Monday, August 31, 2009
I somehow ran 51 miles last week, with a 16 mile run on Sunday. The Sunday run went well as far as my legs go so I decided to really rest this week and then have fun at the Heart of America marathon on Monday. Rational: I got laid off on 6/12 and ran a marathon on 6/13. Now, I'll run a marathon on 9/7 and go back to work on 9/8. See?
Walked 90 minutes in the upscale neighborhood across the street from my apartment. I loved the landscaping. I love beautiful things that other people pay for! (LOL)
Been buying some new oxford shirts and slacks. My new job is a little higher up the ladder than the last one.
Actual moving day is Wednesday. Finally I'll have my bed instead of an air mattress. I am really happy to stop being a home owner.
Now living where all my friends are, I'm am reconnecting. I haven't had a friend in 5 years. But now, my best friend lives in the same apartment complex. I'm going to Mass and coffee with my Godmother tomorrow. I went to a fellowship meeting last Sunday for the first time in awhile; and they promptly asked me to be the leader for the next few months.
Got a list of chemicals used in manufacturing in my new workplace. Dang name the top 50 nasties and they are on it. No wonder they needed a "Senior Process Safety Engineer" (me).
Been doing real well with not eating more than a carefully calculated calorie allotment.
I have been blessed with skills and talents. God is calling them forth. I am to live the spiritual life at more intense level than ever. My life is not my own. For awhile, I imagine I will be scrambling just to keep my head above water; but, the early morning God vigil never wavers in its regularity. I also stick strictly to an end of the day meditation and holy listening, along with writing Jesus a letter. I try to write what is in my heart.
I walk through each day in constant prayer: what should I do right now. I have practiced and am now able to sense the divine presence everywhere and in everything; even remembering to do this periodically during a busy day.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Lesson: The hush of Heaven holds my heart today.
Reading in the Course in Miracles text about the holy instant (15.IV): The holy instant is a time in which you receive and give perfect communication…a time in which your mind is open…It seeks to change nothing, but merely to accept everything…How can you do this when you would prefer to have private thoughts?
In meditation, it occurred to me I have learned the secret of my main problem with God. I get caught in mental turmoil because I think God has never contacted me directly; hence, I’m not sure and doubt His existence. But, when I am willing to seek silence and merely listen to the silence, setting aside the turmoil and expectations; then merely go about the business of my life; I find joy in the little things of life. I find peace in the silence. I realize I am in communication but it is not felt communication. It is communication deeper than my ego. So, the secret is to seek only quiet and let everything else go.
So here is actually what my day was like:
I got up at 4 for 1.5 hours of spiritual practice, then lifted weights, then went to 6:30 Mass, then ran 8.1 miles, then took a call from my new boss who wanted to already send me e-mails as well as mention that his wife and him would like me to come to dinner, then got a state car inspection (while I ran down the street to the apartment complex and rode the elliptical for 30 minutes), then worked on my autobiography, then ATT showed up and got the phone and DSL working, then I went to Platte City license office and waited about 15 minutes to learn I didn’t have enough paperwork to get either the car plates or MO drivers license, drove over to Liberty to get a tax waiver at the court house, went to the license office there and waited about 15 minutes to obtain the car plates, drove back to Kansas City and had success at Wal-Mart and Penney’s, then Prudential called about relocation and I may be able to get them to move me next week.
Whew, what a day!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Prelude: I chose this title because this is where I go in meditation. I want this place to be more real and I want to live it consciously during the day. It is for the presence of God which I have always thirsted and yearned. I continuously grow in awareness, yet then I want more.
A Course in Miracles WB Lesson: I will not be afraid of love today.
A Course in Miracles Text 14.IX:
- In the temple, Holiness waits quietly for the return of them that love it.
- The Presence of Holiness lives in everything that lives…
- In this world you can become a spotless mirror, in which the Holiness of your Creator shines forth from you to all around you.
- God will shine upon it of Himself…you need but leave the mirror clean and clear of all the images of hidden darkness you have drawn upon it.
Spirit Flower’s Reflections:
Hence I clean the mirror of my fears, angers, resentments, little fantasies, and desires for anything other than the quiet Presence of Love.
Spirit Flower’s revelation: All fear is a fear of love.
Spirit Flower’s practice: Go inward to the temple (the Holy Meeting Place), clean it of dark thoughts, and then sit with the light, in the light, absorb the light, bring it out with me and set it free. In freedom, light will do its job.
