Meeting Summaries 2021

Happy New Year!

1-3-2021 #204. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we had an “off-topic” meeting in which we read and discussed the book Becoming Recovered up to page 16:1.  The document is an open-sourced and copyright free version of the AA Big Book, written in more modern language. Since we were reading the Original Manuscript, I thought it would make a nice contrast.

We liked it so much, that we discussed continuing to read it during our meeting instead of reading the Original Manuscript. What would everyone like to do?

1-10-2021 #205. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed the book Becoming Recovered up to page 24:1 “Surrender.” The document is an open-sourced and copyright free version of the AA Big Book, written in more modern language.

We discussed that it could be a great writing exercise to personalize the content for compulsive eating. Try it and let me know.

1-17-2021 #206. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed the book Becoming Recovered up to page 36:1 in the chapter “Soul Searching.” The document is an open-sourced and copyright free version of the AA Big Book, written in more modern language.

1-24-2021 #207. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed the book Becoming Recovered up to page 37:2 in the chapter “Soul Searching.” The document is an open-sourced and copyright free version of the AA Big Book, written in more modern language. The author of the document is James Ryan.

Today, we reviewed the definition of resentment, discussed the fear inventory and how to turn to God, rather than self when faced with the temptation to eat.

Rather than ask God to take away the feeling of hunger, ask God to fill our hunger.

The goal is to stop looking for an outside solution (the food) for an inside problem (a spiritual void).

1-31-2021 #209. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed the book Becoming Recovered up to page 46:0. We read and discussed the Step 4 sex inventory and Steps 5-7.

Next week, we will begin the chapter Restitution.

2-7-2021 #210. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed the book Becoming Recovered up to page 53:1. We read and discussed Steps 8 and 9: willingness to and making amends.

We are exploring other literature about making amends, forgiveness and restitution.

2-14-2021 #211. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed the book Becoming Recovered up to page 65:1. We read and discussed Steps 10, 11 and began Step 12.

The quote I read at the end of the meeting was:

The love of God is constantly inviting us to review our childish emotional judgments, & now to accept the good things of life & ourselves, of our being, of the people, & the cosmos, & to be grateful for them. Because gratitude, by all odds, is one of the basic dispositions for growth in the spiritual journey.

Fr. Thomas Keating

I liked it so much that I made a picture of it:

We agreed that we would continue to read the book, and discuss what we would like to read next once this one is completed.

Two books that I suggested are:

12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends – by Allen Berger 

12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone – by Allen Berger 

2-21-2021 #212. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed the book Becoming Recovered up to page 73:0. We read and discussed Step 12 and how to sponsor and began the chapter If You Love an Addict.

2-28-2021 #213. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we completed reading and discussing the book Becoming Recovered . It was an excellent book and we all really enjoyed it!

There was some discussion about what we are going to read next. So far, this is the plan:

Next week, we will read an article by Dr. Elliot Dacher on Addiction Meditation and Contemplative Practice. It is only 7 pages, so if we finish it, I suggest that we read one or both of these to documents: The Big Book Bunch on Forgiveness followed by  another article from the Big Book Bunch on working the tools, called The Magnificent 7.

After that, there was some discussion about whether we should return to reading The Original Manuscript or read one of the other books that we discussed.

Here is the list of books so far that I have come up with:

12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends – by Allen Berger 

12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone – by Allen Berger 

Practice These Principles Living the Spiritual Disciplines and Virtues in 12-Step Recovery to Achieve Spiritual Growth, Character Development, and Emotional Sobriety By Ray A.    

This is another interesting book, but I have not prescreened it: Sobriety and Beyond by John Doe, Ralph Pfau

Plus, the NA 12 and 12, or their basic text. They have a strong focus on spiritual principles, which is very interesting.

I am not going to post the links, since the internet is very fluid and links are often changed or broken. However, there was a strong preference to finish The Original Manuscript first, since we already started it. We are up to Bill’s Story.

More will be revealed!

3-7-2021 #214. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we completed reading and discussing the article by Dr. Elliot Dacher on Addiction Meditation and Contemplative Practice.

The theme of the article is that as addicts, we have a “hole in the soul” that can only be filled through conscious contact with a Power greater than ourselves and a spiritual awakening. Though the practice of prayer and meditation, we become connected to our true inner Source.

There was some discussion about what we are going to read next. I urge everyone to go on line and check out the various books that we have suggested.

