Friday, July 31, 2009

The Better Way

Studying A Course in Miracles (ACIM) this morning (12.III), I again ponder some parts of ACIM which offer a totally different paradigm than the one I was taught by society or religion. These other ways of looking at things offer me hope for better outlooks, and that is why I continue to study ACIM. These other ways of looking at things contradict the world's logic and take long discussions with Jesus in order for me to slowly get it, and live happier. I can only learn to live these other ways with help from my Guide, Jesus, and my Teacher, the Holy Spirit. Here are some bits and pieces of what Jesus says, out of context:

- If only the loving thoughts of God’s Son (all of us are God’s Son) are the world’s (not this world, but the one God gave us) reality then the real world must be in his mind.
- Everything you perceive as the outside world is merely your attempt to maintain your ego identification (instead of Christ/Holy Spirit identification)…
- You have projected outward what is antagonistic (self hate and guilt) ….your hatred is in your mind…you must get rid of it before you can perceive the world as it really is.
- The world you perceive is…governed by the desire to be unlike God…made out of what you do not want, projected from your mind because you are afraid of it.
- …you do have control over your mind…all the attack you perceive is in your own mind…
- Bring your (unloving) perceptions to the inner altar of God where Christ abideth, the altar of truth where Atonement has been placed…there you will see your vision changed (into Christ vision)…
- …you must relinquish your investment in the world as you project it, allowing the Holy Spirit to extend the real world to you from the altar of God.

My reflection: I see a world that is against me, filled with people being angry, attacking each other (all anger in the mind is an attack even if not behaviorally carried out), and no way to get ahead. The world I see is the projection of my own self hate and investment in the idea I need to be punished. I need to be punished because I think I left God and am separate from God and God hates me and would punish me (like the prodigal son). So I bring this self honesty to Jesus and let him shine his light on it, undoing my hard feelings. As I let go of my investment, the world I see improves.

I must take responsibility for my projections and stop thinking God would make the hatred I see. If God is love, God wouldn’t make this hateful world. It must have come from somewhere else. In ACIM, Jesus encourages us to take responsibility for our thoughts and feelings, bring them to him and move on to loving thoughts instead. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are in us and will teach us a better way. I want the better way.

I am stopping my investment in the money economy and starting to invest in “THE ECONOMY OF LOVE.” In the long run, love is the only important thing.

Ha, ha…as I am now following a training schedule and not doing what I want, my running has been removed from my ego and placed in the loving hands of my Teacher, Guide and Coach (Jesus). My running is now running on love and not self. How happy this is for me. I need to do the same with my eating.

Peace be with you always!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Marathon of Silence

This morning, in the A Course in Miracles (ACIM) Text, I found this: “Learn to be quiet in the midst of turmoil, for quietness is the end of strife and this is the journey to peace” (12.II.5.5).

It reminded me of this burning desire I’ve had for most of my adult life. Early in my twenties, I would read John of the Cross and desire the “Living Flame of Love.” I would read other mystics, from the “Cloud of Unknowing” written by an anonymous 13th century monk, to modern contemplatives like Merton and Keating. I thirsted for what they said they found in contemplation. Running this path is what God has provided for me. I am not just a runner, I am a spiritual athlete. Running the path of contemplative silence is my essence, my core, the root and ground of my being.

In 1998, out of work for a few months, I heard about a man who sat in a room for a year. I don’t know what he found there, but from him I learned the practice of sitting in silence. The moment I heard of the contemplative silence, I wanted to go and find what I could find. And in that time, I did. I had four months to myself. I could practice spirituality as much as I wanted.

I went to a monastery hoping to continue the mystic contemplative journey; but I found community within the cloister. I found a co-dependent nightmare; attempting to please the 58 other sisters and a novice director who ruled over me.

Now, being unemployed, I am again very focused on the mystic contemplative journey. Difficult to explain, the chance to make the journey into silence is mine now. I am taking it. My most desired dream is of finding God in silent contemplation.

Every marathon or ultramarathon is a journey through some type of terrain, for some outrageously long distance, challenging to body and mind. It contains aid stations and companions making the same journey. It contains doubts and times for resolve to dig down and find the strength to finish. It contains sweat, blisters, heavy breathing and painful quads. Most often, the moment of truth comes near the end. For a marathoner, the last six miles are the moment of truth. For an ultramarathoner, the moment might be during the night, after the seventy-fifth mile.

My mystic contemplative journey is a marathon of silence. Unemployed, I spend many days in my hermitage. I spend the time in silence with my spiritual companion. The journey of silence is through a landscape of thoughts. The world is an illusion. Holding my companion’s hand, I travel in forests of thoughts, clouds of thoughts, and deserts of thoughts. Along the way, I stop at aid stations and pick up nutrition: sacred scripture of my delight.

The journey of silence has the goal of peace. The path goes beyond the thoughts to an undisturbed virgin land of love. In the land of love, my consciousness is love. The land of love is our true home. We are all going home. We get there by running. We all run free and happy as we fling off our ego thoughts. Our bodies become sleek. We carry only what will take us further on our journey, losing whatever holds us back. I offer the Holy Spirit whatever I do not want.

I run through a forest of thoughts. Most of the thoughts are of fear. Amid the many fearful, angry and useless ego thoughts, here or there, I find a sacred thought, one marked especially by my Guide, the Holy Spirit. The sacred thoughts are discerned in a quiet mind.

