Friday, December 30, 2011

I don't mind.....

.....that God is my life; I have no life but His.

The Experience of God

Theophany! Take it and love it.

You know what a symphony is right? Or an epiphany? Well, lets say that a theophany is a symphony of God. I think I have these alot. They are quite subtle.

Last evening, I was beginning one of my ACIM workbook lessons which said: God is with me. I live and move in Him. Of course, that line is in the bible too. Nothing new. In reading the paragraph that goes with this, I believed. I felt my belief. It was an experience of God. "...the food by which I am sustained..."

I had just been to Super Target to buy groceries. It seemed lots of stuff was for sale, even in foods. Some shelves were bare, although the store was quite empty when I was there around the 6 pm hour. As I reflected on the lesson and the visit to Target, I believed that everything was solid love. That if God is love and knowing God is knowing an experience of love, Target seemed like an experience of love. And of course it was easy to expand the feeling of love to everything in my life both past and present.

As I lay in bed last evening, I had a new thought. I thought I could almost hear the celestial music. Now, that was a theophany as wonderful as Target.

Tomorrow's lesson: God is my life. I have no life but His.

Really. Let go.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Yoke of God

There are people who decide to put their lives in service of religion, whether secular or monastic. As a result of taking up these responsibilities, they receive the approval of the religious community and the belief that God is also happy with them. As they carry out their religious role and responsibility, they also have engaged certain chemical functions in the brain called the dopamine reward cycle.

So the result of religion is a steady drip of dopamine which provides a sense of well being. Like any addict, the person will defend their religious practices to the death; maybe not even knowing that they are defending an addiction, not anything that really has to do with God.

Wait a second! What did I just say? "...not anything that has to do with God?"

Yep, either God is every where and equally FOR everyone no matter what, or God is a selfish angry bastard which I want nothing to do with. All religions think they are special to god. The bible describes the angry version of god. I studied the bible in various venues from Roman Catholic Seminary to atheist publications to scholars in Ivy League universities. I no longer believe it is 100% true or sacred. While beautiful and containing wisdom, there are plenty of other documents which are beautiful too.

It is very difficult to leave a belief system because you lose the dopamine reward it was providing. To do without the approval and the dopamine is very frightening and depressing. But, to think different thoughts than the main stream of people, you have to step out of the stream. It is difficult to dare to be different. It is difficult to brave the disapproval of the group.

If there is one monastic practice I've kept strongly, it is renunciation of the world. But I live here, so I renounce by taking myself out of the mainstream. There are numerous ways to not-go-along with the group. When you add them up, it produces a different out look on life. To have different thoughts, you have to get away from the main stream thoughts.period.

I don't want my life to be one dopamine reward cycle after another. I don't want my God to be a function of dopamine. In not-going-along, I lose my dopamine rewards. So happiness and life satisfaction has to come some other way. God has to have some other basis for being.

I do study some spiritual material, but it is not an evangelical matter. I can't even explain it here. The text has to be studied and digested. It's thesis is not at all what is taught to most people.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Operation Jack 2011

Today I ran a half marathon. I paid $50 to enter a race that had no clock and not even an official course. But the RD said that from 25 people (or so) $1,500 had been raised for autism research.

For some reason, I think that is pretty phenomenal. I'm happy about it.

Oh, I wore some wonderful new CWX tights. I cruised at easy pace for 13.25 miles (Garmin) in 2h27.xx min.

I am astounded that to drive just across town, in Houston, in 40+ miles and $3.00 in tolls.

I am full of energy and excited for ongoing physical fitness. Yes, I have a living room full of aerobic equipment and I otherwise run alot. I feel great. I feel happy. On 1/8, I'm to go in a full marathon in a park that is supposed to have alligators. On 1/12, I turn 53. I just started a new job (same company), moved to Texas and bought a super NEW home.

I love my spiritual studies. If nothing else, they give me emotional stability.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Seasons Die

Don't know why this song popped into my head. I haven't been listening to the radio today. But it seems like a good song for me.

Goodbye my friend, it's hard to die,
when all the birds are singing in the sky,
Now that the spring is in the air.
Pretty girls are everywhere.
When you see them I'll be there.
We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.
But the hills that we climbed
were just seasons out of time.

by Terry Jacks, source:

I have said goodbye to: both parents, UC Davis and the Aggie Running Club, California, Kansas City (twice), Clyde convent, Catholicism, Christianity, enlightenment, raw food, a horse and 2 cats, 3 homes and 5 apartments, 6 cars, at least 4 pairs of running shoes a year, friends too many to count but about 3 which stand out as special. Whatever female body I've had for 52 years is changing into some other female body.

But all of these things are illusions. It is the content under the form that matters: pain hurt anger love joy happiness. And under these emotions which really don't matter either, there is a constant benign spiritual presence, a graciousness. This abstract presence could be what matters. I visit it as often as I can.

In 2011, I moved to Texas, got promoted at work and bought another home. I am sort of without identity here in Texas. Outside of work and the builder and the next door neighbor, I don't know anybody. Nobody knows me, not even the people at work. I have a theology and philosophy of life which I practice. I have many friends in my internet running community. I brought them to Texas. I also brought graciousness.

So far in 2011, I've worked out 973 hours (includes running and other aerobics) and ran 3,162 miles; and I still have another week with several days off. In 2011, I ran 3 ultra-marathons, 2 marathons, 4 half-marathons (with one more tomorrow).

Goodbye 2011.

In 2012, I run a marathon the first week, turn 53 the second week; and get in better shape than I am now for the rest of the year. I'm relying on the Vita-Mix blender for many green smoothies and the Versa Climber for a whole new meaning to aerobics.

My main success is spiritual identification. It is apparent to me that I have a consciousness higher than the ego consciousness and that I am becoming identified with that other level of being. Completion of this transformation is my ultimate success. Graciousness calls me.

Deck the Runner's Halls

Deck the body with pants compression
Fa la la la la, la la la
Tis the season for running obsession
Fa la la la la, la la la

Now we are so fast and furious
Fa la la la la, la la la
Troll the wind and rain that swirls.
Fa la la la la, la la la la

See the course laid out before us
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Throw your heart into the racing
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Follow me until the finish line
Fa la la la la, la la la la
While I spit and rocket snot
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Fast away the real runners pass me
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Hail the AG podium awaits me
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Sing we now to next years racing
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Heedless of PF we win the medals
Fa la la la la, la la la la

I'm going in a race tomorrow. It looks to be cold and wet so the HOT new tights might be under rain pants. Oh well! Today, it is cloudy but not raining right at the moment; so out I go.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Unbelievable Incredible

Did you know that people actually think Christmas is real? That something must be done? That the holiday has any relationship to God or Jesus?

I don't do Christmas. I haven't for several years now. Do you have any idea how counter-cultural and radical it is to stop participating? Talk about bucking the system!

I do enjoy days off work. I'll take any excuse for that.

Today, I had an enlightening thought. If you seek to be nothing, and let go of all illusions, then you will achieve it. Blankness as a spiritual path is way off track for what we a taught to seek by most pop gurus.

Today, I ran around a park 19 times. The high-light was waving at the FedEx truck as it left my street. I ordered a fancy pair of running tights to wear in a race on Monday. A girl wants to look hot from time to time when she goes out. I'm going to the famous Memorial Park in Houston; and I'll be a decked out for the occasion.

Now I think I'll go use my living room furniture: Versa Climber, Nordic Track, treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lesson 169 - Grace

"By Grace I live. By Grace I am released."

"....Oneness is simply the idea God is. And in His Being, He encompasses all things. No mind holds anything but Him. We say “God is,” and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless...Grace is acceptance of the Love of God within a world of seeming hate and fear..."

and, Lesson 168: "Your Grace is given me. I claim it now."

These are my prayers for the next 24 hours. One thing I truly like about my new duplex is the exercise equipment I have here. In private, I can shut my eyes while working out and think only of my prayers.

ACIM Christmas

In A Course in Miracles (ACIM), all reactions of people are either love or a call for love. Love is very rare because we are 99.9% of the time wrapped in anger, fear, doubt, etc. Little annoyances are anger as surely as huge blowups. There is no metaphysical difference. The response of the ACIM students is to practice "Christ Vision." Christ is not Jesus-as-we-know-him-in-Christianity, or the Bible. Christ is the truth of your being which is devine, the Son of God, a thought of God, and idea of God. As such, Christ is totally different than the ordinary consciousness which we use to exist in this world. It is beyond. Christ vision looks beyond the apparent body to the Christ in that other person. Seeing Chirst, all is quiet and utterly at peace; no matter what seems to be going on in the illusion we think is the world.

So, my epiphany last night and today was to give my annoyance with Christmas to God. And coincedently, I read the below quoted material in the ACIM text this morning. It gives me a peaceful framework with which to attend the Son of God in others for the next few days.

Christmas, with all its annoyances people talk about, it a radical call for love. To give love, it is only necessary to look with the eyes of Christ and see beyond this world of illusion to the truth of God.