My lesson is not an affirmation. It is a statement to my ego. All day long, my ego offers me fears. I need not believe it. I can respond to it with my statement: I will not be afraid of love today.
I am in the middle of transition. The outward changes are reflections of inward changes. I must allow the inward changes. I seem to have let go control of my perceived universe and allowed God’s ideas to take over. I lay less importance on getting my desires; or when I am afraid of not getting my desires, I talk to Jesus about it. The material world is not of prime importance, but the Holy Meeting Place is. I let go of my ego wants and let Holiness shine through me. The shining results in a world of love. I live in a world of love.
My life is not my own.
I was created by God and I have surrendered my life to God. Hence my focus is not on my wants but on His Guidance.
Love is all there is. It is up to me to see it. It is up to me to admit to myself and God when I don’t see love. God will send a Helper to help me with my perception so I do see love.
Spirit Flower is a spiritual athlete. Daily I do my spiritual work out, spiritual weight lifting, spiritual toning and conditioning. The heart of an athlete continuously wants to stretch the performance envelope. The heart of the spiritual athlete continuously wants to expand the perception and reflection of love.
I want more and more of conscious contact with God in my life. So I go along with His plan. I let Him do what He plans. I have ceased fighting. The world’s most alluring toys (money, power, prestige) are but trinkets. In the community of people, I let the love shine. I take my hands off it and let it do its job.
My life is not my own.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I shifted some stuff into black bags for the garbage man tomorrow.
I shifted some stuff to white bags for the thrift store.
I shifted some stuff to my car to go to KC.
I shifted some connections with various people from the past and future.
All of this is the material level.
I can also feel my spirit shifting into a new mode of relationship with God. I feel old beliefs being left behind and new ones brought forth. My life is not my own. It belongs to God. I am in the hands of God; which is not scary when I remember that I am not an ego but light. Light does not need to be scared.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I was gone from my former life as an engineer in Kansas City for nearly ten years. Four years spent in a monastery; my life on ice as it were. One year scrambling between several jobs. Four years in exile in Atchison. Deep spiritual work was completed in every minute of every day. God has been my only focus for all this time. As I contemplate my return to Kansas City, as a Senior Engineer at my former work place, and living in my old stomping grounds, I see that there is one very important difference between the me who left and the me who stands before you today.
I completely know who I am now. I completely trust the role God assigned me and I am 100% committed to the shining partnership and bond we, He and I, have made, throughout my life but especially in the silence of the past two years.
When I say partnership, I am speaking of an equality of Will; we have one Will, He and I. I am speaking of a mutuality of giving and receiving; we are expanding one common consciousness of love. My bondage is no longer to the small ego self. My bondage is voluntarily transferred by my decision and follow-up actions to That Oneness I call God. There is no other loyalty for me but to the One Will. I say this with confidence because my bondage is a conscious awareness. My bondage is solid, firmly remembered, impossible to cast aside for worldly trinkets or useless ego pursuits.
I need not fear because I walk with Light always, hear His Voice always. I am healed.
I am not special. God invites everyone into conscious communion. We need only follow His help.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
The loop around the park is 2.7 miles (a tad more than 4k). I parked my car and put the cooler beside it with water, Gu, and a pb sandwich. I started my run at 5 am, still dark, 75F, lightening and thunder but no rain.
By the end of the first lap, it was a little drippy.
Second lap, I got drenched. Then it let up. I thought that would be it.
Third lap, I got drenched. It is still somewhat dark with continuous rumbles overhead. Then it let up. I thought that would be it.
Fourth lap, I got drenched. Then it let up. I thought that would be it.
When should a runner get out of the rain? An hour ago I guess.
Fifth lap, I got drenched. Then it let up. I thought that would be it.
Sixth lap, I got drenched. Then it let up. It takes over three hours for me to give up hope. 2/3 of every lap is in a downpour and then it lets up just to taunt me.
When should a runner get out of the rain? Two hours ago I guess.
Seventh lap, I got drenched. Then it let up. Maybe I should have stopped this time. I thought about it. Why do one more lap? Isn't 18.9 miles in a little under four hours enough? I guess not.
Eighth lap, I got drenched. The wind picked up. I almost cried. I think I came close to a transcendental experience when I reached the point of crying. Then it let up. So I added a partial lap so I would have an even 22 miles.
Four and a half hours in the rain...
