Saturday, November 29, 2008
I got back to my car and turned on NPR. Unexpectedly out came Bob Dillon, "How Does It Feel." I suddenly felt triumphant and completely free. I even raised my fist in the air. I like being a complete unknown. Hearing this song, everything was well with me. The "people drinkn', thinkn' they got it made" don't know anything about this joyous heaven I have found. The precious gifts we exchange are nothing but cheap baubles and we don't even know it until we stop and wake up. I am awake! I am happy with my spiritual place; with the spirituality of raw veganism and with running and with being the person that I am. I am happy to be the loner. My spirit was leaping for joy.
Here is the last half of the song, the part I heard:
How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?
Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They're all drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you'd better take your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.
How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?
I am sitting here realizing that this is a day for going within and listening to Jesus, who speaks in non-words.
Looking at the internet, I realize that nothing will entertain me out there. In fact, yesterday someone criticized me on a bulletin board and my spiritual practice was to refrain from proving her wrong, using her own words. I could go to a Mass here in Atchison, but I don’t think that will entertain me either. Only the God within can satisfy me. Not reading books about the God within, but experiencing Him first hand. Truly a St Romuald day of sitting in my cell, watching my thoughts and singing the Psalms.
How I perceive what others think about my contemplation is an insane delusion fabricated out of the past and torturing me in the present. How often have I punished myself because someone made a comment about how I must be lonely or how wonderful their group experience was. How often I have been frustrated because I couldn’t explain that there is another world which is spiritual, non-physical and all love; but no one seems able to really go there with me. This failure to express convincingly is my pain. Metaphysics just don’t appeal to most people. Sometimes I feel like a flawed psychological development because I connect in a metaphysical reality; but physical realities seem meaningless.
A Course in Miracles (ACIM) supports the metaphysical reality as real and God Love; and the ego world is meaningless. I have not progressed in my learning enough to be comfortable with this and be able to consistently use Christ vision to look beyond the physical illusion to the Christ in all others. It would be worth it as my lifetime project to accept Christ’s presence within me in this total way and look only at Christ in others. So, that is why I do what I do and follow the instructions of ACIM so relentlessly. I have searched several religions and find the ACIM teaching to hold the greatest potential for success in overcoming illusion and being the Christ consciousness, nothing else.
As I write this, I fear publishing it. I know some people think ACIM is diabolical and that Catholicism is best, or Buddhism is best, or some other way is best. I am consciously facing my fear right now and giving it to the light of the Holy Spirit for healing. My pain can be healed and this is good for everyone. I face my painful and frightening delusions. I recognize my insanity: my perceptions of others cannot be the God Love reality. However, looking inward, under the fear, is the subtle quiet of love. This inner finding is the silent light of Christ, forever within my consciousness. I avail my self of this gentle peace whenever I dismiss my ego and come quietly to the light. I can bring my pain and fear here, and it is healed.
I lose my ego conditioned life to find my true Christ life. I shamelessly follow Jesus. I believe Jesus can restore me to sanity and I humbly offer myself to Him.
Believe it or not, I am going for a run in this light precipitation. I feel the levy north of town calling me. The levy runs through barren fields this time of year, and often, that run will be accompanied by a north wind to the face. Yet, I find the barren harshness to be refreshing and cleansing. It soothes my soul. Yes, this is what I am like. I stand without my Donald Duck mask. I laugh at my ego. Running and contemplation set me free.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
The "Little Rule" of St. Romuald
Sit in your cell as in paradise;
The path you follow is in the psalms -- don't leave it.
Above all realize that you are in God's presence;
Empty yourself completely;
Reading Dune this evening, it occurred to me that I am living in a living being. I am part of a field of living energy and I am not separate. This fits with today’s ACIM workbook lesson: I am not alone in experiencing the effects of how I see. It also seems to open the door to knowing all minds are connected and all minds are Christ. Jesus is the living energy which I am a part of. Its possible for me to believe this right now. This sort of knowing comes to me if I sit and wait. I have to be paying attention. Surrounding this real thought were tons of ego thoughts. From the knowledge of oneness, it is an easy leap into Heaven.
Here is the view from Sr Priscilla's window (see Tuesday's entry). She also sits in her cell and watches her thoughts.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Somehow, this mental thought train was brought to a halt. I thought, I need to question my motives. I said, “Jesus, I need to question my motives. You offer awakening through ACIM. I admit my normal consciousness disgusts me. I hate myself so I want to awaken. Jesus, can awakening be found on such a premise? It is my ego that hates and my ego that seeks enlightenment.”
I laid aside the Evola book and glanced at the ACIM Text: “You may wonder why it is so crucial that you look upon your hatred and realize its full extent.”
And also: “…without the ego, you would find within yourself something you fear even more… Under the ego’s dark foundation is the memory of God, and it is of this that you are really afraid… For still deeper than the ego’s foundation, and much stronger than it will ever be, is your intense and burning love of God, and His for you. This is what you really want to hide.”
Do I read Doctrine of Awakening as an unconscious distraction because I am afraid of Redemption, remembering the love of God? Finding the burning love of God is not in the Doctrine. It is in ACIM. I had a revelation at this point. On the one hand, I seek to escape self disgust. On the other, I seek the elevated disposition I see in the enlightened ones. Both of these hands are ego and neither will work to achieve a genuine state of being. The Doctrine of Awakening seeks a state of being “not an I.” ACIM seeks the memory of God, which includes “not an I.” But the state of “not an I” is different. The Doctrine has self discipline and an individually existent inner power which achieves the state of “not an I.” The Doctrine is not spiritually associated. The inner power is intangible (not of this world) but it is individually associated. Not everyone has it. ACIM includes mental discipline. ACIM seeks the memory of God through the leading of the Holy Spirit, a universally available Helper. The ACIM state of “not an I” means that the separation is healed, the Son of God is unified. We, as one Son of God, have leapt into Heaven and are awake in the Love of God. ACIM is equally for everyone, but maybe not everyone chooses it at the same time.