And so I run. I run through the forest of silence, up the mystic mountain through clouds of mental demons, and burst into the sunlight of the Spirit. There I am transfigured with the truth of God.

I want the journey. I desire to find the knowledge of God or Higher Self. I want to hear the sacred thoughts of love; instead of my ego’s hate. I want to stand on the mountain top in the clear air and bright sunlight and shout “YES!” to All That Is, Joy Itself.

My ACIM lesson today is: “Let every voice but God’s be still in me.” My lesson today brings me to the tree line. Today, here and now, having stilled the ego, I step into the sunlight: God’s One Thought of Love.

Peace be with you as we run together, our hearts overflowing with the unspeakable sweetness of love.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More About My Relationship With God

The purpose of the basic text for Alcoholics Anonymous, the Big Book, states that its purpose is to help the alcoholic develop a relationship with a Higher Power on simple and understandable terms. Sometimes, I’m not sure I’ve attained enough humility or self renunciation to have a relationship with God upon which I can absolutely rely. It must be my ego which does not know God and hence remains angry at God.

What does my soul/heart/Self say? If I am honest with myself, my conversation with God always rests in a silent, unfathomable, infinite peace with a knowable consciousness of joy. The ineffable darkness I find in meditation is the pure presence of God; which takes tremendous patience to appreciate. “I don’t know,” are the words which release me. Peace is both the beauty and the agony of God for me.

Today, I had a nice 70 minute run. I've been nursing a newly developed (within the last 2 weeks) runner's knee. I think it is from a) running on a sprained ankle with totally fatigued quads for 4 hours in my race 2 weeks ago; then b) having a 30 mile temper tantrum a week later; plus c) continuing to do alot of hills; and then d) trying out the Nike Free shoes too much. The Free shoes do not provide the support I've been used to. Add up all the factors and you see a sore knee.

So, I also wonder if the exer-bike I quit using 6 weeks ago had actually been doing some strengthening of the quads; which I needed unbeknownst to me. Anyway, besides ice, I have a couple of new quad strengthening exercises to try.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Silence of God

What is my relationship with God like?

My relationship with God is described by a two sided nature. One side is inspiration for my worldly life. The other dimension is for relationship with The Mystery of silence, and love of The Mystery.

The silence of God does not provide answers to everyday problems, although the Holy Spirit does assist with these. The silence of God does not provide ecstasy because this would distract from the eternal silence, the true nature of God. Love need not shout. An embrace speaks without sound.

In my contemplation, I fathom the silence of God and find unfathomable silence. I sit with the silence, in the silence. The nothingness grates on my ego, slowly stripping it, diminishing it. I become nothing in this world, freer of ego; and more in the nothingness of silence, where the Holy Spirit can freely direct my worldly life.

The silence is a beast, a suffocating black hole where my ego rages uselessly for specialness.

This silence is The Mystery. The Mystery is completely open, vulnerable, revealed. The Mystery gives itself completely and welcomes me into its being.

The silence is a pool of cool peacefulness, a comfort zone for resting in total love. In the silence, sharing is mutual, unified, wholly an experience of existential love. Fully entered into the pool of love, I have no perception. Though my ego rages at the doorway, silence itself merely awaits my relaxation into the oneness of pure existence.

Stay tuned for more.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

50 mile training - 2

I like this training plan better!

50 mile training

I am signed up for a 50 mile run on October 10. If I was to follow directions, here is an example of what a training schedule should look like. The x means tempo (I never do formal tempo runs). Where is says, PR, that is where I am signed up to run the Patriots Run, a 9 hour and 11 minute run. I may have to adjust the weekend before to account for this. I am going to try to follow this plan somewhat to ensure I don't over-do things.

This week, I ran 64 miles plus about 6 hours of walking.

This morning, I had a beautiful 13 mile run in cool temps and bright sunshine. I said to myself, if today was my last day on earth, I think this is where I'd like to spend it and what I'd like to be doing.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Running the Tour

Wouldn't it be cool to run this course? You can tell you really are a runner if you wish you could!

God's Song

I finally figured out why I make such a rough go of life. It is a communication issue. The use of words doesn’t work on a personal level because we are each from a different culture. The language of the heart, which is wordless, is the only thing that works.

I’ve been studying A Course in Miracles for almost two years. It has given me a language and a concept of Jesus which is generally uncommon. I cannot discuss it too much because Christians have a concept of Jesus, Atonement, forgiveness, miracles, communion, God, Heaven, reality, death, sin, salvation, etc. different from ACIM. And I live among Christians. I speak a language which they don’t speak. I feel frustrated.

I go to alcoholics anonymous. Due to the AA literature, I am able to communicate with the people in AA. We have a common language.

Non-runners come up to me and start to discuss running. They are looking at running from the outside and think they know something about it. They use the words, but have no idea of the reality or the depth of distance running which another runner knows. I feel frustrated and cut off when a non-runner tries to talk about this subject. I can talk about running with another runner.

The same communication problem is true of Harley riders (I’ve been one of those), cloistered nuns (I’ve been one of those), solitaries and hermits (I’ve dabbled in that).

I don’t have a husband, children or family (and never lived in a non-abusive one), so I have the communication issue when I listen to others talk about their families. I don’t watch TV or go to movies so I can’t discuss my favorite show. I don’t eat meat so I don’t appreciate bar-b-q. I’ve never been in the military or had cancer. So I can’t speak the language of war or chemo.

