Who is the teacher?

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Brock
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Who is the teacher?

Post by Brock »

In two threads there are posts which indicate where and from whom the writers believe we will get Gods directions. This first one is from the discussion on the importance of meetings -
It says in the BB that God will constantly disclose more to us. Our job is just to be there to willingly hear/see/feel or maybe even smell it.
Secondly from an old timer who often instructs new members to look to old timers for assistance, from a discussion about loosing our cool on Friday the 13th -
I read that God keeps sending me lessons until I learn them. That the answers are just a question away if I choose to ask someone.
I believe that everyone who wants to learn what the program offers, in order to achieve what it promises, will need to do a lot more than listen in meetings or ask old timers. To be sure we do get valuable advise from both of these sources, God does use people to relay his message, but they come from all walks of life and are not necessarily AA members.

A speaker I enjoy says his dog went missing when he was a young boy, he spent weeks combing the woods and calling it's name, then for the rest of his life any dog that faintly resembled his would get his hopes up, he says we search in the same way. Always on the lookout whether internet, grocery store, or any place we encounter others, we may hear something golden to keep and use.

However the way I interpret the book, is that the bulk of the answers and revelations come from searching within ourselves. Answers asked for from the God of your choosing may not come instantaneously, and not with an audible voice, but come they do, and I believe this is what the book encourages. So at the risk of sounding a little like the person who puts sponsorship down, I do believe we must depend on answers from within, and looking for them in meetings or from old timers may well make us lazy in this department.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Niagara
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by Niagara »

Interesting thread Brock, thank you.

I was lucky enough to have a very awesome, very wise sponsor, who gave me a lot of insight. He spoke a lot of truth...but what HAVE discovered about that, is these things we learn in sobriety are a lot like my alcoholism. People telling me truths, may sow a seed...in the same way as people suggesting I perhaps drank too much did. I wouldn't do anything about it, until that truth made the leap from my head to my heart.

These truths make the leap from head to heart, not by someone giving me the answers, but by me experiencing them myself. I find I am only motivated to really look at stuff when that happens anyway. I guess I could say I like to learn the hard way. It's been that way all my life. I only learn when I've generally had enough of beating my head on a brick wall - a hundred people could say 'hey you might not want to do that', but I have to do it my way, regardless.

These days, with a program, I learn a bit faster I think. I know when to look within - because someone or something out there gives me a twang in some way. When that happens, I know there's something I need to look at. Could a sponsor tell me the answer? A savvy one could perhaps point me in the right direction - and that is all. I never appreciated anything I didn't have to work for.

Bottom line, these answers I seek are everywhere, and though they can come through people, I only know I'm on the right track when it hits 'inside', is the only way I can describe it. It's not an intellectual thing for me. Not anymore. Some of my biggest revelations have come not from people in AA, but people at work, casual conversations, even a guy at a bus stop once. Sometimes when I'm talking to others, something just clicks inside and it might have been skipping around the edges of my brain for weeks, but just out of reach. Trying to force it, no use. It comes at the weirdest times :lol:

I hope that makes some kind of sense. It's hard to describe how this thing works for me.
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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PaigeB
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Re: Who is the teacher?

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"not with an audible voice"

But maybe it does for me! Last night, at a meeting, a guy said, "You have about 8-12 seconds to decide which way you are going to go" meaning how to handle a situation. And that on my personal fact of having come to the meeting still sore about an argument with an "ex" family member. I knew, only when I heard the words out loud, that I had failed to pause. That audible voice came out of a fella with about 9 months who had just had his first experience with the 11th Step "Pause". He was freshly excited about his recent experience proving that the Steps work.

I experienced my first "Pause" moment early on too. I have practiced it many a time since then. Recently, I have felt I needed to up my program, mainly Steps 10 & 11, and realized that November is a great month to do that since meetings here frequently focus on the corresponding step - aka Step 11.

I would not have heard this new way to look at the Pause if I had not been at a meeting, but rather at home still stewing about custody & visitation & medications and school behaviors... because I chose that path in those first 8-12 seconds and made a choice to go to the egotistical negative: I am right, therefore you are stupid. THEN the mental gymnastics taking me to all manner of bad scenarios and dreams about how I would say this and you would suddenly realize I was right all along or I might just really bite you on the arm. WHO KNOWS how long I would have stayed that way had I stayed home to pray & practice acceptance? I don't know, I usually just go to a meeting and I get words there, that remind me of who I am and what I want to be. And I hear the simple program in the Steps through the words of a new member or an old timer.

