Monday, June 28, 2010

Running the Heart Sutra

Walking on the tm tonight, I felt the need to retreat into nothing, yet work out in the nothingness. I believe I can go nowhere in my ultra-retreat. This is the heart sutra:

Body is nothing more than emptiness, emptiness is nothing more than body. The body is exactly empty, and emptiness is exactly body.

I have a new paradigm: the work out paradigm. Some people live in a paradigm were they run only for fitness or when they are training for a race, a goal, a purpose. People view aerobic activity as something only done within limits: those of injury, time, “balance” or “got tired of it.” But what if you lived in a paradigm where you could work out without injury for endlessly long periods of time. Is this heaven for you? It is for me. I finally see it. I have developed a method for continuous working out as long as fuel goes in. I like this. It is not a punishment or some method for “digging deep.” It’s just enjoyment of a state of being. It used to be “challenging myself.” Now it is the enjoyable norm.

So, in emptiness, there is no body, no feeling, no thought, no will, no consciousness.

In the solitude of working out in my living room or running endless laps in a tiny park, I get to the place of no consciousness; only being. In the state of pure being, Oneness is found and the innocence of Life is found.

In the old paradigm, you see a person running and running and think they are hurting. In the new one, it is painless, unlimited happiness. My 5 day ultra-retreat starts Wednesday after work.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

First Ever Jellification Workout

Today I did something new. I spent 5 hours on my ex-machines. I discovered the jellification workout. I mean after spending 4h40 min doing 20 min shifts between ex-bike, treadmill and Nordic track, I felt like jello as I got off the Nordic track the last time and lurched over to the bike for a final 20 min. Part of the beauty of this workout is I did not aggravate a single tendon. I exercised pain free for 5 hours; merely burning energy and generating endorphins. I loved it!

So now, I have to share my plans. I planned to start a 5 day mini-personal-multi-day beginning Thursday. I can’t really run for that many hours every day. But I could run for 2 or 3 hours and then work out on machines for a number of additional hours. How many additional? What am I made of? You see, if I just run, I'll reach a limit. If I add in the non-traumatic ex-machines, there might not be a limit. It becomes a matter of mind and energy, not pain. OMG! What I could do is alot.

So, I need to ponder and set a goal. I won’t be tapering or by any means coming into it fresh. In fact, Wednesday will be a short work day as I go to an off-site workshop that day. I want to challenge my brain to do what the body is capable of. I want the experience of doing what I never have before and beyond what I thought I could. My initial guess is 7 hours a day. That is probably an underestimate, but all I can imagine right now.

Morning After Reflection

Today I slept until 6 am. Yesterday’s 5 hours of sun seem to have pushed me over the top and broken me. The good news is that I did not wake up limping. I woke up in lethargy.

I find myself at a moment of truth: It is not how far I went but how long, not the difficulty of the trail but the long term patient endurance of the workout. Anyone who has a seeker’s mind and determination will seek the edge of their envelope, their cloud of lethargy, and push through that cloud to something else, the extraordinary. There beyond the cloud, with enough patience, an extraordinary world is found. But that extraordinary world vanishes into memory as the seeker stops to rest for the night.

In the morning after doldrums and dregs, the seeker’s mind finds a thick lethargic cloud between their current state of consciousness and that extraordinary state. It may seem like a physical action generates the energy to get going again, like drinking coffee or eating. But the physical world action is really a lagging illusion which follows behind the seeker’s mind. That is, my seeker’s mind has already begun movement through the cloud of lethargy as I begin to feel like I will get up and go today. The feeling of hope, which I follow and experience as ordinary reality represents the fact that my real mind is really always in the extraordinary reality and I am hearing its call and allowing its grace to pull me into the extraordinary.

For today I define the cloud of lethargy as ego. Whatever I see in the cloud that holds me in this world is ego. Even prideful things can hold me in this world. Even religious trappings can hold me in this world. Fame and fortune, donuts and steaks can hold me inside the cloud of lethargy.

As a seeker, I use endurance to shut down the ordinary, the cloud, and join the extraordinary. The extraordinary is the real home of the Son of God (our one Self).

