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12. Service

Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Principle: Service

Definition: an act which is performed without any expectation of result or award for the person performing it.


During his life the Buddha taught and ordained disciples who became known as the Sangha. The primary purpose of the Sangha was (and is) to continue to teach the precepts. The Sangha is considered to be one of the Three Refuges or jewels of Buddhism. It is respected as a community of Noble Beings who have realized at least one of the four stages on the Buddhist path to spirituality. When someone takes refuge in the Sangha, they are actually relying on one of these Noble Beings for guidance, much like a new member in AA relies on a Sponsor to guide them through the Steps and support them as they practice their new way of living.
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Christ prepared the Way. He created the ideal blueprint of how to live a Christ-like life. He told us that He and the Father are One and that we too can have this same relationship manifested in our lives when we reach out and love our neighbors as ourselves. In fact, we are intended to carry forth His ministry. He told us with great clarity, "You are the light of the world." When, we live these 12 steps as they are laid out, our actions will speak louder than our words. They guide us in the demonstration of a Christ-like life. It is only when we are in service to others that we are able to give to others the many gifts we have received.
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Communion or interrelationship is the underlying principle of the Universe. Everything in the Universe is in communion with everything else. It is all interdependent and interrelated in an unbroken bond of connectivity. There is no separation - diversity and subjectivity yes, but no separateness.
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The mind's capacity (samarthyam) to carry out its function is contingent on illumination provided by the infinite and unconditioned light of consciousness. Brahman is the light of consciousness. Karma yoga is the performance of an action with detachment from the results for the sake of worshipping the Lord (isvararadhanarthe). It is action performed in a spirit of selfless sacrifice to God.
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The sense of solidarity shared by Muslims is highly valued. They view themselves as a community (umma) who share their belief in Allah. They value their spiritual kinship and their own individual freedom. The pilgramage to Mecca (Hajj), has the ultimate benefit of the pilgrim receiving forgiveness for one's sins. The actual events heighten one's God consciousness and create a sense of spiritual fulfillment. Muhammad promised that those who perform the Hajj will return from it as a 'newly born baby' implying a freedom from sin. It also encompasses the three main practices necessaray to achieve eternal salvation: hard work, prayer and forgiveness from sin from Allah.
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As the result of these steps your Judaism has been renewed. Continue to work them again and again. Just as each Passover we are back in Egypt again as slaves, so each time we rework a step, we confront the addiction anew. It is important to concentrate on your own practice before carrying the message to others. From Pirke Avot 4:5 - “Regarding the person who learns in order to teach, Heaven will allow that person to continue to learn and to teach. But concerning the one who learns in order to practice, Heaven allows that person to learn and to teach, observe and practice. “
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Native American Spirituality

As individuals we can help our brothers and sisters who are still suffering from drug and alcohol abuse one-on-one. We can talk to them about what our lives were like, about the Journey we took to heal ourselves, about what we are like now, and our vision for the future. We can share the good that happened to us when we began to walk the Red Road by blending the Medicine Wheel Teachings of our traditions with the 12 Steps of A.A. We have had spiritual experiences and we found that the vision we created through our mind maps are now coming true in the 12th Step.
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The secret of the Tao is in serving. The reason that both heaven and earth last forever is because they do not live for themselves, but for others. It is a simple message and formula for happiness. This verse affirms the law of circulation - by giving without expectation, everything we need will come to us. "Serve the needs of others, and all your own needs will be fulfilled." The Tao describes the perpetual and eternal free-flowing power from the Source which sustains and endures. Our work is to understand that we are one with this power which flows through and as us when we are willing and available.
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