “Never pray for patience. You’ll regret it if you do.”

BB – “So clean house with the family, asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love.” AA, pg. 83

Heard – “Alcoholics Anonymous is a self-help program.”

BB – “We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.” AA, pg. 84

It would appear from this that it is a God-help program.

Heard – “We don’t work the steps, we just take them.”

BB – “Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. But they will always materialize if we work for them.” AA, pg. 84

“If he did not work, he would surely drink again.” AA, pg. 15

“On each of these occasions we worked with him, reviewing carefully what had happened.” AA, pg.35

“Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well.” AA, pg. 63

“It works, if we have the proper attitude and work at it.” AA, pg. 86

“Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity form drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail.” AA, pg. 89

“Now we try to put spiritual principles to work in every department of our lives.”

AA, pg. 116

And there are more for serious students to find.

Heard – “Oh, just turn it over.”

BB – “Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid.” AA, pg. 14

Heard – “Your Higher Power can be whatever you want It to be; a door knob, a Dr. Pepper can, a light bulb, just any old thing.

BB – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” AA, pg. 59 (A door knob?)

“Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a Power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves.” AA, pg. 45 (A Dr. Pepper can?)

“The great fact is this, and nothing less: That we have had deep and effective

spiritual experiences* which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward

life, toward our fellows and toward God’s universe. The central fact of

our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into

our hearts and lives in a way that is indeed miraculous. He has commenced

to accomplish those things for us that we could never do by ourselves.”

AA, pg. 25 (A light bulb?)

Heard – “This is a ‘suggested’ program. You can work it any way you want to. Just take what you like and leave the rest.”

BB – “To show others precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book.” (The Big Book, that is.) AA, pg. xiii

(Note – Dr. Bob is quoted as saying, “There is no such thing as individual interpretation of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.”)

Heard – “Your problem is you just don’t have enough faith.”

BB – “He may be an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient. To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.” AA, pg. 93

Heard – “Making meetings is a means of spiritual growth.”

BB – “For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he didn’t work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die.” AA, pgs.14-15

Heard – “There are no ‘musts’ in Alcoholics Anonymous”

BB – “As a part of his rehabilitation he commenced to present his conceptions to other alcoholics, impressing upon them that they must do likewise with still others.” AA, pg. xiii

“My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Particularly was it imperative to work with others as he had worked with me.” AA, pg. 14

“Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must or it kills us.” AA, pg. 62

“Every day is a day when we must carry a vision of God’s will into all of our activities. ‘How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done.’ These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.” AA, pg. 85

(Note: According to one authority, the word “must” appears no less than 67 times in the Basic Text. Get out your Big Book and count them and see if they are right. If, to those, you add “had to” and “have to”, it gets to be a bunch. While you are at it, look for the results of the “Promises.”

Heard – “Steps Ten, Eleven & Twelve are maintenance Steps.”

BB – “We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to’ grow’ in understanding and effectiveness.” AA, pg. 84

“It is easy to let up on our spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism.

What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the ‘maintenance’ of our spiritual condition.” AA, pg. 85

So it would appear that Steps Ten, Eleven & Twelve are both “growth” Steps and “maintenance” Steps. Through working them moment by moment, day by day, we “grow” spiritually and thereby “maintain” our physical sobriety.

And what about the “understanding and effectiveness”?

BB – “Well, that is exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself that will solve your problem.” AA, pg. 45

We grow spiritually and come to understand that we do, in fact, have a Power greater than ourselves that will solve our problems and effectiveness in learning how to apply these Steps to what we consider to be a problem.

Heard – “There are no instructions for ‘sponsorship’ in the Big Book.”

What is “sponsorship?” Isn’t it working with others? What is the title of the Chapter

following, “INTO ACTION?”

BB – “Chapter 7”


“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” AA, pg. 60

“PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.” AA, pg. 89

Chapter 7 gives clear-cut directions on how to successfully “sponsor” alcoholics who are willing to go to any length for victory over alcohol.

Heard – “This is a journey without a destination.”

BB – “We have entered the world of the Spirit.” AA, pg. 84

The chronic alcoholic had better enter the world of the Spirit or they will return to the world of “spirits.”

(Note – SPIRITS – “Alcohol.” Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – circa 1936.)

