Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 in Workouts

I posted this at Running Mania, but found it too precious not to post here too.

Not a bad haul: Olathe Marathon, Aslinger 24 hour run (20 hours and 80 miles), Corporate Challenge 5k, NCM Marathon, Psycho Psummer volunteer, Lunar Trek 50k, Fallsburg trail marathon, Rock Bridge Revenge 25k trail, Blue Springs 50/50 (44 miles, 9.5 hours), Gobbler Grind half marathon, Run for the Ranch marathon.

Several ag awards. One PB + BQ. No DNS.


I was employed at the same place, lived in the same place and drove the same car.

AND, I ran or worked out on ex-machines 842 hours (equivalent of 105 eight hour days, nearly 1/3 of a year). Does not count time spent on strength.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mind Training

Here I am at work after 5 days off, and before taking 5 more days off.

This morning, as I did my spiritual study and meditation, I noticed a dramatic difference in the type of thoughts I was having. My thoughts were related to work: how terrified I was that something bad would happen and how much I hate a particular person. (As I write this blog at noontime, I realize that both these types of thoughts are related to ego deflation).

But, OMG, my head is usually full of these fearful and hateful thoughts before every work day. And I got to tell ya, rationally speaking, it is not the job. Its me and my attitudes.

So, I recognized these thoughts. Then I reached out to Jesus for help. I immediately heard an answer: the litany is a series of doorways out of the ego world and into the Real World, the Kingdom. Pick a doorway and go through it.

Wow! So powerful. These fear/hate thoughts are not true because I am spirit. These thoughts are my ego thoughts being projected and making a terrible day. I must have made a decision to have a bad day. I need to choose again.

This worked to help me shift my perspective. I really don't want to spend my days with a hateful mind. The Course in Miracles teaches that we have control of our thoughts. And we can choose to think something else. Shifting my thoughts instead of letting them drone on and on unchecked is what I am learning. If I let the ego negative fear/hate thoughts go unchecked, I will soon be projecting them and believing them. If I put a stop to it early in the morning and choose a spiritual doorway from the litany, I'm going to have a happy day and project joy (which is what I am). The litany is listed below.

Supporting Miracle Principles:
36 Miracles are examples of right thinking, aligning your perceptions with truth as God created it.
37 A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganising it properly. This places you under the Atonement principle, where perception is healed. Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible.

And here is some of what I read in the text (6.V.C and 7.III):
What you made (the ego and its world) has imprisoned your will, and given you a sick mind that must be healed. Your vigilance against this sickness is the way to heal it... Be Vigilant Only for God and His Kingdom ...By teaching the power of the Kingdom of God Himself, He (the Holy Spirit) teaches you that all power is yours. Its application does not matter. It is always maximal. Your vigilance does not establish it as yours, but it does enable you to use it always and in all ways...Because God's equal Sons have everything, they cannot compete. Yet if they perceive any of their brothers as anything other than their perfect equals, the idea of competition has entered their minds. Do not underestimate your need to be vigilant against this idea, because all your conflicts come from it. It is the belief that conflicting interests are possible, and therefore you have accepted the impossible as true...God has lit your mind Himself, and keeps your mind lit by His Light because His Light is what your mind is.

My Litany:

Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this can’t hurt me.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.

Giving and receiving are the same.
True appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.

Joy is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)

 Here is another picture of me at Run for the Ranch (3:51 marathon, Boston Qualifier):

Monday, December 27, 2010

Litany Tweaked Again

Today I went for a 24 mile run. I noticed how effective the litany, even one line of it, is in avoiding the ego's thoughts of fear, anger or hate. Whenever I stop deciding what to think, the ego takes over with thought attacks against various people, places and situations. I choose not to live with a conscious which is completely unaware of joy. A big piece of learning from the Course in Miracles is that I am in charge of my thoughts and I can decide what to think (or at least decide what not to think and ask for help). I decide what I want (as often as necessary, even several times and hour). I ask for help. I proceed with what I heard from the Holy Spirit.

I tweaked my litany a bit. Here it is as I was reciting it this morning:
Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this can’t hurt me.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.

Giving and receiving are the same.
True appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.

Joy is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)

Joy is Not Happiness....

...or any other sort of new age namby pamby.

It is the essential life force which I feel within, which gets me out of bed and which fuels all my actions, if I let it. It is incomparably more powerful than the desire for worldly gifts which the ego consciousness wants.

Joy is not a feeling of happiness or bliss. Joy is a state of mind or being which is not ego. Joy is an alliance of consciousness with the inner power; instead of with the ego world.

The inner power is what I call Sheer Joy. Allied with is, I feel stronger. Joy is constantly strong, but easily forgotten in favor of ego because the ego is louder.

Joy does not promise any fame, fortune, position or cures for cancer. Joy is merely an inner strength which can become the primary consciousness with which I experience the dream. Allied with the inner strength, my perception significantly shifts from anger/fear/hate to benevolence. This perception shift is a miracle. It changes my life because I see everything differently.

Joy is not something possessed by the lucky of the talented. Joy is something I can uncover and tap into by a diligent practice of denying ego and all its negative thoughts; plus looking within for that constant strength and being aware of it. When I gave it a name, Sheer Joy, it became real and it became mine. I discontinue the constant stream of negativity from the ego and then listen and hang onto that which is my true foundation.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Being is Joy

Yesterday was a momentous day in my spiritual life. I said yesterday that I was feeling happy. Later in the day, I worked out a terribly important coupling equation.

I mentioned the inner being, the inner force of something which gets me out of bed; the inner power or spirit. Yesterday, I realized that this inner power is "Sheer Joy." Yup, that's right: Joy resides in me but I never recognized it for what it was.

As a matter of fact, I have spent most of my life hating "joy." This is because I'd read spiritual books and read about others joy and think that I had not one scrap of joy. Really. I'd hate the authors of these books and hate the joy too; because I had no idea what it is. I had only experienced the temporary sort of happiness which comes from the ego getting what it wants; never knowing anything about the true divine Joy which comes from Heaven.

Let me repeat: that thing that gets out of bed, which insists on daily spiritual study, pondering and prayer, which is the awesome athlete, which is the driving force behind my life, that something else which is not ego (the tiny mad idea): That is Sheer Joy. I am really Joy. I can now live from my true starting point and beginning: I am Joy.

Solution to the coupling equation: My life force = Sheer Joy from inside.

The truth about me (and you or anyone) is that we are Joy. God made joyful thoughts and that is what we are, nothing else. We are not bodies and we are not here is this dreadful world. We are all Sheer Joy.

How did we come to not know we are Sheer Joy and instead think we are these limited weak physicalities which get old and feeble and die? We decided to be special and so threw away the Kingdom of God. Jesus in A Course in Miracles says thin, "Everything outside the Kingdom is illusion (the ego world). When you threw truth away, you saw yourself as if you were without it. By making another kingdom (the ego world) that you valued, you did not keep only the Kingdom of God in your mind, and thus placed part of your mind outside it. What you made has imprisoned your will, and given you a sick mind that must be healed. Your vigilance against this sickness is the way to heal it" (ACIM text 6.V.C.9).

My way of being vigilant, because I want the Kingdom not the kingdom, is to take thought inventory. Any thought which is against the Sheer Joy reality needs to be brought to Jesus' light for healing. Remembering I am Joy makes me invulnerable to the ego world. I cannot be hurt because no one can hurt Joy; and I am not invested in the tiny reality which is without Joy. I am invested in the Kingdom which is only Joy, with which I am truly one.

The reality and acceptance of my inner Joy allowed me to make another extension. It relates to what I have perceived as a problem with a work colleague. He continually does things behind my back and I was perceiving this as a threat to me. So I feared and hated him. But if I realize I am Sheer Joy and can't be hurt, I don't need to fear this man. Further more, as Joy, I live under God's laws not worldly laws. So what happens here is known as a delusion and not true. This is way of perceiving is a true miracle.

Here are some supporting Miracle Principles:
33 Miracles rearrange perception and place all levels in true perspective. This is healing because sickness comes from confusing the levels.
33 Miracles honour you because you are lovable. They dispel illusions about yourself and perceive the light in you. They thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity.
36 Miracles are examples of right thinking, aligning your perceptions with truth as God created it.
37 A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganising it properly. This places you under the Atonement principle, where perception is healed. Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible.
41 Wholeness is the perceptual content of miracles. They thus correct, or atone for, the faulty perception of lack.