The tower of babble extends beyond physical languages to every single person.

But the language of the heart is universal, requires no words, or even a physical presence. Non-physical communication, using the non-physical modes of reality is continuous. I have come to acknowledge and utilize this communication on a conscious level because I took ACIM; but also because I spend time in silent reflection, meditation and thought inventories. To live life without this consciousness of the non-physical realm would, at this point, doom me. It is the only way I stay out of the deepest darkest depression.

The distance runner taps into this realm. The AA meeting taps into this realm. The solitary in meditation taps into this realm. The liturgy of the monastery (or doing the dishes) taps into this realm. The bikers riding in formation or sitting by the camp fire tap into this realm. I would dare say the computer programmers and hackers are very much tapped into this realm. This realm connects us in non-physical ways and teaches us that we are not alone.

The energy of connectedness which I tap into in the non-physical realm is what I call Christ. Others call It Self, Dharma, Tao, Buddha, Krishna, Atman, Osiris etc.

Realizing this common bond, allowing it to be real in your life is truly healing and provides salvation for all of us. Each instant of communication through the language of the heart is a holy instant. Undeniably it is an expression of the love of God and a manifestation of the Divine Presence.

I am able to stop being frustrated with human life and its endless conversations about the weather if I keep in mind that the real conversation is taking place in the heart. This conversation is eternal and continuous. It includes God. If I listen to this and not the worldly level words, I am outside my ego. This type of listening is listening to the Voice for God. God speaks the language of the heart. The language of the heart is God's song of love. Indeed, God’s song of love fills creation. Creation is made of God’s song, God’s singing. Hence, I am God’s song. I can listen to God’s song. One day, I will listen to nothing else.

Please, sing with me. It is a song of gratitude to our Creator for His Love.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Preferred Mindset

Here is a list of the primary synapses, connections, I want to hold in my mind:

  • God is Love, and nothing else.
  • Only Love is real.
  • If it is not love, it is not real.
  • I exist in the Mind of God and He is in me.
  • I am of inestimable worth to God.
  • So are you.
  • Because God loves His creation, which is a part of Him.
  • The Light, the Great Rays of God, is in you and I will to see only That.
  • I accept His joy, peace and love as my reality.
  • I deny my ego, anti-love thoughts, in favor of love.
  • When I do this I am free.
  • I put all my faith in God.

I Ponder: How hard it is to put the horse before the cart; that is, seek God first and let everything else follow. How necessary it is for me to see love in you if I want to authentically know it in my self. How many anti-love thoughts I have hoarded over the years and how many to give to Jesus for healing. How necessary to give up the anti-love in order to have love. The decision to have peace and joy seems easy, but I have to try again so frequently. Every time I see I've had an anti-love thought instead of love, I give it to Jesus. I re-make the decision and go on with my day. I really would rather live in love than hate and fear. God offers me this if I give up my anti-love. I am starting to re-coil from my anti-love as from a hot stove. I don't want it. I want love. Wanting love opens the door to receiving it.

In love, I am free.

Freedom is putting the horse before the cart.

Freedom is turning my life over to the care of God.

I love freedom. I love peace. Life is so much easier.

It is lovely outside. Perfect for a ten mile run.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trusting God

I woke up at 4:30 this morning and sat up in my little bed. I was thinking about how some people logically and effectively handle their lives without giving God much thought; but I am actually counting on God to help me. It is a temptation to feel stupid for believing God will help me when on the worldly level, it appears my life has had plenty of snags. It is a temptation to quit believing God has anything to do with it; there is no real evidence, just my thoughts.

I got up and did my Course in Miracles study, lifted weights and got started on my run. It was then that I was able to strongly affirm and say, "YES! I am one of the people that trusts and relies on God." I believe God is in charge of my life and I am not in control. Other people do fine without God. I must have Him.

In fact, the purpose of my life seems to be learning to let go of everything and let God freely give me what He wants. My job is to be the presence of love, joy and peace in whatever circumstances I find myself. It is not up to me to judge the circumstances as good or bad, success or failure. These measurements are worldly measurements, not divine. I need to stick to my Source.

As I was running, I was joyously raising a celebratory fist and saying, "Thank you God. I rely on you." It is a huge victory to claim God as the one I trust. I am willing to go anywhere He wants and fulfill the role He assigns.

This outlook on life is wonderful for me. It is related to my current condition. I live in a podunk town where I have no friends. I live here because of employment. Now, I have no employment. My daily life has become utterly nonsensical and detached from humanity. I talk to no one unless I drive down to the city where I do have friends. I have no career goals. I have no family. I spend my time on spirituality. Letting spirituality be real is what my life is about.

Now, about the running: On Saturday I ran 15 miles and on Sunday I ran 30. Sunday afternoon, it was obvious I had some wear and tear on the legs. Monday I had two walks of one hour each. This morning, I jogged 7 miles slow and probably will do something else this afternoon. My next race is not until 9/11, but it is a nine hour and eleven minute run. I need to maintain my fitness without injury for about 7 weeks. This week will be an easy week and I won't do any really long distance for awhile.

So much of my life has been sorted out through endless miles of long slow distance. I've been doing this since I was a teenager. I've never been a speed demon, just one of the runners. Looking at the forest and not any one tree, running is a way I cope with life and receive joy and pray. In a sense, running is my home, my temple of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ontological Loser

The title of this post has nothing to do with running or racing. It has to do with how I used to feel about myself and how I feel now.