Some people call it having a "god with skin". I just call it the miracle of AA.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

Timothy1
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by Timothy1 »

That was a great observation. I do get a lot of answers from people's shares in a meeting and because I'm new, my point of reference is from all the ones who have more sobriety. One thing that I have started doing is after I do my 3rd step prayer in the morning and I hop in the truck to get my caffeine fix, is to turn off the radio. My natural inclination is to turn the radio up to stun, usually Motley Crue, and head to Starbucks for my 3 shots of espresso. Not a lot of serenity with that. In that 10 minute drive I try to listen to see if my HP has any message I need to hear. I haven't got one yet but I am a hell of a lot more serene when I get back home.

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Duke
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by Duke »

Somewhere I read: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Or something like that.

What I've found is that I and the people I know, learn things when we're ready to hear them. There have been so many spiritual lessons I've grasped at some seemingly innocuous moment despite the fact that it had been explained to me numerous times previously.

I know that personally, this is not out of some obstreperousness on my part, is just that as was said, there's really no telling when the idea will make its way from the head to the heart. I just think it's human nature to only really accept something when all the gears kick into place no matter how much we'd like to or the respect we have for a particular guide we've chosen.

When someone asks me to be their sponsor or simply for my advice, I usually suggest that in addition to seeking counsel, they clearly define what they're seeking an answer to and then proceed with their life with an open mind. I tell them that if they're willing to listen, they will probably find the answer at some unexpected moment in their life's journey.

So, I suppose my answer to the question posed by your topic is that in most instances, life is the teacher. Everything else, I think, is preparation for receiving the answer. Worthy efforts indeed, and probably necessary, but the answers will come about when all that good counsel is contemplated for some period of time in the context of living life.

Thanks for letting me share.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa

Stepchild
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by Stepchild »

Brock wrote:However the way I interpret the book, is that the bulk of the answers and revelations come from searching within ourselves.
They make that very clear in the book....

Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us.

We can only clear the ground a bit. If our testimony helps sweep away prejudice, enables you to think honestly, encourages you to search diligently within yourself, then, if you wish, you can join us on the Broad Highway. With this attitude you cannot fail. The consciousness of your belief is sure to come to you.

Page 55

Where we find it and what we have to do to find it.

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Tosh
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by Tosh »

Duke wrote:Somewhere I read: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Or something like that.
I like what you've posted, but I think that line can be read in a slightly different way. When I was given a good enough kicking by my alcoholism, I - the student - became ready. The teacher is everything (God is everything).

Every situation - particularly the difficult ones - is a teacher. "Ouch, I did it wrong again!" :lol:

My step-daughter is back for the weekend from university; she's been my main teacher the past few days (a teacher of service, patience and tolerance). I just decided to make this weekend about her, rather than about me. I've cooked all her favourite meals for her (she gave me a verbal list of what she wanted), taxied her about to see her friends, and just put myself out for her. I've had a really lovely weekend; the student is learning! It was just for a weekend though. :lol:

If I wanted to sound really spiritually evolved, I could say every moment is the teacher.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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avaneesh912
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by avaneesh912 »

It says in the BB that God will constantly disclose more to us. Our job is just to be there to willingly hear/see/feel or maybe even smell it.
Its very true in my case, at one point I was wondering if giving away CDs is my own egoic dillusion or its Gods will, that very evening, a friend of mind called me to say, he heard a guy talk how a CD given to him transformed his life (he was referning to the Mark H talk on 10 and 11). And that guy today founded a CA group that helps takes meetings into Salvation army and other treatment facilities.

I got another story, back in 85 when I had just completed my degree, I had no clue about my career. One Sunday afternoon a person showed up at our house. He was an old student of my fathers (about 30 years ago he had taught him math) visited us to pay gratitude. When he enquired, what my plans are, my father butted in and said I had no clue and that my brother was "an engineer" and that he always worried about my future. That old student recommended that I pursue a career in computers. Five years later I was in US 9 years later my brother passed away due to alcoholism. And then I would continue improving my story until 2006 eventually to sober up from a message from Chris R on a dark Decemeber evening. Messengers keep coming we just have to keep ourselves willing to listen.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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PaigeB
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by PaigeB »

I thought of this thread and the people here when I read today's Daily Reflection
VITAL SUSTENANCE

Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse air, light, or food, the body suffers. And when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 97

Step Eleven doesn't have to overwhelm me. Conscious contact with God can be as simple, and as profound, as conscious contact with another human being. I can smile. I can listen. I can forgive. Every encounter with another is an opportunity for prayer, for acknowledging God's presence within me.