I still think I am here in this dream called the world. But, I am coming to have a consciousness which is love and peace and joy. I'd rather have Joy than hate and fear. I choose to have a mind which is one with God and so I want Joy and do what ever I need to uncover my fears and annoyances and bring them to the light. I will continue to study A Course in Miracles, continue to follow Spirit. My way of remembering the Course and its teachings is to ponder my litany, which is really a short form of Course principles. Yet, I have revised it again:

Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this can’t hurt me.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

Giving and receiving are the same.
True appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.

God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.

This is my commitment: I am joy.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)

Now its time for another 5 hour workout. First a couple of hours of ex-machines and then running on trails. It is cold outside today, but not that windy. I'll still have to bundle up.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Just Be the Being You Are

I am very joyful today.

I went to bed feeling at odds with the world because I refuse to participate in Christmas.

I woke up with a re-minding that I am spirit. I could feel my inner being, the driving force of my life. To my inner being, Christmas is entirely irrelevant and there is no conflict at all in this because my inner being sees only the magnificent inner being in others. Seeing only spirit, what happens is this world is not of concern. What is of concern is celebrating the joy of being a child of God. God's children are holy. God's children are led by the Holy Spirit. Whenever I am afraid, I turn to the Holy Spirit, trust that I will be led, and leave all the details there.

I am a magnificent inner being. Remembering the being is not automatic; re-minding myself is a conscious activity.

This magnificence is what produce personal bests in races, not the training. This magnificence is what gets my up to do core exercises, not some grandiose goal. This magnificence enable me to help others, give of myself and be vigilant against my ego's judgments and ensuing annoyances.

This year, re-mind yourself. This year, be the being you are.

Miracle principles:
  • 29 Miracles praise God through you. They praise Him by honouring His creations, affirming their perfection. They heal because they deny body-identification and affirm spirit-identification.
  • 30 By recognizing spirit, miracles adjust the levels of perception and show them in proper alignment. This places spirit at the center, where it can communicate directly.
  • 31 Miracles should inspire gratitude, not awe. You should thank God for what you really are. The children of God are holy and the miracle honours their holiness, which can be hidden but never lost.

 Now, I will do some work on my ex-machines and then go for a long run. It is chilly outside with a north wind. I will be a fairly unimpressive sight in my layers of fleece and gortex, slowly jogging along. But I will be entirely spirit in my mind and I will see you as spirit too. That is the gift I have to give. I might even go to the gas station and see the spirit of the lady who always works there on Saturdays.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Prayer Litany - Revised Again

Most people think Christmas is real. I do not. I see it as a human construction that really means nothing in the world of spirit. Genuine love does not increase during this season of gift giving.

But, Christmas occupies many people's time and so the park was very empty today. I got to run for almost 4 hours; about two hours were in a heavy snowfall. The snow makes it seem more quiet. And strangely enough, a man I have know for decades caught up to me on my last two laps and decided to slow to my pace and chat.

While I was alone, I pondered what I read in the Course in Miracles text this morning (6.V.B): "What you must recognize is that when you do not share a thought system, you are weakening it. Those who believe in it therefore perceive this as an attack on them. "

To not participate in Christmas is a threat to many people and they respond to me with an attack. The attack often takes the form of calling me a Scrooge, so maybe I will feel guilty and get with the Christmas game. I realize that the attack is a result of my threatening their ego's thought system. The response I learned from A Course in Miracles is to realize the attack is a call for love.

This morning, as I thought about Christmas thought attacks, I realized that stuff like Christmas is invented to distract us from our pain. Most humans live in a very deep pain and don't want to look at it. The pain is related to the presumed separation from God which is lived out in the ego's thought system. The ego's thought system is very painful. So to give love in response to the call for love, I remember the Holy Spirit's thought system; and remember that we are one in God. The painful ego world does not really exist.

This line of thinking caused me to go very deeply into my litany (see below); especially the part about giving and receiving are the same. In the park, there is an old guy who can't really stand up straight, but runs very well. I waved at him and got a "hey" in response. That was my connection to the Christ in him. We both gave and received equally. The fact that Steve spent an hour running with me was an awesome expression of love. Then I went to the store and an assistant manager insisted on giving me a dollar off an item because they were out of the smaller size package. That was also giving and receiving for both of us. The money didn't matter; it was the connection. We both got love.

Christmas gift giving is more often an attack than love. And I believe what Jesus says in Miracle Principle number 5: "Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided." And number 32: "I (Jesus) inspire all miracles, which are really intercessions. They intercede for your holiness and make your perceptions holy. By placing you beyond the physical laws they raise you into the sphere of celestial order. In this order you are perfect."

Its not that Christmas does not involve miracles because each of us is a miracle and all expressions of love are miracles. Real miracles are natural and under the guidance of Jesus. They happen all the time, not just at Christmas. What happens at Christmas is ego satisfaction. And my point is that I have withdrawn my support of the ego's thought system, hence threaten other people's egos, hence get accused of being a Scrooge, hence see pain, hence overlook the pain and see perfect innocence and Christ instead. Thus, we both have inner peace.

Which brings us to Miracle Principle 25: "Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness (overlooking) which, when completed, is the Atonement (undoing). " My way of undoing the ego and returning to God is the above process.

My litany:

Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this need not be.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

Giving and receiving are the same.
True appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.

God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.

This is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Throw Your Heart Over the Bar at Run for the Ranch

Yes: I did plan to put whatever I had into this race. Throw my heart over the bar.

I cannot explain this: 26.2 miles in 3:51:xx (LIFETIME PERSONAL BEST, and Boston Qualifier)

Here we have a picture of the schwag: shirt, medal, plaque for the BQ, and trophy for AG 1st place.

I signed up for a half marathon thinking the weather would be cold or something and I wouldn't want to run a full. That was a stroke of genious because it put the race on my calendar but I had no plans and hence didn't over do anything. Well, I had a tiny idea of practicing doing hm's and eventually whittling my time down to NYC (1:50). Since I was planning on doing a half, I worked out for an hour on Saturday and ran for 3 hours.

But, on race day, the weather was awesome. I left Kansas City about 15 min early thinking that I could switch races if I got to Springfield in time. It turns out the drive was only 2.5 hrs, not 3 (yup 70 mph all the way). I surely didn't want to wait around that dinky town for 3 hours so switched my race to the full marathon which started at 1 pm. (oh yeah, I brought extra gel thinking I'd need it). For breakfast I had a power bar and a myoplex lite bar. I ate a peanut butter sandwich in the car and ate another power bar about 30 min before the start. Drank a pot of green tea. Excellent bowel movement before leaving KC sealed the decision that today was MY DAY.

My plan was to run a fast half to see how well I could do that, and then slow down for the second half. The course is billed as flat, but it had places with 1% grades, too much cement, too many turns, several place along busy streets where the sidewalks got crowded. But it did have one loop around a stadium track where they were playing music which was a good place to pick up the pace. I was dressed too warm (3 shirts and a track jacket).

Along the way: finishing the second lap, a male spectator didn't look before crossing the course (near the start finish where there were lots of people) and stepped right in front of me so I whacked him in the back (well at least I didn't push him down). The feel of his leather jacket under my hand was quite satisfying! Lap 3, I decided to take a pee break because about 200 more runners would be on the course by the next lap (5k, 10k and half races) and I didn't want to have to wait. This involved going into a building and running down a hall, so it took 2 minutes. Finished the half in 1h54 by Garmin, but 1h56 by clock. I kept pushing my pace. On the 1% downhill, I got up to 8 min/mile. On the 1% up I tried to stay at 9 min/mile. Where the ability to run that fast came from I don't know.

I carried 2 8 oz bottles of my own Gatorade and used 8 gels. It worked good to have my mobile aid station as I could time everything exactly. This was my first race with a Garmin and I liked looking at the instantaneous pace just to make sure it was under 10. But I kept being amazed to see it below 9.

