Monday, May 30, 2011

My Spiritual Home.... truly NOT in a book, or in a church or in any group of people.

My spiritual home is really and truly in my mind. Hence, The Task is not to build a spiritual home. That has been done.

This realization just came to me tonight. It is the equivalent of realizing I am free.

The Task - Memorial Day Multi-day Results

Today: 24.20 miles @ 3.9-4.2 mph. Started out faster and then slowed. Did jog/walk on the hills again.
Memorial weekend: 100.98 miles (started Thursday afternoon, 23h16min)
Weekly rolling total: 107.54
In May, I ran 2 marathons. shows 328 miles (527.86 km) for the past month. I worked out 87 hours (includes cross training but not strength). Project 19 core/strength sessions. I'll not enter any road marathons this summer as it would currently take me 5 hours to finish; and that slow a time would piss me off.

When someone attempts their first marathon, their question is, "Can I finish?" After that, their question is, "How fast?" Naivete of the first time is lost. My question in ultra-marathoning, and in most of my life is, "Can I?" Sort of like I need permission even to be alive. As I did my miles this weekend, the envelope of my existence expanded. I think the the time it takes me to complete 100 miles can be reduced.

Today, at 99 miles, I faced the desperation I was looking for. I needed to run one more mile, but one more lap would have been 2.3 miles. So I decided on an out and back, which included a hill. As I did it, I kept looking at my Garmin to make sure I didn't turn around too soon. A subject for contemplation is to ponder how it feels to do the last mile.

We all have to face that question some day.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


This word came to me this evening, triggered by something Paul Brunton wrote in "The Quest."

It was a moment of clarity. Something I've known but it hit home with greater force. I have a comfortable material world life, but not a wildly successful one and I've never been able to put as much energy into it as seemed necessary for the outstanding material successes. Well, duh, that's because I don't want material success as much as I want spiritual enrichment.

Spiritual enrichment does not feed the ego; in fact is a cause of ego dis-satisfaction. If my ego was satisfied, it would be a sure sign I didn't have true spiritual enrichment. Yes, there can be a false ego spirituality which is highly satisfying. I've been there. But in my isolation from the material world and society due to spiritual discipline and pursuit; my ego is dis-satisfied.

I have a comfortable material life in part to enable spiritual pursuit. That is, I am not overly distracted by either poverty or affluence. If my career was more successful, it would take up more time. If I had a family, or even a hubby, I'd have no time for individual spiritual pursuit. Even the monastery contained annoying community activity which took away from solo spiritual pursuit. As it is, I have time for reflection and meditation and study. I totally believe that spiritual study, pondering and meditation is not a group activity. And the true adept will out grow any group.

Spiritual pursuit is not "for" happiness. Spiritual pursuit is anti-thetical to ego desires. So of course, happiness for the ego is not part of the package. Joy beyond ego is gained, but this cannot be felt in a worldly way. It exists on a different level.

What is is silence.

The Task - Sentience

I am a sentient being. Forget the moths smashed on car bumpers. I am a sentient being.

The Task is to enlarge on this idea beyond this world. The Task is a spiritual task, if I say that spirit is what I am beyond this world. God is more or less irrelevant to The Task.

Today I continued my personal multi-day (day 3). I completed 21 miles in run/walk mode and then made myself walk another 2.23 miles. In 3 days, I have covered 51.73 miles. This is not a body destroying quantity; but a mental practice. It takes a certain will to go out and do this; especially since it is a rather puny amount of running in ultra-marathon terms.

Today, after about an hour of running, I found myself on a paved bike path in a forest, bit of very green grass on each side, foggy skies. Suddenly, I wondered where I was. I wondered if I had somehow turned around and run back without paying attention. Then, I got my bearings and was fine.

Metaphysically speaking, this moment of disorientation was a moment of failed ego control. That is, my normal ego thought pattern which holds the world in place was gone. In the sense of self transcendence, this was a successful moment. For such moments, I keep ultra-running. For someone NOT about the Task, such moments are meaningless and to be blown off immediately. For a budding philosopher, it is a time for reflection on the boundaries and conditions and varieties of consciousness.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Task - un-named

I've been thinking that my spirituality has become quiet. But also moved on. See, I now know that A Course in Miracles is not "the end" or the top of spiritual evolution; even if one has experienced Revelation (a universal experience given graciously). I used to think Roman Catholicism was the top. Those in Vedanta think that is the top.

Now, I have experienced more and climbed further. I am now practicing something that doesn't have a name.

I had an excellent 18.5 mile run/walk today. 28.5 miles for the weekend. 73 miles rolling weekly total. I skipped the afternoon walk, which was intended for Silverton race conditioning. I'm saving my legs for another long run tomorrow. I admit that a long walk this evening will be too much. I'll do core exercises after dinner digests.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Task - Memorial Day 2011

I am not about a spiritual journey. I am not about The Quest (re: Brunton) (exactly). I am not about A Course in Miracles (exactly). I am not about any religion or theology.