Heard – “Wait until they are ready. They’ll show up.”

BB – “Search out another alcoholic and try again.” AA, pg. 96

“Your job now is to be at a place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helpful.” AA, pg. 102

“In the chapter ‘Working With Others’ you gathered an idea of how we approach and aid others to health.” AA, pg. 153

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to alcoholics……..” AA, pg. 60

How can we carry something if we are sitting on our butts?

Heard – “You work your program and I’ll work my program.”

BB – “We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join brotherly and harmonious action. That is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.” AA, pg. 17

Heard – “I am powerless over people, places and things.”

It would appear that these folks are candidates for PPTA. AA is for those who declare:

BB – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol.” AA, pg. 59

Heard – “I do Step Ten at night.” Or “I do Step Ten when I’m wrong and need to apologize to someone.”

BB – “Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear (Step Four).

When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them (Steps Six & Seven). Discuss them with someone immediately (Step Five) and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help (Step Twelve). AA, pg. 84

Heard – “Fake it until you make it.”

BB – “Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon. Here are the steps we took which are suggested as a program of recovery.” AA, pg. 59

Heard - “I don’t know how it works.”

There is a chapter titled “HOW IT WORKS” and it begins with a statement as to how it works:

BB – “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.” AA, pg. 58

Discussion meetings are a lot of talk.

But Recovery is a very short walk.

(The life giving Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, that is.)

If confession (Step Ten) and prayer and meditation (Step Eleven) were sufficient, we wouldn’t have so many priests in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Be a fisher of men. You catch them. He’ll clean them!

Daily Zen

You may call it "mind," or "Buddha," or "sentient being." Yet you should neither become attached to the names nor make distinctions or understandings. The essence of things is just like this. If even one thought appears, that is already a mistake.

Sutra teachings rely on words such as these three names (mind, Buddha, sentient being) to express the one thing. Zen meditation teaches that you must not become attached to any words or speech.

Picking it up or putting it down. Creating or destroying. These are the actions of a Free Person who is without any hindrance.

The selection above demonstrates how Buddhas and Patriarchs have freely used myriad expedient means to convey their teachings.

- So Sahn (1520-1604)

Daily TAO - WAR

Weapons are tools of ill omen
Wielded by the ignorant.
If their use is unavoidable,
The wise act with restraint.
The greatest sorrow is to be a veteran,
Witness to the atrocities of humanity.

If you hold a real weapon in your hand, you will feel its character strongly. It begs to be used. It is fearsome. Its only purpose is death, and its power is not just in the material from which it is made but also from the intention of its makers.

It is regrettable that weapons must sometimes be used, but occasionally, survival demands it. The wise go forth with weapons only as a last resort. They never rejoice in the skill of weapons, nor do they glorify war.

When death, pain, and destruction are visited upon what you hold to be most sacred, the spiritual price is devastating. What hurts more than one’s own suffering is bearing witness to the suffering of others. The regret of seeing human beings at their worst and the sheer pain of not being able to help the victims can never be redeemed. If you to personally to war, you cross the line yourself. You sacrifice ideals for survival and the fury of killing. That alters you forever. That is why no one rushes to be a veteran. Think before you want to change so unalterably. The stakes are not merely one’s life, but one’s very humanity.

Elder’s Meditation of the Day

“Whenever you take anything from the Earth, remember to leave an offering.”–Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE

We need to look at nature and its inhabitants as our brothers and sisters. Whenever we pick plants or herbs, we should leave an offering of tobacco. We should talk to the plants and ask their permission to use them. The plants will feel honored to be of service for each of them knows they are here to serve. Each of them knows they carry a special medicine and this medicine is about continuing the cycle of life. We need always to be grateful to our brothers and sisters.

Creator, I thank you for the opportunity of life.


Solitude vivifies; isolation kills.”
Joseph Roux

As an introvert and an agoraphobic I relate to both sides of this quote. From an introverted point of view, I need solitude to regroup, renew, and refresh. It’s part of my process in life to have quiet time alone in order to “get it together”. When I’m alone and I read my OA literature and meditate on what I’m reading and learning, I’m able to gain new insight and a renewed sense of direction in my program.