On lap 5, I thought of slowing down but had tons of energy so kept it up. When my brain tried to say this couldn't be, I answered with why not? I am spirit, unlimited. God created me to be a part of Him. That is what I am and where I am. So, spirits can do whatever they want because they have defeated ego (and egos cause failure and limits). If I think I can, I can. The last lap was powerful. I was a machine! (I did not slap the runner who suddenly stopped right in front of me but did touch his back as I slipped around). I was sprinting. It was awesome to just throw it all away for 3 miles.

Nope: no carefully planned training schedule. No speed work. No taper. Just mental determination. Thoughts create reality. Early birthday present (I'll be 52 in 3 weeks). Imagine being able to run better at 50 than you could at 20 or 30.

I saw a totally buff woman. OMG, I want to look like that (and will, you'll see). I saw a man wearing shorts with huge chafing between his legs (I mean areas more than 6 in2). I passed tons of people in the last 2 laps. Lots of people walking (bonking means under trained or poor planning of fuel).

After the race, I had to go in a building and wait in line for my medal and plaque. Then I sat at a table with a man who had obviously been badly burned. He told me about his 300 mile run across S. Dakota last summer. Then they finally brought the results in. I talked the RD out of my trophy so I could leave.

Easy drive home. This morning, my body does not feel too bad. Fatigue but no injury.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Run for the Ranch - Prelude

Today I was reading in the ACIM text in chapter 6.II:
"...God created you as part of Him. That is both where you are and what you are."

That will make a great running mantra for today's half-marathon. I plan to run a great race, to throw my heart over the bar. I'm not shooting for a record but for the dregs of my body, mind and spirit. To give everything I have. Giving is my definition of living.

Once again, here is my litany prayer derived from the Course in Miracles. I made it up myself but it consists of Course ideas.:

Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this need not be.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

The innocent are always truly seeing.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.
God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.

This is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)


The prayer is a magic carpet ride, a conveyance into the bowels of my soul. Here, in my deepest depths, I find the thing which drives me. It is a living pulsating hyper-drive of God, the Christ-Self.

Self indulgence is the anti-Christ, literally. Self-indulgence is an ego tool driving the person away from the spirit and the Voice for God. (Remember the ego is the tiny mad idea which wants to be separate from God in order to be special) Self-indulgence is a way of being special. Self-indulgence is deadening, a disabling poison which erodes the spirit; yet is unbelievably addictive.

Running also takes me to my bowels, my depths. Running long distance disables self-indulgence and leaves me with prayer, and the sound of shoes on a dirt path.

So here is my answer: I am powerless over self-indulgence because I am addicted. I need spiritual help. Prayer brings me to the spiritual help. The hyper-drive of God, the Christ-Self, is my spiritual help.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Re-minding Myself

Miracle principle: "Miracles are thoughts. Thoughts can represent the lower or bodily level of experience, or the higher or spiritual level of experience. One makes the physical, and the other creates the spiritual."

Text 6.I: "...you must think as He (God) thinks if you are to know Him again."


I say re-minding because I mean that if I don't put a spiritual thought into my awareness and put some effort into keeping it there, it won't be there. I could potentially forget about God completely if I put no effort into re-minding.

On the other hand, if I do put effort into re-minding, then more and more of my thinking is love based. Pretty soon, I live with a consciousness which is entirely Divine.

This morning, I ran a little over 10 miles. It was a glorious run and I maintained a good speed. I have delusions of having a personal best half-marathon and full-marathon in 2011. 2011 is to be my year of high performance. High performance spirituality comes first.

This mornings running prayer was my personal litany for re-minding myself, which I continue to shape:

Father, in Jesus name remind me of
Your love for me and of my love for You.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this need not be.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding love is my reality.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

The innocent are always truly seeing.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.
God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.

Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.
This is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jesus' Choice

Miracle principle 11: "Prayer is the medium of miracles. It is a means of communication of the created with the Creator. Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed."

Text 6.I "The Message of the Crucifixion": "The message the crucifixion was intended to teach was that it is not necessary to perceive any form of assault in persecution, because you cannot be persecuted. If you respond with anger, you must be equating yourself with the destructible, and are therefore regarding yourself insanely...You are free to perceive yourself as persecuted if you choose. When you do choose to react that way, however, you might remember that I (Jesus) was persecuted as the world judges, and did not share this evaluation for myself. And because I (Jesus) did not share it, I did not strengthen it. I therefore offered a different interpretation of attack...If you react as if you are persecuted, you are teaching persecution. This is not a lesson a Son of God should want to teach if he is to realize his own salvation. Rather, teach your own perfect immunity, which is the truth in you, and realize that it cannot be assailed...Your resurrection is your reawakening. I (Jesus) am the model for rebirth, but rebirth itself is merely the dawning on your mind of what is already in it. God placed it there Himself, and so it is true forever. I believed in it, and therefore accepted it as true for me. "

AND then I started a workout on my ex-machines. After about 30 minutes, after the bike and after the trampo-step, I was on the nordic track. Then, the message of my morning meditation came into my mind: I cannot be injured. I made Jesus' choice.

I took this thought running with me. It was the only thought I had. It is possible to think of this world as a dream I am watching. Even if I spontaneously react to it, I can look back at any incident and laugh at it as a bad part of the dream.

When I say, "I made Jesus' choice," it means I choose as Jesus did to know I cannot be injured because of thought of God cannot be hurt. I can evaluate my world in a way that strengthens love, not injury or destruction. It is a decision to hear only the Voice of the Holy Spirit. This Voice was put in me by God and I can choose it at any time, even after something seems to have happened. Just choose right now.

When you truly try to frame everything in terms of the Holy Spirit, a whole new universe appears. Everything is re-interpreted to mean something the ego would not have thought of.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who Cares for Me

Miracle Principle no 7: "Miracles are everyone's right, but purification is necessary first."


Text 5.VII: " Do you really believe you can plan for your safety and joy better than He can? You need be neither careful nor careless; you need merely cast your cares upon Him because He careth for you. You are His care because He loves you. His Voice reminds you always that all hope is yours because of His care.... Why should you listen to the endless insane calls you think are made upon you, when you can know the Voice for God is in you? God commended His Spirit to you, and asks that you commend yours to Him. He wills to keep it in perfect peace, because you are of one mind and spirit with Him."

My realization this morning: EVERY morning as I sit down to A Course in Miracles and begin to study, I read something and hear the ego's voice telling me what a failure I am at spirituality. Every morning, I start out with the idea I'm a failure. Starting with spirituality, the blood letting extends to everything in my life: diet, fitness, career, relationships, etc.

THIS morning, the pattern became clear and I decided it must be wrong. Jesus would not be saying that. Then I went and rode my nordic track for 35 minutes. Then, I put on layers of clothes, strapped the Garmin on top and went out for a run. This thought came: "I am loved and cared for. I am free." And that became my running phrase, my one thought, the decision and power for me today. I am under the care of God; the safest place in eternity.

I run on hills during the week. Since getting the Garmin and since my last half marathon, I've been working on bringing up my normal pace. Today I hit it: an average of 10 minute miles. I kept marveling: in less than a month, I'll be 52 years old. I work out at least 2 hours a day (and hold down a job). I'm doing great.

I need God to keep me from hating myself every morning. I need God to come with me thru the day. I totally understand how if I am cared for by God, I don't need to be afraid of such things as layoffs at work. I have no family or husband, so I must rely on God.
Yesterday, I ordered a new piece of exercise equipment. Time to shift my core and strengthening to keep improving. this morning, I was investigating Livestrong.com to do my calorie counting. I think I'll try that for awhile. I was happy to see that most of the food I eat is already in their data base.

Christmas at Ultra Monk's house (so far): airplane tickets to Vancouver for May, TRX exerciser, Garmin 305, 2 calendars.

I'm going in a half marathon on Sunday. Trial number two in my quest for a 1:50.

2011: the year of high performance.

Dang I am happy. It must be my decision to let God be in charge.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monument to 2010


This graph shows how many hours I've spent each month during 2010 either running or using my ex-machines (bike, nordic track, treadmill, mini-trampoline or step-up platform). It cannot be said that this was "training" because these hours serve no particular purpose. But I meditate while I work out; so in the realm of the spirit, this is productive time. It is time spent using spiritual synapses and thinking the Holy Spirit's thoughts rather than my own ego thoughts. I also spend about 10 hours a week sitting silently in a chair doing the same thing. This is my real life: sitting before Spirit and listening only to It.