I have something in my life which I think I want. But I am having to wait to see the outcome. If it doesn't come out the way I want, my ego will pounce on me and tell me how worthless I am. In pondering my fear of this, and asking Jesus for help with it, I realized that I deeply think I am a "loser." My ego wants me to take "loser" as my identity and as my ontology. What a disaster that is. All these years I have subconsciously believed the ego whispers that I am a loser. Nothing can be done about it if you think it is just the way you are. Even when I win, I feel like a loser.

This thinking cannot be the Holy Spirit's thinking. It must be the ego's thinking. I am in A Course in Miracles to learn to think with the Holy Spirit. So I ask Jesus for a thought beyond loser. If all there is is love and all I am is spirit, I don't think "loser" would be a word or a concept. That idea would not exist. All I would think about or know would be love. You can see that "spirit" is a totally different ontology than "loser." Love is a totally different identity than "loser."

My ego has been lying to me. When I have an opinion about what I want, other than wanting to know God's Love, I am thinking with my ego. All I need to do is choose to listen to the Holy Spirit instead and the fear of losing goes away. I let it go and be spirit instead. When I am spirit, I am unlimited and I don't need to want anything in the world. As a spirit, I am primarily connected to God, if my earthly life seems to go on, it is without my investment in it. I think with the Holy Spirit and Love instead. I want to be invested in God and not what the ego wants.

I do this ego work a lot. ACIM calls it being vigilant for the ego. You see Heaven always peacefully exists right here right now. I can't see it because I think with my ego instead of the Holy Spirit. I think I am in an ego delusion instead of heaven. So, my Teacher, the Holy Spirit is waking me up. If I drop all my ego thinking, I'll know I am in Heaven.

Now, on to my favorite topic: running.

I walked or ran for 17.5 hours this week; maybe about 80 miles.

Today I decided to stage a private 50k since I got cheated out of an 8 hour endurance event last Saturday. It almost didn't happen. First, I slept in. In Kansas, when the nights cool off to less than 60F and the humidity drops, we open our windows and call it "good sleeping weather." And we all get extra sleep. Then, I was enjoying the peace and spiritual connection of my early morning prayer, so it took longer. But I finally got started at about 6:50 am.

6 hours 1 minute and 35 seconds. 30 miles in 3 laps with pit stops at the car to refill water. 4 half PB&H sandwiches, 4 Gu, 4 S-caps. 150 oz of water. Running 7 and 3's, my average pace was about 12 minutes a mile. After about 3 hours, the temperatures got hot enough that the heat rules went into effect: no cheating on the water. Sometimes in the winter, I don't drink enough so I can go longer. Not today, drink at least two big gulps every 10 minutes.

Some parts of the run were popular horse fly hang outs. The horse flies like me. As the run went on, the horse flies got bigger and bigger. After awhile, one of the knocked me over. Then I had to start fighting them for the path. Wait...that never really happened? Fooled me!

Anyway. It takes me four hours and 20 miles to start to get to a desired mental place. I can't describe it. It is post-runners high. It is beyond the hype. It is with dried salt on the skin. Complete cluelessness takes over and I would run until I dropped.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Morning After Gratitude

Last evening I was so full of love, peace, gratitude. This morning, I had for Jesus a large ear full of how much I don't believe He is helping me. There was an even huger portion of how I am not good enough and nothing good will ever happen to me again. I told all this stuff to Jesus realizing they are ego thoughts and they are meaningless. The ego never happened so these thoughts never happened; but I think they happened so I talk to Jesus about them. These are thoughts which need healing; which means I need to let go of my ego and this ego world. I need to allow God's Love to return to me and believe in the divine light in me (and you); and let Jesus handle the details.

At one point, as I pondered the letting go of my ego thoughts and anger at God for not sending me what I want when I want it, I realized, I would rather die than be healed. I would rather stick to my ego and ignore/deny God's glory than open my eyes to It and be in awe of What It Is, which I am a part of and made by. Of course! My ego would die if I stopped believing it and instead believed totally in God's Love. My ego would rather have me kill myself than give it up. So I asked Jesus for a miracle, a change in my perception; a miracle of acceptance of love and of the truth about me. The ego fights Love very vociferously, pouncing on me whenever it thinks I might escape its prison. That is all that happened: I was aware of Love and my ego fought it.

It was a stormy morning here. It was still stormy at 5 so I did my meditation. At 6:15, it was still stormy and I was sleepy so I went back to bed. This idea must have been intuitive guidance because I had a meaningful dream and a loving dream. I rarely remember dreams. But this one was one of those gifts.

Then, I went for a 2 hour low impact jog. It was cloudy and cool, 72F. I said hi to Merry and a couple of others whose names I don't know. The park was very quiet. God was speaking in green trees and silence.

After my run, I thought, "How do you know that there is anything to be worried about? Why do you think that everything is not being perfectly handled better than you can?" I realized my message is to let go and let God. My message is to just follow the guidance. Trust Love.

This time of unemployment is one of intense spiritual and emotional growth; a gift. Now if I could just remember that. It is so habitual for me to think God is punishing me. There is no evidence God is punishing me. More likely I am punishing myself because I don't like myself. There is no evidence for not liking me; everyone else does. I still have more inner healing to do before I think I'll be ready to jump back into my profession.

