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Reflection: Heart Wisdom of Your Future Self

Tara Brach - February 23, 2017 - 4:46pm

Reflection: Heart Wisdom of Your Future Self - By connecting with your future self, this reflection guides you in accessing the deep wisdom and unconditional love of your own awakening heart.

"I returned to the river. I returned to the mountains. I begged - I begged to wed every object and creature. And when they accepted, God was ever present in my arms. And He did not say, 'Where have you been?' For then I knew my soul – every soul – has always held him."

excerpted from: When I Was the Forest – Meister Eckhart

https://thevalueofsparrows.com/2012/12/05/poetry-meister-eckhart/

Your support enables us to continue to offer these talks freely. If you value them, I hope you will consider offering a donation at this time at www.tarabrach.com/donation/.

With gratitude and love, Tara

AROUND THE YEAR WITH EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:35pm

MAKING YOUR OWN FORTUNE

You think, and your thoughts materialize as experience, and thus it is, all unknown to yourself as a rule, that you are actually weaving the pattern of your own destiny, here and now, by the way in which you allow yourself to think, day by day and all day long.

Your fare is largely in your own hands. Nobody but yourself can keep you down. Neither parents, nor wives, nor husbands, nor employers, nor neighbors; nor poverty, nor ignorance, nor any power whatever can keep you out once you have learned how to think.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).


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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:30pm

A THANKFUL HEART

I try to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know.

~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 37 ~

My sponsor told me that I should be a grateful alcoholic and always have “an attitude of gratitude”—that gratitude was the basic ingredient of humility, that humility was the basic ingredient of anonymity and that “anonymity was the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” As a result of this guidance, I start every morning on my knees, thanking God for three things: I’m alive, I’m sober, and I’m a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Then I try to live an “attitude of gratitude” and thoroughly enjoy another twenty-four hours of the A.A. way of life. A.A. is not something I joined; it’s something I live.

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

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:28pm


A New Influence

“Personality change was what we really needed. Change from self-destructive patterns of life became necessary.”

~ Basic Text, p. 15 ~

In early life, most of us were capable of joy and wonder, of giving and receiving unconditional love. When we started using, we introduced an influence into our lives that slowly drove us away from those things. The further we were pushed down the path of addiction, the further we withdrew from joy, wonder, and love.

That journey was not taken overnight. But however long it took, we arrived at the doors of NA with more than just a drug problem. The influence of addiction had warped our whole pattern of living beyond recognition.

The Twelve Steps work miracles, its true, but not many of them are worked overnight. Our disease slowly influenced our spiritual development for the worse. Recovery introduces a new influence to our lives, a source of fellowship and spiritual strength slowly impelling us into new, healthy patterns of living.

This change, of course, doesn’t “just happen.” But if we cooperate with the new influence NA has brought to our lives, over time we will experience the personality change we call recovery. The Twelve Steps provide us with a program for the kind of cooperation required to restore joy, wonder, and love to our lives.

Just for today: I will cooperate with the new influence of fellowship and spiritual strength NA has introduced to my life, I will work the next step in my program.

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

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:26pm


A.A. Thought for the Day

When we came to our first A. A. meeting, we looked up at the wall at the end of the room and saw the sign: “But for the grace of God.” We knew right then and there that we would have to call on the grace of God in order to get sober and get over our soul-sickness. We heard speakers tell how they had come to depend on a Power greater than themselves. That made sense to us and we made up our minds to try it. Am I depending on the grace of God to help me stay sober?

Meditation for the Day

Share your love, your joy, your happiness, your time, your food, your money gladly with all. Give out all the love you can with a glad, free heart and hand. Do all you can for others and back will come countless stores of blessings. Sharing draws others to you. Take all who come as sent by God and give them a royal welcome. You may never see the results of your sharing. Today they may not need you, but tomorrow may bring results from the sharing you did today.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may make each visitor desire to return. I pray that I may never make anyone feel repulsed or unwanted.

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

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:24pm

~ Page 55 ~

Seeking Guidance

“Man is supposed to think, and act. He wasn’t made in God’s image to be an automaton.

“My own formula along this lines runs as follows: First, think through every situation pro and con, praying meanwhile that I be not influenced by ego considerations. Affirm that I would like to do God’s will.