The lethargic cloud can be pushed through, superseded, dispersed, in a variety of ways. I choose fitness. So every day I work out. Even today: I woke up in the dregs with red splotches of heat rash on my legs and soreness in my shoulders from carrying a hydropak yesterday. At first, exercise seemed out of the question. As the physical world me drinks coffee and completes spiritual studies, my seekers mind has metaphysically moved forward through the lethargic cloud and sees already the sunlight of the extraordinary.

The feeling of hope is the call to move into another reality. The feeling of getting through the cloud is the joy and gratitude I experience every morning after about an hour’s workout and as I run to the top of a hill. I look behind me and see many who never attempt to get through the lethargy.

Fitness is my way, my truth and my light. Fitness brings me to joy and gratitude. In the extraordinary beyond the cloud of lethargy, I am in communion with truth, the Son of God, our one Self. Joy and gratitude are Jesus.

Joy and gratitude are my true home. I follow my seeker’s mind. I set my seeker’s mind free to soar beyond the cloud of lethargy and into joy and gratitude.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Mortal's Saturday Run

Today, starting at 5:30 am at 80F and ending about 11 at 85F (counting pit stops), I ran approximately 23 miles of 8x2s in 5h21 min. It was a put up or shut up run: it’s easier to think you’ll run 5 hours than it is to actually do it. So I made sure I did it. I thought it was much hotter than it was. I lost track of laps so counting conservatively at 14 min/mile.

My ankle hurt before I even got started. It was sore a lot of the run. I ran to emulate the Self Transcendence runners who just work their way through the pain. Is that stupid for us ordinary mortal runners? Or do I believe in it enough for it to work for me? Whispered quietly, “Spirit Flower, you run and work out far more than most of the ordinary runners. They only ran one hour today.”

Today’s ACIM lesson:
Let me perceive forgiveness as it is. I will not value what is valueless.

Here is where rubber meets the dirt with my running. What is important about the run is not what was going on at the material world, illusion level. What was deeper? Forgiveness. As I wanted to see forgiveness, I saw my thoughts about others as valueless and I let them go. And surprisingly, the other people responded by saying things to me which they normally don’t, even though we see each other every week. The most enlightening question came from a big ol’ fat man who got started walking even before me and was there at least 2 hours. I usually just think how terrible it would be to be that big and fat (and ugly). Today, as I approached him one of the times, I thought my forgiveness prayer, “I want to perceive truth.” I realized I admired him. As he got right to me, he suddenly looked up and said, “How did you get here?” He had a material world reason for asking that question, but metaphysically speaking, it a deep question which only the Holy Spirit would ask. Two other people were obviously the Holy Spirit’s witnesses today.

I also realized that if I forgive myself, I am forgiving all because we are one Self.

For what reason would I slog through a hot 5 hours jog? I saw my own injuries as valueless and let them go. Then, I found myself running without pain for awhile. During my run, I realized that we humans value ourselves when we conquer our pain. Pain is our big kahoona when it comes to self admiration. I kept thinking how great I was for enduring heat and pain. I kept thinking how I admired the Self Transcendence runners for overcoming their pain, pushing through it, getting beyond into some other world.

I do not have cancer so I am not running for my life. I am entered in a couple of races, so that is a reason to say I am “training.” But what really is at the bottom of it? Not my life. But maybe Life Itself. When I run to just be life, I am joining Life Itself.

5h21m is the longest I’ve run/worked out in a long time. Why 5h21min? Why run ultras? Why run at all? I've been running all my life so the question is not just for today. If I'm done thinking I'm great because I can endure, then why? Today was also the annual Western States 100 mile trail run. Whoever finishes that will receive far more accolades than these 11 miracles in NYC. Some others ponder the question. Those who are running and volunteering at the 3100 mile race:
Journey To The Unknown
Many people try to understand why a handful of runners would want to run day after day for almost two months around about one half mile concrete surface during the summer months in New York City. Most of these runners have done it more than once, so there is even more reason to wonder why they would want to do it again after experiencing the tremendous challenges and difficulties involved in such a very long and arduous journey….But the words may still not make any sense to those who have not experienced the race in some way or another…the impossible can be done, And the Universal Energy Can be unleashed, To raise our standards And lift our minds Beyond the limits of our broken bodies And faithless thoughts, To reveal the Beauty and the Power Of life’s long and arduous Journey to the Unknown

Friday, June 25, 2010

Running for Life

I have an ultra friend who is a prolific racer; going in perhaps 20 long distance races a year (not counting short stuff like marathons). I found out that she has cancer; the second time in seven years. IMO: she has been running for her life.