Yesterday, I realized that I've trimmed my ego (the tiny mad idea which decided it is separate from God and so made this dream world). I've trimmed my ego down to one thing: viciousness. Indeed! My ego wants to lash out at every single person. I don't act on my ego's thoughts. In fact, I am a pleasant cooperative person, in the face-to-face world. But, thoughts are real. So if I think it, it is (btw, everyone has this viciousness. They are just not acutely aware of it). I'm not happy with my viciousness. So I bring it to the light of Christ, where it is re-interpreted and undone. This is A Course in Miracles in a nut shell.

I am a miracle, an expression of love from God. Love, happiness and warmth is what I am. I got this thought after I asked the Holy Spirit for it this morning. Then, I thought only this while I was working out. I am not my ego, the tiny mad idea. I am spirit (love, happiness and warmth).

The weather for this coming Sunday looks fabulous. I should be able to drive to Springfield MO and run a half marathon. This will finish off my racing season for 2010 (3 ultra-marathons, 3 marathons, 2 half-marathons, 1 x 25k, 1 x 5k, one volunteer).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Healing the Cancer of the Soul

I went running today: 20 miles in 3h11.
The winter wind blew.
I put my head down and kept going.
There is something deeply mysterious blossoming inside.
I can feel the light glowing.
Is this love? Is it a gift to Spirit?
My offering is an 8:30 mile, all I've got.

The wind is my spirit, my "Ruah."
The wind is my winter companion.
The wind burns what little face I show it.
And so the wind is fire.
And also is my prayer a searing flame.
God himself burns in my heart, searing the cncer in my soul.
Ego is the cancer of the soul.

What a strange statement or admisssion: my soul has cancer.
But of course, my ego's visciousness lies hidden in the dark night of the soul.
My ego's visciousness, unchecked for decades, metastacized into tumors which obliterate my access to my spirit.
In silence and contemplation, laying bare my ego's viscious thoughts, exposing them to the lazer light of Christ, I am healed.
Post divine radiation, I connect freely to my spirit, my truth, inner peace.

The light of Christ is the mysterious blossoming I feel inside.
Free of the restricting tumors, my spirit soars in joy.
In health, I run fast.
I am spirit. I am light. I can run.

My healing is our healing.
Christ light of any kind, any where in the Sonship, illuminates all.
This light is the miracle because I can see it in you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dopamine vs God

I heard a brief news story on NPR that giving money triggers the dopamine reward pathway in the brain and therefore it feels good. Other things that trigger the reward pathway mentioned were chocolate cake and sex.

I believe that many people seeking enlightenment are not so much interested in God as in a massive dopamine influx of extended duration. AND I believe that the reward pathway is NOT hardwired but a result of societal and parental programming which begins at such an early age that we think it is hard wired.

In my divorce from society and non-participation in the norms, I am attempting to buck my programming and deny the dopamine reward pathway any involvement in my life. I do this because I want true spirit, true God consciousness; not a cheap biochemical substitute. Of course, this is an emotionally difficult thing to do. But I want to live a pure spiritual truth. I don't want my life to be controlled unconsciously and primarily by the dopamine reward pathway.

The spartan or austere life builds synapses which are different than the dopamine reward pathway. I am spirit. The state of being spirit is characterized by inner peace. The dopamine reward pathway has absolutely NO meaning to spirit. If I want to know I am spirit, I must choose inner peace instead of the dopamine reward pathway. Inner peace does not have an emotional reward. Inner peace does not have a productive component in this world. If I sincerely want to know I am spirit, I walk away from the dopamine reward pathway and accept inner peace.

Athletes are known for self disciplined and spartan lives. To live the life of an athlete, especially if it doesn't hold many worldly rewards, one has to forget the dopamine reward pathway. Its true that winning races is a dopamine reward. But that reward is not in and of itself enough to get one off the couch. To get off the couch and enter the athletic life, one must enable an inner spirit. You must choose spirit to find life.
 
Adult athletes buck societal programming to a tremendous extent. The adult who persevers at physical fitness on into advanced age is a huge inspiration. Take a look at a retired person with ripped muscles or who just won a long distance race, they did not spent the time training without choosing and harnessing spirit.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Meaning

Outside of society, my life has no meaning. I, in particular, have no meaning. Society is my ego's world, my ego's framework for existence. So if I leave society, my ego has a tremendous difficulty existing.

But beyond the ego world is spirit and light. I exist in this world as soon as I leave the ego world. It is not necessary for me as a spirit to have meaning. Spirit's don't need meaning. They just exist in peace.

In so far as my mind is at peace, I am existing as spirit. In so far as I see spirit in you instead of the ego's meaning, you have joined me in spirit. So if I leave society, I do not leave you.

Once we all know we are spirit and let the ego fall, the world will disappear.

I do not need my ego. But as soon as I attempt to live without it, it, ego, attempts to disrupt my peace so I will go back to thinking I need ego. Taking power from my ego and investing it in peace is difficult, especially if mixed with doubts or desires for what the ego gives ("meaning").

In my monastic life and in my post-monastic life, I have piece by piece been taking apart my involvement in society, leaving my ego with less and less. I want to know I am spirit. I want to be spirit. And so I invest in peace.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ultra Monk's Prayer

In the wilderness, the voice of Ultra Monk cries out, “Father, in Jesus name remind me of Your love for me and of my love for you.”

And so, clad in climafit, fleece and Gortex, new Garmin on one wrist, old Timex on the other; Ultra Monk begins her jog through the silent and dark streets of Briarcliff. She continues her prayer:

I am spirit. I know this need not be.
If I am afraid I am deceived.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Love alone is my reality.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.
I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The innocent are always truly seeing.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.
God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.
This is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)

And so, up hill and down hill, past darkened houses, Ultra Monk jogs. Occasionally, a deer is startled. Every now and then a car passes. In the summer, the lawns are being watered. In the winter, the north wind howls. And still, Ultra Monk chants her prayers. Nothing but God is on her mind. Everything has been let go in favor of peace.

Peace to all. (Amen)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Running is Being

The long distance run is a state of being, a picture of eternity and endless life. So is sitting on a cushion. These are extremes which meet in the unseen intersection away from the peak of the activity bell curve.

Being is without distinction; a state of mind close to the Universal Oneness.

Any thought makes distinctions, divisions and separations. I get to choose my thoughts. When I choose the silence of being, my reality is God. When I choose distnctions, my reality is ego.

Run quietly through the night, or through the forest, or along the side of the road. Be without distinctions in order to be infinite.

Just be a runner.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Secret

The holiest of mysteries is found within the silence of the heart.

Hardly anyone know this or believes it.

Its About the Spirit

Life is spirit. I am spirit. Life is about spirit. When you say, "Its about spirit," you are thinking about and asking for a reality far more than the material world of jobs, money, cars, sickness, kids and Christmas.

Imagine, look beyond, expand your possibilities and potentialities. Dream of something greater. Love Itself awaits.

Step one: Stop investing in the ego's reality.
Step two: Listen to the Voice for God.
Step three: Jesus will help if you want him.

If you cannot hear the Voice for God, it is because you do not choose to listen... change your mind to think with God's...

List of RIGHT ANSWERS (revised)
There is no ego. Know this need not be.
If I am afraid, I am deceived.
Fear is lack of love. Atonement heals.
Love alone is my reality.
In the holy instant I forgive.
And miracles come forth as love expressed.

The Holy Spirit is the Voice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.
I am not alone. Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.

The innocent are always truly seeing.
Christ vision is their one and only sight.
God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into God's Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to His peace.

This is my commitment and the Truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love-based thinking is my true desire.
Inner peace is what I really want.
Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and my love for You.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Running Free

Today’s run was extraordinary. 23 miles in 4h00 (10.4 m/m).

It’s now 5:30 pm. I finished my run at 1:45. I did take some Aleve, but the achilles is not hurting hardley at all (and it usually does). For some reason, combined with my awesome Gobbler half-mary race, I think my running is finally purified.

