Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jesus' Prayers for us

I offer these two passages because they reflect each other and each is a reflection of the Truth in my heart. Each is a beautiful prayer of Jesus. Each offers me a light, a focus for my journey.

In the Gospel of John (17:20 to 23) it says:
20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."

In A Course in Miracles (28.IV.9) it says:
"I thank You, Father, knowing You will come to close each little gap that lies between the broken pieces of Your holy Son. Your holiness, complete and perfect, lies in every one of them. And they are joined because what is in one is in them all. How holy is the smallest grain of sand, when it is recognized as being part of the completed picture of God's Son! The forms the broken pieces seem to take mean nothing. For the whole is in each one. And every aspect of the Son of God is just the same as every other part."

Sometimes I wonder if I am really serious about spirituality or if it is just a fascinating play toy; something which keeps my brain busy. Do I really believe in God? I’d like to claim that spirituality is the only valid reason for being alive. But sometimes I think I have a spiritual journey only because I hope to get something for myself. My ego desires seem to cover over any spiritual truth. Then, it is easy to forget truth and spend time unconsciously in ego. In ego, I am pursuing spirituality for myself. I become oblivious to my inner depths and the authentic love which resides there. As I question my own seriousness, however, I am able to wake up for a few moments and correct my course back to truth. At these brief moments, I touch my inner truth and feel its embrace. It is always glad to see me.

I ponder myself as a broken piece of the Son of God; and that my worldly persona means nothing. It was good to mean nothing as I went for a 3 mile run this morning. I have no big running plans right at the moment. I'm glad to let go of any glorious pursuit. I'm just a solitary runner in the early morning quiet; an un-special, broken piece of God's Son containing all of God and seeking to join with all the other holy pieces.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I am the Dreamer

I feel awesomely good today. I think it is because at some level, I accept responsibility for being the dreamer of the dream (re: A Course in Miracles, ACIM, 27.VII). My dream is of a world which is filled with hate. It is not scary to accept this at a deep level because I have Help with a solution to the problem. It is not hard to accept that I made the hateful dream because I hate God if I have a solution which assures me I am not guilty and God loves me. If I believe that God made this hateful world, then there is no possible way I could love a God who would do that. If I believe I dreamed this hateful world, but God is here to heal me, then I can love God. My hateful mind needs healing and the healing is provided. The dream is a dream, not real, so I don’t need to be afraid that I have done something horrible for which God will punish me. I just dreamed it. This is the miracle.

My dream consists of a world where the air will hurt me but I must breathe it. The water will hurt me but I must drink it. The food will hurt me but I must eat it. The other people will hurt me but I must interact with them (swine flu is a perfect example of this). Do you see? I have dreamed a world full of hate. But the hate is mine. I had the hate then I projected it into a hateful dream. The hate came from the belief I am separate from God. If I give up the idea that God made this hateful place, then I can accept His help. I trust that God loves me. Loving God becomes my choice. I want to love God, therefore I give up the idea that God made this hateful place, in favor of the idea that I dreamed it; and that I can be completely free of the hate if I accept God’s healing of my mind.

When A Course in Miracles speaks of a miracle, it means a mind has been healed. That mind accepts its dream and goes on to accept happy dreams provided by the Holy Spirit. That mind is enabled to see holiness in everything which used to be seen as hateful. Instead of seeing other people as my enemy, I see them as holy, light-filled, and my sacred companions. Seeing like this is called Christ Vision. Christ Vision is given by the Holy Spirit. Seeing like this is called forgiveness. To forgive is not to pardon, but to look beyond the dream to the holiness present in everything. The real world is beyond my hateful dream world and I can see it as well as live there if I accept divine help.

I feel awesomely good today because I have had a moment of clarity regarding this radical teaching of ACIM. Having a new perception of the world enables me to walk more freely in the world and actually participate more because I am not afraid or hateful. I merely practice the Christ Vision.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Who the f**k am I?

Dear God, I can read the answer about who I am in a book; but I want to know your opinion directly. It is the whole reason I’m contemplative. I don’t want to be an unconscious person. I want to know, or life is a complete waste. Why run? Why be alive? These are the same questions. I keep doing both. I pause and listen with the ears of my heart:

As a child, I was merely trying to survive. In college, I had hopes for a meaningful career. In my 20’s, I hoped God would give me something. God and career joined forces. This modus operandi continued into AA, where I began to hope for a “spiritual experience,” and find a husband. Then I had an era of studying the New Age, where I hoped for enlightened ecstasy. I still wanted God to give me something.

Then, I got a motorcycle and a boyfriend. Pride won and lost. I was cool on the Harley, but I hated the attention because I knew it was fake. People admired my chrome and leather. Once in a while, someone would mention “God on a Harley” or “The Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance.” But I had found neither God nor Zen on the Harley; no spiritual experience. The boyfriend(s) didn’t provide the spiritual experience or even financial security. In fact, the boys were taking up a good deal of time. I eventually realized that the motorcycle and the boys were draining energy from the spiritual quest.

I got rid of both the cycle and the boyfriend. I discovered meditation. Meditation led back to religion as many meditaters are religious in some way. Then, I wanted to go to a monastery, where I hoped to find what the mystics had found. So, off I went. Four years later, finding myself unsuited to their communal life, the monastics booted me back to the secular world.