The body is hardened fear.

There is one life and that I share with God.

I am entrusted with the gifts of God. That is, I have been taught Christ Vision. So I just have to use it.

Today, I am totally at peace. I ran 3 miles in the pouring rain. Then I finished off the workout with 20 min on the elliptical. I passed 2 accidents on the way to work. I have a green smoothie for breakfast. I am going to lunch with my female professional colleagues.

The ACIM text is the most beautiful prose I can imagine. Having studied it for 4.5 years and read it 6 times, I can say it is a deep treasure trove which can be mined for life. Everyday I receive a gift of God's presence.

From ACIM Text 15.X:

"...This is the season when you would celebrate my birth into the world. Yet you know not how to do it. Let the Holy Spirit teach you, and let me celebrate your birth through Him. The only gift I can accept of you is the gift I gave to you. Release me as I choose your own release. The time of Christ we celebrate together, for it has no meaning if we are apart.

The holy instant is truly the time of Christ. For in this liberating instant no guilt is laid upon the Son of God, and his unlimited power is thus restored to him. What other gift can you offer me, when only this I choose to offer you? And to see me is to see me in everyone, and offer everyone the gift you offer me. I am as incapable of receiving sacrifice as God is, and every sacrifice you ask of yourself you ask of me. Learn now that sacrifice of any kind is nothing but a limitation imposed on giving. And by this limitation you have limited acceptance of the gift I offer you.

We who are one cannot give separately. When you are willing to accept our relationship as real, guilt will hold no attraction for you. For in our union you will accept all of our brothers. The gift of union is the only gift that I was born to give. Give it to me, that you may have it. The time of Christ is the time appointed for the gift of freedom, offered to everyone. And by your acceptance of it, you offer it to everyone.

It is in your power to make this season holy, for it is in your power to make the time of Christ be now. It is possible to do this all at once because there is but one shift in perception that is necessary, for you made but one mistake. It seems like many, but it is all the same. For though the ego takes many forms, it is always the same idea. What is not love is always fear, and nothing else."

15.IX: "...The sign of Christmas is a star, a light in darkness. See it not outside yourself, but shining in the Heaven within, and accept it as the sign the time of Christ has come. He comes demanding nothing. No sacrifice of any kind, of anyone, is asked by Him. In His Presence the whole idea of sacrifice loses all meaning. For He is Host to God. And you need but invite Him in Who is there already, by recognizing that His Host is One, and no thought alien to His Oneness can abide with Him there. Love must be total to give Him welcome, for the Presence of holiness creates the holiness that surrounds it. No fear can touch the Host Who cradles God in the time of Christ, for the Host is as holy as the Perfect Innocence which He protects, and Whose power protects Him.

This Christmas give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you. Let yourself be healed completely that you may join with Him in healing, and let us celebrate our release together by releasing everyone with us. Leave nothing behind, for release is total, and when you have accepted it with me you will give it with me. All pain and sacrifice and littleness will disappear in our relationship, which is as innocent as our relationship with our Father, and as powerful. Pain will be brought to us and disappear in our presence, and without pain there can be no sacrifice. And without sacrifice there love must be..."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Monk In the World

OK, I acknowledge that I have wanted to know God for 35 years of so. Yes, my ego wants to know God to prove it is better than everyone else. Yes, I hope my spirituality can provide an escape from the world of fear. BUT, underneath the negative pressure there is still the honest desire of pure innocence in me which seeks its creator.

Yes I have a career and a household; and I work-out a lot. But my motivation, my foundation, is "seeking God." The divine presence is the foundation. The spiritual content of daily life, working and running, is what's of interest.

I am a monk-in-the-world and I can't escape this ontology. I am a monk because my attention is always on the spiritual content. This focus makes my life a prayer; and so I am a monk.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


You can take the monk out of the monastery but you can't take the monasticism out of the monk.

This is a clarity of thought which hit me this morning. Monasticism left an indelible impression on my life. While the monasticism is a friction between me and other people, I realize I like the monastic practices. I don't want to be a normal person. In fact, I never have. Before I was officially in monastic formation, I wanted and had deep urges for the practices.


Simplicity, silence, spiritual study (lectio divina), contemplation (practice of the divine presence), humility, chastity. Something about 4 years of monastic formation made an existential or ontological change in me. I can't escape this.

I think this is why I like working in the harsh conditions of chemical plants, and why the lonliness of the long distance runner appeals to me.

Excessive consumption, opulence, luxury bug me. And so I am in the throes of friction. No, I don't want to attend the Christmas party. I am truly against Christmas and I don't want to participate; yet, it still touches me and effects me.

I cherish my sobriety. Why anyone would touch as much as one drop of alcohol is beyond me; but I suppose people don't know how this changes their spiritual connection. Above all else, I cherish my spiritual connection.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

800th Post - Finally Wisdom

I'll keep it short and sweet. My quest is to find a different basis for the joy of living than the dopamine reward cycle.

I'm certain that most people seek happiness in the ongoing pursuit of dopamine.

I'm certain that true spiritual connection has nothing to do with dopamine.

So my quest is for truth.

The truth is within. It is not of this world. I want to identify with and have my being in truth, not the approval of the people in the world. If I seem depressed, it is just withdrawal symptoms as I seek freedom from addiction to dopamine.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The End of Greatness

My life has been so occupied with the move to Texas for about 2 months. All the hub-bub is over now. There was an army of people provided by my company which accomplished the task. I don't know why I am here at a deep level. I know that of the situation which existed at the time I decided, this was what I wanted. I like it here so far. I don't know if there is a deeper meaning for my spiritual or emotional growth. Now I am alone with my decision and my new life. Everything is quiet. The loneliness of the long distance runner and the solitude of the contemplative reign.

Little mentioned was my humiliating "did not finish" at a 50 mile race in October. The DNF caused me to totally realize I don't have the mind of an ultra runner. So there won't be any oohs or aahs over impossibly long races and physical hardship.

It seems like I would have already figured this out earlier, but I am not a religious woman. My monastic period is far in the past. As of this weekend, if I ever darken the doors of a Catholic church again, I won't know what to do. I don't qualify as a spiritual teacher. I am not a real monk or solitary. I haven't been enlightened.  God has not spoken to me personally. I haven't figured out the origins of the human species, or even if we are in fact spiritual beings. I still stand for my inner yearning to know my Higher Self, to have vibrant conscious contact.

But I cannot leave A Course In Miracles behind. Despite its nonsensical origins, the material works for me in my daily life. I'd even go so far as to say that quietly doing my daily practice is the only point of my life. If I ever satisfy my yearning for my Higher Self, I think it will be ACIM that paves the way.

If I truly set out for ego deflation at depth, then the purposeless emptiness of my life is successful.

Now I sit quietly in my nice duplex south of Houston. I am still a runner. I still run long distances. There will be another hurricane someday.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Towards Inner Peace

This week, my first full week as a Texas resident, I did pretty good with running: 51 miles. I moved into my new home on Thursday and got the exercise and strength equipment set up. On Saturday and Sunday, I was able to complete free weight and TRX workouts.

My daily spiritual workouts have continued unabated: early morning reading and meditation, evening lesson and meditation and reflection.

What I have been reflecting on are changes during the past 8 years since leaving the monastery. I mean inner changes. For several years, I had a drive to prove myself the spiritual equal of the sisters. So I was intense about my spiritual practices and I was intent on achieving enlightenment. I wanted enlightenment long before I went to the monastery. In fact, the whole cloister adventure was one of my attempts to be enlightened. But after leaving I was very intent on proving myself better than them at spiritual achievement.

Slowly however, over the past 4 years, maybe as a result of A Course in Miracles, I've been having increased inner peace and less focus on enlightenment or any other spiritual credential. What I have to admit though is that true inner peace has no high emotional moments and inner peace is nothing to write home about. I'm sort of at a rubber-meets-the-road with inner peace.

My journey is really an interior journey. Going further inward means more inner peace and less ego motivation. Do I really want to live without the kudos? Do I want the true joy of inner peace?

I'm sure I can sense the presence of love all around me. I also generate the action of love in helping others as well as accepting their gifts to me. The journey home leads into eternal silence, wordless unimaginable to us average humans. Yet I find my self continuing to look there and continuing to want to go deeper.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


An analogy.

Think of thoughts as particles of dirt swirling around in water. The water cannot be drank until the dirt settles. Inner peace comes with having a clear mind and it is the swirl of thoughts which prevents the peace. A person can sit very quietly in meditation and wait for the thoughts to settle down. This is like sitting by the side of a pond and waiting for the dirt to sink to the bottom. Another way is to move up stream to where the water is clear. Analogously, inner peace could also be achieved by moving to a quieter place in the world. Another way, a modern way, is to set up artificial pollution control devices which clear the immediate surroundings in order to provide clear water. In the thought analogy, I need a means to continuously filter and correct thoughts, or repel them, so that I have inner peace. The means that I use is inner reflection and intuition. I use the Course in Miracles to correct my thoughts.

