The Twelve Guidelines
(Compared with the Twelve Traditions)

  Group Participation

1. One’s personal transformation should come first; the unity and integrity of the whole is founded upon the wholeness of the individual.  (It is only from a place of individual wholeness that person can truly support the common welfare of all. An individual’s concern for the group should never usurp or replace his primary concern for his own transformation and wholeness.)

— Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity. (1)

2.  For our group, and its participants, there is but one truth (or guiding principle)—one’s own heart, and the expression of one’s higher consciousness.  Our leaders are but trusted servants; their only aim is to support the group and uplift its participants. (It is through the higher consciousness of each individual that Spirit may be more fully expressed through the consciousness of the group).

—For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. (2)

3. The only requirement for TNS participation is the sincere desire to uplift and improve oneself, and the willingness to support others (in their personal and spiritual development).  (Our efforts are supported by each participant’s intention to be present; to show good will, acceptance, and support for each other; and for each participant to be true to his/her own heart and the principles of TNS).

—The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking. (3)

4. Each group has but one primary purpose—the upliftment and making whole of its individual members.

—Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers. (5)

5. Confidentiality is what affords each participant the freedom to reveal him or herself (and this supports one’s spiritual growth); thus, we must honor this principle before individual concerns.

— Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. (12)

6.  Group participants ought not share, commiserate with, find mutual support for, or affirm (through their words or actions) any identity (or personal concern) based upon weakness,  addiction, or victimization—as these are the very negative attributes we wish to overcome and stop creating for ourselves.

7. Group participants should not approach other participants in order to sell any products or services, or proselytize, or promote any religious belief or organization.

  Group Structure

8.  Each group meeting should adhere to a prescribed format (in terms of beginning time, procedure, duration, etc.) (Each meeting could be enhanced with a short session of meditation and one shared activity).

9 - 12.  Each group should be independent and self-supporting (yet always adhere to the overall message and principles of the TNS).  A TNS group should never endorse, finance, or lend the NS name to any outside group or program. No TNS group should be run as a professional or profit-making enterprise.  TNS has no opinion on political issues and the NS name should never be involved with public or political issues.  No individual’s name should be associated with, or used to promote, any particular TNS group.

— Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole. (4)  Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. (7)  An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose. (6) Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers. (8) Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy. (10) Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.  (11)
ndividual concerns sis'self. nder, and aliveness
uty."d struivuly present.  of the gruope bAffirming one’s True Identity

  Before each participant speaks, he or she should sincerely affirm his or her highest nature or true self.  Identification with one’s true self (and one’s divine attributes) is the identity each participant should strive to adopt, and the identity each group participant should support in each other.  Some opening statements could be as follows:

1. “My name is _________, and that which I truly am is the purity, love, fullness, life, and beauty of Infinite Spirit.”

2. “My name is _________, and I, as I truly am, embody every quality of Spirit, such as love, power, joy, fullness, and beauty.”

3.  “My name is _________, and I, as my true self, am the pure radiance, wonder, and aliveness of Life.”

4. “My name is _________, and that which I truly am is whole and complete, without a trace of wrong, defect, or shortcoming.”

5. “My name is _________, and my true self is a creative and luminous expression of Spirit’s infinite Light.”

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