Saturday, July 29, 2017

10 Years Ago

It was 10 years ago today, July 29, 2007, that I first started reading A Course in Miracles. I am still reading, though this year it is the new Annotated Edition published in February.

It is day 42 of the Sri Chinmoy 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence race. I've been following the race every day on the Perfection Journey blog and via the web cam. This year I notice that I have interest in only one of the racers: a 58 year old woman who walks her 60+ miles each day.

In my own life, what about self transcendence? In some way, my inner silence is the evidence. At the moment, my ego is stymied so I am pretty calm. There are lots of people changes at work. That could be evidence of inner changes. I have been without potato chips since the start of the 3,100 mile race (42 days ago). More evidence. This month I will have the biggest mileage and largest number of workout hours in 2 years. Evidence of shifting. I have continued to work on my writing project. Evidence of a future.

This morning, I ran 10 miles in the Seabrook heat at a 5 mph pace. That felt good. I don't have any problems left over from last week's marathons (except for blister healing). I came away from the 2 marathons with a feeling of well being and accomplishment. It was a good thing for me to do. I can hardly wait for my quad; which will be in September.

This bit of scripture has been on my mind. It is from 1 Corinthians 13.4-7. It is the only definition of "Love" I really understand; and wish I could be like; especially that bit about enduring whatever comes.

"Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, 5.it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. 6.Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. 7.It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes." 



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Two Marathons and Friends - A Tale of a Weekend

This weekend I created an experience for myself. I ran 2 marathons and I visited 2 old friends. These were marathons 82 and 83 for my life. One of the people I visited was a Sister at the Monastery where I used to live. The other was a long time friend.

Today, Sunday, was supposed to be a relaxing day of resting and getting myself together for tomorrow. I got home late thanks to weather delays at the airport. So I didn't go to bed until nearly 24 hours after I had got up! I slept great. When I woke up, I noticed that the air conditioner seems to have stopped working. So, I called the place I have a service contract with.

Then I tried to get the bread machine going, but messed up on the button pushing; so we shall see what kind of bread comes out. Then I got the laundry going and was successful at that. Then I got the soy milk machine going and was successful at that. Then I made coffee and sat down at my book.

Here is where things get interesting. I stopped to ponder the current emotional situation; and also realized that I barely remember doing a marathon yesterday. I realized I was predicting all sorts of problems with the AC and work disruptions this coming week and how to stay at my house if it is hot. Why was I doing that? I am reading a book called "How Emotions Are Made;" which is added to many other books I have read in my life related to 'you create your own reality.' If you haven't studied reality for several years, then I say, "Don't blow that statement off, but also realize it is complicated." Reality is my emotional experience; made of a social reality I was taught and my own choices.

I realized that I didn't want a stressed out day and my mind could make choices. I didn't know how well it would work but I could at least manage the thinking.

Just as I decided to manage my thoughts, the phone rang. It was the technician saying he was on his way. Already, my universe has turned around as I had not expected that call until late this afternoon. So, I had changed the prediction and I got a happy reality. The technician arrived and quickly knew what to do. I thanked the Universe. As the technician went to his truck to look for the part, I quickly realized that I didn't want to predict further negative problems. I stood in the back yard with my hand over my stomach and projected a feeling of happiness and that everything works out. He came back with sort of the right part. A part that works and gets my house cool but then still needs to be replaced with the right one. I didn't even get through writing this blog post up to now and the AC is back on and running.

So, now, my reality is a series of my emotional experiences and now I have choices about my projections. I get to choose why I am alive. Yes there is a mind bigger than mine. I am not saying I am the creator. I am saying that I have choices about my reality, to some extent, at least now. I think I only gained the ability to have choices after many years of spiritual, psychological, neuro and metaphysical studies.

So, now about the weekend.

My flight with United went perfectly fine. After getting my rental car, I drove into the Missouri countryside to a monastery where I used to be a member. I visit every now and then when I am nearby. This time I was struck with how old and decrepit they are. I didn't feel the desire to stay there and didn't wish I could have stayed and become a sister. I didn't come away with the answer to why I went there in the first place.

Onward. The next day I went out into the Kansas countryside to do a marathon. This race had about 100 entrants, many of whom I have seen before in similar races, and many are retired people in their 70s. The race began at 4:30 due to the heat. I got in about 14 miles of good running; then I did begin to get hot and had to take walk breaks. I was extra careful about fluids and electrolytes. At each end of the short course, I sponged myself with ice water. I finished in good shape.