In the monastery, I felt guilty for running, although I needed to in order to be sane as well as avoid weight gain. I felt guilty because running shoes and gear cost money; as well as it conflicted with community and prayer. Then, when I came out of the monastery, I continued to feel guilty; like running was still taking time from contemplation. And I felt like racing was a thing of ego grandiosity. Like the shiney medals and ag awards mattered only to self and not to Self. I also felt like running was sort of a way of cheating God out of power over me (like the give and take of injuries, and increased health, were defeating God's old age decrepitude syndrome).

Today’s run, I was repeating a prayer, “Father, in Jesus’ name remind me of (pause) Your love for me and my love for You.” And then I just ran. Gu every 45 min with about 3 oz of water. It was a mostly warm day but very windy. What if somehow running is a talent God gave? I’ve always dis-ed it because I am really not that fast. But on a global scale (looking at all the 50 year old ladies around me), I am an awesome runner. So what if my prayer was answered today by releasing me from my running guilt?

During my vacation, I’ve been studying my spiritual book and reflecting on today and potential futures; and working out every day. There have been spiritual questions answered and my responses have been accepting of God’s gifts.

So now I say: running and racing are remembrances of His love for me and my love for Him. And Jesus must have been running at my side and whispering in my ear.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Retreat - Day 8

I have been off work and alone for 8 days. My recovery from the world is going well.

Personal Statistics:
Saturday - 80 minutes on ex-machines and a 10 mile run plus a strength workout.
Sunday - 13.1 mile race plus 65 min of jogging for warm up and cool down plus a 59 minute walk.
Monday - 120 min on ex-machines plus 6 mile jog plus a strength workout.
Tuesday - 60 min on ex machines, 10.8 mile run and 41 min walk.
Wednesday - 18.9 miles run plus strength workout.
Thursday - 4 hours on ex-machines, 4 mile run and strength workout.
Friday - 3h41 min trail run.
Saturday - 15 mile walk plus strength workout plus 60 min on ex-machines.
Sunday - ________ TBD.

Pondering:
  • I made my list of Right Answers (see below). I need this list of non-ego thoughts so that when I am in trouble, I have something true to hang onto. And the list is a way to keep from letting my mind go wherever it wants.
  • I realize that the founders of A Course in Miracles and the more well known teachers seem not to have achieved "it." Yet I believe that I can learn from Jesus and escape from ego prison. I am committed to the Course as my spiritual path.
  • I seek quiet and solitude because I need to hear something besides the yammering of the ego in the world. "Be still and know God" is a perfectly clear approach.
  • I spent Friday running the trails with this in my head: Into Thy hands I commend my spirit. I pondered the giving up of the ego and total reliance on God. Late at night, I felt that I had a moment of clarity: I have accepted God's peace. I am willing to let The Holy Spirit care for me. Yes God I accept Your peace. I said this and meant it. I accepted the power of peace instead of the ego grandiosity.
  • Today, walking, I look at the future. The company plans to lay off 600 people. Will I be one? It doesn't matter. I rely on The Holy Spirit.
  • Today marks the third day of absolutely no human interaction. I see how different my mind is when there is no one else around to posture before. I am a simple truth without the ego's presence.
  • I thought about applying for a job in Germany; but it would mean tons of world wide travel. I accept that solitude is my way or I would have corrected that in the past year instead of going further into solitude. So, I won't apply for the job. I'll wait and see what The Holy Spirit has for me here.
List of Right Answers:
There is no ego. Hate does not exist.
If I am afraid, I am deceived.
Fear is lack of love. Atonement heals.
Love alone is my reality.
In the holy instant I forgive.
And miracles come forth as love expressed.

The Holy Spirit is the Voice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.
I am not alone. Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.

God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
The innocent always truly see.
Christ vision is their one and only sight.
Into God's Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to His peace.

This is my commitment and the Truth.
Love is my intention as of now.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Miracle is the Right Answer

List of RIGHT ANSWER CORRECTED THOUGHTS

Hate does not exist. There is no ego.
If I am afraid, I am deceived.
Fear is lack of love. Atonement heals.
Love alone is my reality.
In the holy instant I forgive.
And miracles come forth as love expressed.

The Holy Spirit is the Voice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.
I am not alone. Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.

God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
The innocent always truly see.
Christ vision is their one and only sight.
Into God's Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to His peace.

This is my commitment and the Truth.
Love is my intention as of now.

Musings, ponderings, decisions:

I know I hate because I feel conflict when I think of certain people, places, things or situations. But, these thoughts are the ego’s hateful thoughts. However, the ego does not exist unless I think it exists. So I have a choice. I can make choices about what thoughts I have. This choice is my responsibility. But after I decide to choose something different, I can accept help from Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Of myself, I don’t know. But I can let Jesus guide my thinking. A Course in Miracles is a course in mind training.

In 2.VII.1, Jesus says, "...you do not guard your thoughts carefully enough." Guarding thoughts is also a monastic concept. And, training the monkey mind is a Buddhist concept. To make any progress in this world, I must find a way to change my thinking. It is the thing that stops me the most. If I didn't want to know God, in this lifetime, I suppose training my mind would not be necessary. But to know God, I must give up my ego thoughts, lose my life as it were.

Thinking hateful thoughts about another person is a thought attack. I may not go and love them in the physical world, but I can discontinue my thought attack. The end of my hateful thoughts is in and of itself a loving act. It is a miracle, an expression of love.

Every time I don’t watch my thoughts and answer my ego thoughts with a right answer corrected thought from Jesus, I find myself in a thought attack. But, A Course in Miracles gave me the right answers and helped my put them into an easily remembered form. I can retreat at any time from my thought attack and choose a right answer corrected thought.

I must be willing to do this over and over. No quibbling about progress or lack thereof, just make the choice.

My reality consists of what is in my mind. That is why it is so important for me to keep learning what to do about my thinking. It is vital. Nothing in the world is more important than taking up the means of healing which I was given by the Holy Spirit. Nothing.

Gobbler Grind Half Mary

I ran a half marathon last Sunday. I surprised myself with a 1:54:51 finish. That is 8:45 per mile average pace, which I didn't know I could do! I also got 2nd place in the F50-55 division.

Pretty cool!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Declaration of Independence...

....from the ego's thought system, to return to the Holy Spirit's thought system, to accept Atonement for myself, to allow Jesus to work miracles thru me.

I am off work for next week. I am on retreat from the world. "Retreat" means pulling back from the ego's illusion and giving more space to God. I am spending as much time as possible for the next nine days, holding my ego suspended and listening to God. I am guarding my thoughts and answering all of the ego's thoughts with one of these:

If I am afraid, I am deceived.
Hate does not exist. The ego lies.
Fear is lack of love. Atonement heals.
Love alone is my reality.
In the holy instant I forgive.
And miracles come forth as love expressed.


I am not alone. Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
This is my commitment and the Truth.
Love is my intention as of now.

If any of these thoughts touch you, please take it and use it. These thoughts are a helpful response to any frustration, pain or confusion.

So as I worked out and ran for 3 hours this morning, I keep only these thoughts plus any enlightenments which come from Jesus. These thoughts here are based on A Course in Miracles teachings and they have meanings beyond the definitions known to society.

I am going in a half marathon tomorrow. I must because it is part of a larger plan. But because I want to run again on Monday, I won't be trashing my body for a personal best.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Litany of Health

How do I know when to share? This week, my mind has been quite blank minded regarding any thoughts but work and running. Chapter 2 of the ACIM text talks about giving Jesus control over things that don't matter and allowing Jesus to guide my thoughts over things that do matter.

I am always looking for a better way to get through the day. My life is spent just trying to live out one more day. I have little happinesses and interesting accomplishments. I have my God project. I am a student of A Course in Miracles. But I am internalizing the fact that this world is an illusion and becoming more attuned to the thinking I put into it. I put less and less into the form of my life and more into the content of my mind. What is important is the content of my thoughts, not the form of the world; except insofar as the illusion I see witnesses to the type of thoughts I am thinking. It is very difficult to be honest with myself about exactly what thoughts I have and exactly what I mean by them.