Today I can bring myself a little closer to my Higher Power. The more I choose to seek the beauty of God's work in other people, the more certain of His presence I will become.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Layne
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by Layne »

Everyone is my teacher.

Many (actually most) aren't aware of their status as my teacher, but they are none the less.

Some teach me what to do. Some teach me what to not do.

The latter would probably be surprised to find out that they are my teachers, but their lessons are no less valuable. Perhaps even more so than the former. All I know is that their lessons have more impact and get my attention better.

My job is to pay attention, figure out what the lesson plan is, and to learn from it.

Iand2015
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by Iand2015 »

Hi guys need a meeting here

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Brock
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by Brock »

Ian, you are fairly new to the site, but if we wish to comment on something we try to stick with the subject, if it is that you need a meeting how can we help you. We are discussing who or what we believe best relays to us the AA message, if you have phone numbers of anyone in the meetings you have been to perhaps call and they can provide encouragement. Also I have found in the early days it helps a lot to go to you tube, type in AA speakers, and listen to a speaker tape, this can provide something close to being in a meeting, best of luck in getting help.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

Stepchild
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by Stepchild »

I might be confused as to what this thread is about. But if it's about getting direction from God/Higher Power/Whatever your belief is. Conscious contact? I like to stick with what the book suggests.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
pg 60

The directions for the 11th step make some great/valuable suggestions...

Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration, and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further and that means more action.
Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn't be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using it constantly. It works, if we have the proper attitude and work at it. It would be easy to be vague about this matter. Yet, we believe we can make some definite and valuable suggestions.

pg 85

Some of these suggestions that stand out for me would be...

After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.

In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.

We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems.

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.

We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day "Thy will be done."

pgs 85-88

Do I believe that God works through other people? Of course I do...I believe there were people placed in my path that helped me reach that point of desperation I reached before dying from this illness...Just as much as I believe there were people placed in my path that helped me recover from it. Do I rely on other people for direction in my life? No.

I believe this...

We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.
pg 88

If I'm way off topic...I apologize.

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PaigeB
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Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by PaigeB »

I think you are on topic!
I found this in our Forums today http://www.e-aa.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=18422
www.aagrapevine.org
Copyright AA Grapevine, Inc. 1944-2015

November 16

"Whether I conceive of God as a set of immutable cosmic laws or as an old man with a white robe and matching beard is totally and gloriously irrelevant. All that matters are my values and attitudes and how I act upon them."

Culver City, Calif., May 1977
"Faith Is Action"
Spiritual Awakenings
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

2granddaughters

Re: Who is the teacher?

Post by 2granddaughters »

Fr Richard Rohr has a daily meditation email you can subscribe to.
He has been discussing various religions/teachings and how their basic goals are so similar.
This week he is talking about AA's (The 12 Steps) contribution to quality spirituality.
You can go to his website and sign up if you want.

This is yesterday’s text:

Twelve-Step Spirituality:
Week 1

Saved by Grace
Sunday, November 15, 2015

The spirituality of the Twelve Steps is another important part of my wisdom lineage. Although I have never formally belonged to a Twelve Step group, I have learned much from people who are in recovery. I truly believe that the Twelve Step program (also known as Alcoholics Anonymous or A.A.) will go down in history as America's greatest and unique contribution to the history of spirituality. It represents what is good about American pragmatism. There's something in the American psyche that becomes mistrustful and impatient with anything that's too abstract, theoretical, or distant. Americans want a spirituality that is relevant, that changes people, and that really makes a difference in this world. For many, the Twelve Steps do just that. They make the Gospel believable, practical, and even programmatic for many people. [1]

My first eight years in Albuquerque, beginning in the late 1980s, I lived downtown, next door to a little church where Twelve Step meetings were held. As the members gathered right outside my back door almost every other evening, we became friends. They invited me to join them in their closed meetings. [2] I felt very privileged. It was like being welcomed into a sacred sanctuary of people who weren't afraid to openly admit they were "sinners." [3] I'd go home afterward thinking this felt more like church than the liturgy on Sunday morning. It was as if each person was a priest, and they were all healing one another. The God-talk was honest and experience-based, not "belief"-based. There was no hesitancy for each person to describe their history of failure and recovery--or death and resurrection, if you prefer Christian vocabulary.