“Then, having turned the problem over in this fashion and getting no conclusive or compelling answer, I wait for further guidance, which may come into mind directly or through other people or through circumstances.

“If I feel I can’t wait, and still get no definite indication, I repeat the first measure several times, try to pick out the best course, and then proceed to act. I know if I am wrong, the heavens won’t fall. A lesson will be learned, in any case.”

~ LETTER, 1950 ~

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

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:22pm


SELFISHNESS

Self-Improvement

We’re told again and again that we have to be selfish about our own recovery, but this seems to be in conflict with the fact that selfishness is the root of our problem. How can selfishness be both good and bad?

The selfishness we need for recovery is a devotion to self-improvement, rather than the selfish indulgence that made us sick. One is a giving of ourselves, the other is frantic taking that leads to destruction. The person who seeks self-improvement is competing only against his or her former self. The sick brand of selfishness, on the other hand, is usually involved in unhealthy competition with others.

There is an easy way to test whether our selfishness is the right kind. If our conduct leads to long-term happiness and higher self-esteem, it is probably right. If it harms us or others, something is wrong. We can correct this by getting back to the basics of the program and pursuing self- improvement rather than self-indulgence.

Just for today:  I will take part only in that which will obviously benefit everyone. I will not put my own concerns ahead of others; but at the same time, I will not let others take advantage of me.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation 
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:20pm


Failure is impossible.

~ Susan B. Anthony ~

Failure is an attitude. Having an attitude of failure can’t help us. It can only hurt us. If we’re not careful, it can grow into a way of life. So, when we feel like failures, we’d better look at our attitudes.

An attitude of failure often comes from making mistakes. But we can learn to see our mistakes as lessons. This turns mistakes into gains, not failures. Sometimes, we try to do things that just can’t be done. When we act like we can control others, we’re going to fail. When we act like we know everything, we’re going to fail. If we try to act like God, we’re going to fail.

We can’t control others. We can’t know everything. We’re not God. We’re human. If we act human, we’ve already won.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me to learn from my attitudes. Whatever the outcome, help me learn.

Action for the Day

Facing our past “failures” is the first step to learning from them. I’ll talk to my sponsor about a past “failure” and the good that came from it.

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

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:18pm
SELF

“The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.”

~ Job 33:4 ~

My spiritual journey involves a discovery of self. For years, I pretended to be what I was not, what I imagined myself to be, or what others wanted me to be.

Today I am beginning to know myself. I understand my needs and my strengths. I accept my weaknesses and live with my confusion. From the time I put down the glass, things have progressively gotten better, but there is still a great deal I do not understand. The daily violence and suffering, and my own personal greed, cowardice, and arrogance—where do they come from? I do not know, and that is okay. I still search. My suspicion is that the answer lies within my own insecurities.

In Your time, God, may I grow in my understanding of self.?

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:16pm


Reflection for the Day

I can banish fear by realizing the truth. Am I afraid to be alone? This fear can be banished by the realization that I am never alone, that God is always with me wherever I am and whatever I do. Am I afraid that I won’t have enough money to meet my needs? This fear can be banished by the realization that God is my inexhaustible, unfailing resource, now and always. Today I have the power to change fear into faith. Can I say with confidence, “I will trust, and will not be afraid…”?

Today I Pray

That I may fear no evil, for God is with me. That I may learn to turn to my Higher Power when I am afraid. I pray diligently that my faith in God and trust in what He has in store for me is strong enough to banish the fears that undermine my courage.

Today I Will Remember

Turn fear into faith.

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

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:14pm


ANIMAL TEACHERS

For perhaps if the truth were known, we’re all a little blind,
a little deaf, a little handicapped, a little lonely, a little less than perfect.
And if we can learn to appreciate and utilize the dog’s full potential,
we will, together, make it in this life on earth.

~ Charlotte Schwartz ~

So many times it feels that what we are being asked is too great. We can barely care for ourselves so how can we possibly reach out our hand to another? How many times have we cried out for someone else to please “handle it” because we just weren’t able?