I have to make a decision, a stand. Is my intention to remember God or not? If so, the Doctrine of Awakening is a waste of time for me. I want to follow a spiritual path to remember God. I want to uncover my “intense and burning love for God and His for me.” This is a fundamental decision. It excludes me from many paths that work for others, but are not what I want. I may see another person who appears to be enlightened, but I decide not to follow them because I have decided on finding the memory of God through a particular path. My primary interest is the love of God, not enlightenment per say.
I have at this point uncovered one of my ego’s secrets. I, as an ego, pursue enlightenment for my ego. Jesus, may I pursue the altruistic motive: unification and healing of the Son of God. If I stop my ego’s motives and follow the Holy Spirit for altruistic motives, I become “not an I” but universal Self. There is no I other than ego. Either I am unified as Self (one with God), or I am an ego separate from God.
Jesus, I haven’t yet remembered or found my love for God, but I admit I am an ego. Please help me. I do obey ego thoughts which will lead me away from God. I do not have any thoughts which lead to God, except as I hear the Voice of God calling and I decide to read a spiritual text. Jesus, please help me.
The joy of my visit was my time with 92 year old Sister Priscilla. When I first lived with the sisters, I lived in a forest in Oklahoma. They had a Catholic Ashram. Sister Priscilla was there with four other sisters. Together we practiced contemplative sitting for 2 1/2 hours a day, prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, gathered for communion; and cooked and cleaned cabins for a few guests.
I loved Sr Priscilla. She is tiny, not much above my waist. She is a fire ball. A year ago, she left the forest and went to live in the sister's house for assisted living. Priscilla has her own room and sneaks around doing things against the rules. I love this about her. Anyway, I visited in her room for an hour and she walked me all around the large house, then we went outside to the Altar Bread Department. I felt so incredibly special to be in her presence for a couple of hours.
One time, about two weeks after I got kicked out of the order, I went down to Oklahoma to Sr Priscilla's 65th anniversary of monastic life. I was secretly invited. I went walking into the kitchen where she was standing and totally surprised her. Yesterday, I walked down to the door into the assisted living house, and I could see her through the window, standing in the dining room. She looked up totally surprised. She said she thought she was seeing a vision.
Sr Priscilla said she thought about me alot, but after yesterday, I am not just a memory, I am an actual person who could show up any day. I am a haunting ghost unless I follow through on the friendship. Gulp! I'll need to visit the monastery more often.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Out running, I saw a woman who lets the dog out and then drives around the park while the dog runs alongside. This is probably fun for the dog; getting to really stretch its legs. The woman in the car smokes and talks on the phone. In my opinion, her human spirit is deprived. As I thought about depravity, I flashed my thoughts on my own human spirit. My spirit is also deprived; however, just that tiny remembrance that I even have this magnificent human spirit was an eye-blink of awakening. So quickly my thoughts moved to some material world topic and I had to draw them back. These little eye-blinks are so precious; so worth the mental effort to remember.
Truthfully, I don’t have any burning bushes in my spiritual world. I have tiny eye-blinks of awareness and still small voices, so quiet they are not even a whisper. Yet, this quiet is what I have dedicated my life to.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
In the area of spiritual study, I find my self drop dead awestruck with ACIM Text 13.III. Below is the full passage. I may spend the week meditating just on this. Step 10 of AA is, "Continued to take personal inventory..." In the passage below are several good ideas for inventory taking. I have bolded my favorite parts (the colors are mine too).
III. The Fear of Redemption
1 You may wonder why it is so crucial that you look upon your hatred and realize its full extent. You may also think that it would be easy enough for the Holy Spirit to show it to you, and to dispel it without the need for you to raise it to awareness yourself. Yet there is one more obstacle you have interposed between yourself and the Atonement. We have said that no one will countenance fear if he recognizes it. Yet in your disordered state of mind you are not afraid of fear. You do not like it, but it is not your desire to attack that really frightens you. You are not seriously disturbed by your hostility. You keep it hidden because you are more afraid of what it covers. You could look even upon the ego’s darkest cornerstone without fear if you did not believe that, without the ego, you would find within yourself something you fear even more. You are not really afraid of crucifixion. Your real terror is of redemption.
2 Under the ego’s dark foundation is the memory of God, and it is of this that you are really afraid. For this memory would instantly restore you to your proper place, and it is this place that you have sought to leave. Your fear of attack is nothing compared to your fear of love. You would be willing to look even upon your savage wish to kill God’s Son, if you did not believe that it saves you from love. For this wish caused the separation, and you have protected it because you do not want the separation healed. You realize that, by removing the dark cloud that obscures it, your love for your Father would impel you to answer His call and leap into Heaven. You believe that attack is salvation because it would prevent you from this. For still deeper than the ego’s foundation, and much stronger than it will ever be, is your intense and burning love of God, and His for you. This is what you really want to hide.
3 In honesty, is it not harder for you to say “I love” than “I hate”? You associate love with weakness and hatred with strength, and your own real power seems to you as your real weakness. For you could not control your joyous response to the call of love if you heard it, and the whole world you thought you made would vanish. The Holy Spirit, then, seems to be attacking your fortress, for you would shut out God, and He does not will to be excluded.