Thoughts are powerful. Thoughts are what the illusion world is made of. So in my idle moments and especially when working out, I force my brain to stop thinking just any old thing. I decide what thoughts I want to have. I have a short litany which has specific meaning related to the Course in Miracles. I can recite it to myself to limit the thoughts I'm having. I can meditate on the meaning. I can use it to decipher and correct my thoughts.

The litany grew a bit today. As I was meditating on the text I had studied this morning, I was wondering what my intentions for doing anything are. And I decided that they shall be love. Then as I was running, anouther couplet or two popped into my mind. So here is the litany as of today:

If I am afraid, I am deceived.
Fear is lack of love. Atonement heals.
I am not alone. Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
This is the Truth and my commitment.
Love is my intention as of now.

The sentences are nine syllables. It makes for a good cadence while running if I include a silence of four steps between each line. Each of these sentences echoes or even quotes a part of the ACIM text.
I don't do holidays, except for I go on retreat. I come on the internet but otherwise have very little interactions with other people. I take holidays from work. I run alot. I read and ponder. I leave space for listening to God. I'm sure I'll have several blogs.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Vow to Atonement

Jesus is in charge of the Atonement (1.III.1)

My Vow to Atonement

1. If I am afraid, I am deceived.
2. His peace cannot be shaken. I am healed.
3. This is The Truth and my commitment.

My background thinking:

A Course in Miracles is filled with words which have been redefined in the attempt to correct our thinking. Like: miracle, Atonement, forgiveness, ego, salvation, body, world, sickness and healing. I have read the course 6 times and completed the workbook 3, but am still trying to understand and purposefully use the concepts. Undoing 50 years worth of worldly programming takes me time. It doesn’t take God any time, but a sudden rearrangement might scare me so Jesus is working slowly.

Miracle principle 25: "Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness which, when completed, is the Atonement."

The meaning of Jesus is corrected by the Course. The early church, mainly after 200 ac, interpreted Jesus and his teachings incorrectly.

There are no vows to be taken in the Course; but you are asked to make choices. Throughout the course, there are many emphatic statements: just remember this one thing, just do this, your only purpose is this, etc. I believe that each of these emphatic statements are saying the same thing but in different words. The feeling of the idea in my gut is the same for each one. The feeling is a deep and insistent yearning for connection to the Love behind each of the statements. The real meaning is: I am in Love, always have been, always will be, only rely on This Love, It gives me peace and safety.

In chapter 19D, The Fear of God, the text discusses the secret vow made to the ego never to lift the veil of fear which we made to hide the face of Christ, and ultimately God. The ego is afraid of God. This secret vow needs to be uncovered and brought into the light. Hence my idea that a counter vow, used all the time but especially when I am afraid, is beneficial for returning my awareness of my existence to God.

My reflection:

OK, so I was studying in Chapter 2 and learning about the Atonement. The simplest meaning is that the Atonement undoes our incorrect thinking. There are many more facets to the term. The Atonement is/was an act of love, given so that we could defend our minds against incorrect thinking. Use of the defense against the ego’s thought system relieves fear and opens the mind to the inner light, the Holy Spirit’s thought system and we rejoin the truth of our existence solely in the heart of God. “The Atonement is a total commitment” (2.II.7). From my life as a nun, I understand commitment and vow to be related. The vow is a statement of the commitment.

OK, so my head is filled with new synapses, corrected thoughts. Musing on everything said in chapter 2 about the Atonement, the body, fear etc, and laying in bed last night wondering if I was getting a sore throat, I realized that I was afraid and decided to use the Course to relieve my fear and stop the process of getting sick. I looked again at chapter 2 and my mind pieced together, in my own words, the entire meaning of the Course, its entire learning and usefulness and what I am committed to. I’m calling this my Vow to Atonement. It is a litany I can play in my head to keep me “on course” all day, safe in the heart of God no matter what appears to be happening (so called good or bad). The world is an illusion. I am really an idea in the Mind of God. My body is part of my experience in the dream of this world, but its purpose is as a learning device. It does not have a mind of its own and nothing happens in the world which is real.

2.I.1: "All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God. Of course, you neither can nor have been able to do this. Here is the real basis for your escape from fear. The escape is brought about by your acceptance of the Atonement, which enables you to realize that your errors never really occurred. "

So here is my Vow of Atonement:

1. If I am afraid, I am deceived.
2. His peace cannot be shaken. I am healed.
3. This is The Truth and my commitment.

Fear is my agreement to believe the ego’s proposition that I am separate from God and in a world which will hurt me. This thought is not true. What is true is that I have been given the peace of God, which is truly a rock. Knowing God’s peace is in me, fear leaves and my mind is healed. This is The Atonement. This is the Truth and I am committed to the Truth.

Conclusion:
The key core principle that any human must adopt and cling to at all times is reliance on God, not self. This returns the mind to the heart of God and heals the mind of fear. Living in love instead of fear, I project love and deny the ego's hate filled world.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Adiabatic Spiritual Process

As promised, I mentioned yesterday that I needed to integrate pressure safety design with contemplation. This morning, listening to the boring, stuffy know-it-all experts which form the pressure safety priesthood, I had this realization.

God is adiabatic and His equation of state is Q=0. God has zero entropy.

Huh?

Spiritual engineering is not for the faint hearted.

So, lets start with the word adiabatic. I am a mechanical engineer and I've never been that much in love with thermodynamics. So that word "adiabatic" has surfaced in my career from time to time. I've always at first been confused and then looked it up and then sat and contemplated.

Adiabatic refers to a thermodynamic process that occurs without gain or loss of heat Q (and heat is energy) with the surroundings. Derived from the Greek: impassible to heat, incapable of being crossed. All the change in the internal energy is in the form of work done. The adiabatic cooling of air as it rises in the atmosphere is the main cause of cloud formation.

God however, cannot change energy. God is a constant;  Q=0 and God's entropy equals zero too.

Entropy, from the second law of thermodynamics, it the world's tendency to move from order to disorder; and it is a measure of energy not available for work (because it is wasted as heat).

The dream of the Son of God in the world is made entirely imaginary and irrational numbers, which make up an equation of state with continuously increasing entropy.

Many people have belief systems where the temperature, volume and pressure change, and work is done, but they are impassible to exteriorly motivated belief changes. An adiabatic belief system would not be losing energy to the exterior; and that is why the dream of the Son of God is non-adiabatic and has continuously increasing entropy. A lot of energy is wasted in corollary after corollary needed to keep the frozen belief system. A religion, and the individual church itself, is an adiabatic system with increasing entropy. Go check the increasing number of books attempting to prove any catechism is TRUTH, and you'll see the wasted energy and increasing disorder.


But when any individual thought of God (an imaginary part of the Son of God which is dreaming the dream) remembers that his truth is inner peace, he immediately returns to the God constant. The miracle is that the remembrance of one implements peace in all. This is the Atonement: the undoing of the entropy derivative and re-integration into the one Son who always only exists in God.

Seek inner peace. In A Course in Miracles (2.I.5) it says "Peace is an attribute in you." So I sit back and turn my thoughts inward to the gentle peaceful light of Constancy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

God and Engineering

I am off on a seemingly different topic; at least different from running and A Course in Miracles, sort of.

11 years ago, I was working as an engineer completing highly technical calculations for sizing relief valves on chemical reactors. I was doing this work for the company I currently work for. 11 years ago, I had begun to practice silent contemplation. I was filling my head with the works of John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, Thomas Merton and some Buddhist monks. I was convinced that to carry out my mission to know God, I had to go live in a monastery. So, I engineered a project and quickly found myself confirmed Roman Catholic and installed as a Postulant in a contemplative Benedictine religious order.

4 years later (on the day I was supposed to take vows), I found myself suddenly on the streets. Next, I found myself in a parish and working as a cashier at a bakery.

1 year later, I returned to my engineering profession as I had obtained a job at an ethanol plant located in a small town in Kansas. So I lived there for 5 years, practicing contemplation, solitude and running alot. I worked my way through leaving the Catholic Church, divorcing myself from most of society and adopting A Course in Miracles as my spiritual text.