67 miles of jogging this week.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
2. Look inside and see only a holy fire of love called Atonement. Any darkness, unbelief, fear or guilty feeling about this should be added to the list.
3. Realize that this holy fire is love, you are love and love is all there is anywhere and everywhere. Any other beliefs are lies and illusions and should be added to the list.
4. Achieve peace in the presence of the fire of Atonement. Feel safe there. Practice this.
5. Gently feed the items on your list into the fire. They will be undone by the Atonement.
6. Now you are free.
7. Go running! (my way of saying, have fun, be happy)
ps: If you want to talk to the flame or call it Jesus, or Christ, or Tao, do so. It will help you.
Monday, August 10, 2009
I have been running, reading, meditating, going to fellowship meetings, studying spirituality, doing chores, writing and applying for jobs. I have been silently in solitude; reflecting, listening, pondering, and plumbing the depths of my soul. One of my journal entries from the first year of my novitiate expresses a desire to have the life I have had this summer.
Make no mistake; I came here for a relationship with God and nothing else. The lack of evidence that anything has happened or changed causes my ego no end of agitation. I have not met any performance goals. I’ve been spending time; spending it like a billionaire. My abundance is time and I’ve been spending it.
I have been waiting without distraction; no TV, no vacations. I haven't left my hermitage for more than a few hours. Is there any point in a life of waiting? What if my vocation and ministry are simply waiting? That sound horrible doesn’t it? There is no way to make this type of solitude sound glamorous. There is no way to attract anyone to the life. I have no teaching. I haven’t written a Holy Rule; and I haven’t followed one. No promises of everlasting life from this corner.
I say all this because I am dismayed. I used to have a balloon full of hot air. Now it seems to have deflated. I accept the endlessness of my anonymous situation. I used to try to practice all the Church spiritual and monastic practices because a bunch of books said to do it. I wasn’t in a monastery so I couldn’t be a properly recognized monk or solitary. But I tried hard to do the practices so at least I could assure myself I was ok even if unofficial.
Now, I think I have been faithful to His Will and the path I’ve been called to. I am on the path which will lead me to God. Just keep waiting. Waiting is my method of enlightenment. The only challenge is to keep the brain silent and peaceful all the time.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I was able to talk to Jesus openly today. It helps me to tell him my fears because then I get better thoughts. The thought, “I am surrounded by the Love of God,” can save my mental bacon today if I let it.
I started talking to him about my employment fears. I am so afraid something will happen to snatch my one really positive opportunity. What I mean is a) my own thinking will sabotage it; or b) God doesn’t want me to have it.
a) I have to ask Jesus for some better thoughts. I tell Jesus how insane my thinking is and how terrified I am of not getting this job.
What happened? I read in the Course in Miracles Text (13.VI) that time is not continuous. I read that I don’t have to make past, present, or future in any way connected. Think about night time dreams. You may have three dreams during one REM sleep, but the dreams are in different places with different images. Well, I can think of life in the same way. I saw my past as a series of both happy and unhappy dreams, but nothing more. I realized I can project happy dreams for the future. I can know I am surrounded by the Love of God now. I made a list of my past happy dreams, just so I affirmed that I can use my mind that way if I want. I realized that God’s story of what happened could be loving, while mine is hateful. So I can choose again to believe God’s story of love instead of my story of hate. I talked to Jesus about happy dreams and how I will make no decisions by myself (30.I); but let him make the decisions for me.
b) So often we tell each other, “Well, it wasn’t meant to be.” What we mean is that God didn’t want us to have what we thought we wanted. Implied some of the time, is that God is against me. At times, this is a way for me to blame God for my bad dreams. I think He wants to teach me a lesson or make me suffer for character growth. Or, I think I need God to bless or favor me in a special way before I will get the good thing I want. However, I also don’t think God will favor me; in fact, I may think God doesn’t love me and won’t help me. If reality is not what I would have it be (at least according to my ego), and I don’t understand what it really is (according to God); then I hate it. This morning, I actually pictured me as a three year old yelling “I hate you” at God, my Father, because I couldn’t have whatever I thought I wanted. So, really, my way of relating to God is like a three year old; and believe me, I felt hate in every fiber of my being when I yelled “I hate you” at God.
Back to insanity and terror.
