Tuesday, August 31, 2010

To Be or Not-to-be

It is all fine and good to preach about denying the ego; so much harder to do. The Holy Spirit is the key.

“He (Holy Spirit) understands how your relationship (the one with your brother) is raised above the battleground, in it no more. This is your part; to realize that murder in any form (especially thoughts) is not your will. The overlooking of the battleground is now your purpose.” (Text 23.IV)

Overlooking equals looking beyond, not seeing others as physical but granting them the presence of spirit within, which I want known about me also. The battlefield is the illusion of the world, where we fight it out against each other every day.

My achilles is not 100%. Do I have any business going in any marathon? That is not really the point. Contemplation of God is the point.

The holy instant is another key. The quiet sphere above the battlefield. To not-be is to exist above the battlefield. Here, in the sphere of quiet, only an awareness of God's love exists in the mind.

I first entered meditation when I was attracted to the single room. I read about a guy who stayed in a room for a year and meditated. I wanted to do that. My foray into monastic life was because I thought I could be silent. Ever since that first idea, I have sought silence and solitude, but keep getting involved in activities. Being quiet is the hardest thing anyone can ever do.

What I am getting at is this: I have 5 days off. I am not entered in any races (although I could be) and have no plans. I once again stand before my inner truth and see what I choose: inner peace or outer gratification.

"Be lifted up, and from a higher place look down upon it. From there will your perspective be quite different. Here in the midst of it, it does seem real. Here you have chosen to be part of it. Here murder is your choice. Yet from above, the choice is miracles instead of murder. And the perspective coming from this choice shows you the battle is not real, and easily escaped. Bodies may battle, but the clash of forms is meaningless. And it is over when you realize it never was begun. How can a battle be perceived as nothingness when you engage in it? How can the truth of miracles be recognized if murder is your choice?" (23.IV)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Content vs Form

Yesterday's running wore me out. I slept 10 hours. then, I did my usual spiritual study of the Course in Miracles Text (23.II):

"...lack of faith in love, in any form, attests to chaos as reality...Attack in any form has placed your foot upon the twisted stairway that leads from Heaven. Yet any instant it is possible to have all this undone...Ask, then, your Friend to join with you, and give you certainty of where you go."

This followed on a little explanation of form vs content. Form is the world of the ego. It is the world where most people live, never getting beyond the weather or money or family matters or TV or alcohol or indulgent eating or football or church or smoking and thinking thats OK or tossing garbage out the car window or etc; what I could call primative thinking, unconsciousness.
I don't drink because even one drink messes with the awareness of God. Primative thinkers don't even know they have a connection with God. Content, not form, is important.

The world of content is beyond the world of form. The ego is not present there. The world of content consists of mind and spirit. Living in the world of content disarms the ego because there is nothing but love in mind and spirit. The only consciousness is faith in love. To get out of the ego's world and into the spirit world, I ask my Friend, Jesus.

My mind this morning was on my years long attempt to live off the social norm grid. I exist in the world but in a shady non-average manner. I am processing myself into Heaven.

Then I began a 2 hour ex-machine workout. I was listening to NPR's This American Life, which was several stories about people who live their lives outside the norm. I felt good with this workout, happy to do all of the x-bike intervals at a higher speed. I mixed sit-ups and some weights into the intervals. I felt so good, that I decided after 2 hours to go out on the trails.

It was hot by then, but the trail is mostly in trees. I felt stronger and more capable today, even taking a fourth lap. I got to watch a "skilled" trail runner hippity hop down the rock pile. Someday, my quads will be able to do that. I added a little piece onto the end of each lap which consists of 4 flights of stairs (either up or down depending on which lap I'm on). At the end, I noticed another set of stairs to add in the next time. I'm also going to add in a trek up the dam and back. But I need courage for that.

I came home to a green smoothie. There is no better way to live than this: 4 or more hours of exercise each day of every weekend. I know people who are winding down their summer marathon training in preparation for an October marathon. One of them was so happy to have only one more 20 mile LSD. Crap, I'd do 20 miles every weekend even if no race was on the schedule. Yesterday, I only ran 18 miles but part was on trails. So it would have been more than 20 had I stayed in the park. You gotta love it.

Starting next Thursday, I'm going to do another personal endurance multi-day. It will be a combination of ex-machines, flat track and trails. I just ordered a set of exercise step blocks. This is to cover leg strength training as another option. They also double as a low bench, which I need because of some of the exercises my trainer gave me.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

ACIM Student - I am as God created me.