4 You have built your whole insane belief system because you think you would be helpless in God’s Presence, and you would save yourself from His Love because you think it would crush you into nothingness. You are afraid it would sweep you away from yourself and make you little, because you believe that magnitude lies in defiance, and that attack is grandeur. You think you have made a world God would destroy; and by loving Him, which you do, you would throw this world away, which you would. Therefore, you have used the world to cover your love, and the deeper you go into the blackness of the ego’s foundation, the closer you come to the Love that is hidden there. And it is this that frightens you.
5 You can accept insanity because you made it, but you cannot accept love because you did not. You would rather be a slave of the crucifixion than a Son of God in redemption. Your individual death seems more valuable than your living oneness, for what is given you is not so dear as what you made. You are more afraid of God than of the ego, and love cannot enter where it is not welcome. But hatred can, for it enters of its own volition and cares not for yours.
6 You must look upon your illusions and not keep them hidden, because they do not rest on their own foundation. In concealment they appear to do so, and thus they seem to be self-sustained. This is the fundamental illusion on which the others rest. For beneath them, and concealed as long as they are hidden, is the loving mind that thought it made them in anger. And the pain in this mind is so apparent, when it is uncovered, that its need of healing cannot be denied. Not all the tricks and games you offer it can heal it, for here is the real crucifixion of God’s Son.
7 And yet he is not crucified. Here is both his pain and his healing, for the Holy Spirit’s vision is merciful and His remedy is quick. Do not hide suffering from His sight, but bring it gladly to Him. Lay before His eternal sanity all your hurt, and let Him heal you. Do not leave any spot of pain hidden from His Light, and search your mind carefully for any thoughts you may fear to uncover. For He will heal every little thought you have kept to hurt you and cleanse it of its littleness, restoring it to the magnitude of God.
8 Beneath all the grandiosity you hold so dear is your real call for help. For you call for love to your Father as your Father calls you to Himself. In that place which you have hidden, you will only to unite with the Father, in loving remembrance of Him. You will find this place of truth as you see it in your brothers, for though they may deceive themselves, like you they long for the grandeur that is in them. And perceiving it you will welcome it, and it will be yours. For grandeur is the right of God’s Son, and no illusions can satisfy him or save him from what he is. Only his love is real, and he will be content only with his reality.
9 Save him from his illusions that you may accept the magnitude of your Father in peace and joy. But exempt no one from your love, or you will be hiding a dark place in your mind where the Holy Spirit is not welcome. And thus you will exempt yourself from His healing power, for by not offering total love you will not be healed completely. Healing must be as complete as fear, for love cannot enter where there is one spot of fear to mar its welcome.
10 You who prefer separation to sanity cannot obtain it in your right mind. You were at peace until you asked for special favor. And God did not give it for the request was alien to Him, and you could not ask this of a Father Who truly loved His Son. Therefore you made of Him an unloving father, demanding of Him what only such a father could give. And the peace of God’s Son was shattered, for he no longer understood his Father. He feared what he had made, but still more did he fear his real Father, having attacked his own glorious equality with Him.
11 In peace he needed nothing and asked for nothing. In war he demanded everything and found nothing. For how could the gentleness of love respond to his demands, except by departing in peace and returning to the Father? If the Son did not wish to remain in peace, he could not remain at all. For a darkened mind cannot live in the light, and it must seek a place of darkness where it can believe it is where it is not. God did not allow this to happen. Yet you demanded that it happen, and therefore believed that it was so.
12 To “single out” is to “make alone,” and thus make lonely. God did not do this to you. Could He set you apart, knowing that your peace lies in His Oneness? He denied you only your request for pain, for suffering is not of His creation. Having given you creation, He could not take it from you. He could but answer your insane request with a sane answer that would abide with you in your insanity. And this He did. No one who hears His answer but will give up insanity. For His answer is the reference point beyond illusions, from which you can look back on them and see them as insane. But seek this place and you will find it, for Love is in you and will lead you there.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
"...you have used the world to cover your love, and the deeper you go into the blackness of the ego's foundation, the closer you come to the Love that is hidden there."
"For still deeper that the ego's foundation, and much stronger that it will ever be, is your intense and burning love for God and His for you. This is what you really want to hide."
As I type that second part, it occurs to me that getting a new job and moving would disrupt my ego; perhaps for just long enough to find a new way.
Confusion arises from my ego's fears: I do not yet know what I really am (a spirit) because I still have ego identification; perceptions, preconceived notions and prejudices. I felt these limitations today. I drove past the place where I am interviewing on Monday; and I drove past some new duplexes located where I thought I might want to live. I felt my opinions rising. It was impressive how I bumped into my own mental walls. If I get the job, I may just take it in order to break down my ego and experience its dark foundations (besides the money).
I want to find the Love and live in the Holy Spirit's thought system. I see I have more growing to do. I still grovel in the dirt of my ego. My littleness is impressive. I want to go deeper, beyond this meaningless ego world. Do I allow myself to feel my "intense and burning love for God and His for me" ? Not as deep as I want. It is not in doing but in silence that I go deeper.
Patience. Listening. Prayer: Jesus, please help me.
Friday, November 21, 2008
“You may wonder why it is so crucial to look upon your hatred and realize its full extent.”
“Under the ego’s dark foundation is the memory of God and it is of this that you are really afraid.”