From an agoraphobic point of view, isolation kills my ability to stick to my program. When my social anxiety cycles and it becomes difficult to get to meetings or make phone calls, I hide from the world ~ and from my friends and other OA members who can help me maintain my abstinence.

Solitude and Isolation are both active decisions. Both require some forethought. If solitude is what I need to in order to regroup, I have to make time for it. I have to take a walk, read a book, putter around my house. On the flip side, if I’m having a hard time with Program and my social anxiety is becoming unmanageable, I can either isolate and spiral down, or I can choose to take action and get to a meeting, make a phone call, or ask my sponsor to meet me for coffee. I don’t have to be alone in this program.


“One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thoughts.”–Samuel Johnson

Alcohol produced problems in my life. I was unable to control my drinking and the result was catastrophe. I hurt people. I endangered my health. I ruin my productivity. I became lonely. I felt isolated. I was forever getting into arguments. The police were often involved. People who loved me had to walk away from me for their own sanity. Alcohol made my life a mess!

Today I can see this and I am glad I made the spiritual decision to refuse the first drink. Today I am getting my life together. I am becoming a productive citizen. I have friends and relationships again. But I need to remember what I must never forget:

Alcohol + Me = Problems.

Lord, alcohol is a gift I can refuse.

Keep It Simple

The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form.
–Stanley J. Randall

Trying to be perfect get us into trouble. Trying to be perfect means we’re trying to control things.

We may be trying to cover up something. Maybe we aren’t facing our pain. Maybe we’ve hurt someone and we need to make amends.

We need to practice being human. Humans aren’t perfect. In Steps Six and Seven, we face our human limits and our shortcomings. We then start the lifelong job of letting them go. To accept our human limits leads us to our Higher Power. We see how we need a guide in life. Our Higher Power makes a perfect guide.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me accept that I can’t be perfect. Help me be a good human being.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list my shortcoming. I’ll talk with a friend about them. I’ll ask my friend to tell me what my good qualities are.

As Bill Sees It - Coping With Anger, p. 179

Few people have been more victimized by resentments than have we alcoholics. A burst of temper could spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miserably ineffective. Nor were we ever skillful in separating justified from unjustified anger. As we saw it, our wrath was always justified. Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely. These “dry benders’ often led straight to the bottle.

<< << << >> >> >>

Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered criticism, furious power-driven argument, sulking, and silent scorn. These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think. We can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.

12 & 12
1. p. 90
2. p. 91

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

You can prove to yourself that life is basically and fundamentally an inner attitude. Just try to remember what troubled you most a week ago. You probably will find it difficult to remember. Why then should you unduly worry or fret over the problems that arise today? Your attitude toward them can be changed by putting yourself and your problems in God’s hands and trusting Him to see that everything will turn out all right, provided you are trying to do the right thing. Your changed mental attitude toward your problems relieves you of their burden and you can face them without fear. Has my mental attitude changed?

Meditation For The Day

You cannot see the future. It’s a blessing that you cannot. You could not bear to know all the future. That is why God only reveals it to you day by day. The first step is to lay your will before God as an offering, ready for God to do what is best for you. Be sure that, if you trust God, what He does for you will be for the best. The second step is to be confident that God is powerful enough to do anything He wills, and that no miracle in human lives is impossible with Him. Then leave the future to God.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may gladly leave my future in God’s hands. I pray that I may be confident that good things will happen, as long as I am on the right path.


A year and six months later these three had succeeded with seven more.

If it had not been for the fierce determination of our founders, A.A. would have quickly faded like so many other so-called good causes. I look at the hundreds of meetings weekly in the city where I live and I know A.A. is available twenty-four hours a day. If I had had to hang on with nothing but hope and a desire not to drink, experiencing rejection wherever I went, I would have sought the easier, softer way and returned to my previous way of life.

Just For Today

Group Conscience

“Working with others is only the beginning of service work.”
Basic Text, p.56

Service work calls for a selfless devotion to carrying the message to the still-suffering addict. But our attitude of service cannot stop there. Service also requires that we look at ourselves and our motives. Our efforts at service make us highly visible to the fellowship. In NA, it is easy to become a “big fish in a small pond.” Our controlling attitude can easily drive away the newcomer.