I am a student of A Course in Miracles (ACIM). As such, I frame my life in the Course Text. This morning, I read only one paragraph during my spiritual study (23.II):

"And here a final principle of chaos comes to the “rescue.” It holds there is a substitute for love. This is the magic that will cure all of your pain; the missing factor in your madness that makes it “sane.” This is the reason why you must attack. Here is what makes your vengeance justified. Behold, unveiled, the ego’s secret gift, torn from your brother’s body, hidden there in malice and in hatred for the one to whom the gift belongs. He would deprive you of the secret ingredient that would give meaning to your life. The substitute for love, born of your enmity to your brother, must be salvation. It has no substitute, and there is only one. And all your relationships have but the purpose of seizing it and making it your own."

I couldn't read past this paragraph, I simply meditated on it. My ego leapt out of hiding and explained to me how much it hates my brother for his fame, fortune, power, position and prestige. My ego would kill to obtain some worldly thing which it thinks is salvation. What a fake world we have. We look at money as salvation. We look at the Church as salvation. We look at career as salvation. We look at hot cars as salvation. We look at sex as salvation. We look at family and children as salvation. We look at retirement and death as salvation. We really want some way to get out of the hell we live in.

I struggled with my ego. If we want something that someone else has, that thing is a symbol for salvation for us, our ticket out of here. My mind filled with the ego's hatred and I started asking for help from Jesus. Clearly, I should bring the hate to the light; not suppress it.

Then, about 7, I went running. My hateful attitude continued as I ran. I wondered if I should kill myself because life is meaningless and hate filled and I don't want to live like this. I was running in Parkville, along a flat dirt bike path by the river. My legs were tired even before I started. It was a tad cool with a breeze. I nodded hi to the regulars. I realized how futile running races is. After qualifying for Boston in a marathon last year, I reached the pinnacle of performance. The people who complete the 3,100 miles Self Transcendence race, accomplish nothing in the outer world. All the gifts they receive are on the metaphysical and spiritual plane. The ego is only satisfied for a little while and then goes searching for greater glory. I refuse to do that. I need to go inward. My running is not for the ego but for transcendence.

After about 90 minutes of running, I suddenly noticed that peace and the joyful consciousness of God was all around. I noticed the peace of God. The light of God had been around me the whole time; but it took me 90 minutes of fighting my hateful ego to get clear enough for peace to be noticeable.

After 10.8 miles in the park (10 min/mile pace), I jumped in the car, drove a half mile and jumped back out at the nature sanctuary (I didn’t plan to go back to the park, so drove to the sanctuary). I put on my new trail shoes and started in on 2 hours of trail running. I’ve always been a little ashamed of my slowness on trails, but today I realized that at 17 min/mile, I still do rocks piles faster than most people can walk on the flat.

The trail shoes helped me feel more sure footed. Luckily I already knew which parts of the toe box needed to be fixed with a knife, or I’d be losing a toe nail (shame on Mizuno designers for putting trim on the toe box). Without a doubt, trails are much more difficult than road running, but such a good variation. They make my legs work in all directions.

After all that running, I came home to clean up and eat and then lay on the bed. I was in a meditative state, wondering about that hateful ego. A principle of ACIM came through loud and clear, “It is not real. The world is an illusion.” And suddenly I knew: I have never been hateful at all of anyone. This world is an illusion. It never happened. I am not a body, I am free. I am as God created me. I exist in the arms of Love as an idea of love. I never left the embrace of God.
I love these rocks:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shut up and Listen

A Course in Miracles Text 23.I: "The memory of God comes to a quiet mind."

My lesson today: "The peace of God is shining in me now."

Today I will make no decisions by myself. So I wake up this morning and phone service/DSL is not working. I start to hear my ego plan its attack on AT&T regarding how they have made a bad connection. I switch my thinking to my lesson. I pause. To decide anything about AT&T is to make a decision for myself. The memory of God comes to a quiet mind.

I realize how deeply I don't want to spend the day with thoughts of attack against people or institutions (as I do everyday and so do you). The peace of God is shining in me now.

A bit more from the Text: "...truth stands radiant, apart from conflict, untouched and quiet in the peace of God."

I pause. I don't want to just mindlessly repeat today's lesson but to let it mean something, to believe it. The world is an illusion. I don't need to react to the world, because it does not exist. The world is an illusion, a projection of what I think. I'm going to ask the Holy Spirit for help and listen to His thoughts and decisions not mine. The memory of God comes to a quiet mind. All I need do is shut up and listen. The peace of God is shining in me now.