I made a new life in the secular world. I continued with religion for about two years, until I found I disagreed with its premises. To this day: I meditate, I run, I read, I talk to Jesus, I try this or that technique, I fast, I search the internet, I play free cell, I stay in solitude. This series constitutes a futile search.

I look inside, searching my inner being. I find that part of me continues the futile search, in frustration. Another part of me is happy to rest in peace. If I run, I can get a day-in-day-out peace with my body. If I meditate and study spiritual writings, I can get a day-in-day-out peace with my mind. But what about my spirit?

At the level of my humanity (body and mind), my life has accomplished nothing and means nothing. It is entertainment. If there is a higher level, a spiritual or divine level of existence, it does not produce at the human level. It must be relegated to the un-graspable, intangible, nebulous. It can enter a human awareness as intuition or peace; not as satisfaction or profit, but as fleeting phenomena. If peace and healing are the same, then it can be said that the spiritual heals. If peace and love are the same, then it can be said that the spiritual is love.

Love does produce human by-products. Love is a phenomenon. In my humanity, if I am at peace, then I am also love. Hence, the highest order of human existence is peaceful love or loving peace. In the state of loving peace, nothing about this world, my body or my mind matters. The world, my body and my mind, therefore, must not exist, or have meaning or purpose. True reality can only be loving peace, and not anything which doesn’t matter.

Being alive at the level of loving peace is satisfying. I call this satisfaction Christ. Loving Peace is Christ. I will give up myself to Christ. I will live in Christ, as Christ. Who the f**k am I? Christ. There is no other answer.

Personal statistics: I ran 17 miles this morning after the early morning storm. Since returning, we have had wave after wave of strong thunderstorms. In the ACIM workbook, I am on lesson 157 and in the text, I am at 28.I. I will need to mow the lawn during the week, as I didn't get to it today.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Inner Essence

My life is now and has been for a few years, characterized by an inner search for my hidden truth, my "Da-sein" as Heidegger would say. I had the thought of wanting to touch my inner as I went into meditation this morning. These words came out:

The roots
The essential
The elemental
The one defining thought
I exist to ponder
Its delights
Its thrusts
Its invasive ecstasy.
The silent light
The peaceful joy
Ineffable communion.

It is this Ineffable Communion to which I am currently lured and fixated with all my body, mind and spirit. Running, I am chasing that feeling which is beyond physicality. Thinking, I am sorting through the thought messages which are its love letters. Praying, I am listening, watching, allowing, absorbing Ineffable Communion.

Personal Statistics: yesterday, I took a day off running to do a little more healing from my 50k race, as insurance that that tiny little twinge of pain didn't become major because I was stupidly stubborn. Today, I had a magnificent 7 mile run. I felt like I was floating or gliding or flowing effortlessly forward; and could have done so forever. Running with impunity. Yesterday, a guy at work who I have know for 4 years at our plant in Illinois, talking on the phone, he found out I was 50 and he confessed that he thought I was 38. I blew his mind.

Friday, April 24, 2009

We walk to God

My work book lesson today says this in the first paragraph: "There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet. And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own. Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before."

And then, near the end, it says this: "We walk to God. Pause and reflect on this. ...He asks but that you think of Him a while each day, that He may speak to you and tell you of His Love, reminding you how great His trust; how limitless His Love."

Learning to remember God, learning you are love, learning this world is an illusion, learning how to live in peace; these are what A Course in Miracles teaches. I testify: it works if you work it. The Course requires study. It can't really be dummed down like most other philosophy. I am just grateful to my higher power and higher self or higher something, for enabling me to go ahead and work on learning. In the silence of my hermitage, I look at my inner pain and the pain I have dreamed out in the world. I don't deny I feel it, but I have learned to look beyond it using Christ vision, to see holiness and begin to identify more with holiness than the world. I have learned to shift from a body centered view to a Christ centered view. To have another perspective is a thing I am grateful for, and this is what the miracle is.

" the One Who sends forth miracles to bless the world, a tiny stab of pain, a little worldly pleasure, and the throes of death itself are but a single sound; a call for healing, and a plaintive cry for help within a world of misery"

And so, I recognize my own stabs of pain, be they a lump in my breast or a sore achilles or lack of money or old age or etc. Pleasure is the same as pain because it is still an attempt to hide from God; pleasure has the cost of pain. I let Christ see them and hear my cry of pain. Healing is brought to my mind, where the pain actually is, and healing extends through me out into unknown places. I am willing to go along with this. I am willing to live this paradigm because it has transcended.

Jesus is the name I use for my helper.

I had my special Friday celebration, as usual: I got up at 2:45 and did study and meditation for an hour and a half. Then I lifted weights and worked out on the back porch. It would have been a wonderful morning for running, but I am finding I need a little more recovery from my 50k race last weekend. As I worked out, I felt better and better.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why do I think I exist?

At some ancient place in some ancient time, even before there was place or time, I existed as a thought of love in the mind of God. Somehow, I had a hateful thought. God instantly said, “No big deal, forget it.” As far as God was concerned, it was over.

But I was ashamed and felt guilty. I didn’t know how to let go or forget. I was worried that I had hurt God, whom I loved. I was worried that my stature in God’s eyes was diminished. I was afraid God might punish me for having had that thought. I knew I had the thought. I tried to hide the thought behind other thoughts. But the more thoughts I added, the worse things got.

