the BIG BOOK BUNCH

Finding Inspiration

Version B 7/4/2004

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NOTICE This is not an official site of, nor does it represent, Alcoholics Anonymous.  You may contact A.A. at Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. 

The BIG BOOK BUNCH

We are the Big Book Bunch group of Alcoholics Anonymous. Our origins are the Students of the Big Book group, which has met in Woodland Hills, California since December of 1985. Our goals are to live the spiritual process through which sobriety is obtained and enhanced, and to publish (at no charge) our experience for other recovering alcoholics. We have absolutely no affiliation with any organization or cause other than our membership as individuals in A.A..

Our written materials are not official AA literature. They usually do, nevertheless, contain information from the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous) and other conference approved literature owned and published by Alcoholics Anonymous. All A.A. material used identifies the source from which it is quoted. References in our documents to Big Book content exclude its stories. Included is all material from inside the front cover through page 164, plus Appendices I (Traditions) and II (Spiritual Experience).

You may reproduce materials of the Big Book Bunch, provided: a) that sources of materials (AA or the BBB) are identified, b) that no charge is made for the materials, and c) that they are not distributed by an organization or process that charges a fee. If you have corrections or improvements, please pass them on to us using the mailbox at the bottom.

We periodically encounter sayings or pieces of writing that need to be posted on the wall as a daily source of inspiration.  The ones we have included are those you are not likely to find elsewhere.

We have formatted the material to be suitable for printing on one page.  If you  want to dress up your handouts, print them on 65 lb. paper (card stock).  Wausau has some terrific "Astroparche" that looks like parchment in blue  #27448 (actually gray) and buff.  The price at Office Depot is very reasonable. You can remove the header and footer information from being printed in Page Setup in your browser.

If a printout doesn't look right from our site, maybe you should save the page into your hard drive and reformat it for optimum printing on your printer.  

A  the Dalai Lama's Instructions for Life.

This set of 18 life guidelines was sent to us by a member friend, Mike, via E-Mail.  We liked it.  It has some good A.A. wisdom in it.  In addition, because we respect the Dalai Lama enormously, we decided to add it to this site.  We formatted the instructions nicely and, in a suitable act of web courtesy, sent it the the Dalai Lama's headquarters in London, seeking permission to post his wisdom.  

The very next day we were advised that the Dalai Lama's staff there had never seen these precepts.  In a word, it was "not correct".  So, we added the "falsely attributed" and decided to post it anyway.  Another member tells us that these adages sound very much like the material in Life's Little Instruction Books by H. Jackson Brown, Jr..  When we find out where this stuff came from we will let you know.  It still sounds like good A.A., though.  As a matter of fact, when we first saw this, one of our members said, "Looks like the Dalai Lama has been going to meetings."  [This is humor, son.  No offense intended.  When we read the Sermon on the Mount we say the same about Jesus. The comment applies equally to Confucius with "Man take drink..." .]

A  Mother Theresa suggests Priorities Now Anyway by Kent Keith.

Mother Theresa is one of our favorite wisdom sources.  She is also purported to have said:

"If you are humble, nothing can touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know who you are"

And she really, really did understand humility.

And now about "priorities". We first encountered these wisdom commandments from one of those E-Mails that bounce about. We liked them, and we posted them. Initially we called the set, "priorities", even though one of our members though "Anyway" would be better.

In March or April of 2002 we noticed in the Los Angeles Times that the origin of the statements was not Mother Theresa, but a student at Harvard named Kent M. Keith. Mr. Keith has since written a book, "Anyway, The Paradoxical Commandments" [Putnam, ISBN 0-399-14945-7]. You may also wish to visit www.paradoxicalcommandments.com.

We are reluctant to completely remove the association with Mother Theresa, however, because she is the most used search term for those arriving at the Big Book Bunch. So, in her attribution she leads the world to sobriety. What a joy she must have in knowing this. We think Mr. Kent agrees, and we hope that our purchase of his book will, in part, repay him for his service and wisdom. Although we do not sponsor commercial ventures, we would recommend "Anyway, The Paradoxical Commandments" to any recovered alcoholic. It just might enrich your sobriety as it has ours.

A  Being the sermon is better than talking one.

One of our members periodically removes change and pocket contents from his trousers, and he places them in a drawer of his bureau.  When the drawer gets full, or something needs to be retrieved, perhaps several months later, he empties the drawer and stores things in more permanent places, often the trash can.  In a recent purging activity, he encountered a small plastic card with the "Living Sermon" on it.  He decided that his sponsor needed to memorize the message, and he scanned it.  It is now here for his sponsor's review, and yours, too.  The only attribution on the card is " CAU, 1992".  We don't know who that might be.

In like manner, you may have heard it said in a meeting to, "Walk like you talk."  We used to argue, affably, of course, whether it might also be good to, "Talk like you walk."  What do you think?

A  Getting along with people.

A.A. makes it abundantly clear that we alkies are enormously inept at getting along with our fellows, whether they be at home, at work, next door, or just encountered on the freeway.  It seems that Ann Landers has some down-home counsel for us that makes lots of sense.  We thank Mike from Students of the Big Book for this referral.

A  Wisdom from our Friends.

All sober alcoholics are special, but some of them are more special than the others. We are not talking about the "my case is unique" crowd. We are talking about those individuals who inspire us, those with whom we resonate within the principles of sober living. Here are a few of the special folks we know.

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