I am about The Task.

This is my name for it.

The Task is about High Performance Spirituality in the same way as any engineering task I might do at work. You can use your ego for spiritual success. Your ego is great at making sure you keep appointments. Make an appointment with something greater than yourself.

As of this evening, my rolling weekly mileage total is 68 miles.

On Memorial day of 1999, I made my first visit to The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. by October of that year, I was officially Roman Catholic. By December 25, I had made my supposedly permanent home with the sisters. Not....Spirit/soul had other plans for me.

I have a 4 day weekend. I used to have spiritual goals for these breaks from the working world. But lately I have not had to have any spiritual performance goals. I think this is because I am basically at peace. High Performance Spirituality is a natural part of my life. I don't have to set goals as it happens everyday just as running does.

I do plan to run alot and workout for the next 4 days. Today, I had a fabulous 10 mile run in Parkville and I lifted weights. Part of the reason the run was so fabulous is that after Tuesday's run, my achilles was in a suddenly traumatic state. But today's run didn't really bother it. So, I will run and run, hopefully, for the next 4 days.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spiritualized Thinking

It happened this morning. I was on my ex-bike listening to the BBC interview 2 Qaddafi troops about how they raped women. Now, that sounds terrible and I wondered how such young men could ever grow up to love women.

Then, I distinctly heard my mind grant humanity to the inside of these fellows. That is, no matter what they seemed to have done, the divine spark/inner self/ what-ever-you-want-to-call-it does reside in them. This thought happened spontaneously.

 It is what is know to ACIM students as overlooking: grant humanity to these people.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Unbelievable - Giving and Receiving are the Same

People reading this blog who are Course in Miracles students will have read in the text and practiced in the workbook: giving and receiving are the same. This phrase is part of my spiritual litany I recite to myself going to sleep at night. But, do I understand it? No, not really. But today proved to me that I know its truth at a deeper level than I previously knew.

Here is a story about it.

My workbook lesson for today is (43): God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.

I start off not understanding this lesson apart from reading what it says in the workbook; but I am repeating it alot in my mind. I start the day with 3 seemingly annoying events. First, I weigh nearly 2 pounds more than yesterday despite 5 hours of workout and a negative calorie input. Second, I open the box from Road Runner Sports to access the nutrition I ordered and find that they shipped me a pair of shoes I did not order. Third, when I get to the park for running, I have to wait for a train which slows down and stops with one car blocking the road (so have to drive around to the other entrance).

God is my source. I cannot see apart from Him.

I repeat this sentence alot as I do my slow jogging around and around the park; frequently wondering what to do about the shoes I did not order. I am there for 3 hours and then come home.

After eating, I check the shoes. No, I can't even get these on my feet. I decide to call Road Runner Sports and see if there is anything on my file about these shoes. Nope, their mistake. I am asked to return the shoes. I don't really want to go wait at the post office in order to do this. Nothing is offered for my trouble. I am already disgruntled with RRS for another matter. Should I not have called and just tossed the shoes in a yellow Planet Aid box? Would be less trouble.

God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.

As I hang up the phone, I think, "Giving and receiving are the same." I hear the intuition. I know that I am faced with an opportunity to give, seemingly unfairly. But when I say today's lesson to myself (God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.), I am asking for spiritual vision. I am asking for my thinking to be spiritualized and different from the ego's usual selfish way of looking at things.

Our egos always want to be paid back for any little thing.

In this instance, for the first time ever, I whole heartedly believe that in giving RRS their shoes I am receiving. Apart from material world give and take, I have here perfect evidence that my thinking is in fact transforming from ego based to spirit based. And of all the things I want out of life, spirit based thinking IS at the top.

Since I believed in this one instance, I can believe in all instances. I can now go through life being at peace when trains stop in the middle of the road or my weight inexplicably goes up. Or, God forbid, something unfair happens at work; like I am more competent yet get paid less. I can respond to everything by giving.

So, now your ego is probably telling you what a doormat pansy ass I am for seeing unfair material losses as beneficial.

(Giving and receiving are the same. God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.)

But I'm trying to say that I've switched to a different standard of living. I've placed value on life beyond money or material world measurements.

At the same time, I can't prove it to you. Its something I know to be true in my heart. I offer it to you. If you are a spiritual seeker and you want to know the Divine Presence in this lifetime, ponder: Giving and receiving are the same. Ponder spiritual thinking and vision: God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.