Eventually, I had added so many thoughts that I became lost in them. My lostness is what I see as the world and my body today. Deep down, the root cause of the world I see is that I think I did something wrong; hence the world is a projection of my fear of punishment and an embodiment of my shame. I realize that whenever I sense something screwed up or difficult or I become embroiled in red tape or I fear illness like cancer; I am re-experiencing the thought, “I did something wrong.” I feel guilty all the time. In addition, I think salvation lies in conquering my problems through worldly means: getting angry at someone, paying for it, seeking medical attention, eating right, being a good girl and being approved of.

But really, the answer to my problems lies in God, remembering I am a thought of love in the mind of God. The answer lies in giving my life totally back to God. I have help in remembering from (whoever) Jesus, Christ, Self, Holy Spirit, The Voice for God, Atman, Buddha, etc. All my worldly problems are sourced in my one imaginary original problem: All of my problems are made out of thoughts trying to hide the one original hateful thought. Everything reflects: I think I did something wrong.

I pause many times a day, seek a holy instant where my mind is still and I am connected to The Voice for God, give my problem to Him and let Him heal my thinking. In the holy instant, I stop attacking and punishing for long enough to turn it over and let Him help me.

Yesterday morning, I got up at 3:15 and spent an hour in meditation and study. At 4:30, I went running. I ran 7 miles. My run was very silent. The two large industries in town were down due to city water work. That early, I rarely even see cars. I was thinking about a potential problem. After about 5 miles of running in the cool darkness, I had achieved a moment of clarity about the root cause. If I had that problem, it was because I had decided that salvation could be gained by conquering the problem. I don’t know how to permanently let go of my disastrous thinking, but I do know how to seek Jesus’ help. And so I did. During my run, I had my holy instant. Immediately, I made a different decision: salvation lies in returning to God. Salvation lies in letting go of all my thoughts which keep God out.

If you are a recovering alcoholic, this story is the embodiment of step two from the 12 and 12: Whenever we are troubled, we pause, ask for silence, and in the stillness say, “God, grant me the serenity….”

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 3 – 61 hours of juice fasting

I am juice fasting as a duty to my body. It is rejuvenation. It is transformation. It is space and silence and listening.

When I was driving home at lunchtime, I really wanted to eat. But I prayed for Jesus to come into my fast. The word "prayer" has been on my mind. At lunch time, I pondered the subject. I have no answers. I get the most from prayer if I just stop and sink into it wordlessly. There are no new prayer techniques that are going to be more entertaining for the ego. God is satisfying but not at the ego level; and it is the ego I experience most of the time. So at lunch, I was able to pray and patiently wait. Prayer in this way becomes communion; but not ego gratification. This may be a lesson I am learning about the fact of God's presence.

Coming back from lunch, I searched the internet looking for "something." I found that fasting is for sale. Everything is for sale nowadays. We need to stop buying, but “they” want us to keep buying. I will have to practice my fasting and come to my own conclusions. Like most things in this life, I’ve read everyone else’s book. I know the techniques. Now it is up to me to journey forth and find my own gold.

Back to the nagging doubts: I guess because my bowel is empty, I want to eat. I guess because I am tired of the juice, I want to eat. I may switch to Master Cleanser for a few hours, because this does not turn me off. The distilled water is delicious.

Well, there was another change at work: one of the top dogs was fired (we have been downsizing for months). Change scares me and I want to eat. But change is also transformation. Fasting is about transforming inside: so I go back to my inner searching, investigating fear and seeking Presence. Both are there. They are the gold. They are satisfying.

May I always subsist, abide and love this Communion with Them, which is so greatly on my mind and contained in “prayer.”

Distilled water is the water of life.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Juice fast - 47th hour

I wanted to pray, but I don’t know anything.
I can barely read or focus on anything.
My only possibility for prayer is silence.

Is prayer asking or talking or yearning?
Is the word, “prayer,” an expression of my deepest yearning for the Divine Presence?
His one Word of Love is my only thought and my only reality.

What really could be more fulfilling than allowing yourself to offer your innermost precious essence to the divine?
And know that the divine has offered Theirs?
And all precious essence is one.

I am the nectar of divine Life.
I am the sweetness of divine Love.
The scent of lilac drifts into my senses. It is communion.

It is quiet. I gasp. My heart beats.
The Gift of Presence is found in the depths of desire.
There is no one here but God.

Running Pictures - Frisco 50k

Picture at about half way.

Picture at the finish.

Picture with my hardware: First Place Master Female

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The World

From A Course in Miracles:
  • ...would you trade Them (the face of Christ and the memory of God) for an ancient hate?
  • The Holy Spirit's purpose is to let the Presence of your holy Guests be known to you.
  • ...the world is purposeless apart from this.
  • ...the insane have shed their garments of insanity to join Them on the ground whereon you stand.

Everyday for me is about seeing Christ in everything around me, but especially other people; because we are one, not separate. I use the world Christ because of the culture I was raised in. Atman, Buddha, Dharma, Tao, etc. are the same "person."

I realize that I carry the ancient hate and made of it a garment of insanity. Being upset, a little frustrated or downright pissed: these all point to the ancient hate and I make insanity out of it. My job is to bring it to the Holy Spirit and allow it to be healed and shined away.

What does it mean to live in the realm of the spirit? Here is an analogy related to running races:

  • Christ= all the other runners. They are my fellows, not someone to beat. We are one.
  • The Creator= the race director.
  • Grace= the sports drink at the aid station, but you have to have a means of receiving the grace and in the ultra-marathon, you might/probably will need to bring your own.
  • The hydropak= the means of receiving and carrying grace. The means are spiritual practice, attentiveness to God, prayer and meditation.
  • Gel= food for the journey, spiritual writing.
  • Garmin= where am I at? The Spiritual Director.
  • The Holy Spirit needs no analogy. Spirit is always spirit and represents Itself in all situations at all times.