Last June, I got laid off the ethanol plant job, but obtained a job at my former employer. I have been there for over a year as a Process Safety Engineer. And now, I find myself slowly returning to involvement with pressure safety. Today, I am at a DIERS workshop in San Diego, learning more about the complicated calculations needed to design relief valves for chemical reactors.

I am also reading a book called "The Hermitage Within." Last night I had these thoughts: When I am alone, I have the opportunity to block out the world. And then, simply wait for God; sitting quietly, completely available, listening. I recognize The Presence here and now.

I find it must be my task to integrate a life in the world with contemplation. I must integrate the intricate design of relief valves with the massive silence of God. This idea takes my breath away. People think only monks can be intensely spiritual or that monks have some special place in God consciousness. Read Vatican documents on the place of religious in the world and they clearly state that contemplative nuns are closer into the heart of God than the rest of us.

It simply can't be true if God is love. It must be true that God comes to whoever wants Him and is willing to give up everything else. So, as I sit in class for the next few days, I'll be making prayers of equations for bubbly two phase flow.

I find myself in the heart of God whenever I consciously recognize the fact. Everyone is there with me; but many don't know it. If God is love, so are we. There is nothing else. And so I sit before the massive silence and feel awe; even as some teacher drones on and on about two phase flow.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Morning after the Miracle

A. I have been listening to a series of classes on the 50 miracles principles (see below) which was focusing on the miracle as an expression of love (1) and as natural (6). It was enlarging the definition beyond the standard course definition of a miracle as a perception shift. The definition of a miracle in ACIM has always been different than what the world thinks a miracle is (think parting of the Red Sea). But as a course student, I have always believed that I have not achieved the ability to do miracles.

B. Yesterday (Friday) I had started re-reading the ACIM text for the seventh time. The 50 miracles principles are the very first thing. So I had been praying for understanding yesterday morning.

C. During the day, I had these encounters:
- Very early in the morning, I had stopped to chit chat and tease a grumpy old mechanical engineer.
- I had spent 2 hours during the day working together with a grumpy old electrical engineer.
- I had left my ivory tower office and gone to the basement in order to see the company trainer. I wanted her to know I had accepted her apology for something. I did require prayer on my part to do this. I supposed it wasn’t mandatory and almost skipped it for now, but the trainer was very happy to know she was off the hook.
- At Target, I told a lady to go in front of me in the check out line.

D. And then, bota-bing, standing there in line, I realized I had been doing miracles that day. I knew that I had been naturally doing expressions of love (miracles). Part of this revelation was related to the fact that I often let others go first in lines, but had never accounted that as a miracle.

E. This morning, I was again reading the 50 miracles principles. I realized that they had come into my being:
- I believe in miracles now that I think of them as expressions of love; and not fantastic things and not a sudden land slide of money. I am free of my vague “Marianne Williamson” type definition of miracles.
- I don’t think of miracles as a special privilege from God (7). How many of us have been to Christian revivals and believe that only specially gifted people can do miracles? I am free from the belief that on Moses sized occurrences are miracles.
- We devalue small expressions of love (1).
- We don’t know that all love comes from God and that our true purpose is to be channels of that love (2).
- (9) I had experienced giving love and feeling more love as a result.
- (15) I believed I had used time effectively; and could envision a life focused on expressions of love as all I did each day.
- (26) I had experienced a few moments when my fear was undone. That is, I forgot my fear and approached people with love. I could envision a life free of fear.
- (27) I felt like doing expressions of love was somehow a result of the course, hence I must have the privilege of the forgiven. I believe I am forgiven and so are you.
- (18) I felt like I had honored the other people’s worth.
- (31) I felt like I had honored the other people’s holiness.
- (33) Being free from fear and freely expressing love, I was free from the ego imprisonment of this world. How much do our small egos force us into hold-back-gear and secretly cling to fear?

SO, conclusion: I know what a miracle is and I believe I can do that. I am a miracle worker. I see that my other fears will fall.

My spiritual life is no longer about personal enlightenment, but love. Oh, how grateful I am to Jesus for that shift!

For reference, here are the 50 miracles principles:

1 There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not “harder” or “bigger” than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.
2 Miracles as such do not matter. The only thing that matters is their Source, which is far beyond evaluation.
3 Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.
4 All miracles mean life, and God is the Giver of life. His Voice will direct you very specifically. You will be told all you need to know.
5 Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.
6 Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong.
7 Miracles are everyone’s right, but purification is necessary first.
8 Miracles are healing because they supply a lack; they are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less.
9 Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are always miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws. They bring more love both to the giver and the receiver.
10 The use of miracles as spectacles to induce belief is a misunderstanding of their purpose.
11 Prayer is the medium of miracles. It is a means of communication of the created with the Creator. Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.
12 Miracles are thoughts. Thoughts can represent the lower or bodily level of experience, or the higher or spiritual level of experience. One makes the physical, and the other creates the spiritual.
13 Miracles are both beginnings and endings, and so they alter the temporal order. They are always affirmations of rebirth, which seem to go back but really go forward. They undo the past in the present, and thus release the future.
14 Miracles bear witness to truth. They are convincing because they arise from conviction. Without conviction they deteriorate into magic, which is mindless and therefore destructive; or rather, the uncreative use of mind.
15 Each day should be devoted to miracles. The purpose of time is to enable you to learn how to use time constructively. It is thus a teaching device and a means to an end. Time will cease when it is no longer useful in facilitating learning.
16 Miracles are teaching devices for demonstrating it is as blessed to give as to receive. They simultaneously increase the strength of the giver and supply strength to the receiver.
17 Miracles transcend the body. They are sudden shifts into invisibility, away from the bodily level. That is why they heal.
18 A miracle is a service. It is the maximal service you can render to another. It is a way of loving your neighbour as yourself. You recognize your own and your neighbor’s worth simultaneously.
19 Miracles make minds one in God. They depend on co-operation, because the Sonship is the sum of all that God created. Miracles therefore reflect the laws of eternity, not of time.
20 Miracles reawaken the awareness that the spirit, not the body, is the altar of truth. This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle.
21 Miracles are natural signs of forgiveness. Through miracles you accept God’s forgiveness by extending it to others.
22 Miracles are associated with fear only because of the belief that darkness can hide. You believe that what your physical eyes cannot see does not exist. This leads to a denial of spiritual sight.
23 Miracles rearrange perception and place all levels in true perspective. This is healing because sickness comes from confusing the levels.
24 Miracles enable you to heal the sick and raise the dead because you made sickness and death yourself, and can therefore abolish both. You are a miracle, capable of creating in the likeness of your Creator. Everything else is your own nightmare, and does not exist. Only the creations of light are real.
25 Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness which, when completed, is the Atonement. Atonement works all the time and in all the dimensions of time.
26 Miracles represent freedom from fear. “Atoning” means “undoing.” The undoing of fear is an essential part of the atonement value of miracles.
27 A miracle is a universal blessing from God through me to all my brothers. It is the privilege of the forgiven to forgive.
28 Miracles are a way of earning release from fear. Revelation induces a state in which fear has already been abolished. Miracles are thus a means and revelation is an end.
29 Miracles praise God through you. They praise Him by honoring His creations, affirming their perfection. They heal because they deny body-identification and affirm spirit-identification.
30 By recognizing spirit, miracles adjust the levels of perception and show them in proper alignment. This places spirit at the center, where it can communicate directly.
31 Miracles should inspire gratitude, not awe. You should thank God for what you really are. The children of God are holy and the miracle honors their holiness, which can be hidden but never lost.
32 I inspire all miracles, which are really intercessions. They intercede for your holiness and make your perceptions holy. By placing you beyond the physical laws they raise you into the sphere of celestial order. In this order you are perfect.
33 Miracles honor you because you are loveable. They dispel illusions about yourself and perceive the light in you. They thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity.
34 Miracles restore the mind to its fullness. By atoning for lack they establish perfect protection. The spirit’s strength leaves no room for intrusions.
35 Miracles are expressions of love, but they may not always have observable effects.
36 Miracles are examples of right thinking, aligning your perceptions with truth as God created it.
37 A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganizing it properly. This places you under the Atonement principle, where perception is healed. Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible.
38 The Holy Spirit is the mechanism of miracles. He recognizes both God’s creations and your illusions. He separates the true from the false by His ability to perceive totally rather than selectively.
39 The miracle dissolves error because the Holy Spirit identifies error as false or unreal. This is the same as saying that by perceiving light, darkness automatically disappears.
40 The miracle acknowledges everyone as your brother and mine. It is a way of perceiving the universal mark of God.
41 Wholeness is the perceptual content of miracles. They thus correct, or atone for, the faulty perception of lack.
42 A major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing you from your false sense of isolation, deprivation and lack.
43 Miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind, or a state of miracle-readiness.
44 The miracle is an expression of an inner awareness of Christ and acceptance of His Atonement.
45 A miracle is never lost. It may touch many people you have not even met, and produce undreamed of changes in situations of which you are not even aware.
46 The Holy Spirit is the highest communication medium. Miracles do not involve this type of communication, because they are temporary communication devices. When you return to your original form of communication with God by direct revelation, the need for miracles is over.
47 The miracle is a learning device that lessens the need for time. It establishes an out-of-pattern time interval not under the usual laws of time. In this sense it is timeless.
48 The miracle is the only device at your immediate disposal for controlling time. Only revelation transcends it, having nothing to do with time at all.
49 The miracle makes no distinction among degrees of misperception. It is a device for perception correction, effective quite apart from either the degree or the direction of the error. This is its true indiscriminateness.
50 The miracle compares what you have made with creation, accepting what is in accord with it as true, and rejecting what is out of accord as false.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Course in Miracles - Again