I am love and I live in Love. I don't need any other thoughts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gratitude and Love

I didn’t follow my rules for spirituality today. I didn’t do a schedule. I didn’t meditate for hours. I’ve been thinking again to trust God that I will find the next place He wants me to go. It even occurred to me that there is nothing wrong with this moment. I don’t need to be afraid about employment.

Gratitude is the word that just came to mind. I am filled with love and I am grateful. Grateful for the love, but also just to be. The love I am filled with does not have conditions or results. This love is just moments of comfort and companionship.

Maybe the early morning run in the rain was a cleansing thing. Maybe I received love while I was at the fellowship meeting. In this moment love is a feeling I have. If I feel safe in love, it could also mean that I have accepted love from Someone; that Someone who is everywhere and in everybody.

All the food I have is a gift from above. The cashier at the store almost hugged my apricots as she described how delicious they were. It was an experience of God sharing His love with me.

As I ran by the river this afternoon, I realized that my life is not a failure, but a series of experiences. Divine love was always there. Somehow, I sense I've never been alone, never failed and always accomplished the mission of love that was given me.

I almost understand the depths of despair my mother lived in and have compassion for her. I must be thinking with a mind not my own. For as long as I can remember, I've hated my mother for what seemed like pretty good reasons. Today, she is safely off my hook and free to be the spirit she really is. I came to this conclusion completely apart from any psychological processing. It was just a thought that entered my mind. A thought of compassion that surfaced from within.

I must be safe in God or I’d be terrified. The sense of gratitude and love simply cannot come from the ego. So, I must be in the hands of God.

I am grateful for the running I did today; who would not be? It seems such a simple thing, running. But at times, running is the most elusive thing or the most painful thing we have experienced. Then, it shows us its playful bashful side and we are filled with joy for that one moment of sheer existence.

Morning Report

I got up at 3:30 and studied until 4:30. Then I fiddled with the new lap top: turning off Windows Messenger (I think it interfered with start up), and registering for my free Windows 7 upgrade.

Then I lifted weights. I thought the thunderstorms were hours to the west...not. After 30 minutes of low impact walk/jog, I came home drenched. I went to the treadmill for thirty minutes and then the rain had let up so I went back outside for 40 minutes.

My ankle doesn't hurt. But I am babying it with low impact and paved surfaces because I don't trust it. Also, the quad on the opposite side is still screaming as it bore the brunt of favoring the ankle during the race. The ankle was less swollen after a little exercise.

But I think my ultra career will no longer be carried out on trails. The romance of trails will be beyond me. I am not a tarahumara, but a Kansas plodder. That ankle has been tricky since I was a teenager; so I need to face facts. It is weak and no special trail shoes (outside of high tops) will help. Hummm, I wonder if those cheap high tops we wore for basketball as kids are still available. ;)

I sought ultrarunning for the transcendence of it. I still seek transcendence. It will have to be found in a solitary venue; running around the park with no particular reward and no witnesses.

If I am lucky, the next few days are supposed to be cool and I can head out for a long low impact run on the flat dirt. Dang...I just love this. I don't know why. It is not as if there is no associated pains or fatigue; and no bright lights of nirvana.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chesed - God's Merciful Love

I live alone. Despite decades of strenuous effort to have a special relationship or to permanently put people in my life, they keep disappearing. We move. We get other jobs. We simply stop coming around and change our phone numbers.

So, my love can only be abstract and universal, encompassing all. My love encompasses the little situations in a day as well as the entirety of life.

The trick for me is to accept the beauty of this situation, this potentiality, and receive its returning reverberations; and stop being pissed that I couldn't chain any individual to me. I've spent so much time thinking that since I had no special relationships that I was defective; unable to love. I am not a failure. I am called to embrace the Universal, unconditional, unchained truth.

Actually, it means that I am vulnerable to the generosity of The Almighty as He acts in others. It means that I am an innocent, a ward of the group, and reliant on merciful love; that Chesed of God which resides in each heart whether we know it or not.

Extreme Existence

Pictures by Dick Ross at the Psycho Psummer trail run. I can't believe I sprained my ankle and then ran another 15 miles or so on it!
Today I got up at 3:30 for ACIM study. I lifed weights at 4:30 and went walking with a little jogging for 70 minutes. It felt good to be out in the early morning and have mucho time to do what I want the rest of the day. My sprained ankle is a little swollen but pain free when I baby it.
The word extreme came to mind as I was out walking this morning. I have been practicing the extremes in several areas of my life for several years. Now that I am not employed, I plan to stretch myself. You see, it is about transcendence. I fully believe humans need to learn to live and love at a different level than we currently are. We need to learn to really be only spirit, not spirits having human experiences. I use the Course in Miracles as my text book. I also practice "not-going-along" with society. I practice doing things different. It is not a mystery that extreme sports appeared on the scene a few years ago. It was a symptom of young people knowing we need to live at a different level. I do things like fasting, ultrarunning, meditation, silence, solitude, early morning vigils, no TV, no status symbols on my clothes, having tremendous amounts of time when I am NOT busy, etc. These things shift my reality to an extreme.
Here is a story. When I was six or so, my parents left me in ski school for the day. The instructor took the class up the rope tow. I'm not sure what he said at the top of the hill. When it came my turn, I headed down to get some speed and attempted a turn and fell. I remember the teacher trying to tell me to follow his snow plow. But I already knew how to snow plow and wanted to parallel ski. So I got mad and refused to follow him. I crashed alot, but finally taught myself to parallel ski. Parallel skiing is a different level than snow plowing. At some point, we need to learn the next thing.
The same is true for the level at which most of us live our reality. I'm trying to transcend the normal mode of human life and normal modes of perception. They don't work and they don't make me happy. I want to live closer to the God design. I haven't yet found a teacher except Jesus in my mind. So I crash alot.
Reality, including my body, really is an illusion. The world I see really is a product of my projection and perception. So I seriously spend a good deal of time on changing my thinking. I, and all of us, are really just light, just ideas of love in the mind of God. Light does not need to do anything. I am serious about this. I have one face-to-face friend who I consider to be making this same effort. I have a couple of internet friends who I think are making the same effort. But the vast majority of "spiritual" people I know are just playing. Hence, I don't discuss this very much with real people. I am polite and nice but mainly just listen.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Spirit Flower's First DNF