Opening with "Hi, I'm Joe, and I'm an alcoholic" is a humble and honest admission of deep need, which is what the Catholic penitential rite, "Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy," is supposed to be. Jesus taught us that God's love is not dependent on our "worthiness." He healed and ate with sinners and outcasts when he was on earth. He told parables, like those about the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18: 9-14) and the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), where the one who did it wrong ended up being right and the one who seemingly did it right ended up being wrong. The entrance requirement for an A.A. meeting is not worthiness, but unworthiness, not capacity, but deep need--just as it should be.

Worthiness is not the issue; the issue is trust and surrender. As Thérèse of Lisieux said, "Jesus does not demand great actions from us but simply surrender and gratitude."[4] Let's resolve this once and for all: You're not worthy! None of us are. Don't even go down that worthiness road. It's a game of denial and pretend. We're all saved by grace. We're all being loved in spite of ourselves. A.A. had the courage to recognize that you don't come to God by doing it right; you come to God by doing it wrong, and then falling into an infinite mercy. [5] The Twelve Steps wisely call such mercy "Your Higher Power."

I also want to add what only the Gospel is fully prepared to proclaim: You're absolutely worthy of love! Yet this has nothing to do with any earned worthiness on your part. God does not love you because you are good. God loves you because God is good!

And thus, A.A. and the Gospel fit together like hand in glove.
Gateway to Silence
Breathing in--receiving mercy; breathing out--letting go




This is today's text:


The Power of Powerlessness

Monday, November 16, 2015

I think the Twelve Steps are inspired by the Holy Spirit and that they are the most successful programmatic teaching of the true Gospel. [1] Bill Wilson and the other founders of Alcoholics Anonymous rediscovered the spirituality of imperfection and powerlessness, which was relegated to a subtext once Christianity aligned with imperial thinking, beginning in 313 A.D. Once we looked out at society from the top instead of the bottom, the Church focused its moral program on a path of ascent instead of descent.

When you are aligned with Empire, you are forced to prefer a spirituality of achievement, performance, worthiness, and willpower, and surely not any talk of "all people have sinned" and "fallen short of the glory" (Romans 5:12, 3:23). There is no longer room "for the last to be first and the first to be last" (Mark 10:31). Conformity to cultural virtue becomes much more important than love of littleness itself or love of any outsider (read "sinner").

It's as if Christianity has been saying, "We have the perfect medicine for what ails you: grace and mercy. But the only requirement for receiving it is never to need it!" Jesus called himself a physician and made his case clearly: "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners" (Mark 2:17). Bill Wilson recognized this truth and understood that the only way to give everyone equal and universal access to God is to base salvation/enlightenment on woundedness instead of self-created trophies. If we are honest, this utterly levels the playing field. Julian of Norwich, my favorite English mystic, understood the great turn around and said proudly: "Our wounds are our very trophies!" They are the "holes in the soul" where the Light and the Life can break through. [2] Exactly as Leonard Cohen's Anthem puts it: "Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in."

The way of the Twelve Steps is remarkably similar to Jesus' Way of the Cross, St. Francis' Way of Poverty, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux's Little Way. These and many other saints and mystics teach the power of powerlessness either directly or indirectly. It was never totally lost in mainstream Christianity, although it was a minority insight. [3] Many did recognize that it is the imperial ego that has to go, and only powerlessness can do the job correctly. If we try to change our ego with the help of our ego, we only have a better-disguised ego.

Until you bottom out and come to the limits of your own fuel supply, there is no reason for you to switch to a higher octane of fuel. Why would you? You will not learn to actively draw upon a Larger Source until your usual resources are depleted and revealed as inadequate to the task. In fact, you will not even know there is a Larger Source until your own sources and resources utterly fail you. [4]

None of us go to the place of powerlessness on our own accord. We have to be taken there. Sad to say it, but it is largely sin, humiliation, failure, and various forms of addiction that do the job. Sometimes, having ruined your marriage, your children, your job, or your sterling self-image, you have to say, "My way isn't working." [5] Maybe there is another way, maybe I really do need to change. That is very often when you are finally ready to begin a sincere spiritual journey. At that point your religion morphs into a living spirituality. [6]
Gateway to Silence
Breathing in--receiving mercy; breathing out--letting go



If you aren't familiar with Fr Richard Rohr you may want to Google him.
He understands AA's rich spirituality and he is one of our best friends.
Let me say as well that I am NOT Catholic nor subscribe to "Christianity" but I do understand and feel the truth when I hear it.

All the best.

Bob R

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