Now I am at work. AT&T has been contacted. I am listening to 2 colleagues having a "discussion" next door. I will make no decisions by myself. The peace of God is shining in me now.

Yesterday a colleague from another plant mentioned how he was thinking of becoming vegetarian. He knew I was because we had had dinner the night before and he noticed I did ok at the restaurant. I ask him, "Does it bother you to eat animals?" He says, "no." "So, don't become a vegetarian, just eat less meat if the health effects concern you." The peace of God is shining in me now.

People are shocked that I am bothered that people eat animals. I will make no decisions by myself. The peace of God is shining in me now. I'll let that be.

The mornings are finally cooler, in the 60s. I've been feeling great while running; faster. So, its time to make sure I am not stupid and overdo one day. I have some new shoes, a couple of brands, just to mix things up. The achilles is much better than its been for months. I'm looking forward to trails this weekend and a personal multi-day beginning next Thursday.

I love this picture:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Key to the Miracle

It is called A Course in Miracles. So ummm...when do I get the miracle? My life has not exactly become a wondrous as whats-her-face that wrote all those books.
Today's lesson is a review (204): The Name of God is my inheritance.
So, think about it.
I'd rather count on the name of God than a 401K, or a man. Stop everything right now and think: God. Does that mean a thing to me?
I've been through everything that people do to be happy: world travel, riding Harley's, sex, rock and roll, contemplation in a real monastery, career, skiing, horses, winning awards, drugs and alcohol, you-name-it-I've-done-it.
But I wouldn't trade a true understanding of the Name of God for any of it. Think. If I know the name of God is my inheritance, would I bother judging anyone? Would I bother trying to control or manipulate my way into a secure place in life? That is the miracle. The key is: seeing and knowing you are not a body but an idea of love in the Heart of Love. If you are able to truly understand that you could only be love in the Heart of Love (translation of "the Name of God is my inheritance"), you would see everything differently. Just stop thinking you are a body surrounded by other bodies which you don't like. We are all one idea of love in the Heart of Love. Knowing this and living like it is the miracle. Letting everyone off your judgment hook because you know you are love is the miracle.
The Name of God is my inheritance, and now is when I inherit It. It is always there and always mine.
Today, I may have solved a conundrum: I want to run on trails. But for a variety of reasons, I've not done it until today. Today, I found about two miles of hilly, rocky, rooty, big stepper trails, right near where I live. Trails work so many more muscles than flat running or road running. I needed to add them to my repertoire. So here are a couple of pics:


The Joy of Solitude

To be in solitude is not a hatred of others or an attack on society. Many chose to be solitary for just these reasons. However, if we are dilligent with our transcendental practices, a miracle occurs. Solitude becomes a practice of dispelling illusions, letting the thought disturbances settle, so the Divine Light, present in everyone, is clearly seen. In solitude, judgement is dismantled, disarmed and dispersed; because I become aware of the judge as ego, not love. I become aware of the judge as a keeper of dark thoughts and decide to shine the light on them. Light dispells dark, period.

Most of us want a great escape from life. What most of us don't know is that it is our own thoughts which torture us. In solitude, alone with the thoughts, I offer them to the Presence of Love, Christ, Self; where they are transformed into peace. At some point in this process, I find I have more loving thoughts towards others than judging thoughts. This is the miracle. This is joy. This is the end of the illusion world and the beginning of the real world.

God is love. Would love create a torture chamber for His Son? No. So what I see must not be what God made. So I must change. In solitude, I change my thinking to a conscious of love. That is the miracle. Peace is pure joy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Confessions of a Solitary

It has been about 9 months since I chose solitude intentionally. Before that, I lived in a small town and thought my solitude was a function of where I lived. But, when I moved into the city a year ago, I moved near to social groups where I was held in esteem and could have taken up my old positions. But I realized I no longer wanted to play my part; and so I quit.

Now, I am not involved in any of the stuff that most people claim makes life meaningful. I truly think life is meaningless; a meaningless bad dream. The activites that others think are so meaningful seem like self importance to me. Even love appears like an elaborate control scheme.

What I am doing here is killing time. I earn money for food and kill time. Running and weight lifting are killing time.

The most meaningful part of my life is when I shut down my brain, shut my eyes, and just be.

Friday, August 20, 2010

At Home in Silence

I was extremely well cared for today. You might think it was United Airlines which ran a perfect schedule. I think it was Inner Peace.

I got up at 3 am CDT and drove to Grand Rapids MI. I boarded a plane for Chicago. I got off the plane in Chicago, walked from terminal B to C, bought a tall skinny vanilla with an extra shot, downed it. Then I walked to my gate for my next flight.