Group conscience is one of the most important principles in service. It is vital to remember that the group conscience is what counts, not just our individual beliefs and desires. We lend our thoughts and beliefs to the development of a group conscience. Then when that conscience arises, we accept its guidance. The key is working with others, not against them. If we remember that we strive together to develop a collective conscience, we will see that all sides have equal merit. When all the discussions are over, all sides will come back to carry a unified message.

It is often tempting to think that we know what is best for the group. If we remember that it doesn’t matter if we get our way, then it is easier to allow service to be the vehicle it is intended to be – a way to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.

Just for today: I will take part in the development of group conscience. I will remember that the world won’t end just because I don’t get my way. I will think about our p[primary purpose in all my service efforts. I will reach out to a newcomer.

Friday 27 June 2014

Ron H. - NA Speakers - "Letting Go of Baggage in Recovery"

Wonderful share by NA speaker Ron H. He talks about the baggage that we sometimes accumulate in recovery, and the baggage we often come to the program with. Whether it is guilt, shame, or character defects, Ron shares about how to "Let go" and to become more free every day of the things that so often weigh us down.

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.
~Hans Selye

Daily Zen

Zazen clears the mind immediately and lets one dwell in one's true realm. This is called showing one's original face or revealing the light of one's original state. Body and mind are cast off, apart from whether one is sitting or lying down. Therefore one thinks neither of good nor of evil—transcending both the sacred and the profane, rising above delusion and enlightenment—and leaves the realm of sentient beings and Buddhas.

- Keizan Jokin (1268-1325)

Daily Tao

Truthful words are not beautiful.
Beautiful words are often not truthful.
Good man do not argue.
Those who argue are not good.
Those who know, do not know everything.
Those who know everything, do not know.
The sage never tries to store things up.
The more he does for others, the more he has.
The more he gives to others, the greater his abundance.
Tao of heaven benefits, not harms.
Tao of the sage is working without claiming.

Elder’s Meditation of the Day

Quote: “What could be greater than to be Wakan- Tanka’s mind, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, hands, legs, and feet here on earth?”

–Fools Crow, LAKOTA

In order for the Creator to do His work on this earth, He needs the human being to do it. How He guides us is through our eyes, ears, hands, nose, mouth, arms legs and feet.

We are instruments of the Creator. We are His keepers of the earth. We are the keepers of our brothers. We are to teach His children. We are to respect the things He has made. We are to take care of ourselves and treat our bodies and our minds with respect.

We are to do respectful things. We are to walk the Sacred Path. We should have good thoughts. We should do only things that we think the Creator would have us do. What an honor to be a human being. What an honor that He would talk to us and guide us to perform His wonders.

Oh Great Spirit, let me appreciate the role you have given me. Let my sense be sharp to hear Your voice. Keep my mind clean so I can do the things You would have me do.

Father Leo’s Daily Meditation


Quote: “The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.”
–William Shakespeare

This quotation reminds me that the disease of alcoholism is “cunning, baffling and powerful”. I am aware of the need to walk like I talk, to make the action fit the word, to live my program today rather than talk about it for tomorrow. Why? Because the disease can talk program! I have caught myself saying things that I do not practice in my life. I catch myself saying things to others that I do not live out in my own life. Today I am aware of my hypocrisy. Today I am aware of the disease in my life.

I need to be aware of this aspect of the disease because I am such a good talker, such a convincing talker, such a practiced manipulator! Today I know that I am not perfect, but that should never be an excuse to avoid dealing with my character defects. I must not “con” myself into staying sick!

I pray that I may strive to live the message.

Keep It Simple

Quote: Hell is not to love anymore.
—George Bernanos

Someone in an AA group said, “From the first day I started this program, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.” This person had walked into a room full of love. In recovery, we are spiritual people because we believe in love. We have faith in love.

Love is respect. Love is truth with kindness. Love is being willing to forgive and help others.

Love is thinking about how our Higher Power wants us to act. Love is what we do best. We have turned our will and our life over to love.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I may love all parts of life. Higher Power, help me seek out love, not material things.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll think about what I love about recovery. I will share this with a couple of friends and my Higher Power.

As Bill Sees It

Down To Earth, p. 178

Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives.