DNF is "did not finish" for you non-runners.

He He: You got to know when to fold 'em, at least, sometime before the sirens arrive with nervous guys not to happy about hauling your butt out of a forest because you were more stupid than you should have been.

I was enormously stupid, but I did accept help before it was forced on me.

It went like this. Today, I wanted to run a 50k (31 mile) running race. This race was mainly on trails in a forest. That means roots, rocks, mud and steep scrambles. Under those conditions it would take me over 8 hours to finish. The race was two laps of 25k each.

So, after 1 1/2 hours, I suddenly trip, or something, twist my ankle and go down in some mud. I get up, ouch! I walk a little and decide, no big deal. Well, I was out on a trail so I'd have to get my butt to the next aid station anyway. But, all goes really well. Not too much pain. After about 3 hours, I pass a medical emergency: runner looks like heat was the problem. A short while later, I fall again. Nothing hurt this time. I finish the first lap in 4 hours.

As I came in to the halfway station, I really tried hard to decide whether to go on or not. But I decided by not deciding. That is, I just started changing into dry socks and shoes and loading up on drink and sandwiches. I vaguely remember part of my brain asking why I was changing my shoes since I was quitting. But, I just sort of got all my stuff together and kept going.

I love the second half of this race. Its all about endurance and not about racing. It is quiet in the forest and I am mainly alone. I go into my head and listen to my mantra praying by itself in my heart. If I think at all, it is about Gu, S-caps and water.

I noticed that my quads were very fatigued, in fact, not that strong. Then I noticed that the hurt ankle kept getting bent sideways by the slope of the trail and hurting. Why was the trail sloped on that side? Not fair. After about an hour into the second lap, 4 hours after hurting the ankle, I fell again. Now I have fallen three times. I realize that the problem with the ankle is not so much pain but that it won't hold me.

Hummm.....Spirit Flower? Wake up!

My leg won't hold me. I've fallen three times. My knees and elbows and hands are scraped. Mission control, we have a problem. I come up on a paved road leading into the second aid station. I realize that the ankle is really not very happy. Right about then, two nice young ladies, volunteers, come past in an air conditioned SUV and ask if I'm ok. All the volunteers are on high alert for heat problems because of the medical emergency. My mouth forms the words, "No. I sprained my ankle and I can't finish. I need a ride." And, just like that, I'm in the cool SUV and whisked back to the start/finish line. I ran 5 hours and 50 minutes before quitting.

This was my first DNF! It took alot to get the truth to register in the brain: Spirit Flower, quit now before you fall again and break something, because you're gonna! It wasn't my day.

I lived to tell about it and to run again! Plenty of summer left for running. No sense in hobbling around because I was more stupid than I should have been!

Ride 'em Spirit Flower!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


This morning, I struggled out of bed and pulled on some running clothes. What shirt? I pulled out my finisher T-shirt from the 2006 Kansas City marathon. It has "Finisher" emblazoned across the back. I put it on inside out to hide the word.

Then I went to do my spiritual work. My lesson for today is: "I give my life to God to guide today." I meditated on what is supposed to be a beautiful thing: God is my Guide.

As I listened to my own thinking, I found poison ideas that I needed to give to Jesus:
a) If I turn my life over to God and I don't get what I want, I can blame God.
b) I believe bad things will happen.
c) I believe I have not been forgiven for my mistakes. I think I am doing everything wrong.

These thoughts were hidden in my unconscious but in meditation, I had access to them. I realized that trusting God should be a happy thing. But I had decided I didn't want His joy. So it is up to me to decide I do want His joy and ask Jesus for help to accept it, to have joy be my reality.

After asking Jesus for help with a new decision, I sort of unconsciously took off my shirt, turned it so the Finisher would be on the outside and went for a really fast 4 mile run. My nonchalant action of changing my shirt was evidence that I had decided to be successful in God today. I have accepted the word Finisher as the truth about what it is like to live totally reliant on God. I have decided to be a success at believing in God's gifts of love, mercy and joy; and accept them fully with gratitude for my Creator, the Author of my life.

My life is not mine. Why do I insist on judging it as bad? So human, so human.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Gift of Freedom

I want to live in God and nowhere else.

I must go through life as a well loved Child of God and nothing else. Nothing but God can give me happiness.