Yes, absolutely I spend a good deal of time looking within. I admit the fear that is there. I try to explore the fear as a doorway to the beyond. The self that I really am is inside, beyond the ego and the material world ego consciousness. The magnificence of the human is deeper that my petty life of money and work. I want to examine my fear in order to remember God. I mean really remember.
Sitting in the silence, I stare the demons down.
Running in the winter darkness, I have defied my ego. I have defied society. I become simply an energy phenomenon flowing through eternity, where God is.
I take a drink of distilled water. Transcendence is my vocation.
Yes, I think too much; according to some. Yes, I try too hard; according to some. I know I am perceived as foolish or ignorant or suffering. No one ever got to be world class by sitting on the couch watching TV and eating cookies. No one ever got to be a marathoner without doing the training. Marathoning is very unappealing to many. The work of ego deflation is also very unappealing. Jesus says in the ACIM text, we must make ourselves ready. We look at our fears and hatred and give it to him. If it is me that is blocking me from the sunlight of the spirit, then I need to follow Jesus’ instructions and take the steps needed to transcend the ego thought system.
There is another reality beyond this meaningless and frightening world. To find it and live in it requires changing all my beliefs. The heart of the process is detachment. This process is freedom. Yet it scares people. They rationalize that all that work is not necessary. Baby steps are necessary. After 25 years of baby steps, my reality may seem strange, marginalized. It is. I am outside the box of normal life.
Now, I have work to do. I will probably be in the hot seat for a little while today. I will probably have to stand outside in the cold for a little while. I am on vacation next week. But all that is meaningless. It is the ego level of consciousness, which is meaningless. In the middle of it, I am spirit.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
“…everyone is seeking escape from the prison he has made…”
Last night, I made it into position for evening study and meditation. I realized that I exerted my spiritual will over my slothful will. I had to overcome a tiny barrier to get away from the computer or my book, and sit at the table to study, meditate and listen to my Spirit Self. In the morning, spiritual practice is habitual, but in the evening it requires the force of my will. Ultimately, the force of my will is what initiated the prayer and meditation all those years ago.
Is it my will? Or is it My Will? I am distinguishing here between my small normal ego consciousness and my larger spiritual consciousness; and not saying My Will is God, but just a transcended level of consciousness. The fact that I seek to transcend at all is due to My Will, that higher consciousness which is beyond my ordinary human selfishness, fear, hatred, anger and guilt. My truth is My Will.
I often wonder why I ended up in partnership, essentially committed unequivocally, to My Will. I say partnership, but I almost mean slave or bond servant. My Will wants what is best for me more than I do; and exerts pressure on me to serve its demands. I am a tool to My Will. My life belongs and is owned by My Will. I see so many who are asleep. So many do not fight society’s conditioning and programming and seek to go beyond materialism and religion. In AA we say, there but for the grace of God go I. In every single truly sober alcoholic, there is this force of My Will that somehow leaked out of the drunkenness and forced that person into complete non-negotiable sobriety. In AA’s Big Book, it says defiance is the outstanding characteristic of alcoholics. But of course! Who could get permanently sober without defying not only the drug itself, all physical and mental cravings and the bulk of society who thinks it’s ok to have “just one.”
I view most of society’s programming and conditioning as addiction. However, somehow, My Will leaked into my drunkenness and I struggled to achieve consciousness, to wake up.
I started this reflection wanting to express gratitude for my defiance. Sitting here now, I realize: I am not my Creator; I am not My Will and have no choice in the fact of awakening; awakening will happen. I can only hinder My Will by periodically getting ego drunk through the temporary choice to defy My Will. So there you have it. I can resist My Will temporarily; but ultimately My Will is intent on awakening and I really belong to It.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I’ve spent several hours questioning my reaction and asking Jesus to help me with my ego. You see, it is my ego that became angry and wanted to attack the poet. I finally figured as follows. All of his poems go something like: I live alone on this beautiful mountain, my spirit soars into the clouds and I have nothing to do with you dirty normal humans.
Ummm…does that not sound exactly like my own ego? Yes, that is frequently how I think and feel and blog. Yet God gifted me today with this knowledge: what ever I happen to think in my small ego mind, I must be sharing with others in a way helpful to them.
I attend 12 step meetings and I went to one today. At the meeting was a young man I hadn’t seen for awhile. At the end of these meetings, we normally stand in a circle, hold hands and say a prayer. Today, this young man walked around the room to me and asked if he could hold my hand. Then, after the prayer, he talked about how he had got rid of his TV, found some other things to do; and had woken up to the fact that he had been anesthetized in front of that TV for several hours a day. Even in that meeting, two other people appreciated me for what I had said about Step 11 today.
So I had the Buddhist poet one the one hand, and the grateful young man on the other. I looked at my ego and my own arrogance and disdain. I suddenly became grateful that I live in a normal house, with a washer and dryer and weeds to hoe. I go to work whether I want to or not. I have a boss who is desperate to make sure I don’t leave. I do a good job even though I have no commitment to that company. Yes, I am on a spiritual quest, for knowledge of The Beyond; but I have no glory to show for it. What I have is a bag of dead peony bushes and a hoed peony bed ready for spring; and a young man who wants to hold my hand. For once, I am grateful to be me: nothing special, just an average good person.
"I wanna hold your ha ah an ah nd...I waaaana hold your handdddd" (The Beatles)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
At 2 am, I woke up with monthly type cramps. I decided not to fool with them and took some ibuprophen, then back to sleep. At 4, the alarm went off. I sat in bed listening to a 20 mph north wind. The wind made the decision on what to wear in the race. It was 33 degF with a tiny amount of flurries. I did my prayer and meditation. At 5:45, I drove south 20 miles to Leavenworth to buy my organic fruits and vegetables. Then I continued south another 30 miles to the race location.