That evening, I thought about the two days: one with old Sisters and one with many old marathoners. I really admire the marathoners more. I thought, "if my job is to make the most of my life, then doing marathons is what I should be doing."

The midwest is having an incredible heat wave. So the race director offered a 3:30 am start for the next race. I took advantage; though my car thought it was 87F at 3 am. Given 3 hours of darkness, I ran pretty well getting 16 miles done before the sun was up enough to affect me with heat.

I finished the race and hurried back to the hotel so I could have free breakfast. Then I showered and drove to Kansas City to meet a friend. My friend and I talked about her new hobby of mushing dogs (you know, having the dogs pull a sled). We talked about retirement. We talked about my plans for post retirement. This friend knew me when I went to the convent; and yesterday, just shrugged when I told her I still don't know why I went to the convent. It is not important is what that shrug seemed to say.

Then I went to the airport. At the airport, I found that United would upgrade me to first class for $59. I took the deal. Shortly, I was settled in my seat and taxiing for take off. Suddenly a ground stop due to weather. I was glad for that first class seat if I had to sit on that plane very long. I wasn't real happy; but I didn't even try to change my mental predictions until they had to taxi back to the gate to wait. I then began to watch my mind and try to become a pool of calm. It did take some time to get all that sorted out and get airborne. As I tried to snooze on the plane, I realized that I hardly remembered at all that I had run a marathon that morning. Today, I wonder what social reality I was participating in. Many people did not get back on the plane; preferring to instead travel at some other time.

I decided to honor the weekend experience by writing about it and getting one of the photos printed at Walgreens. Yes I ran 2 marathons. My weekend seems to be about how I was creating reality. I am learning what I am doing.

What about the AC? Getting it fixed today is just one of the chores I needed to get done today. It really was quick and easy; and since I have a service contract, it cost no more to get it done today than any other day. This speaks of how my life usually goes. And because most of my life is easy, I have time to do marathons and then wonder why I do them.

PS: the bread came out fine.

Day 1


Day 2


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Dear American

It is day 16 of the 52 days allowed for the 3,100 Self Transcendence Race. Three of 10 people are above 1,000 miles. Wow! What a lot of perseverance, endurance, tears, loss of sleep, discipline and unswerving focus on moving forward.

Dear American, say to your government and the media, "Not my soul." By this I mean, be that high integrity person which you are and don't allow the shortcoming of the government distract you from your personal worth. To engage in quiet dis-ing of the president and hating the health care struggle is to sell your soul. I am mainly speaking to that large quiet group of people who go to work and pay taxes. We fund everything. We take up the yoke of work which is our embodiment of honor and integrity.

Now or never, stand up for yourself. Discover your slave narrative and overcome it; then vote for people who have integrity. Not the ones who merely lie. Hate the cost of health care? Do what you need to do to be healthy. Stand outside the pale by engaging emotionally only what brings worth and integrity. You have to pay your taxes but you don't have to be begrudging. Hold the hand of a small child. Take a walk in the neighborhood. Wash the car. Mow the lawn. Do your job. All these little things comprise your personal 3,100 mile self transcendence race.

Are you an alcoholic or an addict? Let today be the day you do something else.
Do you eat too much? Let today be the day you are free to do something else.
I personally engage in self punishment and self sabotage, despite being a very successful person.

Today is my day to do what I know is right. My mental self immolation can change direction. Today I make the declaration of independence and start to live it. Do you doubt I can be more emotionally free starting today? Will I slip? Yes. Will I forget? No. Will I keep on the course of my personal 3,100 mile self transcendence race? Absolutely. I have all the thoughts necessary for healing and moving forward.  I think this has been going on for a long time, but today I feel empowered. I don't feel helpless or hopeless in relation to my seeming emotional flaws. I don't feel the usual hate towards the world around me. I feel good towards myself. Freedom is ringing in my body, mind and spirit.

We the people of America are damn good people; but we need to stand up and be what we are. We need to stop the government from robbing of of our great nation. That is what we really want.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Eve of Self Transcendence

Tomorrow is the beginning of the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race.  I got hooked on this race years ago because it taught me how running could be a meditation. Learning about the inner runner was the start of my desire to be an ultra-marathoner. Now, I use the 52 days of the race to focus my workouts on inner running; self transcendence as it were. Catholics has Lent. I have Self Transcendence.