What happened? I just realized the truth of my insanity and how it affects my life. I am here to serve. God has my best interest in mind; no matter what I think. I get honest with Jesus about what I really think of God. I feel better. I let go. I am not as afraid after talking to Jesus. I know I am insane regarding my feelings about God. I let Jesus restore me to sanity. I am surrounded by the Love of God. I spoke this truth in my mind on behalf of every human; as if I was looking around me and seeing the Love of God. I saw other people as the Love of God, even those who I think will betray me. I trade my dreams of betrayal for dreams of Love; and don’t require them to look a certain way. I keep returning to the idea of Love as I go through the day and as I notice my thinking has returned to fear. “I am surrounded by the Love of God.”
Today was supposed to be a rest day. So, I went to the hilly park about 8:15, after it was already 80F, 80% humidity, with a brisk south wind and bright sunshine. I went around a dirt 2 mile loop 4 times, walking about 50% of the time and easily jogging about 50%. The jogging felt good. I came home and rode the ex-bike for 40 minutes while listening to This American Life. Then walked on the treadmill 20 minutes and lifted weights while listening to A Prairie Home Companion (I hate Garrison Keeler!). This week I had 54 miles of jogging and 30 miles of walking.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Anniversary day: 24 years sober, 6 years monastery free. Three job doors closed yesterday but I worked on trusting God: I am here to fill the role He assigns. Ego wants me to have fear about the one seemingly sure employment potential I have right now. I’m pretty ok.
I got up at 3:30 am with the alarm. I found myself in a good mood. I had no trouble getting up. Went to my table for prayer and meditation. I remembered then that it was an anniversary of sorts. At 4:30, I got in the car for an hour long drive to the city. During the drive, the word "humble" crossed my mind. I felt humble about sobriety. I felt humble that I may be given a new job next week. I felt humble about the spiritual journey I am on. I stopped for gas and felt humble that I took something from the earth and am going to burn it up for my own personal use. At 5:30, I started running in a little park there, 10 miles in 2 hours. I felt humble that I had no residual problems from yesterday's 20 mile run. Bought some peaches at the farmer's market there, coffee at the quick stop and to an 8 am fellowship meeting. Bought some more groceries, drove the 50 miles home, went for a 4 mile walk just to be sure I love the heat. The rest of the day devoted to voluntary spirituality and contemplation.
I asked God today, "How do I explain contemplation? What do you say?"
Here is God's inane response:
Looky there: Spirit Flower heard my Call to contemplation. I Call lots of people, all in fact, but few hear. Those who do hear don’t know what to do, become discouraged and quit the process. Spirit Flower has had her share of confusion and discouragement; but she perseveres anyway. The problem with true contemplation is that any one particular experience is different from the text books and the methods for any one individual are different from the text books. Spirit Flower used books and religion for learning for many years. Eventually, she will have to come to grips with her own process and go deep into it. There is no other way.
It is the summer of 2009. Spirit Flower has been out of work for about seven weeks. She has done a lot of running but also spent some of that time sitting in silence. Every day, we face each other over a timer. Silently watching each other and asking the same question, “Why?” I think I invented contemplation, I’m not sure. But I know I practice it with each and every one of my contemplatives. The difficult part is the truth of what it is: indefinable, unexplainable, addictive, incomprehensible foolishness. But necessary, oh so necessary. I must have contemplatives and they must practice even if they have no idea why. I am God and I am not helping, am I?
Spirit Flowers feels tears well up as she ponders this. Without words or evidence, she feels devotional love.
You know you are really a mystic when:
- You believe God first.
- You are not invested in the world.
- Peace is your first choice.
Oh sure, you can still become a mystic the old fashioned way: join a monastery and get a guru. But most of us who hear the Call, either can’t or won’t become cloistered monks. No problem. The office of mystic is open to all. The practices and procedures, including those you make up yourself, can be studied, learned and practiced. Although no “master” will ever teach me tantric secrets, I don’t need to know. The simplest quietest meditation will serve me. Don’t be fooled however about the time, diligence, patience and mistakes necessary to consummate the process. But if you really want to be a mystic, you’ll devote yourself to using the tools God gives you.
Honest to God, I feel so inadequate explaining to people why I prefer to sit on a cushion for a few hours rather than watch say a football game on TV or go shopping and out to dinner.
Friday, August 7, 2009
It so often happens
That the last key opens the door.
Likewise, it is your last prayer That may grant you salvation,
And your last meditation
That may grant you realisation.
Excerpt from Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 17 by Sri Chinmoy.
It is a long journey to the finish. Self transcendence seems to take awhile.