7/29/07
9/20/07
1/23/08
7/25/08
5/28/09
1/28/10
11/5/10

These are the dates on which I have begun reading the 669 page text for A Course in Miracles. Notice that the first time, I devoured the text in less than 2 months. The past 2 times, it has taken me about 10 months. I want to go slower.

I want to know Jesus more. Sitting here, I know I love Jesus. I know it in every photon of my being and I can feel the love in the depth of my soul. It is this love, which really is love from the Source of Love, that is what will make it possible for me to go to work today and love others. It is important to me to walk around each day with this love in my conscious awareness, where it will be projected. The consciousness of love is a gift, but it does take some effort to gain because it is not from the world of busy-ness. It is spiritual and is gained through prayer and surrender of the mind to the Holy Spirit. This consciousness of love is a miracle.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blue Springs 50/50 - Uncommon Sense

Sense and uncommon sense.

Whenever I do a thing the intention is really to Listen to the Voice for God, walk with Jesus as my Guide, and use Christ's vision instead of my own.

I try not to make decisions on my own. I ask Jesus to decide for me. And this so that I will have a happy day.

So, in the early morning on Sunday, before venturing to the Blue Springs 50 miles race, I asked for a happy day. And I was practicing my lesson: "The peace of God envelopes me today, And I forget all things except His love.” The desire to walk with Jesus sets the stage for uncommon sense. It means that His will is to predominate over my ego.


Endurance in spirituality is what matters. Hence I mourn the loss of the importance of the world; not whether or not I finish 50 miles. People tell me how sorry they are for me that I didn't run 50 miles. I find this implies that running 44 miles isn't worthy. But when I leave the world of measurement and take spiritual values, the exact number of miles is not a consideration.

To discard worldly values and adopt spiritual values does leave a person like a fish out of water. The other people don't understand. I no longer fit with the group norms. This really hit home with my running this year. In March I was in a 24 hour race. After 20 hours and 80 miles, I decided to stop. I realized that I could have kept walking another 4 hours in order to say "I ran 24 hours;" but I was in severe pain and it wasn't worth it to me. I didn't need to say "I ran 24 hours." The same thing happened yesterday. I stopped after 44 miles because I was destroying one of my toe nails. It was already a goner by that time, but I didn't think running another 75 minutes in pain was valuable just to say, "I ran 50 miles."

His will is mercy. I had mercy on myself and the whole human race by letting myself off the pain hook. I have set myself and the whole world free by letting it out of the ego measurement prison. How insane that we say a person is unfortunate if they don't run 50 miles but only 44; or 20 hours instead of 24. Or....thin vs fat, tall vs short, black vs white, rich vs poor. The group norms are insane and I prefer the mercy of Jesus. I prefer the spiritual value of love.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blue Springs 50/50 - Prelude

Pre-race Saturday. Weight is 131.9. After 4 days off, the achilles feels good. Today I will run.

This morning, I read this from the Manual for Teachers (14):

“The father of illusions is the belief that they have a purpose; that they serve a need or gratify a want. Perceived as purposeless, they are no longer seen… The world will end when its thought system has been completely reversed… What, then, is the function of the teacher of God in this concluding lesson? He need merely learn how to approach it; to be willing to go in its direction. He need merely trust that, if God’s Voice tells him it is a lesson he can learn, he can learn it… And now sit down in true humility, and realize that all God would have you do you can do.”

Everything in my life is a lesson from A Course in Miracles, a work in spiritual growth, a learning in love and a remembrance of God.

Hence:
Everything is an exercise in reversing the world’s thought system.
Everything is two sided: denying the ego and remembering I am as God created me.

And so I attempt to go in a running race realizing it is purposeless except insofar as it reduces ego and builds awareness of love. I decide to allow a 50 mile race to be useless, meaningless, and purposeless; except for its learning goal.

I run 27 miles or 6+ hours in training; but I admit that I wouldn’t take the time to go 50 miles by myself. I need the race environment to hold me steady. No matter how low keyed and easy this race is, it is still a race and will serve the purpose. It will provide a venue where I will try to finish. I want to go beyond where I normally would.

My spiritual thought for tomorrow is: “The peace of God envelopes me today. And I forget all things except His love.”

This 50 mile race is a race; but it is also antithetical to racing. Hence it participates in reversing the world’s thought system. People go in races for achievement, moments of glory, awards, recognition, qualification, bragging rights. For me, as I find myself at the back of the pack and alone in the early morning darkness within 30 seconds of the start of the race, I can’t at all worry about beating anyone, winning an age group or achieving a time. All I can do is try to keep going. My goal is the emotional experience that happens after 30 miles. God will be my Companion, Crew and Pacer.

And at the end of the race, the 75 year old comical race director, wearing his Uncle Sam top hat, will give me a piece of plaster board cut into the shape of a turtle. It will have a paper label saying how far I went. I’ll put it around my neck, get in the car and go home.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Meaning is decided...

...because I am a mind, and this world is an illusion of the mind.

The concept of a wasted life has been my ethos for a few years. This concept is the heart of quitting the manufacture of meaning and accepting the truth of the meaninglessness of the world. Proof of meaninglessness is revealed when we realize everyone has their own meanings. Therefore it cannot be truth because we would all agree on truth.

If you quit "getting a life" and dismantle any life you seem to have, and de-construct all the beliefs that went with it, THEN you are left only with life itself. Pure and innocent, you exist in peace. Peace is all you see because you have stopped believing in anything else, so you don't see it.

In this condition of non-possession, some voice says, "I am," but the voice needn't be your individual voice or a separate God Voice. Having let go of all else, being simply life and nothing more or less, the voice of "I am" is not separate from me.Whether I said "I am" or I heard "I am" is an undifferentiated event. As I realize the lack of separation, I know I am with God, in God, God's thought, God's love, God's Son.

And, as solely life, I can accept the punch line of A Course in Miracles: "God's Son is guiltless and sin does not exist."

And this leaves the human with nothing in this world and a lack of perception of what was previously thought to be real. And a world which is only love appears, know as true, chosen and wanted. And peace abides as long as I grasp not anything but only listen to "I am" ringing with purity and innocence throughout the mind of God's Son.
From the Manual for Teachers.

Yet it is surely the mind that judges what the eyes behold. It is the mind that interprets the eyes’ messages and gives them “meaning.” And this meaning does not exist in the world outside at all. What is seen as “reality” is simply what the mind prefers. Its hierarchy of values is projected outward, and it sends the body’s eyes to find it.

It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. And it is here correction must be made. The mind classifies what the body’s eyes bring to it according to its preconceived values, judging where each sense datum fits best. What basis could be faultier than this?... His mind has categorized them all as real, and so they are all real to him. When he realizes they are all illusions they will disappear.

The body’s eyes will continue to see differences. But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them.