At 7:20, I get parked, get a pit stop and get my number (#24). I catch a glimpse of my idol. I go sit in the car to wait another 30 minutes.
People get lined up at about 10 to 8. I love how there is no shortage of hearty souls ready to go in a race on this blustery day. We all have at least $100 (US) of high tech running clothes. At 7:55, I suck down a packet of Gu. We pause a moment while BJ the DJ sings the national anthem. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard BJ sing. I’ll probably get to hear him next week also.
BJ begins a 10 second count down. We all stare intently at our watches, ready to start our timers. Suddenly, we are off!
Mission Control: we have a problem. What is it Spirit Flower? Mission Control, the first mile and a half, which is also the last mile and a half, is all down hill. Spirit Flower, at mile 11.5, it will be time to throw your heart over the bar. Oh!
Before I even get to 1 mile, a few guys comes sprinting past me. I think of safety and wonder what their problem is. Then I realize their problem is that they are running a 10K (which started 5 min later than the half marathon). Oh!
I am running a race. I actually try to race races. I’m never there just for fun. I’m always after peak performance; whatever my peak for that day happens to be. My first mile is 9:30. The course is a paved bike path, out and back. After about 2 miles, everyone is comfortably spread out, and my hands start to warm up. Yes, I have on gloves, but they are not wind proof. I am in a good groove as far as pace goes, just a running machine moving relentlessly forward. We are going south. I realize that coming back will be into that brisk north wind most of the way. Gulp…more throwing my heart over the bar. That will be the ball game baby. Do it or not. The choice is yours. What do you want?
The miles tick off. I keep looking at my watch. I’m under a 10 min/mile pace. At mile 3, the 10K racers turn around. Now the course is very spacious. For awhile, I have another woman runner around me. She is older. She runs faster than me, then walks, then runs faster than me, then stops to stretch. Eventually, she has disappeared somewhere behind me. The leader of the race passes me on his way back (at about 46 minutes). He is way, way, way ahead of second place. Next in front of me are two young boys. I don’t know how old they are, 12 to14 range. They are young enough for people coming back to shout encouragement. I must not look like I need encouragement.
Keep going. I had sucked down a Gu at 3 miles. Got some sports drink at 5. Get to the half way turn around at 63 minutes. Not bad! Now, am I too tired to keep up this pace? I could moderate my speed and possibly have a better time in the event this pace uses up my gas tank. But I am a person who likes to fathom my depths. I like to empty the glass and see what is hidden in the nether region of mental vs physical. I keep up the pace.
I am still following the boys. At the turn around, I passed them. But they quickly decided this was unacceptable and passed me. At around the 8 mile mark I’m right on their tails. I mention to them that that are slacking up. After a dirty look, they leave me in their dust for good. I keep up the pace. I take Gu around 8 miles; but decide to save the last packet until 11 miles, so I have some fuel for the hill. I pass the occasional person. Some are walking. I suck my Gu at 11 miles.
Just a little further and I turn the corner and face the hill. I had passed 11 miles at 1:46 flat. Now, Spirit Flower, do what you gotta do. So I did. Up I went. I was actually sweating. Passing an occasional walker or slow jogger. I keep focused. It is bad form, but I am only looking at the pavement a few feet in front of me. I am not thinking just running and breathing. It is no longer cold. I appreciate the race for making me push myself and over come my mentality.
A little farther. A volunteer encourages me saying there will be hot chocolate. I shout back, “Yuck!” and keep going. A little farther and I can hear BJ the DJ. A little farther and I can see the finish line. BJ announces my name. I am really running and gasping. I finish in 2:06:42. Yeah!
I got a hug from my idol. It was an awkward hug because: we’ve never done that before, why were we doing it now, but it seemed like a natural thing that we were drawn to do.
So that is that. I dreamed of more running and racing as I drove the long drive home. I can hardly wait to go for a run tomorrow. Next half marathon is next Sunday!
The hot shower felt sooooo good. Now, what should I eat?
Friday, November 14, 2008
A myriad of stars.
It was dark.
It was silent.
The world was asleep.
I passed by their windows,
And front lawns and parked cars.
Sometimes their dog was disturbed.
I was a silent divine spirit.
Feet gliding over the energy surface.
Effortless flowing of awareness.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
"...He loves you, He will gladly teach you...He cannot let you forget your worth."
How many times have I heard, "God loves you;" and had no belief or connection to that reality. But for some reason this morning, the words "He will gladly teach you" struck home. I opened up to the possibility that I really am loved, valuable to God and The Holy Spirit does want to teach me: GLADLY. I have always thought I needed to surreptitiously steal either love or teaching; that no one would ever WANT to help me in any way. There is a Gospel story about a man who was kicked out of the wedding banquet because he didn't have the right garmet. I've always believed God would some day notice that there was something wrong with me and kick me out.
But this morning, I allowed the thoughts to sink in and become believable: He gladly teaches me. He loves me. If I accept this truth, then I have accepted Atonement for myself. I've accepted a loving Father who would never hold my errors against me, only teach me how to love.
I went on to read, "The only thing of value in it (the ego world) is whatever part of it you look upon with love." My mind immediately flashed to the person at work I usually hate the most; except I was loving him. I saw that I looked beyond whatever mistakes he was making and saw the love in his heart. I thought of all the people at work and loved them all. What a great gift. What a great moment.