I read the following in Paul Brunton this morning:

"Who posses complete independence? Who has all the freedom he wants? Who is able to make his choices freely, unaffected by his circumstances, by social pressure, by events, or by heredity? The answer, of course, is no one. But to the extent that anyone learns to control his thoughts, to become master of himself, he begins to control his fate....."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It Doesn't Matter Where

I started off the day, wondering why I came to Texas. I had a list of questions related to why, which wondered if there was some purpose or deep meaning to this transfer.

Then I went for a totally awesome (if slow low impact speed) 20.2 mile run: 3 laps from Meador Park to Pine Gully Park, including the Red Bluff out and back on 2 of the laps. 3 gels, 60 oz of water.

I realized that it doesn't matter where I am. Saturday and Sunday are for endurance running. I am an athlete.

And otherwise: I continue my spiritual studies and meditations, go to work, try not to over eat, take care of normal stuff like bills etc.

I've already begun meeting people who run in the same parks I ran in yesterday and today. I haven't yet decided on my favorite gas station for my post run Mentos gum, diet Coke and Ozarka water purchases. I'm still pondering signing up for Cross Fit. I say all this because I see that people will filter into my life without me doing anything.

My game is spiritual growth. I do in fact change my attitudes and outlooks on life at I practice spirituality. Thats really all my life is: a series of daily spiritual exercises.

Here is part of my ACIM workbook lesson. It is so beautiful. To hear this beauty frequently is why I keep going back to ACIM.

"Today we continue with the one idea which brings complete salvation; the one statement which makes all forms of temptation powerless; the one thought which renders the ego silent and entirely undone. You are as God created you. The sounds of this world are still, the sights of this world disappear, and all the thoughts that this world ever held are wiped away forever by this one idea....Nothing is required of you to reach this goal except to lay all idols and self-images aside; go past the list of attributes, both good and bad, you have ascribed to yourself; and wait in silent expectancy for the truth. God has Himself promised that it will be revealed to all who ask for it. You are asking now. You cannot fail because He cannot fail."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Seabrook Sunday Running

Here is where I went running today. In Seabrook, this gravel trail provides a nice 7 mile round trip; which is a convenient distance. Laps don't become too boring and you don't have to carry much water. First time I've run in a place that had snake and alligator warning signs. I'll probably run here every weekend.

I ran past this place too:

I also got my car inspected and went to the post office to get the keys to my mail box. No line in either place. I am living in a temporary apartment. Hopefully the moving van will show up Tuesday. I went to work for the first time on Friday. I really needed to get my work computer. Anyone who works for my company knows how important it is to keep up to speed and how so much can only be accessed from a company computer (I'm using my persona computer at the moment). My apartment has 2 TVs; which I haven't been watching. I can't bear the idea of a magnificent and majestic being spending its time watching drivel.

I spent this evening quietly. I was working on my Course in Miracles lesson. And drinking Ozarka water which tastes fabulous. The biggest spiritual challenge is to just sit and be quiet. I was "praying" for any person who came to mind by seeing the light and joy and peace abiding in them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nothing Bad Happened

"Thoughts create reality" is something I heard decades ago for the first time. While Christian denominations don't teach this, many other philosophies do.

For the past 14 hours or so, I have been suffering a subtle worry, a nagging fear thought: what if someone breaks into my car during the night and steals my clothes? See, my valuable papers are here with me in the hotel, but I didn't unload my entire car. I kept hearing the nagging fear and I kept replacing it with my ACIM lesson for today: Let miracles replace all grievances. What I am studying in Brunton today has to do with Karma and how that works.

Grievances are the hateful fearful thoughts my ego mind continuously spews out. Miracles are expressions of love. You are a miracles. In letting miracles replace all grievances, I am seeing every person as the expression of love that they truly are. I am NOT allowing my ego to draw a veil of hate and fear in front of that truth. This practice holds for all people, known and unknown. Each one that I see as an expression of love walks with me to the real world where there are only expressions of love.

Allowing grievances unchecked in my mind produces bad luck, bad karma. Retribution is for the thoughts. Regardless of what actually happens, if my mind is full of unchecked fear, I am in hell already. As it is, I deny hell its place. I insist on heaven by insisting on miracle thinking.

So I had fear, miracles and karma on my plate; plus thoughts create reality. Was that fearful thought creating a car break-in and much anger or unhappiness or blame for me? Was the daily lesson correcting the thought?

I was resistant to walking down and looking at the car. But just now, I realized that my car was parked where I could see it from my window, if only I opened the curtain.

My car is untouched.

I said thank you to Whomever for the lesson. Its not that my material possessions are important but that I direct my thinking. Its not that I prevent my ego mind from spewing out hate and fear all day, but that I calmly answer it with a corrected thought. I get these corrected thoughts from my daily spiritual reading. Corrected thoughts are literally opening the curtain/veil of the ego's negative mentality and seeing the real world of miracles beyond.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In Between Lives

I am in between lives. Physically, I am journeying from Kansas City to south Texas. In changing locations I am changing my physical world, including my body which is undergoing change as well.

My life is a dynamic life. I have lived 5 lifetimes so far: California where I was born; Kansas City pre-monastery; monastic life mainly cloistered; Atchison/Kansas City post-monastery; and now Texas.

Mental, emotional and spiritual change are required. A few last minute grievances attempt to attach themselves to me; but I am able to tell them "No." My Course in Miracles lessons provide the framework for this. My lessons for the 3 day trip are distinctively focused on new ways of thinking.They are a distinctive shift from eliminating grievances to replacement with miracles.

It is difficult to shift. The ego mind resists. The ego mind says, "What are God's laws and who would want those?" or "What is a miracle and who would want it?" and "You don't really believe you are making progress do you?"

I sit in the car and watch other cars as I watch my thoughts. I answer with today's lesson. But mainly, I need do nothing. My future is being built of miracles as I continue to answer the ego with other thoughts.

I am a successful engineer. I am earning money for retirement. I am a long distance runner and fitness fanatic. But my main interest is my mental and spiritual fitness.

A few more hours on the road today. Dinner tonight with some e-friends; meeting ftf for the first time. And then, another day of driving to get to my new destination and new framework for spiritual growth. That's all anything is: a framework for spiritual growth. And, all frameworks are viewed by the viewers differently. But all frameworks are indeed chosen (at some level) by the viewer.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Accepting ACIM Atonement

The point of ACIM Atonement is realizing that this world is a delusion, none of it really happened; hence you and everyone are innocent. Accepting Atonement for yourself means you believe this and hence live that way: seeing only the light of love and not shadows of darkness. Accepting Atonement and ACIM forgiveness are the same: overlooking the shadows and seeing only love.

God is love. Reality is love. Anything else does not exist.

My ACIM workbook lesson for today was about the topic of seeing the world forgiven: The light has come. I have forgiven the world.

Reading the lesson for the first time, it seemed like such pie-in-the-sky to believe I would see a world filled only with light starting today. But a series of thoughts brought me to the conclusion that I do believe I have accepted Atonement, even if I clearly saw for only a little bit. Having seen once, I can continue to re-produce the opening.

I was thinking about the plant manager whose plant I just left. I was thinking about the move to Texas. I was thinking about the myriad of negative thoughts I have all day long and how, since I seem unable to stop them, they would prevent me from ever forgiving the world (seeing it as light). But then, my ACIM teaching whispered to me:

  1. My negative thoughts are "just" temptation. 
  2. And anyway, none of this "really" happened. 
  3. I am not guilty.
These 3 thoughts, constitute my realization that I have accepted the Atonement for myself; and that I know it in my heart. These 3 thoughts, realized as beliefs, put a distance between me and my ego. I identify less with my ego. If I am not my ego, I can be innocent. Being innocent is the only way to be free. I must be free; that's the only way I'll be happy or go to Texas as a free person. I must go to Texas as a free person because I have more to learn. I can't learn if I continually hold my past against the present. The spiral of my learning must go higher.

As of this moment, I do have a bright future as a free innocent person.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Three Day Retreat - Pre-Lude

Today was my last day at my job in Kansas City. I am not leaving my company, just transferring to another location, but it feels in many ways like I'm going to a new job. the reactions of the people in Kansas City are that I am leaving, period.

Why is this a retreat? I have no plans to socialize for 3 days. I have a plan for spiritual work. It is not really new spiritual work, I do the same everyday; but since I am not at work, my attention is more focused. The retreat is made of the next 3 ACIM workbook lessons. They represent first a decompression (letting go), second a nurturing of new, and third an emergence.

  1. I will there be light (73)
  2. There is no will but God’s (74)
  3. The light has come (75)
And then on Monday, the movers come. I will arrive in Houston area on Wednesday. Three more days to work 3 more lessons.

The first step in spiritual progress for any given day or endeavor is to lay aside grievances: those ideas, opinions and thoughts which are thought attacks on other people,places, things and situations. The first lesson encourages intolerance of grievances and a turning to the inner light. The second step of spiritual progress is to turn to the light.