Picture a tall skinny lady in pretty new Levis 505, running shoes, light blue Oxford shirt with the sleeves part way rolled up, short hair; standing still, at parade rest, with arms crossed. I stood there watching the United pre-boarding/ stand-by list. I thought of my lesson for the day, shut my eyes, and listened for the Voice for God. People are all around, carts are beeping, announcements are being made; yet I can hear the Voice for God. I hear because I don't use my ears or any part of me which thinks it is in the world. I listen with the part of my mind which continuously and eternally rests in Inner Peace.

Sometime later, as I stood at the bag claim in Kansas City, I realized how well cared for I was. I said thank you to the Inner Peace. Day by day, my dream of terror is replaced by a dream of peace. Day by day, I deny my ego and allow Inner Peace to run my life.

I got some groceries on the way home from the airport, did laundry, unpacked, various chores and then did a 2 hour workout on the ex-machines plus free weights. I finally figured out comfortable and invigorating ways to use the foam tube to give my quads, IT band and hammies a massage.

My intention in working out has disappeared. I don't know why I am doing it as I have no goal at the moment.

The bath towel I got at Fallsburg Marathon hangs quietly in the bathroom. The sweatshirt I got at Fallsburg has been washed so it doesn't lint on everything, and it is hanging quietly in the closet. The medal I got at Fallsburg hangs quietly on the bulletin board. I ordered some more shoes today. But I am not training for anything.

I am just a woman who works out. I'll do it again tomorrow; somehow, no big deal, just because.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Pause for God

I ran a marathon on Saturday: Fallsburg. An ending.

I have known a lady for 25 years and tomorrow she moves away. An ending.

On July 27, 2010, the anniversary of becoming a Course in Miracles student, I felt intuitively that this coming year would be a year of peace. Which meant to me a year of quiet in my outer projection of the world (no major changes); and a year of identification with inner peace. Peace is quiet. Most humans cannot stand quiet. Humans are forever starting new projects and attempting new accomplishments; never realizing that these are distractions from God.

In my endings, I have to stop and say, "there is only God."

But really, while my life appears quiet and empty to most, it is still another ripple on the Ocean of Peace. Say God again and rest again.

I contemplate the Ocean of Peace, which is God. I sit silently and gaze. You can turn off your thoughts if you want to enough.

Inner peace is more than not participating in worldly life, because we cannot totally avoid worldly life, because it is my projection to begin with. It is more a matter of realizing it is a project of my own thoughts, identifying and owning the thoughts (fear and hate), bringing them to Jesus for correction and learning to identify more with the Self than the world. The Self is the Son of God which we all are, which never left the quiet embrace of the Father.

I pause again and step into the quiet embrace.

My quads were quite beaten up by the trails of the marathon. It took Sunday and Monday to release the pain. By Tuesday I was running again. Today, I hope to run in a park on Lake Michigan. I've also been doing ex-tube workouts in my hotel room. Tomorrow, I return home.

I am signed up for another 12 hour race in October; and I think I'll go in a 50k on 9/11. But now, I have to go to my job.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fallsburg and Learning Christ Vision

A Reflection on a marathon based in my Course in Miracles studies.

Yesterday, running a marathon, I had in my mind, the lesson for the day(196), "It can be but myself I crucify." For non-Course-students, this means I recognize the One Self, Son of God, as my savior within my brother and take all my attack thoughts to the light of that Christ, where they can be healed and I can go to heaven as one Self with my brother.

All day, I had chance encounters with others. Some might have been classified as annoying. Everytime I recognized my ego's annoyance, I denied it and returned my thoughts to the lesson for the day. My spiritual practice for the marathon was to keep returning to this thought and not allowing my mind to stay in the thought-attack-consciousness. The hot forest with various people in it was a great environment for spiritual practice. If you read the report from yesterday, you'll see that working spiritually is not all sweetness and floating in bliss.

So I take the day of practice and return to my hotel room. Evening comes on and I read today's lesson, "It can be but my gratitude I earn." I also read the page of explanation which goes with the lesson. I realize that my attempt to move my thinking from attack to Christ was a small gift to my brother. Since my brother is myself, I gave to me. The One Self, Son of God, which we all are, is grateful; so it is my gratitude I receive. My gift, no matter how small is a genuine gift and received with gratitude by Self and also by God; because everything is given to God (Text 22.II). If I believe I gave and am grateful for my gift, I'll receive His gratitude. I value His gratitude.

You realize that instead of working on shifting my thoughts back to the thought for the day, I could have let my thoughts dwell on hating the other people.