(In what I am about to say, I do not insinuate that this person ate or drank her way into cancer. But that I know so many people who eat or drink whatever trash in complete ignorance of the human dignity which they are destroying.)

I was reflecting on her in comparison with my own physical fitness; and all the fine affirmations and guidance my trainer gave me today. My endurance has grown in the last few weeks, mainly from cross training. I eat a very clean vegan diet with certain superfood proteins. I am not running out of a momentous situation; but still, I run in honor of all creation. My life is my gift.

I disdain junk food and alcohol of any sort. I don't trash my body or my mind; especially not my mind where my God consciousness connects. I keep myself at a high level of being, untrashed, in honor of a divine Magnificence which reaches from the life present in each cell to beyond the cosmos to the ineffably abstract light of Love. I AM is I AM everywhere including the illusion of time where Spirit Flower dreams her existence.

In my dream, I am multifaceted. Part of me plods along in a human body and hundred dollar running shoes. Another part of me knows only soaring in a pristine clear atmosphere of undisturbed pure light. The soaring part is united with all minds and The Mind of our lover: I AM

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Non-Performance Running

Running just to be.

Early in the morning, I arrive at the top of a certain hill. By the time I get there, I’ve worked out on machines for 45 minutes and then run 25 minutes. As I make my way down the other side, I feel the energy of fitness and I love it. I don’t live on the same page as most people, let alone most 50 something women. I know there are other women in this town who quietly go about the business of being an athlete, being extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary. I like that idea.

What called me to spend 2 or so hours each weekday on exercise; or 5 hours each weekend day? My mind is very quiet and I am not on a quest and I have no goals. Yet I’ve been working out like a fiend lately; and want to only do that. I have been feeling the limits of the endeavor as I build fitness. I have the desire for endlessness which comes from the extremely long workout, the endless workout.

All my life there has been something pulling at my heart strings. It is not endless running exactly. It is what is behind the running; the place where my mind goes during a workout.

What called me to run also called me to contemplation. Spirituality precedes any potential supportive role that exercise might have on the consciousness of God. I love the spiritual program of contemplation and action I have found. With the help of the Holy Spirit, one can perceive a world peopled only with holiness and embraced by a loving peace.

Swell! Sweet! Cool!

Monday, June 21, 2010

God Consciousness

From the 3,100 mile Self Transcendence Race blog
“I learn that I need to be in the heart and stay there…When one does this then the discomforts of running and also the discomforts of life itself remain at a manageable distance…to focus on one’s inner cry. This comes .... only when one recognizes that they indeed have an inner thirst and inner hunger for something higher within oneself. 'For this I am very grateful that I feel this inner hunger, inner cry, or love of God'…”

It is a good morning to muse on The Beyond, God Himself. A Course in Miracles has given me food. For 8 more days, I will have one thought as part of a review exercise: “My mind holds only what it thinks with God.” A subsidiary review thought for today is: “Let me remember I am one with God.” This morning, as I sat down for my morning text study, I totally got stuck on this one line (17.IV.1): “God established His relationship with you to make you happy…”

The power of ACIM is not to use these thoughts as affirmations and repeat them mindlessly; but to allow them to permeate the ego’s defenses against them (usually numbness) and allow them to be the reality that you are.

I ponder God because I want a God consciousness. I don’t want a reality where God is absent. I don’t want a reality of fear and annoyance towards others. I don’t want a reality where any one relationship has taken over my life and consciousness to the exclusion of God. I allow myself to stop and ponder the implications of a relationship with God. I allow God to permeate me. And then I just go through the day knowing that I am not alone. If I become afraid or angry, I can be assured that my ego has spoken, but I don’t have to believe it’s interpretation of things. I am a thought in the Mind of God. How come I don’t know it? How come I see a world of deprivation instead?