Tomorrow, besides laying aside my grievances, I'll go for a long run. Perfect.

Approaching Transition

Paul Brunton said, "Islam - a resignation to and harmony with God." I found this in a chapter on dying and death and afterlife. I would say for myself that I would use the word acceptance rather than resignation. It has a more positive connotation for me.

My ACIM lesson today talks much about how we are not physical bodies. The physical is the ego illusion. Our truth is greater than that. And the lesson also talks about accepting God's plan for salvation rather than fighting it. In order to accept it, we must ask what it is and then quietly listen.

This acceptance and the idea of death as a transition fits well with my life today. The boys at work are taking me out for my "last supper." It is a gesture of kindness and a ritual of moving on to get taken out to lunch. I struggle because I don't like eating out and I don't like eating with meat eaters. But this is also fighting God's plan for salvation given me. I know that I need to be as magnanimous as possible, just as I am each and every day.

I secretly dislike worldly activities and wish to be left alone. This inner friction leaves me with tremendous shame and guilt; while at the same time seeing that the spiritual path from which my feelings spring is necessary for the success of my life. It is such a dichotomy. People like me and want to offer me love. But the offering is in a worldly way I dislike. So I swallow my feelings and desires (really my ego's opinions) and go along with the gig.

I am transferring to another location in my corporation. It means moving to Texas. This move is a death for the group of people I'm leaving. It is a transition to another picture of reality for me. I receive the death ritual (lunch with the guys) as graciously as I can. Doing things well it part of my ethos.

 I have purchased a new duplex in Texas. The first thing to be delivered next week is the new elliptical. I will fill the downstairs with exercise equipment and spend my time there. No couches. No TVs. Just cardio and weight equipment and a peaceful and endless time of working out.

Now it is rainy this morning and cold. But I am about to layer into my gortex and go out anyway. I need the invigoration and a wet windy run in the dark.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


This thought came to me this evening while I was meditating on the lesson for today. It must have been related to the fact that the lesson suggested that I ask the Voice for God for guidance. A moment later I thought that I loved ACIM. I thought this in relation to the text. The text is such a deep wealth of spirituality. It is so wonderful to immerse yourself in the Spirit with the text as your vehicle.

I've been trying to figure out if my move to Texas is just an elaborate ego trip or distraction from Spirit. Yesterday I thought it was a gift. Today I thought it was a response to guidance. The move is an extension of my spiritual path; the way given me to journey deeper.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Three Steps

I read this today in Brunton book VI: "First the ego is only an accumulation of memories and a series of cravings, that is, thought; it is a fictitious entity. Second, the thinking activity can come to an end in stillness. Third, Grace, the radiation of the Power beyond man, is ever-shining and ever-present. If we let the mind become deeply still and deeply observant of the ego's self-preserving instinct, we open the door to Grace, which then lovingly swallows us."

So, that is beautiful. Is it not obvious that I would seek God if I thought I would achieve feeling loved? Well, it doesn't say I'll feel loved. It says I'll be swallowed by love. This really means relinquishment of the ego. I still say yes, but it is not so easily accomplished.

And there must be a higher Power for any of this to happen. I am still reliant on faith in that area.

Do I believe that I have help?

I think I'll go work out in my living room and ponder these things.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


It is an amazing thing, a gift from A Course in Miracles is the knowledge of grievances. And if you do the work book, you will be reminded from time to time to inventory your grievances and let them go. This morning while I was out running, I was repeating a lesson about grievances and then I would notice my small mind go to some thing from the world for which I realized I had a grievance against. I have grievances about almost every part of my past. So then I would wipe the slate clean and turn towards higher consciousness.

Then this evening I moved on to the next lesson: My grievances hide the light of the world in me. The lesson gives instructions on how to see the light in you. I did this. But, strangely I've never realized this before, I clearly heard my small mind say, "what good is this light?"

See, real divine light does not provide any emotionally gratifying euphoric experiences. The Light of God is silent and still. When I sit and gaze inward at it, I find the ability to just be quiet and silent. But it is not productive for worldly endeavors. In fact, the practice seems quite useless and maybe not even real; at least according to my ego consciousness.

My silence and solitude and spiritual study is directed towards the purpose of transcending ego consciousness and gaining love based consciousness. Any progress I make could be indirectly applied to worldly living but its main results are not in this world. Lack of proof is the hard part, as I get asked what good my spiritual work is if its results not directly here. I can't explain but anyone who has connected with their higher consciousness would know.

I returned again to the light and watched it, sat with it. If I want inner peace, this is truly the where of it.

Ha, my ego hates walking around in the world as an apparently useless individual.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Paul Brunton, in his 16 volume spiritual notebook, expresses over and over that the person needs to redirect from ego or small self to larger self, Higher Self. The idea is also in A Course in Miracles: the small ego is not real, the Christ, the Son of God within, is the truth.

From Brunton:

  • "Blessed are the poor in spirit," said Jesus. What did he mean? To be "poor" in the mystical sense is to be deprived of the possession of the ego, that is, to become ego-free.
  • When all of man's thoughts are put together, this total constitutes his ego. By giving them up to the Stillness, he gives up his ego, denies his self, in Jesus' phrase.
  • To surrender the ego is to surrender the thought of it, and this is done by stilling the mind whenever, in daily life, one becomes self-conscious.
  • The more he tries to fight the ego, the more he thinks about it and concentrates on it. This keeps him still its prisoner. Better is it to turn his back on it and think about, concentrate on the higher self.
So, how do you renounce the ego without chastising yourself all the time because you reacted to it? This is where I have located the workbook of A Course in Miracles. Each day it gives me a thought which is directed to the higher self and not the ego. I need to be taught to think differently and I need help in order to think differently. There are other books which provide a daily thought. Be careful of most of them because they give a very narrow limited and worldly view of the world and certainly almost all of them see the ego as real. The ego is just thoughts.

I see my life as a journey towards the higher self. The one thing I've desired for decades is a vibrant spiritual connection. There have been turns of events all along which have brought me closer. Like, in my early years of sobriety, a group of us recovering alcoholics were attending seminars by a man who talked about the ego and this lead to listening to a channeled entity who talked about the higher self. AA itself is directed towards ego deflation and surrender to a higher power. In the monastery, I was reading about the small self and the larger self.

And somehow or other, I arrived at A Course in Miracles which discusses the ego delusion in a more complicated way. And somehow, I arrived a Paul Brunton's notebooks. 

I have to say this about the Bible: it is misinterpreted not only by scholars throughout the ages but by the early church. The renunciation of ego combined with identification with the higher self which Jesus practiced made him look special; and his expertise was incomprehensible to the early church so they called him Son of God. Truly he was Son of God, but so are you if you deny the ego and take up the higher self.

Not easy. Maybe I only make a smidgen of progress in this life. But I refuse to give up.

So today, my ACIM lesson is: Love created me like Itself. I vow to hold this idea in mind and use it as the thing I turn to when I notice I am in ego reality. As I return to this thought of Love and It, I also enter silence.

Now, I slept 12 hours last night. I think I'll go to a small park today and run in a forest.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ego Deflation

One of the first things you learn in AA about how to stay sober is about ego deflation at depth. And the steps of AA are intended to help with this. I believe that ego deflation is needed for success in any behavioral change as well as spiritual progress.

Ego deflation is such a quandary. An ego cannot fix itself. Therefore, some other part of my consciousness has to desire and practice ego deflation in such a way as to achieve the detachment. The higher self is not yet my consciousness. So I have to find a standpoint which realizes it is not the ego and which realizes it wants to identify with the higher self.

Assuming there is a higher self. Is there a higher self? Is my belief in the higher self just programming from new age books? Well, not just new age. The destruction of the small self was also part of Benedictine monastic teachings. The higher self comes forth in Buddhist teachings. It is all over the place.

I don't really know my higher self except for the workings of intuition.

If I go to a teacher or guru, I end up with their teachings AND my ego.

I think prayer towards the higher self opens the door to receiving the needed outside help; as in circumstances arrive in which the ego becomes deflated and other points of view become possible.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ACIM Workbook

A Course in Miracles (ACIM) has a workbook that goes with it. I've completely done the workbook at least 3 times. Last April, on my 4th time, I took a break. A few days ago, I opened it back up to the place where I'd left off, lesson 65 today.

What I'm finding is that I am very in tune with the lessons. I am at peace and feel good to be reminded of what is taught. I accept. Yes please.

Out running this morning, I was reviewing my belief in God. I still have to say I'm in favor of believing there is a Creator who created me with an idea in mind. My life goes better with this belief. I have no direct proof that my belief is true.

My life's narrative goes on. I keep reading the book.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Yes

This morning, I went out running as usual. It was warm but with a 17 mph wind. I faced the wind. I feel puny and fear the cold. The first time I face a hurricane, I imagine I'll be terrified.