Over and over, we think, "but I can't stand these other people." The Course teaches that what I see as another person, another body, is really my own projection of my own ego thoughts, an illusion which hides the truth. The truth is that we are one Self, Son of God, and remain as God created that Self. The means to see another as not-a-body but as Christ is given through the Holy Spirit and called forgiveness, looking beyond, Christ vision. A miracle is a perception shift which allows us to see differently, to see Christ. We stop using the body's eyes and use Christ vision. The Holy Spirit teaches this to anyone who wants to learn.

This blog is my adventures in learning.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fallsburg Marathon - Puzzling IT Out

On the surface of things, just the facts mam, I ran a marathon in 6h35 min.

I am exhausted. It was a trail marathon in moderate heat (75 to 82F with humidity). The trails were what I would call easy with only a few tough spots. But I never run trails, so it doesn't take long on a trail for my quads to jellify. On trails, I'm always concerned about tripping or turning an ankle, so I don't go very fast.

The day started weird. After a distracted attempt at spiritual study, I made a list of housekeeping items that were bothering me about my hotel room. I've never done that before, but staring at hair on the floor and in the bathtub sort of tilted me over the edge.

But, I got my number pinned on perfectly, I mean perfect: straight and not crackely. Those tyvek numbers can at times make snapping noises every foot step if you don't get them just right. I got mine perfect.

Perfect drive to the race. Perfect parking spot. Perfect finding of a great bathroom with no one in it. They start the national anthem. Everyone quiets down, some taking off their hats, some with their hands over their hearts, mostly looking up at a flag which is on a pole in about the center of the crowd. I stand and wait. I have almost no national pride and no desire to conform to the group.

There is a count down and I hear the lamest air horn ever. The first 12 minutes are through a groomed park on a paved bike path; and then the nightmare begins. It takes awhile but I finally realize that this is more a trail marathon than a road/gravel marathon. Whups!

I spend the first 45 minutes trying to outrun four old men who keep telling lewd jokes. they are not bad guys and I'm sure among the general population they are quit normal. However, I prefer not to spend a marathon with my attention on my genitals or copulation. So, I do outrun the guys and find quiet by 3.5 miles.

The trail goes on and we reach a road. The road part is easy. I'm running pretty good. The course is mainly filled with half-marathoners. Only the full marathoners have real race numbers. After the 7 mile mark, I start to see a few marathoners coming up the road towards me instead of away. I ask them if I am off course. they assure me that they are off course and doing part of the course backwards to make up the miles. I am worried; mainly because I know that the second loop on the marathon takes a different route and I never saw that turn. I know I follow the halfers for the full 13.1, but I'm worried about what to do next.

At about 8 miles, we start up a long hill. Its on a road and I pass alot of people, but I notice I'll be going up that hill again for mile 20 thru 22.5. Gulp. After the hill, its back onto the trail. My quads are shot. I realize how unfun this trail might be at mile 24. I keep meeting lost people. I keep asking people if this is the course. It seem well marked; what is their problem? I come to a sign. I read it and go left. A guy who has been lost twice already and keeps catching back up to me actually argues about my choice of direction. I ignore him because he obviously doesn't know how to follow signs.

I finish the half in 3 hours. Gulp. I go by the car and get a power bar. If I'm going to run another 3 hours, I need more than gels and drink. Now here is the important part of the whole tale: I went back out for the second loop!

This ability, this inner force which keeps going, this thing is IT. My quads are shot. I know I could much more easily trip or turn an ankle in that condition. Its not going to be easy. No one is even watching. If I got in the car and left it wouldn't matter to anyone. Yet, I go on. Other people quit. I go on. Marathoners/ultra-marathoners/runners-in-general go on. We have this inner force which manifests in our running. It drives us; not the other way around.

I'm 51 years old. I decide I'll keep doing this insane task for no reason other than....crap I don't know!

After I cross the covered bridge a second time, they do thankfully have a person in the road to tell me where to turn. I'm running pretty much by myself, so the help is appreciated. The mile 16 water station is dry. That worries me only a little because I did decide to carry my two 8 oz water bottles. I look at the 16 miles chalked on the path and think, "Only ten more miles. I can do that." I feel quite the same ebullience as I pass miles 17, 18, 19, and 20. Then I leave trails and come out onto the road and the monster hill. No problem, I'm much better at running uphill on a road than down little steep trails (in fact I can hardly get down some of the trails).