My fitness level is fabulous. I got up at 3:45 this morning. After my spiritual study, I spent 70 minutes on the ex-machines. I have no injury issues from my 42 mile weekend.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Perfect Long Distance Weekend

" ‘the sacred loop.’ Those who come back again and again, clearly recognize that the inspiration that calls them here is as significant as any holy pilgrimage. There are no prostrations, no ceremony of any kind, it is instead an all encompassing dedication of the complete being; body, mind, and heart, to a much higher purpose, than can be seen with our mental vision….Doing it with devotion, but also with dynamism, and courage. Letting go of all the things in your life that stop you from being the best that you can be….Aspiring for something just beyond the barrier of impossibility and perhaps just around the next turn….he finds himself focusing on God’s grace and compassion..."

Today, I woke up at 4 and turned off the alarm, which was set to go off at 4:30, thinking, oh heck, let’s work out inside today. I got enough sun yesterday. I got up at 6 and checked the weather: cooler than yesterday starting off at 73F/23C. Then the LSD bug hits me. The dream of endless laps takes over my mind and I decide to go to the little park with the half mile bike path and just go around for awhile. I get out the door at 7 and at 7:05 see that the little park is closed due to flooding. I decide to check out my favourite park in Parkville. I drive by and decide that people are getting by the one problem area from yesterday. Good; as I simply cannot face the levy another day.

Before going running this morning, I wrote this: The ego is not just big-headed-ness or prideful self-centeredness, it is the entire thought system of this world, which is antagonistic to God and chooses to believe it is not the holy Son of God but a separate body (bodies) with special features (better-ness) and special relationships (love and hate), instead of knowing it is the One holy Son of God, an idea in the Mind of God and of one continuous nature of Love immersed in eternal benign constant peace, joy and light, with no specialness at all.

Today I did 8 and 2s for 22 miles and 4h44 minutes. This was much easier than yesterday where I mainly jogged with very little walking. Today I had on one pair of smartwool anklets and compression knee socks and the sugoi compression shorts. So far, that’s my best bet for avoiding heat blotches and I think the compression knee socks help the achilles. FWIT: my achilles feels very good now, 5 hours after completing the run. That is so swell! I can hardly wait to work out again tomorrow. I can hardly wait for my 5 days off starting July 1: time for a personal multi-day.

I could say I'm "training" for an ultra; but really, I don't need to be spending that kind of time every weekend just for an upcoming race. I just like it. I'll be out running as much as possible whether I'm signed up for a race or not.

My attraction to long distance running is not for the glory or the specialness of it; but rather the opposite. My frustration with talking to most people about it is attempting to explain the spiritual depth of the experience and get away from surface level issues of speed, placing qualifications, awards, etc. The dregs of a long distance weekend are the closest I come to being just a soul, with no ego at all.

Crimony, it is so awesome that I ran 20 miles yesterday and 22 miles today. Just impossible to explain how wonderful that is to me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Self Giving

This morning, I ran back and forth on the levy for 4h20. Temps were between 77 and 88F, good south breeze, sore left heel and inner ankle, wore the Camelbak hydration pack, used 80 oz of Succeed, 2 Gu and 1 S-cap. Today was the first long run where I used two pairs of smart wool socks (trainer's suggestion). I think this idea was an improvement because the padding on top of my foot was thicker.
It was mainly sunny with a deep blue sky. The wildlife was deer, and numerous birds; the Kansas meadow lark, martins nesting under the freeway, and lazy Canadian geese.