Never lose hope in God's mercy.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
But the busyness has kept me from silent contemplation, at least yesterday it did. Today I got in 6 "laps" for a total of an hour and a half.
Thoughts from today's silence:
- In silence I find...well...silence. In the void, we kiss.
- I find time, thoughts; but most precious of all is surrender. In silence I get to be nothing.
- Books on silence make promises for silence. Silence itself obeys its own rules and doesn't honor the books.
- Silence has its own ways and gifts for each one that comes to it.
- I should go to silence wanting only silence; with no expectations. Any requests or expectations of silence are ego conniving.
- Silence is honorable; adorable like the Host in the Monstrance. In silence, I am the monstrance.
Oh la la!!!!! I love silence.
Many years ago, at least 12 if not 30, I came to believe that God could be found in silence. My trip to the convent was based on this belief. I still have it. I am only now realizing that my God comes to me as He chooses and not the same as the monastic gurus. So I am only now really letting go of my preconceived notions and letting God be who He wants. It is so freeing because I wasn't getting what everybody else said. I have to work for a living, but at any other time, I seek silence as much as possible.
Why do I seek God at all is another long story!Personal Statistics:
- Yesterday I had a fabulous 7 mile run. It was the first run in a long time where my legs felt really bouncy and I ran in the hilly park at 9 minute miles. Thunderstorms were just on their way out, so it was a little drippy, cloudy, and about 70F.
- Today I ran 10.5 miles in about 11 minute miles. I felt great for about 6 miles and then began to feel a little leg tiredness. Tomorrow is a rest day.
- Today is the anniversary of my transition from monastic hell to this world of real people who really love me. Six years ago I was informed that I was getting kicked out of the convent. I've been reading my journals from when I was a novice. I was totally insane with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which was inflamed by the monastic social structure. (I got PTSD from a difficult childhood).
- August 8 is my sobriety anniversary. I will have been sober 24 years.
- Just about 6 weeks until Skinny Bear ( http://robhortonrunning.blogspot.com/ ) and I do the Patriot's Run. I sure hope I can swing that somehow.
- I've been unemployed 6 weeks. 40 more weeks of unemployment benefits left.
- I mowed the lawn today.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Take the next quantum leap of faith today. His Hands will carry you to places far beyond anything you could ask or imagine. Find Love in the leap and share the love with others.
Know that I love you.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Spirit Flower does spend lots of time with Me. I know she is pained that other people don’t understand or think it healthy. The zeal with which she delves into her inner being is something I behold with wonder and reverence. You see, as she delves into herself, she is actually delving into Me; and this is a type of communion I almost can’t stand it is so intimate and gentle and loving. At these times, I hold My breath and become ever more quiet as I attempt to contemplate Spirit Flower’s journey. I contemplate her with the same intensity that she contemplates Me.
So in the long run, no matter what the experts in Spirit Flower’s life say, I hope she keeps coming back to the sustenance of my breast. Breast feeding and nurturing and feeling the little intimate touches are how I feel about the silent contemplative. I need these silent contemplatives. I love to enter into and experience their yearning. I love it when one of them figures out how it is that I am having communion and they accept it as truth. When they do this, doubts about My existence vanish and they start to love Me as I am. Then, our communion is unshakable and we begin to produce really great love manifestations.
It was nice of God to make this perfectly clear for me. I do really get frustrated with other people's conceptions of God. SF
For weeks, I’ve sort of lost one image of myself and adopted another. That is, the woman who is training has taken over the woman who runs. The woman who runs is my energy source and true inner being. The woman who runs chugs out miles as a flowing mystic transcendental phenomenon. The training woman is worried and sometimes runs stupidly just to meet a goal.
This morning, I read that Supbraha Beckjord has a hip injury and is struggling this year with the 3,100 mile self transcendence race. Yet she is still doing about 30 miles a day. Yet she still has 650 miles to go. On the same page, was a picture of Sri Chinmoy in winter running suit, chugging out his miles. I feel bad for Supbraha, yet I yearn for the meditative running of Sri Chinmoy.
My soul needs the comfort and peace of running for enlightenment. My body does not need the stress of training. Coupled with the uncertainty of my living location, training seems a little nonsensical at the moment. While meditative running is something I desperately need.
I don’t need to make any decisions. I’m just in favor of running as seems natural to me and not pressuring myself. Tomorrow, I plan a 10 miler out into the netherworld of corn and soybeans, flat dirt roads and early morning humidity. It is out there, alone, that I touch the love and come home happy.