I get to an aid station at about 22.5 miles, where I leave the road again. I think I know whats coming but the trails seems much shorter and easier the second time around; except I'm slower and more careful as my legs seem quite weak. Then the killer. That sign I mentioned where I went left and the man yelled at me? This time, I need to follow it to the right. Before, the left hand path took me to the road and I zipped into the finish. Now, the full marathon second loop has another mile of trails before going to the road. I notice that the trail was newly made within the last day or so. I'm real careful. Now is not the time to fall down. I'm almost home.

Finally, I get up on the road and run for half a mile to the finish. Very quiet finish. Hardly anyone is around. I get my medal and my towel and head for the car. I don't take the offer of hot dogs.

I mix up the protein shake I have in the car and down it. I turn on the ac and change my clothes. And away I go to my hotel; wondering why I did that.

My ego got nothing. My soul got everything. My soul got to push beyond the ego's realm of glory and reward, accolade and recognition; and into the realm of sheer existence. I got beyond anything I trained for or planned. I kept going despite the rubber in my legs. I did it. I finished.

About mile 25, negotiating that last bit of trail, I asked myself if I would trade this for a city road marathon and a speedy time. "No" is the answer. The challenge of this race and the experience of soul is far more valuable.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fallsburg Marathon - Prelude

Packet picked up. #149 and a nice hoodie with full zipper. I know where the race is and how long it takes to get there from the hotel. There is a Panera Bread near the hotel, so we know where I will be eating for the next 2 days!

In Chicago at O'Hare, there was a woman wearing a Philadelphia marathon shirt getting on my flight. She smiled at me (I had on a KC marathon shirt). On the back of her shirt, it said, "CLASS OF 2009," and listed all the names (small print). I teared up! Just something about "being here" that is awesome. It has nothing to do with times. The environment of a marathon is sacred ground for those of us who love it. I say it. The marathon and the marathoners who love it are all one being, a unity of runners celebrating one eternal event: the marathon. We are marathoners.

In the monastery, the sisters renewed their monastic profession at certain times and certain liturgies. Racing is the runners liturgy. I am here to renew my marathon profession: I am dedicated to the marathon (and well any other running too).

It will be a hot one tomorrow, but it is in a forest!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Marathoner's Sacred Journey...

...is to a place beyond the ordinary world, to an alternate reality without limitation. The marathon validates and vets the heart of the athlete. 26.2 miles in this world is a quantum leap in the mental world and a matter/anti-matter shift in the spiritual makeup of the mind. To get to the finish line is to solve the impossible equation with imaginary and irrational numbers; to enter a Fourier transform which resolves the noise into harmony.

Everyone wondered why all these workouts, miles, and low-fat meals mattered. But the person returned from the marathon changed. They paid the athlete's price and returned with the athlete's perception. Nothing was ever the same again.

Can a marathon heal the psyche? Can a marathon enlarge spiritual consciousness? All things are possible....

As you might guess, I am going in a marathon on Saturday: Fallasburg Park, Lowell, MI, 26.2 miles. It is not my first marathon. In fact it is my third this year. Yet every marathon shifts my consciousness and I return different.

I am tapering. I am letting go of the workouts a little, sleeping some more, laying in the glycogen. I'm setting my intentions. I'm freaking glad to go to Michigan and escape this nasty heat wave that Kansas City is having.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Wish God Would Love Me

So many of us spend our lives seeking approval and wanting others to love us. We want our parents to love us. We want our children to love us. We extend our needs to teachers and religious institutions and work places.

And we build our lives around this need for love. We try to achieve in order to be loved. We take vows in order to guarantee love. We help others. We seek enlightenment.

To achieve enlightenment, we participate in religion and liturgy. We fast and pray. We meditate. We have near death experiences in car accidents. We have cancer and nearly die. We become crippled. We become emotionally depressed. We take drugs. We run marathons, ultra-marathons, iron man triathlons and death marches through deserts. We may sit in solitude for years. We accept various therapies.

We wish for nirvana, for release from this terrible world. We do whatever we need to do to achieve the promised land. And because of this wish, many of us build wonderful and beautiful lives, exemplary and admirable in every way.

Underneath all this, is the grain of sand inside oyster which causes these pearls of lives to be created. The grain of sand hidden in the pearl is the tiny, quiet thought we have a hard time becoming conscious of, “I wish God would love me.”

Jesus loves you. God loves you. We hear this all the time but none of us really believe it (well very few of us). So first, acknowledge that you have this secret wish. Then realize that the second and even more hidden part of the thought is, “but I want to be loved specially.”

God loves us; but not me. God is love. Love does not differentiate between its creations. So God cannot love at an individual level. God loves the Son of God, Whom we are, thoughts of love in the Mind of Love.