Coming home, after eating, I checked the daily blog for the 3,100 mile self transcendence race:

“Those countless days of sun and heat and cool and rain will just become part and parcel of a gigantic embrace… One can hope that the tough cruel days of pain and fatigue will be quickly forgotten but most likely they will not. Aches and pains will haunt them for a long time after. But what should endure are those divine moments in which their hearts rose up and they were no longer bound by the earth or even their own humanity. When they recognized that tantalizing thread that connects us all with the divine. That they see that God himself is ultimately acting in and through them, and through us all… ‛ it came to my mind the reason that I am here is self giving’ ”

Is it self giving for me to do what I do? I ran back and forth thinking today’s ACIM lesson, not understanding it but repeating it, instead of thinking any of my own thoughts:

"With nothing in our hands to which we cling, with lifted hearts and listening minds we pray:
Only salvation can be said to cure.
Speak to us, Father, that we may be healed. "

But now I say, “Salvation is acceptance of our innate holiness.” As I run back and forth, embracing holiness instead of judgment of others, I am self giving. If I run back and forth instead of sitting on a cushion or in a church, so be it. All places are of God. The boring flat levy in some background location in hot humid Missouri is just as holy as the Himalayan cave or religious cloister. To say again, to embrace “my” holiness is to give it to all because we are one.
I will spend the rest of the day gathering myself; and tomorrow do it again.
Well, that is all that ever happens to me on any given day anyway. Self giving really depends on intention, not any actual activities. My intention is to give up the ego thought pattern which judges others; and instead see only holiness. For truly, seeing holiness, I am seeing God.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Transcendental Inspiration


"Something happens here that cannot be measured or marked or photographed or questioned or reasoned with in any way. There are days in which you could be standing right beside it and be blind to it. On other days you could be on the far side of the world and yet still feel the inner thrill of what is taking place here and be as much a part of it as if you were entered in the race as well.

The 3100 is not for the masses. It is just for those who believe that life is not just about muscle and mind. It speaks clearly to those who believe in the unlimited capacity of heart and spirit and who believe that Self-Transcendence is not just for 11 brave runners. Self-Transcendence is the inevitable destiny of us all."

Heard about the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race? It is a race where runners run around a 0.5 mile block in NYC for 16 hours a day daily, until they complete 3,100 miles. This year, 11 runners are entered in the event.

This event is what has inspired my ultra running career. It is the running equivalent of a zen practitioner spending a year meditating alone in a room. As the man alone in a room inspired my pursuit of contemplation, the 3,100 mile race inspired my contemplative running.

Truth is, most of my long runs are done in this very boring fashion: either around a 2.7 mile loop or back and forth on a 3.7 mile levy. My 80 mile run was at an event conducted on a 1 mile loop. In October, I plan to do it again at 24 The Hard Way.

I am mainly a no adventure runner. I'm running for hours in order to speak to my God. I get a brief taste every morning. Every morning, here is my typical schedule:
- Get up at 3:30 am
- Spend an hour studying and meditating on A Course in Miracles Text.
- Work out on machines and/or go running in the dark. While running, keep mind on the daily lesson from ACIM.
- Shower and get to work about 7. Stay at work until 4:30 (more or less).
- Drive home, eat and nap briefly.
- 7 pm, contemplative core, or meditative dumbells.
- Another 30 minutes or so of reflecting on the ACIM daily lesson, and silent meditation.
- Go to sleep.
- On the weekend, instead of going to work, I run laps and sleep more.

That's my life, a daily attempt to stay connected to The Presence.

It takes time and intention to stay connected. You have to want it more than anything else, or you won't stop and listen to that which is beyond human hearing or see that with shines quietly from beyond the illusion of this world.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Training to be Spirit

The second day in a row exhaustion has caught up with me. Yesterday I had 5 hours of endurance. Today I had 4:20. My weekend workouts have gone crazy. Last weekend, I endured 41 miles over the two days. My weekday workouts have gone crazy as I have added another aerobic option to my living room gym and can work out without running and killing my legs.

All balance and relationship to society has been erased by solitude, intentional marginalization and an obstinate intention to go beyond the normal limits programmed into most mature women. No! I say. No! I will not be unhealthy or fat or dull and lifeless. I must bring forth the spirit within. I intend to transcend. My tools are A Course in Miracles and endurance.

My workouts are about digging deep beyond the ego to the Strength. The experience of Strength is the conscious embodiment of spirit. Strength is my addiction, always calling to me from beyond the next mile.