In my life, I don't want the ancient hate. I pay attention to my daily indications that it is there and I bring it to The Holy Spirit. This practice helps me to live happy. It is insane to live angry, but I need a way out. I use ACIM to learn.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Frisco Fifty

4:30 am. Saturday, April 18, 2009

Slept good. Heavy period. Rain looks mostly passed.

Work Book Lesson: “Heaven is the decision I must make. When I am healed, I am not healed alone. My mind holds only what I think with God.” (This was my mental focus for the race. I work on metaphysics while running.)

God I am jumpy. Coffee? Ibuprophen? Fear?

Succeed drink made. Smoothie being made. Nathan packed. Number pinned. What goes in the drop bag?

6:35 pm Saturday, April 18, 2009

After a 3.5 hour drive home, including getting groceries in the city as I passed through; unpacking and putting away…I finally got to sit on my own toilet and then said, “Thank you Jesus.”

50K (31 miles), 5:24:00 official time (included two potty stops and stopping at all aid stations), FIRST PLACE MASTER FEMALE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wildlife: one armadillo (dead), one bunny rabbit, one turtle (cool, my totem).

I was a wise virgin: carried my hydropak even though there were “supposed” to be aid stations every three miles. After the 13 miles aid station went missing I was totally glad. At the 16 mile aid station, there was plenty of liquids but no cups so I filled up. It turned out to be a somewhat hot day with no rain, so I was glad to have as much liquid as I wanted whenever I wanted. I wasn’t that happy about carrying that much liquid the whole race, but it turned out to be necessary. I ran about 10 minute miles the whole way. I passed a bunch of marathoners who had a 5 mile head start. You know they were hurting. Especially at the finish I felt a little like a jerk to be walking normal while some of the marathoners were about to fall down.

I was such a running machine!

The world’s most boring 50K course: flat except for really long low grades, along an old RR track. Only one beautiful place while crossing a huge river.

At the finish line…yes…I did one of those hands in the air celebrations, since there was a photographer. And, after they gave me my plaque, I had the photographer take my picture holding it with my face having a big stupid grin! The medal is really nice.

After changing my clothes, I was on the road within 20 minutes. The green smoothie was delicious! My calves are really “lactic-ed” out.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The them of hate becoming the Them of Love

Here is a story about my morning meditation. First, I’ll go back to last night and say that I finished off the evening’s meditation with the thought, “the holiness and sacredness of it all.” All of what? I don’t know. Maybe some great sacred silence which permeates everything. Going back even further to yesterday afternoon, I had the thought of holiness as I ran in the park. I was near the frog pond and Grandmother Tree as I thought of a certain person who helped me in the past and my gratitude; and consequently I thought of the holiness of it all.

So this morning, I get up. I felt defeated and blank minded. I had none of God’s “Revelation.” I couldn’t remember what salvation is or why I would want it. I said in prayer, “I am willing to be at ground zero today.” I felt like I was in the rubble of a failed life: I don’t know how to consistently eat healthy; I am about to spend way too much time driving to another city and going in a senseless ultra-marathon in order to get a finisher medal; my life stretches out in senseless insanity. I noticed that I perceive the future with fear. It is easy to blame future disaster on the small “them” of society: the cheaters and thieves who are out to screw me. I wrote down my fears of the future. I admitted that I was secretly harboring the cause of these disasters NOW. No wonder I feel guilty and afraid. I am the one projecting harm for all because of my hate and pain.

Having gone through my act of admitting to God and giving my hate and pain to God, I returned to thinking, “I accept being a blank slate today.” I returned to thinking of all the people around me and how they hold Christ within, how they are creations of God, and how holy they are. It was just then that I felt like THEY (the face of Christ and the memory of God) entered my empty space. What happened to my consciousness was exactly what I always want to happen: I became empty of my self, giving up my hate and fear, and THEY came in. I said in prayer, “I am willing to be a living temple in a world of light.” I credit THEM with bringing me this reality. It is because I wanted THEM and made a space for THEM and was willing to see THEM in others that THEY came and made THEIR home with me.

The miracle of this morning meditation was that instead of sitting here hating the “them” of society, I had decided instead to accept the “THEM” of Christ and God. I credit THEM with being the cause. It is true that I did some work: give up my hate to THEM. Where the willingness to do this comes from must also be attributed to some part of me higher than my ego. This is a good spiritual path. I offer it to anyone. It can be found in any religion or philosophy. It is very simple: give up your hate and Love enters.

Love is the predominant mode of existence.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Survival in Our Financial and Environmental Holocaust

This evening, I was eating my watermelon and playing Free Cell on the computer. I had a moment of silence and I sensed that Love had looked down on me. I felt loved. I felt the 100% presence of Love everywhere.

Now, a couple of hours later, I thought, "If I am able to sit quietly and experience Love, then that is Heaven." Then, I continued to sit with closed eyes. I noticed I was thinking of all the people I know in person, on the internet, and don't know. I saw each one as well loved and beautiful. I felt gratitude for each one's being, each one's sacred work here on earth (whether they know it or not). It was their gift to me to show me how well loved and cared for each one is.