So, acknowledging these hidden wishes and admitting that everything I’ve done in life was to earn special love, what next? I stop. I quit. I sit quietly. God loves us. I let the consciousness of that love surface in the quiet of my still mind. That’s all. Let Him in. Sit quietly and let Him in. then do whatever life seems to put in front of you with the power of God already in you; not attempting to earn it.

Now that I’m done scurrying around trying to find love, Love itself walks with me. We run because we love to run. We lift weights because it is part of our time together. I go to work. Let God be in charge; and come home to the holy instant where I am consciously and undeniably a thought of love in the Mind of Love. Nothing more.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Running from the Heart

My lesson today is 189: I feel the Love of God within me now.

It’s the weekend. I am not excited about what I am going to do but about the not-doing of two days off. No, I don’t have a list of entertainments for the weekend. No, most of what people do not only ignores His Presence, but demeans the magnificence of the part of the mind which knows God.

And so I lay back and close my eyes. I reach out with some part of my mind which knows God. And everything stops.

I can barely drag myself away from the idea of God. I gulp. I shudder. I am quiet. I walk the quiet way. Maybe I jog the quiet way, but God is in the silence, the benign nothingness of peace.

Working out on my machines this morning, I thought, “God has no agenda. He merely is.”

Here are some excerpts from the lesson: "There is a light in you the world can not perceive…. Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is… come with wholly empty hands unto your God…. Your part is simply to allow all obstacles that you have interposed between the Son and God the Father to be quietly removed forever…. The way to reach Him is merely to let Him be."

After an hour on the machines, I went to the park for running (17 miles). The park is full of “regulars.” Mainly we don’t talk. We nod or slightly wave as we pass each other. Today, we were all sweating.

I was thinking about my relationships with others. I don’t keep any close friends because I don’t have much to share about my life and don’t have a long term interest in anyone else’s life. I feel so false after most conversations because it is necessary to communicate about things and doings on the physical plane; and not only unnecessary but impossible to discuss the metaphysical plane. So conversations leave me feeling like an actor who played a part, but it wasn’t really who I am inside. That’s why I don’t bother to get together much. I just don’t need to talk and feel like a faker if I do talk.

Quietly, I can look at others and appreciate their heart. Everyone’s heart is the Heart of God and It is One Heart. I don’t like to leave the consciousness of Heart to relate on the worldly plane. I know how to be a friend and play nice; but I don’t like the way it leaves me feeling. But when I quietly see Heart, I always feel like I related to Truth. I feel genuine about relating to Truth.

I just can’t stand it when a conversation about running from the worldly perspective leaves me feeling like I just pimped my True Love. Yet, it is almost the only way I communicate with others.

I work out and go running in order to appreciate Heart. I do not “train” to achieve exterior goals. To train for a goal is to subordinate your heart to your ego. To train from your heart is to manifest the power of Love and Source. Training for a goal is to put the cart before the horse, to approach the magnificent from the limits of the physical. Training from the heart puts things in the proper order and also produces results beyond imagination. If you want to fly, you must fly free from the heart and in companionship with Heart.

25 years ago I quit drinking. 7 years ago I got kicked out of the monastery. Now, I am an athlete, a runner, an engineer; all with Heart.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Listen to The Voice For God

When I study A Course in Miracles, I often run across a sentence which just floors me. Then, I write it on an index card and put it on the treadmill. Then, when I walk/jog on the treadmill, I can think about the sentences. Last night, the card I read said, “What answer that the Holy Spirit gives can reach you, when it is your specialness to which you listen, and which asks and answers? Its tiny answer, soundless in the melody that pours from God to you eternally in loving praise of what you are, is all you listen to. And that vast song of honor and of love for what you are seems silent and unheard before its "mightiness." You strain your ears to hear its soundless voice, and yet the Call of God Himself is soundless to you.” (24.II)

It fit very well with my lesson today: lesson 186 said, “All false humility we lay aside today, that we may listen to God's Voice reveal to us what He would have us do.”

ACIM makes it very clear that my brother is not my enemy and I needn’t judge or be afraid. The reason is that what I perceive as another human being is based on my ego thoughts and not the Holy Spirit’s thoughts or what God created. God created one Son of God, which is our one mind resting forever in love and peace in our Creator. What I perceive as another human being is my ego delusion. Let it go.

ACIM depends on listening to thoughts besides what your ego is whispering and shouting in your brain all day. It depends on periods of conscious quiet listening and then bringing that listening consciousness into the ego world.