I care nothing for the society of men or participation in their social groupings (including their false religions and horrid entertainment). Being a part of the main stream doesn’t look successful to me.

Living in the beyond world does. Living beyond the masses is successful because it is a raw and urgent spiritual consciousness. The frontier of consciousness is not timid, tame or weak. It is face-to-face Self, un-dulled by veils of modern day bubble wrap. Self in unclouded awareness is my only need and desire; the only satisfaction available to me.

Strength and Self are one. Any human choosing Them realizes we are Them. I need not pretend your physical body is necessary to a relationship because we are Them and can never not be One. On the fringes of endurance, I can be Them in body, mind and spirit; as soon as I want only Them. Truly, They are Who we are.

I don’t train for glittering baubles or t-shirts or braggadocio. I train to be Them.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Outsized Ode to Something

More than anything. I find what I'm hungry for when I shut my eyes and listen in silence, searching my mind, looking at the inner light. There, I find Something. There I connect to Something.

Oh so long ago, barely a teenager, I began to seek for something in endurance. I swam back and forth in a pool by myself. I rode a ten speed bicycle by myself. I shot baskets by myself. I ran by myself. I even tried to work with a horse in the mountains of Squaw Valley, California. Endless hours devoted to endurance.

What I find in silence, I also find in endurance. I could say I find nothing. Or I find the nothing which is the Something. But there is nothing to want about it; except this nothingness keeps calling me back. I keep going to the nothingness. I go with my worldly ambitions and fears; and come back with nothing. And then do it again. And then do it again.

I seek to connect to Something which gives me nothing and for which I thirst. This seeking is the ultimate ultra, endless silence, infinite long slow distance. No medals. No t-shirts. No qualifications. Just an ineffable endless nothing connected to Something.

Slowly, day after day, I play with Endurance; and my world transforms, perception shifts. I allow this world to slip away.

Be open. Consider Something more. Let It have control. There is nothing for me to do but long slow distance.

This morning, I was so filled with joyous gratitude. I worked out for 40 minutes on ex-machines and then ran for 55 minutes in a warm humid pre-dawn hilly heaven. I am so happy with this.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ultra Weekend

WB 127: “…escape from every law in which you now believe. Open your mind and rest. The world that seems to hold you prisoner can be escaped by anyone who does not hold it dear. Withdraw all value you have placed upon its meager offerings and senseless gifts, and let the gift of God replace them all.”

Text 15.XI: “The Prince of Peace was born to re-establish the condition of love by teaching that communication remains unbroken even if the body is destroyed, provided that you see not the body as the necessary means of communication. … communication, which must be of the mind, cannot be sacrificed. … sacrifice is nowhere and love is everywhere. For communication embraces everything, and in the peace it re-establishes, love comes of itself.”

There is no love but God’s.

The above was what I read in the ACIM workbook and the Text this morning. I'm not going to try to explain clearly and completely what the above means; because Jesus already did that in the Text. I'll just talk about myself.

I seek Christ within, in each person and myself. The true identity of the person is an idea in the mind of God, not a physical body. I look for this with my inner eyes. The Christ, the Son of God, all of us, is One, united in God even if we see ourselves as separated in the dream of this world. Each of us has been given The Thought, but we cover it over with our own puny thoughts; because we are afraid to consciously be host to God.

I study the Course in solitude. I reflect and meditate and listen to The Voice for God in solitude. Each and everyday, I encounter people both in their body and in my mind. I don't belong to any social groups and spend my free time alone. I don't join groups. All my attempts to communicate the Course in face-to-face conversation have failed. So I don't try to pass it on, I practice it and let It do what It wants.

Yesterday, I woke up at 3:30 am. Since it was a humid 77F outside, I wanted to get my run started early. I couldn't go back to sleep so got up at 3:50. I did my spiritual work and got the run started at 5:15. I ran at the park on the Missouri with a flat 2.7 mile loop. I chose that so I could go by my car every 30 min and leave my sports drink in a cooler by the car. I ran slow for 3:45 covering 18.9 miles and then walked another 1.1 mile just to get an even 20 miles.