We think things are bad because we don't recognize habitual ego-based thinking. Decide that God is in everything and stop thinking anything is bad. You'll find the spiritual consciousness you've been seeking.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thoughts While Running in a Forest

This morning, I ran for four hours around a 1.05 mile loop in a forest. It was a roller of an easy trail, augmented by 9 flights of stairs and a steep hill. It was cloudy, cool, misty and very green. I wasn't going very fast, but still my legs got tired.

The one park I run at alot had a 5k race so I stayed away from it. The levy where I sometimes run had a 5k race so I stayed away from it. The result was the quiet forest.

Why would I just run laps like that? I wanted to keep speed on the easy parts and maximize hills. I am actually training for an endurance event: The Silverton 1000:

I am hoping to run 100 miles in 72 hours. I have a hotel, where I plan to shower and sleep for about 6 hours per night. The plan is to run/walk 40 + 35+ 25 miles over the 3 days. that leaves me the morning of the final hours to make up a few miles if needed.

While I was running in the forest this morning, I continue to reflect on my motivation for endurance. It is the same form of motivation which causes me to go to work and do a fantastic job. It is the same motivation that gets me up an hour earl each day in order to do spiritual study and reflection.

I've been accused of not making "enough" spiritual progress so far in this life; or not letting go of my ego enough to become enlightened. The Catholics and Christians I know would think I'm wrong. The other types of spiritualists and Buddhists I know would think I'm wrong. What I know is I've made a ton of progress in this life. I may still be reading text books and doing basic meditation; but so what. At least I am learning the ideas so I'll be ready on my next incarnation.

I've had many teachers; but no single guru.

My commitment to the path, with or without emotional gratification is astounding. I am in charge of my spiritual path. I am not a follower. You realize that doing your own thing is highly frowned on by the various cults. Because I am on my a self-directed path, I am accused of not making true progress or of just entertaining my ego. I have tried the various cults and found them lacking.

Is my path ego entertainment or Self directed? Results will tell, but maybe not in this life.

My main reflective interest is the power within me which drives the endurance. Who is it? From whence does it come? I love it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ordinary Everyday - Athlete and Spirit

I am not incredibly talented in any area of life; although some might say above average. I have taken what was above average and worked daily on it. I have achieved a marvelous freedom at this point in life. This blog is not the inspiring words of a wise sage, guru or enlightened person; or even a great writer. It is the musings of someone who shows up everyday and loves progress. I have let myself off the hook of a defined goal, like "enlightenment."

I did not get a promotion at work. But it occurred to me that I did receive a spiritual promotion. It seemed as if I have a greater joy in the process and study of spirituality than ever. I was meditating on some shapes while I was exercising. And I thought, "I would not trade these shapes and the mental peace that goes with them for more money." It was at this point that I realized a spiritual promotion, or leap into new potentialities has occurred.

On Saturday I ran a trail marathon. It really was a day spent running in a forest. You don't get to spend the day running in a forest without a significant investment in preparation; as well as the sacrifice of the prevailing American propensity for the sedentary lifestyle. Same is true for spiritual progress. It requires investment.

I am rich in spiritual and physical investment. I am reaping so much joy at the present time. It is because I am free of ego measurement. I haven't defined my spiritual progress or my athletic performance by other people's definition of good or not. So I have the time. I use it for this. I am happy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hawk Marathon - Pictures

Hawk Marathon - Report

On top of the world: Bunker Hill.

Post race – I am not a second hander. I was doing something that I personally enjoyed without anyone’s measurements. I wasn’t watching it on TV. I was living it myself.

Who clicked submit? Who eagerly wanted the Hawk Marathon? Was it ego or soul? I had wanted a spiritual quest in conjunction with running a marathon. I say: everything is always soul if you dis-allow the ego’s attempts to corrupt and claim. The true purpose of a day on the trails using up all physical resources may yet be evolving, blooming, integrating into spiritual growth. It is said that all experiences are spiritual learning. It is possible that the microcosm of the forest, the trail run, is an experience of being “just a life,” nothing more. Its truth is in its beingness. Its truth is in its oneness with a world apart from society and social programming. No matter who you are, your physical condition, each runner, one-by-one, negotiates the boulder field and achieves the Lands End Aid Station, salvation. When I got there, in the course of a volunteer filling my hydro-pak, in response to what I said, she said, “Nobody is “just” a marathoner.”

No, most 52 yo women don’t spend the day trashing their bodies on a trail in Kansas.

Why? The click submit happens spontaneously, without much thought. The training shifts a little to include more trails. After the trial half marathon, I viewed the upcoming full with dread. I viewed it as a monumental effort and one at which I might fail, quit before the end. In the meantime, I had the hurdle of Vancouver marathon; which ultimately proved to be an annoying pain. I viewed the Hawk Marathon as my A race.