Heading into these 52 days, I find myself in a very decent place physically and emotionally.

Check out the Perfection Journey blog to get daily stories about the people in the race.

Here is a quote from Sri Chinmoy:
The outer running
Begins on the road
And ends on the road.
The inner running begins
Inside the silence-heart,
And it continues
Along Eternity’s Road.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Can't Afford It

Yesterday evening I was thinking about dopamine. I was reading an article about how cell phone apps are programmed to trigger certain brain responses and encourage fixation on checking the phone. This linked up in my mind to our nation's, and my own, obsession with Trump entertainment. That is, the media are marketing moral outrage and something in our brain loves it.

I think it is my negative ego which loves all the controversy. I get some sort of dopamine pleasure by reading about the battles in politics with Trump. But I don't think I can afford to carry on this chemical pleasure; and it surely is a type of porn and addiction.

So today I drove to work in silence. My beloved NPR has been shut off. I thought about what I wanted to think about. Some of my thoughts are work related. But also I thought about what my spiritual work has produced in me. One of the themes of my spiritual work is "conscious contact with a power greater than myself." One of the requirements of conscious contact with a higher power is consciousness itself. That is, I must accept consciousness in totality. As soon as I am conscious, then I am aware of my dirty little secrets, like taking pleasure from the Trump bashing. And so I must do something about myself.

I have the spiritual tools. More about what I will do will be coming forth. Starting Sunday is the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race (google it). Annually I use these days for my own self transcendence. Some people have Lent. I have self transcendence.

By the way, the last time I shut off the news for years was when Clinton was president and I decided not to listen to any testimony about Monica Lewinsky.

I am a member of the silent majority. I go to work and pay taxes. No matter who is in Washigton, they want my money.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Pain

I know I am human today because I felt a common pain. The thing hadn't happened to me but I understood how it felt.

There is a thing happening to many people in our corporation. We are the competent experts who keep the company running; but not given promotional opportunity since clearly our careers are ending. It is like a death to realize you are at the end. Your career has stopped. This is pain.

I talked today to a colleague who just now experienced this problem. I also talked to her about what I am doing in my life. I realized that I am happiest when I discuss having a phase 3 of my life and a new career.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

What Makes My Life Worth Living?

I've struggled with this question on and off all my life. Especially after I left monastic life, I wondered, "What good am I?" I didn't get to be Sister ____ OSB, and have the world think I am special. I am a single woman, professional engineer. Nobody's mother. Nobody's wife. Not religious at this point.  All of these are society's measurements of what makes a good person or a worthwhile person. And I have dissed myself over them so much.

Today, I asked myself what made my life worth living today? I remembered the deer that came within 3 feet of me. It is a doe who limps and I've seen her in that park before. Seeing her was worthwhile.

I jog walked slowly for 4 hours today. It felt really good to do low impact. Doing this made my life worth living to me. While I am on my feet for 4 hours, I get to dream of running marathons. Running marathons is a worthwhile activity to me.

While I was jogging, I was thinking about my metaphysical life. I thought about my recent decision to stay in Texas at my current job. So I asked the Universe what was I going to do now? I realized that I need to let the fabric of my mentally controlled view of the world to unravel a bit. You'd have to study metaphysics to know what I am talking about, but it has to do with "I am responsible for the world I see." As I thought about letting the fabric unravel, let go of control, I got a vision of my boss. Suddenly, I thought, "let go of the control," and the fabric of my boss unraveled revealing a hole in the fabric and the bright light was shining beyond it. This vision is a true practice of A Course in Miracles "forgiveness." Forgiveness is looking beyond, undoing. It was astonishing to envision the unraveling of my mental control of the world.

Another thing about this weekend is that I finally made it to Home Depot to buy some paint for my front door. The associate did a great job of helping me because I know nothing about paint. And I was scared of doing the job. But I did do the job today. Now, watching my ordinary consciousness fiddle and be scared by using my higher consciousness is in fact a thing to be aware of. It is a doorway into the fact that I have a higher consciousness and I can be aware of it.

So if I have a higher consciousness, do I have to ask the question of the worth of my life at all? For sure, a higher consciousness just is. There is no measurement of its worth. Exploring consciousness, finding the higher has been a desire of my lower consciousness for decades. To have  worthwhile life, do I need to be great or famous or in a helping profession? My life was worth living to me today. I need to find small worthwhile parts of life each day; and not judge myself as less worthwhile because I work at a corporate job.