We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 130

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

If you can take your troubles as they come, if you can maintain your calm and composure amid pressing duties and unending engagements, if you can rise above the distressing and disturbing circumstances in which you are set down, you have discovered a priceless secret of daily living. Even if you are forced to go through life weighed down by some unescapable misfortune or handicap and yet live each day as it comes with poise and peace of mind, you have succeeded where most people have failed. You have wrought a greater achievement than a person who rules a nation. Have I achieved poise and peace of mind?

Meditation For The Day

Take a blessing with you wherever you go. You have been blessed, so bless others. Such stores of blessings are awaiting you in the months and years that lie ahead. Pass on your blessings. Blessing can and does go around the world, passed on from one person to another. Shed a little blessing in the heart of one person. That person is cheered to pass it on, and so, God’s vitalizing, joy-giving message travels on. Be a transmitter of God’s blessings.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may pass on my blessings. I pray that they may flow into the lives of others.

Change And Growth

Quote: “When someone points out a shortcoming, our first reaction may be defensive. There will always be room for growth.”
Basic Text, p. 35

Recovery is a process that brings about change in our lives. We need that change if we are to continue our growth toward freedom. It’s important that we remain open-minded when others point out our shortcomings, for they are bringing to light opportunities for us to change and grow. Reacting defensively limits our ability to receive the help they are offering us; letting go of our defenses opens the door to change, growth, and new freedom.

Each day in the recovery process will bring an opportunity for further change and growth. The more we learn to greet change with an open mind and heart, the more we will grow and the more comfortable we will become with our recovery.

Just for today: I will greet each opportunity for growth with an open mind.


We obey A.A.'s Steps and Traditions because we really want them for ourselves. It is no longer a question of good or evil; we conform because we genuinely want to conform. Such is our process of growth in unity and function. Such is the evidence of God's grace and love among us.

A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 106

It is fun to watch myself grow in A.A. I fought conformity to A.A. principles from the moment I entered, but I learned from the pain of my belligerence that, in choosing to live the A A. way of life, I opened myself to God's grace and love. Then I began to know the full meaning of being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Thursday 26 June 2014

Daily Tao

True words are not eloquent;
eloquent words are not true.
Wise men do not need to debate;
men who need to debate are not wise.
Wise men are not scholars;
scholars are not wise.

The Master desires no possessions.
The more he does for others,
the happier he is.
The more he gives to others,
the wealthier he is.

The Tao nourishes by not forcing.
The Master imitates this,
acting for the good of all
and opposing himself to no one.
Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success.
~Shiv Khera

Daily Zen

Having once penetrated the cloud barrier,
The living road opens out
North, east, south, and west.
In the evening resting,
In the morning roaming,
Neither host nor guest.
At every step the pure wind rises.

- Shuho (1282-1338)

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

How many of us would presume to announce, “Well, I’m sober and I’m happy. What more can I want, or do? I’m fine just the way I am.” Experience has taught us that the price of such smug complacency — or, more politely, self-satisfaction — is an inevitable backslide, punctuated sooner or later by a very rude awakening. We have to grow, or else we deteriorate. For us, the status quo can only be for today, never for tomorrow. Change we must; we can’t stand still. Am I sometimes tempted to rest on my laurels?”

Today I Pray

May I look around me and see that all living things are either growing or deteriorating; nothing that is alive is static, life flows on. May I be carried along on that life-flow, unafraid of change, disengaging myself from the snags along the way which hold me back and interrupt my progress.

Today I Will Remember

Living is changing.


In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.”
–Robert G. Ingersoll

Spirituality is a creative and positive energy that forever seeks new ways to improve and heal itself. Spirituality is never satisfied with mediocrity. God is alive in musicians, writers, singers and prophets — and always the standard of “excellence” is searched for; best can be made better!

As a drunk I often settled for convenience, “no sweat”, mediocrity. My motto was “Why bother? It can be done tomorrow.” I had low energy. Addiction robs the human being of God’s productive energy.

In recovery I seek the best because I believe I am the best; God made me — and I respect His choice!

Lord, save me from the “comfortable way” that makes no demands on my genius.