The ego world is breaking apart, having a holocaust. This is my survival tactic: to see only love, innocence and holiness as I consciously think of others; and see them in this light.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Gold Found in the Depths

This afternoon started out similar to many afternoons. I was mulling over my feelings. I was able (for once) to focus very clearly and precisely on the two mental/emotional patterns that cause me the greatest grief, and that cost me defeat over and over. Then I admitted to myself: these are not going away. I've tried countless spiritual, psychological and physical remedies and they haven't budged. I said to myself, "I am done trying to fix. I accept that I am handicapped."

I should make a disclaimer: my character defeats are so common that I'd say everyone has them; but hardly anyone is willing to dig them out and realize them fully.

Then, an unusual thing happened after I accepted my TWO unhealable defeats; which have led to countless experiences of self loathing. I said to myself, "What is the gold I've found in all this muck. What gifts do I have because of the defeats."

Voila: SEVENTEEN gold nuggets, character strengths, mental and emotional resources.

Surprising to me, God was in the defeat column. My human characteristics are in the gold column.

Here is my gold:
  • Survival, I adapt as I need to.
  • Persistence.
  • Introspection.
  • Defiance.
  • Not-going-along.
  • Questioning.
  • Admitting fear.
  • Feeling pain.
  • Seeking help.
  • Creativity.
  • Resourcefulness.
  • Thinking.
  • Taking responsibility.
  • Honesty.
  • Doing the next chore, taking care of business.
  • Integrity.
  • Leadership, willing to go first.

What astounds me is that some of my qualities which I think are my gold, are what other people think I should quit doing. The extreme importance to me of what others think of me is a by-product of one of the two defeats. So, no wonder I have psychological pain. But now, I have identified my gold and know that I want my gold. Maybe I won't need to feel ashamed of my gold. Further, now that I've admitted that my two defeats are not going away, I can quit trying to fix them and put my energy into mining gold.

This doesn't mean I won't ever be a depressed basket case again. It just means I'll have to keep mining gold from certain future defeat experiences. I don't have to be stuck in self loathing.

This is a different perspective. It should help me to quit following other people's rules in more and more areas of my life; while being more and more sensitive to others as my defenses will relax. I have gold. I know what it is. I know that half my gold is disapproved of. I know that disapproval triggers one of my defeats. get over it or through it. Wash the mud off and pan it. (I am from California after all, gold rush and all that.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Compassion and Conscious Collapse

I am feeling great today. Maybe it was the shower. Maybe it was that I started filling out a job application for a government environmental agency. Maybe it was the fact/luck that the lawn mower started. But I laid my clean self on my bed for a rest and immediately tapped into the thing which is beyond me, the universal oneness which does not speak and is not perceivable.

Then I took my book (Sacred Demise) and went to sit outside the post office. They had a package for me that needed signature. I couldn’t get it until the carrier brought it back. The carriers were working quite late tonight. But, as soon as Chris (my carrier) pulled into the driveway, he saw me and knew exactly why I was sitting there. He was asking me about my running and couldn’t believe I’m 50. There are two or three carriers who stop at my house, even the UPS guy, and they know about the running. I’ve even had the UPS guy stop me while I was running to tell me he had left something at my house. The fact they know me is the beauty of a small town.

Don’t push compassion away. Karen Armstrong said, “Compassion doesn’t mean feeling sorry for people. It doesn’t mean pity. It means putting yourself in the position of the other, learning about the other. Learning what’s motivating the other, learning about their grievances.” I really want to push others away and not be bothered with consciousness of my brother. But, I find today that I am open to the idea. I no longer feel lethargic about allowing the intrusion of my brother beyond or into my personal walls. I am letting my personal walls go.

From Sacred Demise by Carolyn Baker: “Collapse (of our civilization, civilized humanity) is a fact of our lives for as long as we reside on this planet. Our work is not to prevent it but to open to it, prepare for it, and do our best to survive and live it with conscious intention and presence in relation to ourselves and all other life forms on earth as we experience it.”

Her point is that we are beyond bail outs and windmills, solar panels and hybrid cars. Our predicament is that we are beyond sustaining life at all as we know it. “A global holocaust can offer many humans an extraordinary opportunity for experiencing warmth, tenderness, compassion, sacrifice, sharing, authenticity, generosity…” Collapse is dying in order to have new life. You can’t get the new life without first dying. A few little adjustments in recycling won’t cut it. Face it. No individual can stop the holocaust; or even Green Peace. But “Our existence on planet earth at this juncture of recorded history is not accidental and is replete with purpose and meaning. Each of us individually and in community can discover our purpose and live it in the face of collapse. In fact it may be that without collapse, we could not achieve clarity about our purpose or live it as fully as we can in a collapsing world.”

"This book has been written specifically for the purpose of providing a structure for choosing deliberation and introspection—not narcissistic navel gazing, but deep, conscious contemplation of collapse and its emotional and spiritual implications for you…Walking the spiritual path of collapse is a journey that beckons us far beyond mere survival and renders absurd any attempts to “fix” or prevent the end of the world as we know it. This odyssey is about the transformation of human consciousness and the emergence of a new paradigm as a result discovering our purpose in the collapse process and thereby coming home to our ultimate place in the universe. Our willingness to embark on the journey with openness and uncertainty offers an opportunity for experiencing the quantum evolutionary leap with which collapse may be presenting us.”