I haven't blogged much lately. It is because I don't feel the ego driven vehemence I felt in the past. I have no spiritual stance to propound or any need to expound on my superior outlook or attributes.

This is where I'll be living in Texas. It is an ordinary duplex on an ordinary street.

And working at this place:

But why is this blog called "My Yes"? I'm certain that I am making progress in metaphysics and in the realization of my higher self and I plan to continue on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Idaho 2011

I am on the road again, this time to Boise, ID.Boise has a great green belt running for miles through the middle of town. Yesterday I ran north for an hour and 10 min. Today I ran south for an hour. I felt really good today, as I solved a problem with a shoe insole which was causing me much pain in the heel. Today was the first long run I've done in awhile where I went fast. I feel so much better about myself.

See, when I am training for an ultra, I slowly jog and walk periodically since the point is to keep going for many hours without hurting yourself or running out of energy. But, I realize that this slow type running was making me feel older and older. We are trained to think was will diminish as we age. Add that to some pain in the heels (solved now I hope) and the slow paced ultra training and you have a recipe for feeling old and exhausted. So, maybe ultras are not the right thing for me.

Today, I signed up for my first race in Texas - the La Porte Half Marathon. It runs across the Hartman Bridge:

There are no hills in Houston.

The sun just disappeared below the horizon without much fanfare.

I still haven't connected with my soul.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sea-brook Morning

I got out of bed with the alarm at 7. 7 is not early, but at times I still roll over. Today, I've already looked at my new insurance quote, drank 2 small in-room coffees, and plotted a run. A run along a busy street and then into my future neighborhood. (72 min of being lost on nice residential streets).

My spiritual study is from Brunton notebook V. "We are word drugged." ... "The word 'soul' is so vague a word that the Oxford English Dictionary offers no less than twenty-five meanings for it."

For what ever reason, as I typed that "soul" quote, I was triggered to think back, to remember: How did I get mixed up in this God thing anyway?

I was 22 years old. Standing near the Jaffa gate, in the old city of Jerusalem, able to see fur hat wearing Orthodox Jews disappear down the narrow Via Delorosa, and after my tour of the city, I thought, "There might be something to this God thing." Was that a divine call? Thus began an active daily seeking through books and Christianity and the New Age.

More from Brunton: "Few people ever recognize that the language they use, and hence the thoughts they think, are filled with unexamined assumptions, with un-criticized suggestions from outside, with untested inheritances from other people's past."

Wow, that totally explains why I don't watch TV. I want to restrict the input of uncriticized assumptions to my brain. I don't think the purpose of the Brunton books is to tear apart my spirituality, but I am glad it is happening. If there is a higher self or Universal Spirit or God, I'll need to know it in truth, the wordless gut; not a bunch of modern blab words.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Bait

Do I really want to know God? Or am I just responding to bait?

Before my eyes have been dangled various forms of spiritual bait: enlightenment, personal relationship with Christ, spouse of Jesus, monastic profession, sacrament, soul, real self, higher self. this morning, I was stuck on "true self." I want to know my true self, my essence, the ground of my being, that higher consciousness, the idea that God had when I was created. And all along, there is some belief that this higher self will be a better happier richer me than the one I know right now.

Is it possible that I just am who I am? What if there is no old man and new man, no false self and true self? Maybe I should say I am myself and I will hold myself to my standards. I don't have a higher me.

To stop at this self contradicts decades of yearning, searching and praying on my part. If I stop at this self, do I logically say there is no spirit or God?

I am a contradiction. Moving to Seabrook, I find I am both sea and brook. Using Rocksolidrelo (Prudential) I am both rock solid but relocating. I run hills, bridges, treadmills. I am getting to know NASA boulevard.

In the airplane today I saw an awesome view of clouds. Think about a pilot who spends all day above the clouds. Most of the time, his reality is above the clouds; different from mine. Today I go to see the pilot's reality. So, there are other realities which I can also see if I put on the right filter.

I believe I have an essence. I no longer believe I need God to enlighten me. I believe I need to sift away my junk beliefs. Then, I'll see clearly. My concept of God could indeed be one of those junk beliefs.

Today I started re-reading Shalimar the Clown, by Salmon Rushdie. This is the third time I've read it. Some of his prose is incredibly beautiful. Now that I know the rest of the story, the first chapter or so is very interesting. and, compated to Satanic Verses, I think the prose is much more sophisticated, but also I can remember the two books side by side and get a bigger philosophical picture.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Turn the Page

Last night was the demise of my self-illusion that I can be an ultra-runner. Things started out pretty decent at the Heartland 50. After about 7 miles, the rain seemed real; I mean actual rain not just sprinkles. I calmly slipped my garbage bag over my head and continued on into the darkness. But my brain reached a barrier. I believed it would rain all night, and I couldn't believe it would be at all good or worth it to spend the night running in the rain. Other people kept going. The rain really wasn't an awful downpour or anything. I just couldn't believe it was worth it to spend the night in it.

Arriving at the aid station at 8 miles, I planned to either get a ride back to the start or run back there myself. I said, I am not cut out to run all night in the rain. Without too long a wait, I found myself tucked into the back of a Ranger extended cab pickup and driven to the start. The magic of the night took place here. I sort of knew these 2 guys. I finally got the courage to ask the question. Do you know Bill W? Why yes they did. Sitting in that tiny cab was 79 years of sobriety. Amazing!

Driving home last night, I came to the realization: my capabilities do not extend very far into adventurous places. My mind just can't do the difficulties required of an ultra runner. Partly because I know there is no reward for me at the end. My brain did not produce one single dopamine reward molecule related to the upcoming pain of 50 miles in the rain. So, lacking all mental motivation, I caved quite quickly. I'm surprised I started at all as I knew that part of Kansas had a big green spot over it on the radar. Daring is not part of my belief system. I don't have the belief system that produces the dopamine reward which produces the ultra performance.

My ego no longer responds to the rewards of completing a race. It knows that I'll just get in the car and go home without fanfare; only to start again the next day.

How can I say that I have no daring in me? Didn't I throw away my life and go to a monastery? Well, it was a secure old big bucks monastery. Didn't I run 86 miles a Silverton? Well, I didn't run 100 miles because of this very mental limitation. And I covered my 86 miles in a very conservative way. Didn't I go running off to Israel by my self when I was 21? Well, yeah, but I was already a skilled international traveler so going off without mommy and daddy was just a natural progression.

Owing to my DNF, I had a pretty normal Saturday. I spent the first part of the workout listening to This American Life as I rode the ex-bike. I spent another 30 min listening to Prairie Home Companion as I rode the nordic track. Then, I plucked my hydro-pak from the refrigerator (where it landed after last night's debacle) and went out for a 3 hour jog/walk in the surrounding suburbs.

I am disillusioned with modern Christianity, but not necessarily with Jesus himself. I am disillusioned with enlightenment as I'm sure it is mainly a dopamine reward and not God. I am disillusioned with various food fads. I am disillusioned with ultra running or any running rewards related to competition. I am somewhat divorced from society and family life. Where is my motivation for living going to come from?

I am about to move to Houston where I will buy an ordinary house, however small, in a ordinary subdivision and live without visible difference than the surroundings. I'll go to work, pay the bills and make sure the lawn is taken care of. Is there any such thing as a suburban mystic contemplative? Do you have to be a monk or a Buddhist to discover God?

Steve Jobs had to die before he immediately became a wisdom figure.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Heartland 50 - Prelude

This morning, I read this in book 5 of Brunton: "The words of the book can carry you to a certain point in consciousness. When this is reached you can go farther and higher only by closing the book! It has served you well but you must now turn to a new source. Let thoughts come into quietude; intuition will take their place: a holy presence will be felt: surrender to it."

This is a good jumping off place as I get ready for my Dark Night of the Prairie.

It is 11 am. I got out of bed at 9 am. Those people running 100 miles started their race at 6 am. Some of them will finish their 100 miles not too long after I start my 50 miles. Our quests are of course much different.

I am a 52 yo lady who jog walks her way along for hours, hoping for the mental fortitude to keep going for as long as it takes. It is not a pretty sight but somehow, I keep doing it. As I head off into the night, I'll practice the now. I'll need to let go of how slow I am. I'll need to let go of my move to Texas. I'll need to keep my mind on the Great Silence which will be so apparent if I allow It to have the space in my consciousness.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bits and Pieces of Humility

Today at work, an elderly Indian colleague stopped by my office. He explained how he and I were the only vegetarians at the upcoming meeting. He had checked out the lunch buffet and menu and ordered us both spinach salads. He asked if that was ok with me. I was in awe. For once, I was happy to be lumped in with him as different than the crowds. I was planning to eat salad off the buffet, but he told me that would be junky and he knew I wouldn't want it. Wow, someone understands me.

My new boss in Texas e-mailed to find out where I was looking for a home. I answered. She replied that it sounded good and to let her know if I needed anything. Interesting. Me and my move to Texas is on her mind.