From A Course in Miracles 8.IV.1-3:

  • If God’s Will for you is complete peace and joy, unless you experience only this you must be refusing to acknowledge His Will.
  • I (Jesus) am come as a light into a world that does deny itself everything. It does this simply by dissociating itself from everything.
  • I (Jesus) said that I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. That is why I am the light of the world. If I am with you in the loneliness of the world, the loneliness is gone. You cannot maintain the illusion of loneliness if you are not alone.
  • The world must therefore despise and reject me (Jesus), because the world is the belief that love is impossible.
  • If you will accept the fact that I (Jesus) am with you, you are denying the world and accepting God. My will is His, and your decision to hear me is the decision to hear His Voice and abide in His Will.

I love ACIM because it helps me live happy and joyous and loved. This Jesus is with me always, in real time, now. This Jesus is not safely in a box on an altar. He is with me now, shining his light in my thoughts, dispelling every resentment I give to him and filling me with joy. I live strong in Jesus. I walk with joy because Jesus has taught me how. My day sounds impossible, but since I walk with God and Jesus, nothing else matters. Since I walk with God and Jesus, my ego is powerless.

I am in love with Jesus. I have known this since being kicked out of the convent; but it has grown daily since then, over 5 years.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Live Strong

If anyone wonders why I love A Course in Miracles, check out tomorrow's lesson for me: "Be in my mind, my Father, through the day."

This thought will save my bacon. I am going to drive 5 hours to a one hour job interview and then drive 5 hours back. It seems like a futile exercise. I might not even want the job if it is offered. But I have invited God into my mind. It affirms my current out look on life: I am looking for the position God wants me to have where I serve Him, not myself. As such, the interview tomorrow is part of what God wants me to do. It is already part of my job of being of service to God and not myself.

If I fill my mind with God, then my mind won't be filled with my ego. Unless I displace my ego from my mind, I will have to spend all day listening to it tell me how stupid I am, worthless and I'll never get a good job. Do you think I want to spend all day thinking that? NO!!! So instead I choose to have God in my mind.

When my goal is to be of maximum service to God, and I do not consider my life to be mine, then all things are much more pleasant. If I consider God to be my Author and the Author of my life, I can let go and let God manage everything. My life is not my problem. The only problem I ever had was listening to an ego yell at me. I'm done believing the ego. I prefer to have God in my mind. I'm perfectly happy to go along with God's gig.

Today I ran 5.4 miles, walked 60 minutes and sat in silence for two hours. I am glad I learned to sit. It makes me much happier than watching TV would. I bought a Lance Armstrong yellow hat that says "LiveStrong." After reading the latest book, I am a Lance fan; but more importantly, I am going to live strong in God. (never give up - as Jo would say)


I woke up this morning transformed; something had been let go of.


Delving the silence. Panning the silence. The treasure silence yields is not shiny baubles, not worldly fortune. The treasure is barely recognizable, easily thrown away in a pile of worthless ego thoughts. The treasure of silence is a void in the stream of consciousness, actual egoless non-consciousness. Step into the void. Fall into its depths. The void of silence is the way to the underworld, to the beyond, to the place so feared because it is entered in poverty of mind, poverty of spirit and poverty of belongings.

Ah! I have hit on the perfect word: belongings. I prepare to move out of this world by clearing out my belongings. I do not belong anywhere. I let go of my extravagant pile of books and clothes. Belongings are my worldly positions in society and economy and nation and world. Belongings are my positions, fancied or illusioned. Belongings are my opinions, attitudes and worldly beliefs.

No, I don't belong; and so I jump into the void.

The void is my God-capsule. Like a space capsule, it is my vehicle for travel outside the world. Silence is my companion. Poverty is my aerodynamics and my anti-matter propulsion.

The void of silence is my mind as God created it; such pure love, free of any thought that God did not think. Once entered, it expands into oneness with Infinite Love, All That Is.

You are with me in the oneness, the fellowship of the spirit. I call the fellowship the void because there is no ego there; hence no ego world. The void terrifies because it is entered without an ego, as nothing, in poverty. Once there, it is possible to learn of pure total Love...

... and total trust in Love alone.

What a blessing: my god has forsaken me.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


When I go running, I might see something that gets my attention and seems meaningful; like a skunk or a snake or a deer or a rainbow. I run laps around the park and notice things; and I write about them.

When I sit in silence, I also run laps, sort of. I sit for 15 minutes on the cushion, then 15 minutes on the chair, then 15 minutes on the cushion...and so on. Every now and then, I have a thought that gets my attention. These thoughts are analogous to the animals I see when I am running.

Thoughts on Silence:
  • Silence is like God Himself; indescribable.
  • Silence is difficult to have.
  • Silence is the most unproductive thing imaginable.
  • Silence is a thing to be cherished, sought, loved, protected.
  • Silence is difficult to enter, but the door is always open.
  • Silence requires absolute renunciation; it seems I must want only it and have only it.
  • Silence requires discipline.
  • How do I contemplate silence? Do I try to grasp it with intellect? More likely I can only listen to it and watch it; in humility, gratitude and awe.
  • Is a thought a noise?
  • I am after the other worldly.
  • I am most successful at finding silence if I maintain a consciousness of light.
  • Silence has gifts to give.
  • Silence is easily forgotten.
  • Silence has nothing to say. It is a null, a no-thing an absence. When I am in silence, I too become a void.