As Bill Sees It

Money–Before and After, p. 177

In our drinking time, we acted as if the money supply were inexhaustible, though between binges we’d sometimes go to the other extreme and become miserly. Without realizing it, we were just accumulating funds for the next spree. Money was the symbol of pleasure and self-importance. As our drinking became worse, money was only an urgent requirement which could supply us with the next drink and the temporary comfort of oblivion it brought.


Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we find we cannot place money first. For us, material well-being always follows spiritual progress; it never precedes.

1. 12 & 12, p. 120
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 127

Keep It Simple

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads. --- Albert Camus

Sometimes we sat we're getting out lives together. Together with what? With our selves. The Twelve Steps help us clean up the mess we've made. We're fixing our mistakes. We're looking at ourselves closely---at what we believe, what we feel, what we like to do, who we are. We're asking our High Power to help us to be our best.
No wonder over lives are coming together! No wonder we feel more peace, harmony, and happiness!

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me remember the best harmony comes when I sing from Your songbook.

Action for the Day: Today, I'll make choices that are in line with who I am.

Elders Meditation

"...when faithful human beings or other creatures called upon them for help, they [the Powers of the Four Directions] must send their powers..."

--Fools Crow, LAKOTA

Each of the four directions has special powers. These powers or Grandfathers are there to help us. The powers are from the East, the South, the West, and the North. To call upon the power we need to stand in the center and face each of the directions and honor all forms of life in each direction. Facing the East we honor all the two legged, four legged, winged ones, plants' nation and the animals. We repeat this prayer in each of the four directions. This allows us to become centered. When we are centered, then we are ready to call the helpers. It is said, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. If we are to be ready, we need to remember to always get quiet first. We do this by honoring and praying to the four directions.

Grandfathers from the four directions, come to me today with Your powers. Give me Your gifts so I can serve the people.

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought for the Day

We must know the nature of our weakness before we can determine how to deal with it. When we are honest about its presence, we may discover that it is imaginary and can be overcome by a change of thinking. We admit that we are alcoholics and we would be foolish if we refused to accept our handicap and do something about it. So by honestly facing our weakness and keeping ever present the knowledge that for us alcoholism is a disease with which we are afflicted, we can take the necessary steps to arrest it. Have I fully accepted my handicap?

Meditation for the Day

There is a proper time for everything. I must learn not to do things at the wrong time, that is, before I am ready or before conditions are right. it is always a temptation to do something at once, instead of waiting until the proper time. Timing is important. I must learn, in the little daily situations of life, to delay action until I am sure that I am doing the right thing at the right time. So many lives lack balance and timing. In the momentous decisions and crises of life, they may ask God's guidance, but into the small situations of life, they rush alone.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may delay action until I feel that I am doing the right thing. I pray that I may not rush in alone.

From the book Twenty-Four Hours a Day

© Copyright 1975 by Hazelden Foundation

Surrendering Self-Will

Our fears are lessened and faith begins to grow as we learn the true meaning of surrender. We are no longer fighting fear, anger, guilt, self-pity, or depression.”
Basic Text p. 26

Surrender is the beginning of a new way of life. When driven primarily by self-will, we constantly wondered whether we’d covered all the bases, whether we’d manipulated that person in just the right way to achieve our ends, whether we’d missed a critical detail in our efforts to control and manage the world.

We either felt afraid, fearing our schemes would fail; angry or self-pitying when they fell through; or guilty when we pulled them off. It was hard, living on self-will, but we didn’t know any other way.

Not that surrender is always easy. On the contrary, surrender can be difficult, especially in the beginning. Still, it’s easier to trust God, a Power capable of managing our lives, than to trust only ourselves, whose lives are unmanageable. And the more we surrender, the easier it gets.

When we turn our will and our lives over to the care of our Higher Power, all we have to do is our part, as responsibly and conscientiously as we can. Then we can leave the results up to our Higher Power. By surrendering, acting on faith, and living our lives according to the simple spiritual principles of this program, we can stop worrying and start living.

Just for today: I will surrender self-will. I will seek knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry it out. I will leave the results in my Higher Power’s hands.


For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good.