I am here at work. I'm usually the only one here this early. One of my co-workers has come in early. When someone walks down the hall, I don't look up, but often give a sly glance out of the corner of my eye. My co-worker just caught me doing that and teased me about it! Kind of fun, huh? Another co-worker asked me to be in his Linkedln network. I sent him an e-mail teasing him because he said he trusted me. He replied, "Very much."
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
- Nothing I see means anything.
- I have given everything I see all the meaning that it has for me.
- I do not understand anything I see.
- etc. for 365 lessons...
I'm not going to walk you through it. I am going to say that I love learning to think in some way other than I was programmed to think by parents, schools, TV, religion, etc.
I have already done the workbook, but like the Steps of AA, it is worth doing more than once. I do have "a different perception" of some things. Like I try to explain to people about the spiritual reality and how you can actually live there instead of the ego reality; and no one believes me, or they think I am special and that is why I have experienced the spiritual reality. I try to explain to alcoholics how even one drink (such as a social drinker might have) breaks the energy of the God connection and drives you into unconsciousness of God. People still think that social drinking is harmless; and a desired past time.
Living "a different perception" feels, at first, very lonely. But, one learns universal love through the deconditioning process. Love is the predominant mode of existance; and it is what makes life LIFE.
I was born and raised in Berkeley, California. I was there, though only about 12, on Telegraph Avenue and People's Park when they had anti-war demonstrations and riots.
By 6th grade, I had travelled all around the world with my parents.
I became a long distance runner in junior high.
In high school, I was interested in Dune, and Don Juan, and BKS Iyengars Yoga. The only Asana I could actually do was called mountain; but I did attempt, as a silly teen-ager, to stand still in that posture for several minutes.
I studied engineering when extremely few girls did that. I was elected president of the mechanical engineer's student association; and awarded the university's outstanding senior recognition.
After my undergrad work, and before getting my Master's, I went to Israel, travelling there by myself, on a archaeological dig for a summer. I almost missed the plane because I was drunk. In Israel, there was another American college guy who liked beer as much as me; so...well, I had a drinking partner.
I got sober and have not had a drink since I was 26.
In my 30's, I owned 3 motorcycles (2 Harley's and a Gold Wing) before Harley's were popular. I was a full member in a bike club; wearing colors, going to Sturgis, taking solo trips across the country.
I learned Zen style meditation when I was 38.
I entered a contemplative monastery when I was 40 and got kicked out when I was 45.
Ten years ago I stopped eating meat; and I have not watched TV or been to a movie since then either.
Five years ago, I began a practice of periodic juice fasting. Fasting detoxes your body, emotions and mind; so your chemistry is actually different than most of the population.
Four years ago, I disentangled from The Church, and many other things, by moving to a small town and becoming a semi-hermit.
I don't participate in Christmas, or other mass social rituals.
Three years ago, I became a raw food vegan.
Two years ago, I began studying ACIM.
I work as an environmental engineer in a crummy alcohol plant which blows up every other year or so; and where I am the only woman in operations management.
Today, I went for a glorious run in a nearby park: rolling hills and the wonderful odor of damp oak.
Tomorrow, as usual, I will get up at 3 am for prayer and meditation. Then a little weight lifting. Then into work at 6. My commute is horrendous: 2 minutes, depending on the lights and the trains.
Saturday, I am going in a race.
I am an ascetic. All of the above mentioned marginalizing behaviors, which most people think of as asceticism, help me to let go of the world. Renunciation is not suffering or penance. It is liberation from society's conditioning and programming. In the liberated state, the soul soars up to God; and soars through a field of human light and love, learning of oneness and unity. As one soul learns, all souls together rejoice. The soaring is an icon to all of the reality of the spirit; and all together, no matter what their material configuration, know in their depths the truth of God's love.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Last night, after sleeping two hours, I woke up and was awake for an hour. I couldn't figure out why last night. I was playing in my head a song from church about the God beyond all names. It is a haunting melody with a refrain that goes, "in our living and our dying we are bringing you to birth." Last night, this bothered me because I don't agree with the theology of the statement.
This morning, as I did my spiritual reading and prayer, I was challenged to look directly at my church experience and try to find my own hatred and underlying fears. I had chosen to hate the service instead of love the Sonship. I chose and decided on judgment instead of thinking only love. Hate was predominant in my mind instead of love; by my choice.
Ok, hate was concealing love; but really, under hate is fear. What was I afraid of? What if I had loved instead of hated? I stopped thinking and waited, listening for the Holy Spirit to answer: I consistently chose hate because I am afraid to give up the original source of my hate, my first hate, the first decision to hate because I was afraid of God. I was afraid of God because I felt guilty. I thought I had shattered Heaven and made God angry.
Somehow, there was a tiny mad idea in the Mind of God. I, the Unified Sonship (before separation), somehow wanted what the tiny mad idea offered (specialness, autonomy from God) and I tried to "remember not to laugh." One day, I remembered not to laugh and joined the tiny mad idea. This shattered the unity and I became fragmented into all these little pieces of individual minds. God immediately re-unified, but somehow, my consciousness remained in a dream illusion world; afraid of God and hating. But God/Love would never not forgive. Love always loves; that truth is what I try to dissociate from.
I am ready now to look at my original decision to be afraid of God. I offer it to the Holy Spirit for healing. If I choose love, I cannot hate. Love is scary because I loose my specialness. In church, I am just one of thousands of communicants. Being one of many makes my ego feel like part of a cattle drive or a slave covered in the muck of a pig pen. My ego is not special and hates it. I am afraid of being seen as "one-of-them." In order to feel special, I attack the situation with my judgment. This consciousness is my vendetta against God. It is what conceals love and it is my decision.