As a matter of fact, my company's relocation program has provided an army of people to help me move. It is quite amazing.

This evening, after a little high carb eating, my changing female body has decided to have swollen ankles. I've never had that before. It makes me wonder if I can run a 50 mile endurance run tomorrow night. Oh well, if I decide to turn around at some point, it doesn't matter. In the mean time, I'll drink water and vow to stay on my diet.

When you see others helping you, when you see you are not in control, pause. Seek silence. Say what ever prayer to what ever higher power. Surrender. Lie down in the humility of the moment.

I still stand on the other side of main stream spirituality. I've left the known world. I really don't know. I find comfort in the pause.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Heartland 50 - Spirit of the Prairie

This morning, I did 30 minutes on my Nordic track ski machine and then I went for a 5 mile run. I feel good this evening, no little pains in my legs. I've been resting up a tiny bit for my 50 mile run on Saturday night.

During my meditation this morning, I had to ask myself, "Why have I signed up for a 50 miles race which starts at 6 pm and which will take me all night?" Why walk/jog 50 miles across a Kansas prairie at all, let alone at night? What is the point?

Then, in my silence I found what I need. Let me try to explain.

See, I also realized this morning that I am on the edge of fad spirituality. I have tried all the gimmicks and methods and dogmas meant to bring a person to enlightenment or Jesus or whatever-you-call-it. And now I stand on the edge of desolation. There are no more methodologies. There either is spirit or there isn't. All I have is the period.

In such a position, there is nothing left but to walk through the dark night.  I own up to the fact that I am an emotionally troubled person. I express ownership through a dark night endeavor. And that is all I am going to do; walk/jog all night along an endlessly boring dirt road. I'm truly excited (not joking).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Just heard Steve Jobs died. Age 56.

I am moving with my job to Texas. Today, the relocation program got started. I suddenly have a small army of people helping me with explanations of benefits, mortgages, home finding, moving, etc. Many colleagues stopping by my office.

My body is out of control, changing right now.

To top it off for this week, I guess I'll spend Saturday night walking 50 miles across the Kansas prairie. I'm not sure why I signed up for this, but I hope I don't chicken out (which happens alot).

Monday, October 3, 2011

Satanic Verses

Salman Rushdie wrote this book, causing controversy among religious people.

I know nothing of Islam. My interest in the book is in the book itself. I first read it about 5 or 6 years ago. I didn't understand any of it and gave it to Goodwill. I bought it again a couple of years ago and still didn't get it. I am now reading it for the third time and I am now at least making associations between characters and discovering patterns. I am picking up on layers of realities and able to learn more about metaphysics that way.

In a subtle way, my life is just as mixed up at the characters in this book; and I need to admit how my life is influenced by others both past and present.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

No Rewards

Silence does not bring satisfaction of the dopamine reward cycle. Normal consciousness relies on the dopamine reward cycle for everything. Is it possible for a human to free them self of the dopamine reward cycle?

Maybe some of those monks have achieved it. Not the ones seeking enlightenment; because I believe that the enlightenment experience is an overdose of dopamine, if it does not produce lasting changes in life. In the monastery I lived in, competition and position and severe ego pain reigned among those sisters still mentally alive. Among those of dead consciousness, enclosure in religion was solace for the pain.

There is a higher consciousness than dopamine. But the ego does not want it because it does not bring the dopamine reward feeling. It brings inner peace.

There is no trick to finding this higher consciousness. One must want it and be willing to turn to it, instead of ego rewards. Everyone is equal in this ability. No one need find a guru or live in a monastery or belong to a certain religion or be saved by Jesus.

I keep up this practice. This turning to my inner being is what keeps me from going insane. See, other people are involved in the course of my life. The best I can do is let go. I can't afford the negative thoughts tinged with resentment and fear. I can only afford turning inward and seeking silence.

It is a beautiful day outside. I think I will load up the Nathan and go for an urban hike. I'm too lazy to drive to a park, or don't want to spend the 20 minutes on driving there.

I have mentioned I am entered in a 50 mile race next Saturday night. Well, if it is raining I might not go. But it is yet one more opportunity to patiently plod along for an ungodly long time, through the Kansas night. Accomplishing 50 miles, but also accomplishing nothing. See, I'll collect my finisher's medal; then get in the car and go home. Then move on to whatever is next. Running love is in the daily, not the races. Races only feed the ego. The daily is where my value is gained.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Smallness

I was pondering this morning on the potential life change which may or may not be coming. I realized that my career is where most of my ego trauma comes from. And ego trauma is a good thing in the spiritual scheme of things. To survive the severe or painful ego deflation, however, I turn to whatever higher self there is. See, I'm not in control of my life in the sense that I can stop the movie. Perhaps I can watch a better movie. But best is to realize it is a movie and not identify with it. I relinquish control to whatever higher self there is. I turn to that higher self and ask for guidance. I ask myself, "What would a higher self be thinking which I am not thinking right now." And out pops a new reality. Even if I am wrong about the existence of my higher self, this exercise of wondering about it's thoughts delivers my consciousness to a higher one. Spiritual progress is gloaming on to this higher way of thinking early in the morning and continuing to look for it all day.

I got in a good 19 mile run today.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thinking or Not

This morning, I read this in volume V of Paul Brunton's Notebooks: If the activity of thinking is directed towards external objects and inspired by the desire to attain or retain them, it binds a man to his spiritual ignorance. If however it is directed towards God or his divine soul and is inspired by the desire to attain it, then it leads him to spiritual intuitions.

I offer it in conjunction with my insistence on seeing the world through spiritual glasses and not ego glasses. I live in the world. I renounce the ego's way of thinking about it.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in resentment, anger, fear and jealousy of the corporate managers around me as they appear to compete for money and position, and appear to do everything to keep everyone else down. But this thinking hurts me. I can't stand it. I need another way.

So, true or not, right or silly, I insist on spiritual help. I insist on the intangible world as my true reality. I continue to learn to listen to the silence and accept inner peace.

I have had some wonderful early morning running this week. It is totally satisfying for me to spend 1.5 to 2 hours jogging easily around my neighborhood.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Insist....

....on seeing life through a spiritual lens. Yes, I know some would laugh at my rose colored glasses. But I find that my greater sanity lies in spiritual belief. I can't stand the negativity of the other path.

I seek spiritual prosperity. Spiritual prosperity is not a physical manifestation. It is just something I know I want and have.

Various events have happened at various times in my life over the past several months. I have been seeking promotion within my current company by applying for openings at higher levels. Various bits of related information have come my way. Others in my field have departed. I should have the papers to sign for a promotion tomorrow.

Now, on the cusp, I find my ego as negative as ever. I find my belligerence whispering about how it will prove to that boss that I am so worthy and hurt him by walking out of his plant. I find the ego whispering of unfairness. As a contemplative solitary, I clearly see the angry thoughts swirling through my brain. I admit their presence.

But I also pray to whatever higher consciousness I have: I want to see this another way. I want another answer. I turn to the stately calm within and realize that I have been offered a gift of another order. True, I live in this world, but my true reality is not the material. One step up and my reality is thoughts and feelings; but those are still the ego world. Another step up and my reality is no-thought, silence.

In the silence, I know ineffable things. Peace itself is one of these intangibles. So is love. So is companionship with that great consciousness. Why do I need to change jobs to approach this question? I don't know. These events lead me to this realization. These events provoked my ego to start yammering in a specific way that I could see what a load of crap is the worldly rational.

And so I insist on turning to the silence and finding spiritual prosperity instead of worldly prosperity. I cannot live with the negative rational of our world. I can only live with inner peace and for that, I sacrifice my worldly rights. I renounce the struggle for fairness and the ensuing resentment, an indulgence practiced by the worldly. I simply must have silence instead.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spiritual Basis of Life

I am faced with a decision. My first choice is for spirituality, humility, love.

"Love is the predominate mode of existence."

My version of the answer involves more money in the form of salary. I've been trained to judge by this. I become unhappy when this particular thing doesn't exactly meet my idea of how much is enough for me. And I become blind to all other things.

My reality assumes that there is a Spirit or Soul who will direct me to the right path for me. Spirit honors my first wish for spiritual prosperity. Guidance is towards greater insight into Spirit, not materialism. But my ego keeps forgetting this deep desire and continues to hammer me about dollars. This forgetting is why I have to stop and pray and meditate. I am happier after I remember.

ACIM Chapter 30, Rules for Decision:

  • Think about the kind of day you want.
  • Today I will make no decisions by myself. (Sit by and ask to have the answer given me. I need do nothing.)
  • If I make no decisions by myself, this is the day that will be given me.
  • I have no question. I forgot what to decide.
  • At least I can decide I do not like what I feel now.
  • And so I hope I have been wrong.
  • I want another way to look at this. (A statement of an open mind.)
  • Perhaps there is another way to look at this. What can I lose by asking?

Sunday, September 25, 2011


There is a thing I wish to speak of: will.