Carolyn has said alot. It gives me a heady feeling. Introspection and conscious choice are so up my alley. I experienced freedom when I thought, "Let it come and deal with it spiritually." My fear evaporated as I looked beyond it. I'm willing to be awake and not pretend.

Holy Saturday

To God (the ineffable) be the glory. May the Holy Name always be on your lips and in your mind and beating in your heart.

My hope is that I reduce myself to this: the name of Jesus alone. Asking for nothing, letting go of everything. I repeat the name and allow it to expand beyond what this world thinks of it and let it be a cosmos of love.

Shalom, shalom

Now...I must see if I can get the lawn mower to work!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Shoulds

It is 7 pm on Holy Thursday. I could have gone to the Mount for church; but didn’t.

I ran 5 hours this morning, ate and went to KC to get my car out of the dealer. After getting home, I didn’t nap. Running that long leaves me with a numb brain, especially if I am in the elements, which I was today. I really am tired of 20 mph winds. But, despite seeming dullness, I did just have a good realization about myself. These ideas flowed forth like water. I love it!


What does my life mean to me? Apart from all the books and opinions, what do I think? What does God mean to me? What does running mean to me?

My life I should know from lived experience. But I truly know almost nothing because it is all colored by other people’s opinions. My life is full of other people’s shoulds. Almost every person I’ve ever met has directly or indirectly tried to impose their beliefs and judgments on me. I left religion but continued to feel wrong and ashamed because of the shoulds. AA is full of shoulds. Society, other people, are nothing but shoulds. Because of the shoulds, I can’t let go of things that I think are wrong, or fully accept things that I think are right. The shoulds are my false conscience. How much I yearn at this moment to know my self.

Running I do know. There is no question to me that I know running from my experience. Running is/means: hope, persistence, discipline, joy, endurance, limited and infinite, unstoppable, painful, boring, foolishness, fool hardiness, idiotic, incomprehensible to non-runners, runners relate to eachother, planning, finding what I need within, lost in myself, pride, self indulgent, focused. That is all clear to me. I know exactly what running means. My running usually contradicts other people’s shoulds. In running, I thoroughly know myself.

My search for God has been going from one should to the next. You should read this book or pray this way or go do this or don’t do that. Is there anything about God that I know directly? This evening, I meditated on the question, “What does God mean to me?” God is silence, unknown, uncontrollable but somehow available. Those are my words.

I admit that I continue to study A Course in Miracles? Shouldn’t I quit if I want to know God directly? ACIM is outside the box of the world’s shoulds; and I do better emotionally when using it. The course tells me to listen for myself; and teaches me how to listen for myself. It tells me to open my mind and let go of the shoulds. I want what it offers and I am receiving. That’s the difference between it and the world, and why I continue to study. I'm receiving what I want, like running. Some day, however, the course will be over and I will be solely one in God.

This is what I think today. I am not going to hide it because I know some people think other things. I really need to stand up and be me; even if you think I am a failure or stupid or wrong. Those character defects are the shoulds core message, the prison cell. I am going to defy them. I am going to value myself no matter what. Defiant? Yes! I must be free. I must think on my own.

Running Spirit Flower

This is near the finish of the Olathe Half Marathon; 1:55:23 and 2nd place in age group.
Today, I ran 5 hours and 1 minute. I am ready for a 50K next weekend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Not going along with god

I have heard several programs on religion on NPR over the past few days. For Easter and Passover, they have been doing all this interesting coverage of God and Jesus and various religions. Today's program took the cake and turned my stomach. They were interviewing two authors of a book: "God is Back."

Here's the problem: if "everybody" doing something, I don't do it. That is the way I've become since disentangling from society. So, this realization of how popular God is, combined with my recent researches into the fallacy of scripture and the physiology of enlightenment, caused me to want to drop God like a hot rock. This reaction sort of makes me laugh because several years ago, I would have been happy to have more people on the God Squad with me. Today, I run like hell away.

Why? If everybody is doing it, or everybody believes it; then it can't possibly be true. Masses of people never trend towards truth. Masses of people always trend toward propaganda.

If I drop God, what I am doing privately then is not what the masses are doing and therefore, I can't use words which could be related to popular concepts. I may go into even deeper seclusion, even less input from the world. The reason is that I feel the addictive pull of false promises. I am NOT immune from marketing. I definitely feel the lure to get involved with something so I'll feel good. Even E. Tolle fits the popular God category. Even Buddhism and the Dali Lama or trying to do good in the world, all fit the popular category.

I can't join the masses because I'm sure I have something authentic inside me. It is quiet and unproductive. It counts for nothing. Can't be used for any profit. Doesn't hand out emotional favors. I cannot afford to have the gentle beckoning light I find inside shaded by clamor after worldly gods.

OMG: Am I defiant? Yes!

Personal Value

God has been getting mixed up into everything I’ve done since leaving the monastery. I’ve been taught that knowing God is the definitive condition of a worthwhile life. In the eyes of the people around me, religious or spiritual devotion is valuable. I believe, as long as I proclaim my spirituality and get others to believe it, then I am valuable. Believing in Jesus Christ holds tremendous prestige in this society. It kills me that the Jesus I know is not the generally accepted stereotype.

This is the story of my life: am I a good person? Getting kicked out of a monastery absolutely ruins any semblance of self esteem. Deciding for logical and moral reasons to disengage from the Roman Catholics causes many of the catholics who were previously your friends to shun you. There goes the self esteem again. But to have self esteem just because I do, now that is the trick I want to learn.