The longer I chased these elusive feelings with alcohol, the more out of reach they were. However, by applying this passage to my sobriety, I found that it described the magnificent new life made available to me by the A.A. program. "It" truly does "get better" one day at a time. The warmth, the love and the joy so simply expressed in these words grow in breadth and depth each time I read it. Sobriety is a gift that grows with time.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Alcoholics Anonymous - Big Book Study, by Joe and Charlie

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Bob D. "Surrender" AA Speakers 12-Step Recovery from Alcoholism

Daily Zen

A rainhat of young bamboo skins,
A coat of lotus leaves,
Nothing busying his mind,
He keeps to the fishing jetty.
I suppose that single boat of his
Has no fixed resting place;
Where will he go this evening,
His fishing pole in hand?

- Goa Shi (716-765)

Elder’s Meditation

Quote: “We are called hollow bones for our people and for anyone else we can help, and we are not supposed to seek power for our personal use and honor.”
–Fools Crow, LAKOTA

In order for us to use our power well, we must become a hollow bone. We must prepare ourselves to become a channel. Our channel must be clean before we can use our power well. We must be free of resentments, guilt, shame, anger, self pity and fear. If these things are in us, we cannot be hollow bones. These things block us from our power. The cleaner we are, the more power we move. We must become a hollow bone so the Creator can use us to do what he wants us to do.

My Creator, remove from me today all resentment, anger, fear, guilt and selfishness. Do not let my weaknesses stand in the way of my usefulness to You. Make me a hollow bone so Your power can flow through me.

One Day At A Time


Quote: “One must really have suffered oneself to help others.”
–Mother Teresa

Before coming into the program, I always worked in some sort of caring profession and was always either helping or “fixing” someone else ~ mostly in areas in which I had no personal experience. I was a people-pleaser and I would be there for someone else. If anything needed to be done, I was the one to offer to do it. But ultimately that backfired because I would feel used and resentful, and I would land up in the food as my way of compensating.

Since coming into program I have changed the way I help others. Instead of doing for others so they would like me — or so I would get a pat on the back — I share my experience, strength and hope with other compulsive overeaters. I have been where they have been, and I can share with them my struggles and how I’ve overcome them. Not only do I help others in the program with what I have learned, but, as they say, I can only keep what I have if I give it away. I get as much — if not more — from sharing with another in the program. How different this is from the way it was before I began the program, and I’m so grateful for that!

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

If ever I come to the complacent conclusion that I don’t need The Program any longer, let me quickly remind myself that it can do far more than carry me through the anguish of living in the bondage of addiction. Let me further remind myself that I can make even greater strides in fulfilling myself, for The Program and the Twelve Steps is a philosophy — a way of life. Will I ever outgrow my need for The Program?

Today I Pray

May my Higher Power lead me through the Twelve Steps, not just once, but again and again, until they become the guiding principles of my existence. This is no quickie seminar on improving the quality of my life; this is my life, restored to me through Divine Power and the friendship of my fellow addicts, who, like me, are recovering in the best known way.

Today I Will Remember

Step by Step, from bondage to abundant life.


Quote: “Integrity has no need of rules.”
–Albert Camus

The benefit of a spiritual program is the development of integrity in my life. Integrity is having an honest respect for myself; it is respecting who I am and how I live in the world. Integrity also becomes a bridge by which I can reach my fellow man. My respect for my life develops a respect for others. My determination to have integrity affects the way I treat you. Integrity gives me freedom to be — and this allows for an acceptance of you.

Of course I must follow some rules and guidelines in my life but today they are not written in cement. Today I can be flexible with me and this means that I can be flexible with you. My past need to control has developed into an accepting serenity that brings peace. My spiritual program forever teaches me to be free; now I can live.

I pray that I can see beyond the rules into the beauty of Integrity.

Keep It Simple

Quote: When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that three of his fingers are pointing at himself.
—Louis Nizer

It’s so easy to blame others. Others are always making mistakes we can hide behind. That’s what blame is—hiding. When we blame others for our mistakes, we’re trying to hide our character defects.

It’s nobody else’s fault that we act the way we do. It’s our fault. We’re responsible for our actions.

And with the help of our Higher Power, we can change. We can turn over our character defects. Over time, we’re not afraid to learn about ourselves—even the parts we don’t like—because we want to know ourselves better.

Prayer for the Day: I pray for help in facing my character defects.

Action for the Day: I’ll think about the past week. I’ll list times I’ve used blame to hide from reality.