Today, it was much cooler overnight, 65F, so I slept until 6:30. Then, I did my spiritual study and got the run started a little after 8. I ran back and forth along the levy doing 8 minutes of jogging then 2 minutes of walking, covering 21 miles in 4:15. I got to spend most of the time under a cloudless deep blue sky with a blazing sun.

This is my preferred way to do a weekend. Jogging aimlessly and repeating a phrase from ACIM over and over in my mind. This is a pointless activity; just what I do. I have been doing it every weekend for months. To live a seemingly futile life is impossible for most people. To stop agitating and doing and just spend time meaninglessly is so frowned on. I'm often accused of not having a life. I'm almost ready to quit attempting to justify my existence in this world. Well, I'm not really here anyway; and neither are you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Normal Friday at Home

Tonight feels like the first normal night I have had in a week (actually it is): came home from work, ate, napped, and worked out. I have come home to the dimensionless, infinite solitude of my one bedroom apartment.

It is not that I cannot socialize or am not good at it; it’s that I seek something beyond the material world. Seeking the Beyond in solitude is not disrespectful or arrogant toward other people. Spiritual solitude is just a choice to serve all by attending consciously and directly to the Presence. As one person remembers God, they do so for all; since minds are joined.

The world does not understand the need to change false beliefs and silence worldly thoughts for the purpose of remembering God. I am following a spiritual course of action because the awareness of God is the top of my priority list.

My trainer nixed my idea of the Maryville Marathon. So now I need to hunker down and just steadily work out until July 23: Lunar Trek (40 mile ultra, at night on the Kansas prairie). It’s back to the silence and the pondering of the Presence. I love being consistent. I love turning right into health and fitness; while the world jabbers away but takes no action.

Tomorrow I will head out for a long ultra pace run. Nothing will be proved. Time will be spent. It will be sweaty. It will be monotonous. I will be just a girl, jogging along with a thought of God playing over and over in her head.
One of my favorite things I learned in monastic life:

St. Romuald's Brief Rule

Sit in your cell as in paradise;
put the whole world behind you and forget it;
like a skilled angler on the lookout for a catch
keep a careful eye on your thoughts.

The path you follow is in the Text -- don't leave it.
If you've come with a novice's enthusiasm and can't
accomplish what you want, take every chance you can find
to sing the Text in your heart and to understand it
with your head; if your mind wanders as you read
don't give up but hurry back and try again.

Above all realize that you are in God's presence;
hold your heart there in wonder as if before your sovereign.

Empty yourself completely;
sit waiting, content with God's gift,
like a little chick tasting and eating nothing
but what its mother brings.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Houston Reflection

This morning I am in Houston. The picture is from my high rise hotel. I am going to spend the day in meetings and then go back to Kansas City. I read from the ACIM text this morning (15.IX):

“If you would but let the Holy Spirit tell you of the Love of God for you…”

This little snatch of a sentence touched my heart and caused me to pause. I absolutely became conscious of the higher consciousness beyond my little ego. I stopped dead in my tracks and gave my entire attention to the higher. I sat quietly and listened. Trust welled up from inside. I was able to give over all my ego world fears and rest in God. I am safe. I am a thought in the mind of God.

I can live with my consciousness in the ego world, in fear of financial insecurity, illness or emotional upset and in anger at the rest of the stupid people; or I can live conscious of my true Identity in God. I get to choose. If I choose God consciousness, I have to give up all my petty ego thoughts. I have to tear my mind away from pre-occupation with me and my wants and needs. I have to keep it in the silence and listen to the Holy Spirit’s Voice.

My head is full of petty annoyances and judgments. I recognized and brought into the light all the little games and manipulations I want to enact at work in order to ensure my job. I can let these go. I can deny them any importance and return my mind to the peace and silence of the God consciousness. The pettiness is not real. It is my previous choice and now I choose again. I am willing to bring all the pettiness into the light of the Holy Spirit and let it be replaced with what He would have me think.

