Sunday, May 24, 2009

Multi-day 4 - Intermission

I felt it a good idea to keep from pushing myself too far, beyond prudence, with the running. My mind was filled with what if injury scenarios and that any one of them could sideline me for the Maryville Marathon. I had already pushed the envelope by going about 83 miles in 3 1/2 days. So I decided to walk today. I walked 210 minutes and lifted weights.

This afternoon found me once again asking myself Why?

1. Why run a multi-day?
2. Why run at all?
3. Why be alive?

Question 3 is my ancient question and it echoes Heidegger’s metaphysical question: Why is there anything at all instead of nothing?

If today is an intermission, is my multi-day a symphony with several movements? If today is a Selah, is my multi-day a psalm, a song or a love poem?

Let me review:

Wednesday afternoon I had written a prelude with these main points: the multi-day is about prayer, not training; about contemplation, a place to merely be. It turns out, merely being is a hard mentality for an ego to tolerate. Wednesday evening I walked 2 hours.

Thursday, I went 28 miles and I said: running a multi-day is done for its own sake, to be only spirit.

Friday, I went 22 miles and visited my old monastery. That day, I practiced the Name of God as I ran. I said the multi-day should be allowed to be meaningless. A multi-day is an optional thing, and so is my life. The monastery trip was difficult. I saw things I didn’t want to see. I realized that as much as I want to be a monk, I am totally grateful God saw fit to ensure I didn’t stay there. It seems a place of stagnation and death.

Saturday, I went 26 miles. Mulling over my convent visit and working on that day’s ACIM lesson, the realization “God is my inheritance” solidified and became a reliable belief for me. I was moved by the messengers from nature: the frog (transformation, the path of change, natural healing), the deer (their heart rhythms pulse in soft waves of kindness) and the frustration of the deer thwarted by the government fence; and the snake (throwing off the past and continuing to live). I thought about ultra-sobriety as continuous conscious contact. I reached that sweaty place of stillness and silence in the hot sun where wordless “knowing” was my reality.

Now Sunday, my intermission from running, I walked 210 minutes. I do everything for spirituality. In the multi-day I seek contemplation, silence and prayer. Hidden is the desire for God to yield “something” which an ego could grasp. But in contemplation, I realize that God yields peace. I contemplate peace. Peace is not just lack of war, it truly is nothing. Real peace, total nothingness, is appalling to an ego. The truth of nothingness is why I keep questioning the running activity. The avoidance of nothingness is the reason why people “train” for races instead of just run (including me). The ego cannot accept that it is nothing. I look inside and see nothing. My multi-day, being not-racing, is nothing.

And then, the big one finally clicks: the way to find joy in nothing is to realize you are free. My multi-day is done in complete freedom. I run free for days. Think about freedom, not just the silly American type of freedom where we go around doing what we want; but freedom of the spirit escaped from the ego’s limitations and rules and silly worries. The free spirit is nothing of this world, and it soars beyond ego. This freedom is what endless running brings me, because the running means nothing.

Now I am happy, joyous and free.

1 comment:

rob horton said...

spirit flower,

wanted to let you know that i am enjoying your posts.

skinny bear