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

One of the most encouraging facts of life is that your weakness can become your greatest asset. Kites and airplanes rise against the wind. In climbing up a high mountain, we need the stony crags and rough places to aid us in our climb. So your weakness can become an asset if you will face it, examine it, and trace it to its origin. Set it in the very center of your mind. No weakness, such as drinking, ever turned into an asset until it was first fairly faced. Am I making my weakness my greatest asset?

Meditation For The Day

Whenever we seek to worship God, we think of the great universe that God rules over, of creation, of mighty law and order throughout the universe. Then we feel the awe that precedes worship. I too must feel awe, feel the desire to worship God in wondering amazement. My mind is in a box of space and time and it is so made that I cannot conceive of what is beyond space or time, the limitless and the eternal. But I know that there must be something beyond space and time, and that something must be the limitless and eternal Power behind the universe. I also know that I can experience that Power in my life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may accept the limitless and eternal Spirit. I pray that It may express Itself in my life.

Not Just Lucky

Quote: “The process of coming to believe restores us to sanity. The strength to move into action comes from this belief.”
Basic Text p. 24

Coming to believe is a process that stems from personal experience. Each of us has this experience; all addicts who find recovery in NA have solid evidence of a benevolent Power acting for good in their lives. Those of us who are recovering today, after all, are the fortunate ones. Many, many addicts die from our disease, never to experience what we have found in Narcotics Anonymous.

The process of coming to believe involves a willingness to recognize miracles for what they are. We share the miracle of being here clean, and each of us has other miracles that await only our acknowledgment. How many car accidents or overdoses or other near-catastrophes have we survived? Can we look back at our lives and see that we were not just “lucky”? Our experience in recovery, too, gives us examples of a Higher Power working for our good.

When we can look back at the evidence of a loving Higher Power acting on our behalf, it becomes possible to trust that this Higher Power will continue to help us in the future. And trust offers us the strength to move forward.

Just for today: My recovery is more than coincidence. My strength comes from the knowledge that my Higher Power has never let me down and will continue to guide me.


If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation.


When I prayed, I used to omit a lot of things for which I needed to be forgiven. I thought that if I didn't mention these things to God, He would never know about them. I did not know that if I had just forgiven myself for some of my past deeds, God would forgive me also. I was always taught to prepare for the journey through life, never realizing until I came to A.A. – when I honestly became willing to be taught forgiveness and forgiving – that life itself is the journey. The journey of life is a very happy one, as long as I am willing to accept change and responsibility.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs. ~ Vance Havner

A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

The primary purpose of The Program is freedom from addiction; without that freedom we have nothing. But that doesn’t mean I can say, for example, “Sobriety is my only concern. Except for my drinking, I’m really a sure person, so give me sobriety, and I’ve got it made.” If I delude myself with such specious nonsense, I’ll make so little progress with my real life problems and responsibilities that I’ll likely return to my addiction. That’s why The Program’s Twelve Step urges us to “practice these principles in all our affairs.” Am I living just to be free of chemical dependence, or also to learn to serve, and to love?

Today I Pray

May I relish and be grateful for my sobriety, which is where all good things begin. But let me not stop at that and give up trying to understand myself, the nature of God and of humanity. Freedom from dependency is the first freedom. May I be certain that there are more to come — freedom from tight-mindedness, from the unrest of bottled-up feelings, from over-dependence on others, from a Godless existence. May The Program which answered my acute needs also answer my chronic ones.

Today I Will Remember

Sobriety is just a beginning.


Quote: “I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have.”
–Leonardo da Vinci

How I used to beat myself up! I was not good enough. I was not attractive enough. I could not speak properly. I was too small. My family was not prestigious enough. I was boring. My breath smelled, etc., etc. I never saw my value in life. I could never see beyond my failings into my God-given virtues. Sin was all too evident in my life!

Today I catch an egotism in my past criticism of self and others! Who was I to think I should be perfect? I could find fault with the Archangel Gabriel if he came to be my neighbor. My compulsive disease extended beyond drugs to negative attitudes about life.

Today I see my value. Sobriety has restored my dignity. Today I am in touch with that part of me that is noble. Today in my sobriety I am a spiritual somebody, not a nobody.

Let my desire for “perfection” be tempered by reality.