To be real honest, I think I need to let go of my dogmatic God in order to find peace as a well loved divine creation that "need do nothing."

At 4 am this morning, I ran a beautiful slow 8 miles on deserted streets in the small town I live in. I have been watching the weather all week because I have tomorrow off and I want to go on a 5 hour run. The weather prediction had showed rain drops for tomorrow, but that has changed to afternoon T-storms, which won’t hinder my running. My car needs maintenance so I am taking it to the shop in the city tonight in order not to lose time on the running tomorrow. Tomorrow morning, I will get up pretty early even though it is my day off in order to get the running done before the rain. I’ll scramble around the house mixing sports drink, packing up Gu, putting various clothing items together in case I want to switch around during the run. Then I’ll drive down to the river, park my car and go. Hopefully it will be 6 am, dawn just breaking. I will treat myself to a sunrise in the countryside.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Monday of Holy Week

For me, there is nothing more holy about this week than any other week. Spirituality will occupy the same premier place it always does. It is true I have some additional time for reflection this week; but I get that time every time I take days off work.

The word “holy” describes almost the entirety of my spirituality. But our society has largely abused the word holiness. Our society, ego devised and operated, makes an insidious switch of holiness and specialness. Egos want specialness not holiness. However, the ego uses the word holiness to describe that attractive feeling we get when we attain a holy status in the eyes of other egos. To attain holiness in the ego world, you have to do something, like go to church. In the spiritual world, I am holy by definition. The only thing I do is drop everything else.

Authentic holiness is a God created condition of benign peace. Holiness has a certain truth about it which requires nothing other than acceptance. Holiness is light, silent love, quiet peace, the realization of joyful oneness. All of creation, including humanity, is holy; when we subscribe to the truth of what God’s creation is. The only thing God created was holiness. Holiness is the only real thing. All of real creation is thoughts of love and ideas of love. Hence, this frightening world can only be an ego delusion, a bad dream. In the middle of the bad dream is the ego which wants to be special and in fact can be said to be addicted to specialness.

I have learned to seek for truth in contemplation. Under the egos bluster, I discern the benign peaceful condition of holiness. Holiness is my essence. To see only holiness around me is my first spiritual practice. It is necessary to deny the egos insistence that holiness cannot be true. The experience of living holiness, projecting holiness, consciously being holiness, seeing only holiness is what I really want. I love being holy.

Yesterday morning, first thing after my 2 co-workers arrived, they asked about my race last Saturday. I found myself unable to speak; share what a fast race I had completed. Since leaving work on Friday to Monday morning, my only words had been to the grocery store clerk. These two co-workers (friendly guys) were asking for something too superficial for me to produce at that point. They had made a place for me to be special and I refused to enter it.

I had a wonderful 5 mile run this morning. It was under a clear sky with a nearly full moon and chilly temperatures.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Race Report

Please do not skim over the following excerpts from my lesson. It is these which I chose for my spiritual framework for today and the meaning I found in my endeavor comes from this decision, made before hand. I actually wanted something different out of today, not the usual round of self glory followed by dissatisfaction urging me to seek some higher worldly endeavor; and then I’ll be happy.

Prelude to the race: Lesson 135

- A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to Wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done, and then proceeds to do it. It does not depend upon itself for anything except its adequacy to fulfill the plans assigned to it.

- A healed mind is relieved of the belief that it must plan, although it cannot know the outcome which is best, the means by which it achieved, nor how to recognize the problem that the plan is made to solve.

-…to be the means of helping in a plan which far exceeds its (the body’s) own protection…

-…self initiated plans are but defenses.

- It (the unhealed mind) does not think that it will be provided for, unless it makes its own provisions.

- What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? Perhaps you have misunderstood His plan, for He would never offer pain to you. But your defenses did not let you see His loving blessing shine in every step you ever took.

- Let no defenses (plans) but your present trust direct the future, and this life becomes a meaningful encounter with the truth that only your defenses (plans) would conceal.

- Without defenses (plans), you become a light which heaven gratefully acknowledges to be its own.

- We will anticipate that time today with present confidence, for this is part of what was planned for us. We will be sure that everything we need is given us for our accomplishment of this today. We make no plans for how it will be done, but realize that our defenselessness is all that is required for the truth to dawn upon our minds with certainty.

-… If there are plans to make, you will be told of them…. they are answers to another kind of question

- Now is the light of hope reborn in you, for now you come without defense, to learn the part for you within the plan of God.

- Try not to shape this day as you believe would benefit you most. For you can not conceive of all the happiness that comes to you without your planning.

Early morning before the race:

At no time have I felt the Course and my Teacher hit me upside the head as today’s lesson. Today’s lesson instantly ripped my senseless and self centered plans from me and left my life today open as a blank slate for God. I became perfectly willing for God to be my Author and Authority for today. You see, today was not at all my idea. My idea was to go in a marathon last weekend; not a half marathon this weekend. In addition, my mind is directed to look for things beyond finish times: “…to learn the part for you within the plan of God.” As I was meditating this morning, I realized, in a dramatic fashion, all of my life since leaving the monastery has not been my plan: “…, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good.” My life is forfeit. I give myself totally to the Author.

So here I am, going in a race I didn’t plan for reasons unknown to me, for God’s higher purpose than to keep my body safe. I am defenseless (without plans) because I want to know God more than I want to fulfill my ego desires. I wrote this in my journal before going, “Today I am not looking for a ‘time under 2 hours.’ I am looking for God’s plan. My whole focus is on going-along with the Author, not my ego.”