Today, during my long run, I was experiencing will and not-enough-will. I am signed up to run a 50 mile race in 2 weeks. Logically, my Silverton race was great training for a 50 miles race. But I cringe because there is a big difference in running 50 miles over 2 days and running it all at once. It is not a matter of finishing, but of how much pain will I be in?

It takes will to go out there 2 days in a row and complete 20+ mile training runs. Today, I realized that somewhere after 5 hours, I usually decide I've had enough for that day. But to be a better ultra runner, I need to train longer than that. In a race, the other people push you to keep going. The threat of a DNF next to your name keeps you going.

And this lead me to yet another thought: how much of my thoughts are associated with other people. This is why I don't watch TV or participate in society in many other ways. I don't want other people's thoughts in my head. I want my own thoughts. Since I believe the Voice for God is very quiet and wordless, I have yet another reason for being quiet. I really want to hear the Voice for God more than anything else. Even running, when I find my mind wrapped up in worldly thoughts, I can change to a silent channel. Or at least to a channel that plays one of my own thoughts.

Most often, I turn to my spiritual creed and repeat some part of it over and over. Today, "Love based thinking is my one desire. Inner peace is what I really want."

Back to will: I got 5h26 min done today. This weekend was a high mark since Silverton (over 44 miles between Saturday and Sunday). I can imagine myself going further, but in actuality, I don't; except in races.

I have a big question mark: I interviewed last week for an inter-company transfer. The hiring manager and his boss both liked me and indicated they would move forward. But our company is weird and things don't always work out the way a manager wants. So, I keep holding the question mark at bay with my spiritual litany: Inner peace is what I really want.

I realize that there might not be a God. I realize that there may not be any higher power working on my behalf. But I do much better emotionally if I employ faith in a higher power.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Various pieces are being moved around in my world. I could not do the moving. In one case, I was praying for a person: I pray for ____. I pray for his health, his prosperity and his happiness. I pray that everything I want for myself be given to him.

This prayer comes from the Big Book of AA (3rd addition page 552). This person lost at least 20 pounds and has obtained a new job. His house sold before moving day. This person is one of the most difficult guys to work with. As he left my office yesterday, he mentioned what a great friend I had been. So, I did well by my attempts to keep my ego out of this relationship. Spirituality worked.

He was a co-worker at the same level 5 as I am. Now, he is gone to the new job. Another guy in our company, who was also at level 5, has taken a promotion to operations manager; and is no longer doing the same work as me. But unknown to me (I know now after he told me), he had applied to some of the same transfers I have applied for. Now, his name is out of the running. This leaves 2 people in north America who are level 5. Both of us are in Kansas City. The other is not applying for any transfers.

There are at least 3 openings in north America at a higher salary level than I am now. This does not mean I am going to get anything I want. I have no rights and I work for a company which cannot be strong armed (already explained to me). I'm not even sure what I want. But the timing of these other guy's moves in relation to the transfers as they have come up is fascinating to watch. The story is not over. The managers of my specialty are meeting next week to decide resources. My manager knows I am interested in promotion. I don't know what he thinks is best. He knows more than me.

I look at these events which are well beyond my control. I have decided to live life on a spiritual basis. I continually surrender to what ever higher consciousness there might be. I can't at all prove anything about the existence of spirit. I know I want to think at a higher level each day. I know I want to hear intuitive thoughts which come from the silence I surround myself with. Spirituality might be only my attempt to live at a higher level. I don't have to claim that God has anything to do with it.

This morning, I had a wonderful 16 mile run along the Little Blue Trace in a light rain. I ran the route 10 minutes faster than last week. This evening, as I listen to A Prairie Home Companion, I'll lift weights and do core exercises. I don't know what I'll do tomorrow because storms are still in the forecast.

Monday morning, I'll go to Houston for a job interview. Then Tuesday, make a presentation for a group of experts in our specialty in our company. haha! The meeting is in the same plant I just interviewed at. I've spent several hours this week exploring running paths in Houston (not too promising).

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Ego Reactions

The act of eating and drinking in richness (aka gluttony) is dissipative of human physical and spiritual dignity. Human dignity is sacred ground and should not thus be desecrated.

I have always been at the bottom of the pecking order. Yesterday at work, as one of the guys was pecking away, I felt this incredible hatred. I am completely tired of competition.

At the same time, or on the other hand, I have an ego that completely can't accept quietly doing a great job and ignoring anything else. Spiritually speaking, it is good for me to have continuous ego deflation. I should just laugh at my ego feelings. I really do harbor resentments from years ago. I noticed that as I was out running this morning and was thinking about something from 30+ years ago.

Do you see why I need to live in the now? As I notice my ego drifting into resentment, I ask for spiritual help. It works.

Here is what my next long race would look like if I was doing it during the day:

Sunday, September 11, 2011


It is the weekend after Silverton weekend, my 86 mile weekend. Today, I did my usual Saturday routine. I went running. Today, I went to the Little Blue Trace (a flat dirt bike path) and ran for about 3.5 hours. I didn't fuel enough and didn't feel very energetic.

In the afternoon, after eating and napping, I was once again searching my inner self for answers. I see that running goes on. Running didn't stop just because my A race of the year is over. For no good reason, I am continuing to run. The thought came again: I have chosen the path of nothing and nobody. It means that I continually look inward and face a void.

I sit quietly and watch the void. I listen to its silence. Maybe I recite to my self my spiritual creed. And then I do sit-ups, or go running. I don't claim any sort of glory. All of my accomplishments are nothing.

I want Grace to be my most important value.

To be pure blandness in the world is a horrible fate for my ego. Mine simply won't stand for it; hence my emotional ups and downs. I insist on a spiritual philosophy to be the answer to my jealousy and greed. In my social programming, it is so wrong to accept inequality (mine is related to pay and position at work). To work at acceptance for the sake of inner peace is right for me. It is not right for everyone. I make a good living. It is the inequality which grates on my ego. But since my goal is inner peace, acceptance is necessary. I am powerless over a CEO of an international company who is sitting on all promotions regardless of level.

Jesus said, "...turn the other cheek..." I find this advice useful at many times. In and of myself I am fine. Whenever I compare myself to others, my ego agitates. The ego must be denied somehow.

Now for the simplest of all things: an urban hike with water.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Group Think - Boston

Wednesday, September 14, 10 am eastern time. That's when I'm supposed to register for the Boston Marathon according to my age, gender and qualifying time.

I used the word "supposed" up there because it is "the group" that thinks I should participate in the Boston Marathon. I am the only one I know who doesn't want to go to Boston. In fact, I've qualified for Boston twice. Neither time was I trying for a BQ. I was just running a marathon as fast as I could.

It baffles me that the idea of my time being a BQ earns more merit that the idea that my time was damn fast!

I didn't hesitate for one second to enter Silverton. I didn't hesitate for one second to enter Across The Years. I didn't hesitate for one second to enter Heartland Spirit of the Prairie. Yet, while many people have tried to convince me to enter Boston, I can't bring myself to click submit. Running a marathon with 28,000 others, along with sidewalks lined with crowds, actually sounds horrible to me.

It is the group that thinks Boston is good. But I have purposefully worked against the group ever since leaving the monastery. Not because of hatred or even arrogance, but because much of what the group does is noisy and forgetful of spirit.

Yes, I have once again mentioned spirit. Maybe there is spirit in each human running or lining the streets of Boston; but not many of them will be remembering the fundamental idea of God deep down within. Like it or not, most of us have to find a quiet and undistracted space to remember and connect with our inner divine person.

The group thinks I should vote. The group thinks football is important. The group is patriotic and favors war. The group thinks religion and the Bible actually mean something. I've even considered giving up God and spirit because these words provoke group think. I quit participating in society so I could think differently than the group. I haven't watched TV or gone to movies or listened to music so that my brain is free of group thinking.

On September 14, I'll be at work as usual. I have many meetings already scheduled that day. I'll take my early morning run in the pre-dawn silence. I'll come home in the evening to the solitude of my apartment. Registering for Boston is not on the schedule. If I'm going to blow a couple of thousand dollars on a running race, I'd rather blow it in a number of other locations than Boston.

Monday April 18, 2012, I hope I am at work. Saturday April 16, I hope I am running a 50k in southern Missouri.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Silverton Aftermath

I completed my 86 miles of Silverton in the evening of Sunday, 9/4. On Monday, Labor Day 9/5, I drove to Durango. I had a 5:50 am flight on Tuesday, hence decided to spend Monday night in Durango.

I got to Durango at about 11 am, too early to check into a motel. So I had a soy latte and then wandered through a running store. I came out dressed in a new running outfit and headed for a bike path along the Animas River.

I'd say I look pretty snazzy!

Anyway, I did a little slow jogging and walking for about an hour. I could feel tiredness but no injuries from the 86 mile Silverton jaunt. On Tuesday, United Airlines did a great job of delivering my body to Kansas City on time. So in the afternoon, I completed my usual core workout and added another 45 minutes of cross training.