There are so many lessons that come by working with animals. They know nothing of dishonesty. They can’t lie. They force us to be honest with ourselves. They depend on us completely, even when we feel we have nothing to give. And our reward? Unconditional love. There is something extra special about a rescued animal. It is as though they know that their life was in darkest peril and they have been saved. The gratitude shows in their eyes, their kisses of devotion, their entire being. Any kindness shown is rewarded. I think this is no different than a member of OA, especially the new members. Any kindness, and the gratitude flows. These newbies know they too have been saved. So perhaps the next time you feel you have nothing to offer, and that what you have been asked is too great, take a moment to reflect on the moment you were ‘saved’. How did you feel the first time someone reached out to you?

One day at a time…

I can use the memory of my first encounters with OA to find the strength to reach out one more time. I know the rewards will be infinite.

~ Mary W. 
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:12pm


“But each of us must find out for himself or herself what their gift is, so that they can use it in their life.”

~ Jimmy Jackson, OJIBWAY ~

The old people say, everyone has a song to sing. This song is the reason we are on this earth. When we are doing what we came on this earth to do, we know true happiness. How will we know our song? Pray. Ask the Great Mystery, “What is it you want me to do during my stay on earth?” Ask. He will tell you. He will even help you develop yourself to accomplish His mission.

Great Spirit, help me find my song and let me sing it. 
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A WOMAN’S SPIRIT #essentialsofrecovery

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:09pm


We will never hear anyone else’s thoughts if we are only listening to our own.

~ Cathy Stone ~

It’s not a defect to think. On the contrary, we need to examine all the issues in our lives, evaluating very carefully what action to take in each instance. Many of us are still clearing up the mayhem that occurred because we didn’t give enough thought to situations in the past. But there is nothing gained by constant self-analysis, particularly during those moments when God has sent a friend to share with us her story or perspective.

It’s never an accident when another person discusses with us an experience she has had. God intends for us to learn from one another. We are students and teachers, interchangeably. When a teacher comes our way, let’s put our minds to rest. Her words may supply the answer we seek.

I will be drawn to the people who have something to teach me today. I will listen first and think later.

© 1994 by Hazelden Foundation 
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:06pm

We alcoholics know that one drink is too much and a barrel isn’t enough. That first drink starts the compulsion to drink.

Suppressing desires can become a habit just as their satisfaction does. Each time we say “NO” we weaken the old habit and strengthen the new.

The efforts to satisfy our desires led us to the excesses that brought about our alcoholism. So let us follow the advice of John Stuart Mill and “learn to seek our happiness by limiting our desires, rather than attempting to satisfy them.”

Published by Hazelden 
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Daily TAO /55 – Division #essentialsofrecovery

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:04pm
Problems cannot be
Resolved at once.
Slowly untie knots
Divide to conquer.

In order to solve problems, it is helpful to first understand whether they are puzzle, obstacle, or entanglement. A puzzle need only be analyzed carefully. It is like unraveling a ball of yarn and requires patience more than anything else. An obstacle must be overcome. We must use force and perseverance to either destroy or move away from what is blocking us. An entanglement mires us in a maze of limitations. This most dangerous of situations requires that we use all our resources to extricate ourselves as quickly as possible.

No matter what the problem, however, it is important not to take the thing on whole. Break it down into smaller, more easily handled components. Most problematic situations are combinations of puzzles, obstacles, and entanglements. By fracturing them into these more basic elements, they can be managed easily. Even the greatest of difficulties can be resolved when they are slowly reduced. Then the knots of life are untied as easily as if we had a magic charm. 
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:02pm
Half the spiritual life consists in remembering what we are up against and where we are going.

-Ayya Khema, "When the Iron Eagle Flies" 
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery

Essentials of Recovery - February 23, 2017 - 4:02pm

As long as you are subject
To a life bound by force of habit,
You are not free from the
Burden of the body.

- Kuei-Shan (771-854) Why not sign up to get emails with all daily posts included?
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2017-02-23 Jill Shepherd: 22 talk: Right Effort

Dharma Seed - February 23, 2017 - 11:30am
2017-02-23 Jill Shepherd: 22 talk: Right Effort

2017-02-23 Jill Shepherd: 21 guided meditation: metta for benefactor

Dharma Seed - February 23, 2017 - 6:15am
2017-02-23 Jill Shepherd: 21 guided meditation: metta for benefactor

2017-02-23 Jill Shepherd: 20 instructions: metta practice

Dharma Seed - February 23, 2017 - 6:00am
2017-02-23 Jill Shepherd: 20 instructions: metta practice
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