Post Race Recap:

I had an uneventful drive, except I got lost trying to find the off ramp for the right street. It was 45F but with a 25 to 35 mph wind. I decided to wear the vest instead of the wind breaker anyway. The first thing I did was ditch the 1:55 pacer because the fool was planning on running a 9”40’ first mile. At 3 miles, I was at 25:xx minutes. I’m sure my eye brows raised at that. At 10+ miles, I low fived the hand of a four year old. I’m sure that made all the difference. I finished in a personal best time of 1:55:xx (about 8:40 a mile). I got in the car and left. I drove to Leavenworth for groceries. I came home and showered and napped. I felt like a zombie.

At all previous times, if I had a running victory (personal best), I would run around and brag to everybody and expect them to praise me. Today was different; I felt like a zombie. I ran like a zombie; fast but emotionless. I felt like the Vulcan (Star Trek) I was named after when I was in college: Spock.

Here are my revelations, my meaningful encounters with truth. First was a bit of honesty. I had expectations that if I turned my plans over to God that I would get to feel higher ecstasy than I ever had. Instead, my zombiedom was being accepted in my heart as inner peace and silent joy; unspeakably quiet happiness. My ego may have been pouting, but my truth was meeting the deeper plan of God which had only to do with being an instrument, with being something authored, not the Authority. If I had a personal best (or a personal worst for that matter) it was none of my business. It was the first time I experienced a personal best without having any idea “what problem the plan was made to solve.”

I experienced being what I have dreamed of being for a long time: an unknown woman, an unseen mystery and an enigma of phenomenal energy. I was a silent solitary, carrying the eyes of God, present in the crowd; a woman of prayer there to run.

And then I had to experience some fear: Does fulfilling the part God assigns to me mean I have no hoopla? Will I be consigned to a life of zombiedom? I paused for my usual introspection and listening. I felt the meaning of quiet joy as authentic happiness bubbled noiselessly from my inner depths. I had grasped a feeling not of this world. The personal best at running was merely a symbol of what had been earlier created in the realm of the spirit. If there are no kudos or hoopla, what is valuable to me? Value is about the awesome energy connection I made with the 4 year old. Desperately cool Christ vision was experienced as I later connected with the woman who was my age, sacking my groceries, who probably couldn’t run a step.

This morning I was one of many runners. There was nothing unique or special about me. I was willing to be nothing and have no ego possessions because I wanted to learn about God’s plan more than I wanted to learn about littleness. The hermitage is made of inner peace and the conscious presence of God. This morning, I was for the first time, a hermit with my hermitage perceptibly with me. The unknown woman has discovered she lives in silent divinity always.

Holiness abounds. Question answered. Holiness, the presence of God is every where and in every thing. I have not exchanged holiness to give my ego a cheap thrill. The question I asked to start the day was not about my personal glory; how great am I? I didn’t have a plan for self aggrandizement. The question was about defenselessness; how can I not plan the outcome I want? I planned to let God be my Author.

My meaningful encounter with truth? God is.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lent - The End of the Desert

Last night and this morning, I was working on my lesson for today: “I loose the world from all I thought it was.”

I thought of all the people and institutions for which I had expectations or defining thoughts or projections. It was a further awakening to my thought projections; what I expect of others, my assumptions about why they treat me the way they do.

Then I thought of my Lenten journey. I said I was going to be in a desert, going deeper into Christ with a focused intention. I think I have been in a period of letting go. But this morning, I raised my eyes to Easter. I realized that starting today, I am thinking more of a garden existence that a desert existence. This is new thinking: I am willing to dream a garden and quit dreaming the terror and frustration I see in the world. The Lenten desert of barren landscapes was an in between place of healing.

It’s not a new realization for me: the root character defect or limiting belief of mine is that I think there is something wrong with me. Put another way: I’m not good enough. Based on this belief, I dreamed a world where I am not good enough to “win” or there is something wrong with me that needs to be fixed before I will know God. With this belief, I never would have entered a garden. I didn’t want a garden. I wanted barrenness. I felt comfortable in barrenness. A garden would be too loving and comfortable. There is some aspect of God which exists in the garden which I didn’t want to face. I could only deal with a raw and windswept God of the desert. I could only be a desert flower clinging to life through a crack in the rocks. Now, I think I could be verdant, fragrant, and rooted in rich moist soil. I am willing to face the abundantly loving and caring aspect of God.

I am now willing to exist at peace in a garden. No, I won’t go buy candy or new clothes. I will dream differently. I’ll put the energy of abundance of spirit into my dream. I’ll put the lushness of peace and the safety of heaven into my dream. I will relax and trust that I am not es-special-ly bad. I am a thought of love, an idea of God, a light. There is no such thing as flawed light; and light is all I am.

The world I see is the one I think I see and the one I decided to see. If I am willing to bring my thoughts into my conscious awareness, then I have a chance of letting them go, or giving them to my higher power. I have a chance of allowing that higher power to heal me.

Personal Statistics: I splurged on food over the weekend. Tuesday, I returned to raw foods and the extra water weight dissipated by this morning already. I am going in the Olathe Half Marathon this Saturday. I am entered in a 50K a couple of weeks from now. The company I work for filed additional SEC paperwork indicating that we must sell or get alternate funding for our closed Illinois facility.