Today, Wednesday, I had one more day of vacation. So (finally) a fantastic 11 hours of sleep; and then a 7 mile jaunt on trails including a couple of miles on a new gravel road I found. And, poor me, I clicked submit to enter a 50 mile race on 10/8 ( Heartland Spirit of the Prairie).

So here is my point: I didn't injure anything at Silverton. I only created tiredness for a few days; but nothing that needs weeks of recovery. I did come away from Silverton transcended. That is, I realize I am at a greater fitness level than I thought. I see I have trained up to a new standard. There was an absence of foot isses I've had in the past. I'm in fantastic shape, not just compared to other 50 year olds, but compared to everybody. And I'm smart enough to not go over the injury line.

Two years ago, I entered the Heartland 50 mile. Right then, I got a new job, so I DNS'd. But I was probably only half as trained as I am now. Now, Silverton proved to me what's in me. All I need do is not be stupid and over train going into Heartland.

I am excited about Heartland. Stay tuned.

Here is a blurb for the race information:

“There are several ways not to walk in the prairie, and one of them is with your eye on a far goal, because you then begin to believe you’re not closing the distance any more than you would with a mirage.  My woodland sense of scale and time didn’t fit this country, and I started wondering whether I could reach the summit before dark.  On the prairie, distance and the miles of air turn movement to stasis and openness to a wall, a thing as difficult to penetrate as dense forest.  I was hiking in a chamber of absences where the near was the same as the far, and it seemed every time I raised a step the earth rotated under me so that my foot fell just where it had lifted from.  Limits and markers make travel possible for people: circumscribe our lines of sight and we can really get somewhere.  Before me lay the Kansas of popular conception from Coronado on – that place you have to get through, that purgatory of mileage.

Hiking in the woods allows a traveler to imagine comforting enclosures, one leading to the next, and the walker can possess those little encompassed spaces, but the prairie and plains permit no such possession.  Whatever else prairie is – grass, sky, wind – it is most of all a paradigm of infinity, a clearing full of many things except boundaries, and its power comes from its apparent limitlessness; there is no such thing as a small prairie any more than there is a little ocean, and the consequence of both is this challenge: try to take yourself seriously out here, you bipedal plodder, you complacent cartoon.”

Monday, September 5, 2011

Silverton 1000 - Race Report

It’s down there. Deep down there. Somehow, I will find it. That is all my life is for.

Mine is the story of a girl who could and a girl who couldn’t. A girl who is stubborn against the crowd, the club. A girl who is insistent on the other world, the world of the spirit.

Here is a picture of me on the Silverton course. Yes, that guy is dressed in a Jester outfit and ran more than 200 miles like that. I am stalked (literally) by the Jester.

From Wikipedia: “The root of the word "fool" is from the Latin follis, which means "bag of wind" or that which contains air or breath…In literature, the jester is symbolic of common sense and of honesty, notably in King Lear, the court jester is a character used for insight and advice on the part of the monarch, taking advantage of his license to mock and speak freely to dispense frank observations and highlight the folly of his monarch…The fool's status was one of privilege within a royal or noble household. His folly could be regarded as the raving of a madman but was often deemed to be divinely inspired….”

The runner, the ultra-runner, but especially the multi-day-runner, is a seeker. I am the girl who sought spirit in long distance running. I believe this to be true since I first began running at the age of 13. I was inspired by the idea of freedom and spacious distance. To go to a race course which is one mile, up 235 feet each time, at 9,300 plus elevation, and run 86 laps around it seems folly. Is that what the Jester is secretly symbolizing?

Multi-day races are for the patiently enduring. The average age of the athlete rises into the 50's. Its point is the forward movement over time and the eventual mental and physical struggle; a microcosm of life and death and re-birth. I went to Silverton Colorado for a 72 hour running race. I went very unsure that I could run 100 miles in 3 days, but it took all of each day yesterday to prove it to my ego.

No belt buckle for me, but a great showing for a flatlander. I ran 31 miles the first day and threw in the towel as day light waned. I went 24 miles the second day before my endocrine system shut down due to my fueling mistakes. I felt great the third day and went another 31 miles; stopping with a total of 86 miles, at 6 pm in the evening.

3 days. Total hours = 10.6 + 9 + 12.2 = 31.8 hours. Total miles = 31 + 24 + 31 = 86. Total feet climbed = 86 x 235 = 20,210 ft (omg, thats alot). And this brings me to the most major dilemma of the event: why not finish 100 miles and get the belt buckle? Real ultra runners would do that. I’ve already been treated like a loser because I didn’t do that. It is not like I couldn’t have done it. I certainly could have slowly walked another 7 hours until about 3 am, and finished 100 miles.

So I am both a winner (finished 86 miles) and a loser (didn’t finish 100 miles). This is what the Jester jokes to me about.

This is my first multi-day event. There are some awesome people here. Silverton is a beautiful place. I am still impressed at how mature most of the runners are. My age of 52 is about average with very few below age 45, some up into their 70s. We do have a couple of 10 year old boys running too. Two people from Hawaii age 61 and 63 are prolific ultra runners (I was able to look them up at Ultra signup). They made 114 miles total.

You know, each of us here is going through some sort of personal struggle and transformation. It is not really about finishing 100 miles to get a buckle. It is about your daily struggle to keep going to your own personal limits.

I sit quietly and ask my soul for an answer? Why did I come here? Why do I run? I guess the answer is in the fact that I go running again. I am an athlete. There seems to be no other answer than the two edged sword provided by the Jester: I am good enough/ I am not good enough.

The ego’s dilemma and always what the Jester points to: we are all fools, unknowingly naked in our strivings. We are unstoppable in our human endeavors, yet death stalks us all.

I would not trade the life of a distance runner for anything in the world. This life came with me into the convent and was efficacious in getting me kicked out of the convent. Running comes with me into contemplation and self transcendence. Running gets me out of bed each day.

The winner:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Silverton Day 2

Boy, what a dumb name for a blog post. Nothing intriguing about that!

My day started in semi-darkness, 6:15 am. I woke up with an angry achilles, which is not too unusual. It didn't feel too bad by the time I started walking the course. The course in harder in one direction because the uphill is longer and has some very steep places. From 6 to 9, I walk jogged the hard direction taking 23 to 25 minutes per one mile lap. Then at 9 am, they changed directions and thing were easier, especially on above mentioned achilles.

Most of us have little table areas lining the course inside the aid station tent. It is fun to look at the tables first thing in the morning. Most of us have everything we need for the day neatly laid out so we can quickly find it.

What's it all about Alfie? You know, each of us here is going through some sort of personal struggle and transformation. It is not really about finishing 100 miles to get a buckle. It is about your daily struggle to keep going to your own personal limits.

I am still impressed at how mature most of the runners are. My age of 52 is about average with very few below age 45, some up into their 70s. We do have a couple of 10 year old boys running too. Two people from Hawaii age 61 and 63 are prolific ultra runners (I was able to look them up at Ultra signup). Yesterday they made 35 miles, staying awhile longer than me. I was impressed with that. Today it looks like they only made 30 miles. Which proves to me that this course is tough. I realize what a hurdle those remaining 35 miles for the buckle are.

Back to me. My achilles did pretty well today, but I was slower than yesterday. After about 7 hours my quads were starting to show signs of wasting. I could breathe much better today. I mean I didn't feel like puking when I got to the top of the course. At 3 pm, the course direction change loomed. I dreaded having to go in the "hard" direction again and actually doubted that I could make it up some of the really steep places. My 24th lap today was the last in the "easy" (haha, still 235 feet up and down each time). I realized I was pooped. I decided that when I got to the tent, I'd ask for a veggie patty and go eat it at my table while I contemplated my situation. To have a chance for a 100 mile buckle, I needed to do at least 8 more miles today. I had done 9 hours so far and 8 more miles would take more than 3.5 hours. And these would be in the "hard" direction. I knew I couldn't do it.

I came into the tent and approached the aid table. I suddenly felt tears well up inside me, emotional break down imminent. Then, I asked for a veggie patty. They said they were out but could run out and get some for me. I said no. I realized I was done. so I wondered through the tent and out the other side to the port-pottie. The portas were way too full and smelly. As I entered, I started sobbing. There I am in a smelly porta, tired, feet hurt, no food and feeling the depths of despair. This course is too freaking hard (lack of oxygen aside).

After that, I sanitized my hands and sat down at my table to eat a sandwich and drink another shake.

One of the guys came over and talked to me. He didn't try to talk me out and was glad I'll be back tomorrow. I plan to try 20 miles tomorrow to get an even 75 miles. Another gal who was in the 6 day race had stopped her race at 100 miles saying she completely understood not wanting to go overboard with it. (and she was a person who could sprint the downhills.) I totally believe that if you can't hang it together mentally, you should get off the course. Endocrines are done for the day.

Then I drove into town and bought myself two meals (veggie burger and salad).

Today was memorable. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

I've been around this course 55 times. Thats 12,925 feet of climbing.