Next week begins daylight savings time: Spring Ahead

3-14-2021 #215. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we resumed reading and discussing The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 8:1. This week, we read and discussed Bill’s Story. Next week we will read There is a Solution.

We agreed that we will alternate between reading “official literature” and “non-official literature.”

We agreed that we would start reading the books by Dr. Allen Berger in the order that they were published. After the Original Manuscript, we will read 12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone – by Allen Berger.

Here is a great Step 1 exercise.

Just a quick reminder that our meeting will be cancelled on March 28, 2021 and April 4, 2021.

3-21-2021 #216. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 14:1. We read and discussed the chapter There is a Solution.

“beginner’s mind” is a concept from Zen Buddhism that refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.

We discussed another book The 7 Key Principles of Successful Recovery by Mel B. and Bill P. Please take a look at the book and see if it is something that might be interesting to read as a group.

Our meeting is cancelled for the next 2 weeks.

4-11-2021 #217. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 20:1. We read and discussed the chapter More About Alcoholism.

“beginner’s mind” is a concept from Zen Buddhism that refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.

We were very happy to welcome several new participants! Keep coming back!

4-18-2021 #218. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 20:1. We read and discussed the chapter We Agnostics.

We were very happy to welcome several new participants! Keep coming back!

We decided that next week will be go over various Step 2 exercises that are already posted in various places on the blog. This is a link to the document of all the exercises.

4-25-2021 #219. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed some of the Step 2 exercises from the document posted on the blog.

Some of us liked doing the exercises, and others did not. Next week, we will return to reading The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind.” We will read and discuss the chapter – How it Works.

“beginner’s mind” is a concept from Zen Buddhism that refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.

Please continue to help carry the message and invite new people to our group!

5-2-2021 #220. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 33:0. We read and discussed the chapter – How it Works.

Next week we will read Into Action.

Today we discussed:

  • what is a “pepper diet?”
  • what is a “spiritual sickness?”
  • the difference between “BEING” and “DOING.”

A “straight pepper diet” refers to having a voracious sexual appetite and an overactive sex life. It also can be defined as: “sex as often as you want, anyway that you like it.” It is generally believed that the phrase was coined by Bill Wilson.

During our group, we discussed that the spiritual malady is the negative internal state of disharmony or discomfort that occurs when we are disconnected from God, plagued by fear and when our lives feel meaningless and without purpose. It is the emptiness that we feel on the inside which drives us to fill that void through outside substances and or behaviors (i.e., food, drugs, gambling, etc.). However, as we discussed last week, the only thing that can actually fill that “hole in the soul” is conscious contact with a Power greater than ourselves, who can restore us to sanity.

We were very happy to welcome a new participant! Keep coming back!

5-9-2021 #221. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 41:0. We read and discussed the chapter – Into Action.

Next week we will read Working with Others.

Today the questions asked were:

  1. Why is confession so important for recovery?
  2. Why do secrets keep us sick and spiritually blocked?
  3. Why are secrets dangerous for addicts?
  4. Why is honesty necessary for recovery?
  5. Why is a spiritual experience necessary in order for us to change and recover?
  6. How does God discipline us?
  7. Why do we need God to discipline us in order to change?

Happy Mother’s Day!

5-16-2021 #222. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 48:0. We read and discussed the chapter – Working with Others.

Next week we will read To Wives.

5-23-2021 #223. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 56:0. We read and discussed the chapter – To Wives.

Next week we will read The Family Afterward.

5-30-2021 #224. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 62:0. We read and discussed the chapter – The Family Afterward.

Next week we will read To Employers.

6-6-2021 #225. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 70:0. We read and discussed the chapter – To Employers.

Next week we will read A Vision for You.

6-13-2021 #226. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 77:0. We read and discussed the chapter – A Vision for You.

We discussed: what are the components for successful recovery?

Next week we will read Appendix I and The Doctor’s Nightmare.

After we finished the stories from The Original Manuscript , we will read 12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone – by Allen Berger next.

As a reminder, our plan is to alternate reading “official” program literature from any 12 Step program with other “unofficial” program/ recovery literature during our meetings.

6-20-2021 #227. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed the first 2 stories from The Original Manuscript with a “beginner’s mind” up to page 11:0.

The 2 stories were Dr. Bob’s Nightmare and The Unbeliever. The last story was about Hank Parkhurst, who wrote the chapter To Employers.

There is a lot of information available on line, if anyone would like to know more about him. Here are 2 documents that I found on Hank P.

HANK-PARKHURST-NYS-AA2 (1)

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