No exercise this morning. I was up late at dinner with "the guys." My masseuse told me to take a day off anyway. My left ankle woke up ready to bend this morning thanks to the massage. I still can't decide whether to enter the Maryville marathon on 6/12.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sharing ACIM

This morning in the ACIM text I read: "In the holy instant, where the Great Rays replace the body in awareness, the recognition of relationships without limits is given you. But in order to see this, it is necessary to give up every use the ego has for the body, and to accept the fact that the ego has no purpose you would share with it…. When the body ceases to attract you, and when you place no value on it as a means of getting anything, then there will be no interference in communication and your thoughts will be as free as God’s.”

You know, I attempt to live a spiritual life and remember our inherent holiness and remember God. It takes choice and followup on the choice. Since I want the spiritual life alot, I keep up with the spiritual practices. I intentionally work on making space in my mind for God awareness; letting go of the ego goals. I really want to see love, not a bunch of people I've judged as a pain. The point of ACIM forgiveness is to see with the Holy Spirit's point of view and Christ vision; not my ego point of view. So I keep studying and practicing. I go along with life and see what it has too teach me.

My ACIM workbook lesson today was on gratitude; especially on receiving the gratitude of God. I find it impossible to get my mind around that with heart felt acceptance. I've been repeating the idea and listening to the void, but not allowing anything to come in.

I ran a 4:31 marathon last Sunday. I'm say'in now that my legs feel much better after that than they did after the Olathe marathon in April or even the 5k I did in early May. I am really happy about that. I felt downright zippy this morning and ran at tempo on hills for the first time in a long time. I am looking forwardto my first massage in a long time today also.

Wonder if I'll sign up for the Maryville marathon on June 12. (could happen, we'll see)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

National Captal Marathon - The Silence After

It is the morning after my trip home from Canada. I learned alot during my weekend and I felt success in the spiritual growth area. The picture there is of my Course in Miracles (ACIM) text open to 15.IX, which is where I happen to be reading this morning; and of the spinny finisher's medal from the National Capital marathon. The maple leaf spins and the middle gold ring spins.

The first sentence of 15.IX says: "As the ego would limit your perception of your brothers to the body, so would the Holy Spirit release your vision and let you see the Great Rays shining from them, so unlimited that they reach to God. It is this shift to vision that is accomplished in the holy instant."

I was working on the ACIM concept of "forgiveness" all weekend but especially yesterday during my trip home. Forgiveness means: this world is an ego dream, an illusion and not what God created, hence it can be looked beyond to the Christ, the Son of God, who we all are, who is innocent and no sin exists because nothing happened, the world is an ego illusion and never happened. We mostly live in the ego consciousness, which we made not God, so we think the world is real and never ask the question: what if it is an illusion. However, mystics and physicists have know this is an illusion for centuries and decades. ACIM gives me the practice of "forgiveness" which sets me free to see things differently.

So here is my example. Yesterday, unbeknownst to me, the President of the United States was flying in Chicago air space. That means that the entire world of United Airlines was disrupted for hours. So, I was delayed. It was a strange delay because no one seemed to know why and plans kept changing every 30 or 40 minutes. For my part, I kept thinking about my ACIM lesson: "Forgiveness is the key to happiness." I kept thinking, forgiveness brings me happiness, not on-time flights. My ego wants things to go its way and be angry if it doesn't. Yesterday, I mentally rejected the ego's view of things and practiced the Holy Spirit's forgiveness. I saw only light. I rejected anger. I thought about the holy Son of God beyond the delusion of the world. I refused to judge God's will for me based on an ego perception. I accepted that the Holy Spirit was giving me happiness through forgiveness. So, ta da, my inner peace was not disturbed by the world and I was seeing the holy Son of God instead of being angry. Thats the point: Forgiveness is the key to happiness (nothing else). Now carry on.

So my big Canada trip is over. It is now time to pause, be still, listen to The Voice and hear God's will for me. As I pause to listen, it seems that the idea of the lunar nite flight ultra-marathon materializes in my mind. It means keeping my running in the area of endurance and not speed. It means giving up the idea of running two marathons back to back so I can join "Marathon Maniacs" (really, why should that matter, it is a harmful distraction).

Today, I am going for a slow run and doing laundry.

I really want what ACIM teaches more than anything.