Unemployed Contemplative - 1

I have been unemployed for 3 weeks. At first, I was on an ultrarunning retreat. I ended that because I need to taper for a race. Also, I feel the need to spend more time in silent meditation and writing. I have turned my will and my life over to God. I totally believe that God has a "next place" for me to go, but I don't know where it is yet.

In the mean time, I think it is very important to stay spiritually focused. I have time to be as spiritual as I want to be. I have time to study and meditate and write; so go for it.

My mantra for today is: This is my holy instant of release; thru light and joy and majesty and peace.

This mantra brings me into the present. If I let go right now of my ego's plans and designs, and let the Holy Spirit decide for me, then I am free.

This morning I read in the Course in Miracles Text, "When a mind has only light, if knows only light. Its own radiance shines around it, and extends out into the darkness of other minds, transforming them into majesty...Recognizing the Majesty of God as your brother is to accept your own inheritance."

I am able to keep light in my mind. I am able to see the Majesty of God in other people. It is again a matter of willingness and discipline. Do I want to see God or do I want to see someone who is out to hurt me and cheat me? Do I want only light in my mind or do I want anger and fear? If I want to see God and have the light, then I make this choice. I still need to ask the Holy Spirit for power to carry out the decision. I still need to watch my mind and see what ego thoughts I have to turn over to the Holy Spirit. It is work.

My inheritance is heaven. My inheritance is everything. My inheritance is Love. Do I want this? Am I willing? How hard will I try to live in the new order of things?

This sort of spiritual thinking is keeping me from going crazy as an unemployed non-financially independent person. I have turned my will and my life over to the care of God. I have offered myself to Him to do with me and build with me as He will. God is doing for me what I can't do for myself. To have placed my life in His hands is to soothing to my soul. It truly is happiness and peace for me.

I ran 10 miles this morning. I will go for a walk this afternoon. I will also spend an hour or two in silent meditation. I love silent meditation. I love being able to be in communication without asking for anything.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Finish the Ultra-retreat - Day 20

Shame on Microsoft: Explorer 8, uploaded today, won't let me copy and paste into!

The ultrarunning part of my retreat is over; now I will focus more on meditation and writing and thinking deeply. I simply must think deeply. I have this thing inside me, a force or a spirit or whatever, but I love it and I simply must be more and more quiet to experience this presence. I totally believe that it is in an egoless silence that I am able to touch my soul. Since the silence is egoless, the soul touching experience is very subtle, sublime, quiet. But I think I am addicted to it.

Yesterday, I ran 23 miles. Here are the results for the ultrarunning retreat:

Week 1: 88 miles jog/walk plus 24 miles walking = 112
Week 2: 112 miles jog/walk plus 19 miles walking = 131
Week 3, 5 days: 93 miles jog/walk plus 8 miles walking = 101
Total 344 miles

Today I woke up with fatigued legs. But, after coming home from the city and working in the yard for an hour and a half, I went for a 4 mile run. All systems felt well. No injuries from the ultrarunning. I am going to try to ease up to be fresh for the Psycho Psummer 50k next Saturday.

My ultra-retreat produced a quantum leap in my running. My running expanded to a higher orbital (check your college chemistry to figure what an orbital is). The self transcendence started as an idea in my mind. The expansive self transcendence idea is a universal idea, not specific to running. The quantum leap also shows in the expansion of love in my mind. The self transcendence came about from spiritual work, not the running itself. My spiritual work has been focused on love and giving up my ego in order to love. I changed my mind and then I could see a change in my running.

Self transcendence running is love because it is just about being. It was running for pure existence and pure existence is love. Love has no goal, no personal best, no Garmin or heart rate monitor. Love relentlessly pursues existence. Love is a phenomenon of peace. Peace is quiet; hence we return to that addictive quiet soul touching moment I mentioned first off in this blog.

A girl running around and around a park is a phenomenon of peace.

I rededicate my life to God. This rededication to God is a dedication to love; I absolutely insist on seeing only the love of God present in everyone. God is love, only created love and all we are is love. If you point to sin, I will tell you to take a deeper look at the lies your ego is telling you and stop believing they are real. Love is all there is.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ultra Retreat, Day 17 - Surprises

Day 17 of the retreat. I got in 15 miles.

100 days to Heartland Prairie 50 miler.

By surprises, I mean things happened which were out of my control. I usually figure they are gifts from God. Like yesterday, I locked my keys in my car; but a man I know gave me a ride home to get my spares and a ride back to where my car was. Or in the hardware store, the man gave me a lesson on what parts I needed and how to put them in. Or the really hard time I had getting some documents sent to a potential employer. Or the human resources lady I talked to yesterday. Or the recruiter I talked to this morning.

Today, I have a decent grasp on letting go and letting God. I have intuitions and other more obvious things put in front of me: just do them and let God worry about the rest.

Today is the anniversary of my death. On this day in 2001, I went running on a hot humid day with no water. I was actually planning to run until I dropped. Since I was in the country, I hoped nobody would find me and revive me. But after much screaming at God and 8 miles, I decided to go back and try life one more time.

Self Transcendence Race: Yesterday I covered 15 miles. This morning another 15; and I'll probably do more later.

How am I transcending? I am giving my fear to God. I am living more and more in a God reliant world and less in a world I can control. Transcendence is my journey, but in this race, I have no finish line, no mile markers, no awards. In my silence, blisters come and go. Tendons complain and then stop. I drink water. I have come to appreciate the purity of water. I think there is no better substance on earth. To drink it is to drink God direct.