I have to give up my vendetta against God; but sense how desperately my ego, the tiny mad idea, does not want to give up. My willingness to surrender, give up, is my acceptance of the Atonement (Redemption) that Jesus offers. Jesus will awaken me to Love.
I am responsible.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I have been quiet here for only a couple of days. I sometimes think that any words I say are my ego talking. I am not talking about arrogance or pride; but the tiny mad idea that wanted God to treat it special. Since God doesn't treat anyone special, the tiny mad idea left God and created this ego world. The tiny mad idea got the power to do this because one day, the Son of God (all of us before we separated from God) remembered not to laugh at it. Pay attention, remembering not to laugh is different than forgetting to laugh. The tiny mad idea is symbolized by the serpent in the garden of Eden. But the ending of the story is not that God kicked us out of heaven; but that having attained an ego consciousness, we left heaven seeking the specialness not of God. The tiny mad idea became afraid of God and hid itself in this ego world.
I really should be quiet. None of this opinion is worth a hill of beans.
- ...accept only loving thoughts...
- ...raise love to clear-cut unequivocal predominance...
- ...fear's only purpose...to conceal love..
This morning, I got up at 4, did my prayer and meditation, got in the car at 5:30 to drive to the city, began a 3 hour run at 6:30, changed clothes in the car and tried to decide what to do. Instead of going to the fellowship, I went to Mass.
I have no idea why I ever go to the parish for Mass. I like the music, but the sermons seem to always be about money or politics. Today, after listening to a really long pre-Mass plea for money, I really considered leaving. I looked around for my God-mother; but low and behold, right behind me was someone else I knew. Now I was stuck. I suffered through a bunch of other time wasters like sending the kids out, sending the catechumins out, baptisms and a sermon on stewardship before I remembered that I had a card in my pocket with the above ACIM stuff written on it. I pulled it out and remembered to accept only loving thoughts.
I remembered that love was being concealed in my mind right before my eyes. "Right before my eyes" means literally, love was concealed in my mind, not out there. It is possible that the only reason I went to church was to see what my ego would say about it so that I could talk to Jesus and do something different with my mind. I was saved from continuing to be unconscious of my practice of concealing love from myself and everyone else.
After that, I shut my eyes and envisioned light. Light is all there really is. Light is love and light is Heaven and light is peace. Light is my responsibility.
Fear is the tiny mad idea. It works furiously to conceal love; and for the most part we let it, becoming unconscious of the whole process. We can instead remember to laugh. We can instead remember to deny power to the tiny mad idea, remember all power is of God, and remember this for everyone around us. "Thus does the Holy Spirit replace fear with love..." Laughing at the tiny mad idea is done consciously when I accept only loving thoughts.
Accepting only loving thoughts means I am no longer in a fight with God for specialness; and in silence, I slip back into Heaven.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
- Do I want the problem or do I want the answer?
- …ask and you will receive.
- …you believe asking is taking…
- Ask to learn of the reality of your brother (Christ, Love), because this is what you will perceive in him, and you will see your beauty reflected in his.
Now I could ask Jesus for help with something from my heart: I want to know my Source is pure love freely given and I want to freely love both back to Source and outward.
I did not yet know who the next president of the US is. I don’t myself vote. I hadn’t listened to the news last night. But, my time for prayer was over and it was time to turn on NPR and get the news. I turned on the radio and out came a symphony. For some reason, KCUR was not on the air. I listened to the symphony and started to chuckle. The Holy Spirit was helping me. I wasn’t quite ready for the news.
As I listened, I realized that “the real world of God/Source” is this symphony. I appreciated the symphony. The symphony is always there, but we cover it over and dissociate from it. The symphony is God’s reality, Heaven, not the ego world I normally experience. I can live in the symphonic reality, which is my ever present Source of Love, freely given because I/we are loved. I went to the bathroom and took a huge dump. All my crap came out.
Then, suddenly KCUR came on the air introducing the next president and immediately fed in Barak Obama’s acceptance. I got chills. I got tears. I said, “Praise the Lord. The era of the old white man is over.” “The old white man” is a symbol. For me, “the old white man” was my terrible father who hated women, the oppressor, the taker, MY EGO'S god. This era being over symbolized the healing of my hate and my acceptance of Love, God, Heaven.
Since I don’t vote, I realized that it was my brother who had thrown out the old white man. This morning, I had asked to know my brother. The prayer was immediately answered by my brother electing Obama, a symbol of unity and love. Within every brother is Source and Love. Within me is Source and Love. My brother had clearly shown me who he was. I had trusted my brother to show me who he was. We are one and this has been shown.
This reflection is how I live metaphysically: I take my own inventory of fear and hate. I give the hate and fear to Jesus. Then I honestly pray for the true. Then I am healed and everyone else is healed.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
For me: The bride is my soul, the beautiful little spirit that I truly am. The groom is my Inner Higher Love, who comes to help me and guide me to Heaven. The destruction of war is what my ego does each and every day.
- ...like a moth you (God) eat away all that is dear to us (our egos); truly everyone is but a puff of wind (our bodies are illusions).
- We walk about like a shadow, and in vain (egotism) we are in turmoil (fear)...
- ...my hope is in you (not this world of ego delusion)...