ACIM encourages the asking of the question, “Is what is see real?” And listening to the Holy Spirits reply, listening to God’s song of love for His Son. In this, I perceive something different and go home.

Prior to the Lunar Trek, I felt so grateful to be out running. This morning, I noticed I was fighting my consciousness almost the whole way, until I got to my door step. Then, looking at my watch, I thought, “45 minutes on the machines plus 61 minutes running,” and felt the gratitude then. Not many people get to go out and run around in the early morning swelter and feel the energy coursing through their system.

I workout and run because I can. I believe it is God’s plan for me or I would have stopped long ago. I do not believe it is the ego’s idea because so much of it is inglorious and humiliating. My faith is that something is being given to the divine plan of salvation through my manifestation of the running/fitness thought.

I lifted free weights last evening. I added smidges of weights and reps. I wonder if the gaining of three pounds through additional protein consumption is helping. I don’t know because the weight watchers scale indicates that the weight went on partly as fat, which could be a healthy thing. I just don’t know.

Want to be touched, read this: http://perfectionjourney.org/2010/08/03/i-was-just-the-willingness/

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lethargy in the Backwaters of Summer

“Ever since humanity was able to recognize a divine existence within themselves they have been trying to seek it out, and bring it forth from within. It is never easy to establish a constant inner oneness with this divinity, as so much of our outer nature tries to deny and negate even the very existence of this part of us that lies within. The very nature of our bodies and minds is to only to accept physical lethargy and try and ride the mental merry go round that really leads us nowhere.” http://perfectionjourney.org/2010/08/02/every-step-brings-me-closer/

The perfectionjourney blog is a daily reflection on the 3,100 mile race, which is winding down this week. Several men have finished. Two or three runners have been running every day, but not enough to get to 3,100 miles; maybe only 2,900 miles!

My workout was again disconnected from the world today. I spent the last couple of months looking forward to the Lunar Trek. Now that is over. I am signed up for some more races, but they aren’t very much on my mind. Maybe I haven’t recovered my energy. Maybe it is too hot to think. Maybe I have really shifted to a new reality and I don’t yet understand what it is about. Maybe my desire for inner oneness has claimed my running life, and running has disappeared over the horizon, beyond where the ego can perceive.

The daily volume keeps being driven higher. I keep working on the weights. My diet has shifted a bit. The increased protein has added a couple of pounds. I am silent. The noon-day devil circles, looking for an opening.

I ponder inner peace. I realize that keeping my hands off worldly goals and glorious plans is necessary for the contemplative life. The Holy Spirit must make the decisions. All things are for spiritual progress and not ego satisfaction. Peace is really quiet. Peace is and un-ripple pond. A person can work out in peace; but for me at least, as soon as there is an agenda, ego worry enters.

The contemplative life is a tricky thing. It must be wanted more than anything else; or the ego will sneak in and hide it. I must be willing to keep it consciously; no matter what else is going on in my life. I must be contemplating the Holy Spirit’s work in my life, not allowing ego agenda to creep in and take over unconsciously. It shouldn't be that God is so hard to remember; but for those of us with egos, remembering God must be a conscious project.

I lay on my bed in the evening and seek God. When I workout, I put a thought of God in my mind and keep it there.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Heat of August

One way to leave the world is to meditate. Another is to workout.
Every ultra is a death and rebirth.

Every LSD is a retreat, a contemplation of "Something Else."

Lesson 148, "...what you need are intervals each day in which the learning of the world becomes a transitory phase; a prison house from which you go into the sunlight and forget the darkness. Here you understand the Word, the Name Which God has given you..."

I ran 20 miles at marathon pace on Saturday. I ran 25 miles at ultra-marathon pace on Sunday. I worked out for 85 minutes on my ex-machines this morning. This is not training. My running has no training goal at the moment. It is driven by habit, time and well being. It is a way of life.

Several guys have finished the 3,100 mile Self Transcendence Race; mainly by running 65 to 70 miles every day for at least 46 days. One of the guys has a running streak going. So he did not take a day off after finishing the race.

Over the weekend, the park had an event: "Bliss Fest." I noticed what alot of work it is to stage a bliss fest, how much one needs to buy to achieve bliss, and how it requires speakers to teach bliss methodology. One Sunday, after the event was over, the people who normally walk and run in the park were very blissful, although we did not go to the Bliss Fest. I have been out of the bliss business for a few years. I just run laps around the park.

It is going to be 98F here today, and all week. However, I noticed this morning that a new flock of Canadian geese has arrived at our plant. I guess it is cold somewhere else.