ACIM: "You do not know the meaning of anything you perceive. Not one thought you hold is wholly true. The recognition of this is your firm beginning. You are not misguided; you have accepted no guide at all. Instruction in perception is your great need, for you understand nothing. Recognize this but do not accept it, for understanding is your inheritance. Perceptions are learned, and you are not without a Teacher. Yet your willingness to learn of Him depends on your willingness to question everything you learned of yourself, for you who learned amiss should not be your own teacher."
Yesterday, alot happened at work. Our company is coming down to the wire on a project, and I am in the position of pushing other managers to show "actual" results. Some of our equipment is broken so we are not in environmental compliance. My boss is working on getting an old guy to retire and bless me with doing only environmental work for all our plants (this is a good thing) except maybe I have a job interview at another company.
As I sat at home last night, humility crossed my mind. Then this morning, Psalm 39 and the above portion of the ACIM text helped ground me in humility. I also pondered that picture and felt more humility. I (my ego) destroy peace everyday. Yet, Inner Higher Love will come to be my Teacher every day and lead me to Heaven.
I admit that I do not understand the world. My desire is to listen to my Teacher. I surrender. On the one hand, I try to realize that I am not a body. On the other hand, I fast and detox in order to vibrate at higher levels, to better hear my Teacher.
I live in this little town.
I work at this crummy little company.
I have these physical and emotional defects.
I seek God.
Silent JOY is the ground of my being. It rests quietly under the raging ego. I can be JOY anytime I remember. I can remember.
Monday, November 3, 2008
…weigh with good understanding what lies hidden…
I read through the poet’s Canto once. A couple of thoughts touch me, yet mostly it is mush. I read the interpreter’s explanations and think, “Oh, I didn’t know that.” I realize that it is much easier for me to read the interpreter than the poet. I think, “Why bother reading the poet who is the source? Why not just read the interpreter?” I pause. I think. I shut my eyes and listen for the Spirit. I listen for Jesus. I listen for my companions.
It took me more than one reading to even see the line I quoted above; where the poet encourages me to find his hidden meanings.
That a source text is mush after one reading is not a new phenomenon. The Bible is mush the first time you try to read it. A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is mush the first time you read it. Heidegger’s “Being and Time” is mush the first time you read it. The Rule of Benedict is another example of source material which is ignored by many in favor of clever explanations written by revered monks. Spiritual texts are always mush the first time you read them. You can do like most people: skip the source text and just read other people’s opinions which have been dumbed down. When you accept other people’s opinions as your meaning, you are accepting a second hand experience of a source. Instead, you can apply yourself to the text and try, working together with your Inner Being, to see what it is saying to you; try to listen and learn. Try to think. What is this saying to me today?
Dante’s references to Italian history and Greek mythology don’t mean anything to me. Even so, if I slowly read the text several times, pausing frequently to think, deeper and deeper thoughts occur to me. Doors open. My heart is touched. The frame work of the poet’s journey becomes clear and I see how it is so similar to my own spiritual journey. I integrate the poet into my previous learning so that he becomes part of the fabric of my existance. The poet’s experience becomes my first hand experience. I enter into authentic experience versus someone else’s experience.
I realize I need to do the same in depth thinking about my own life as I do to understand Dante or the Bible or A Course in Miracles or Heidegger or any spiritual source material. I have a richness about me which is revealed in deeper thinking about my life; its physical, mental and spiritual nuances.
If you reading this are a teacher, I say to you: teach your students how to read and think. Don’t just tell them what things are supposed to mean. How to understand is the only thing a teacher should ever teach.
I am trying to learn to love pure water above all else. Who likes pure water better than flavored drinks? Who likes pure water without any caffeine thrill? I am trying to love pure water. I drink the pure water and listen to my thoughts and feelings. I listen to my cravings. Then, in an act of sheer determination, I drink a little more water. I want to know Pure Spirit as well. I want Pure Christ Consciousness to be the one thing I love and prefer above all else. And so I sit in silence and try to drink the Pure Spirit and the Pure Christ.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I risk sitting alone with my ego. I risk failure at the one area of life that interests me: God consciousness. I will take all I’ve learned in distance running, sobriety, monasticism, Catholicism, ACIM, engineering, fasting, contemplation and relationships; and let it integrate.
The result of integration is joy. I not only am certain of this, and completely know it, I trust my heart and my faith. I have completed every prayer possible except the one of my beating heart, my breathing lungs, my running footfall. Joy is my work. Joy is my practice. These prayers are my joy. Joy is my prayer. Not asking for it but living it, every moment. My joy is God’s joy. There is nothing else.
On a lighter note, I ran 16.2 miles this morning. I was industrious with my chores this afternoon. It is a sunny warm day and I completed the outside ladder work needed before winter. I am now ready for my right arm to be destroyed by surgery once again. I swept up another million “crop” bugs.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
My life is focused on the spiritual. So few actually want "seeking God" to be the main theme of their life. How grateful I am. How happy I am. I have been given a wonderful spiritual tool kit...and the willingness to use it.
Some tools are obviously spiritual: contemplation, lectio divina and worship.
Other tools are adjunct, but in my opinion necessary: fasting, raw food diet, colon cleansing, spirulina and chlorella, juicing, filtered water, sobriety, exercise.
So many of us bemoan our pocket books or envy the other people. I am rich with health and spiritual connection, Christ consciousness. Yet most people would not want to use my tool kit. Most people would not trade their bar-b-q for my colonic irrigation. Most people would not want to trade an hour of TV for an hour of contemplative prayer.
I am happy and grateful for the wealth of willingness. I don't yet know how I unlocked my spirit initially, but all of my practice since then has only opened the door wider and wider. I say again, how grateful I am.