But as the Hawk got started, the question of why crept into my early running. It’s a bit cold. It’s terribly windy. I’m alone in a forest, working out my destiny. Oh look, the bloodied carcass of a bird. It is “only” a marathon. No cool schwag. Nobody cares what I do. My day’s lesson, “My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.” This thought is what I return to anytime I see my mind drifting into useless thoughts. It’s possible for me to look in a philosophy book and find the meaning of life and why running a race is helping all of mankind. But in my heart of hearts, deep down below this world, is there an intuition or is it a surface desire for glory?

Despite the limited circumstances, I was not alone. Previous to the race, I had e-mailed my fears of quitting to the race director, and he had informed all the aid station captains. The race director, Gary, and a couple of others there read my blog and know I am Ultra Monk. The guys at the 12 mile aid station knew I was a friend of Bill W. After the finish, in the bbq area, I listened to 2 guys having the usual meat-eater vs vegetarian slug fest. The meat-eater won when the vegetarian finally blamed his wife. The ego world is endless. The pain of it still breaks my heart.

The only solution is to continue with the training: both spiritual and physical. Today’s spiritual lesson is, “My holiness envelopes everything I see.” I go back in my mind and envelope both the meat-eater and the vegetarian and everyone else in holiness. By holiness, I mean my mind is part of God’s; hence whatever I see with my soul’s vision is only the love with which God sees everything. My soul’s vision sees beyond 2 guys arguing and sees instead the peace of love and holiness in their souls. For today, that is the result of my spiritual quest, realizing I do have my soul’s vision and I can use it.

Some other highlights of the day:

I was 7th of 12. 7 hours and 5 min.

The first couple of hours of the race, the muscle/tendon which picks up my right leg is sore. I wonder how I will finish if that gets any worse. But eventually, it disappeared. The last 3 miles was incredibly slow because a) my left heal (plantar plus achilles) is very painful, b) right knee is painful, c) everything is tired and I don’t trust myself on the rocks at all. The idea of quitting, not finishing the last small loop, never entered my mind.

At the finish, a guy with a cowbell ran behind me across a grassy field yelling and cheering the whole way. At the actual finish line, everybody was yelling my name. I was happy.

My shoes were much less grabby than 3 weeks ago. They were the same model, Mizuno Cakraban, but I had on a new pair which were ½ size larger and hence the holes for my toes were smaller. I tripped far less because the toes were catching far less. I was about 20 minutes faster to the half than 3 weeks ago, but part of that was the boulder field was in the second half of the marathon. When I was in one of the aid stations, the volunteers were discussing the dread of turning 40. I turned around and said I was 52 (for christ’s sake). Young 39 yo says 40 is harder than 50.

After several hours, finishing the first big loop, I know that a trail marathon is the extent of my physical capability. To do the 50 miles here, I’d need extensive training on trails (haha, maybe next year).

Standing on top of Bunker Hill, around 12 miles, I could see for hundreds of miles. My consciousness expanded and I was literally on top of the world filled with love.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hawk Marathon - Preparation Fast

I have not done any spiritual fasting for several years, maybe 2008 was the last time.

Usually before a race, anything goes for eating. But yesterday morning, the idea of a Master Cleanser fast entered my mind, and lemons got on the shopping list. In the store after work, I didn't feel like buying any cookies for my pre-race meal. The lemons got bought.

Yesterday, I had a small early supper. Then, I had Smooth Move tea. Then I squeezed some lemon juice. Other healing stuff like milk thistle, spirulina/chorella and turmeric were added to the mix. The fast was started.

This morning, the idea still felt right. I had time for extra spiritual study and silent prayer today. I began to feel like I could enter my race tomorrow purified in body, mind and spirit. My run tomorrow feels like a vision quest. A trail marathon is a meditative type affair for me. I'm alone on a trail with no idea where I am; my sole brain activity is in watching out for rocks. I might not even look at my watch for over an hour.

I learned a couple of things about fasting today. I can’t practice spiritual fasting without some practice of resisting temptation. Resisting temptation is spiritual strength building. So I was forced to practice NOT obeying every little thought that comes through my head. These little thoughts are ego thoughts. At 10 am, I decided to count how many hours since my last meal. That is when I decided 24 hours was my goal. I knew I could hang in there one minute at a time, resisting thoughts (not any actual hunger). No one dies from missing 24 hours of eating. The worsening slide into over eating is checked. I  know I could do this again.

Did I get more spiritual? No, there's no such thing. I strongly felt that I needed a break from input. Food was a symbol of also shutting out society's input. Its perfectly safe to refrain from input.

Tomorrow's ACIM workbook lesson says: My mind is part of God's. I am very holy.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pictures of Clinton Lake Trail

The Quest - Hawk Prelude

I read this morning something Thomas Merton said, "All that God asks of them is to be quiet and keep themselves at peace, attentive to the secret work that He is beginning in their souls." (don't know where this is published.)

For some reason, I flashed on Oprah Winfrey. I don't have a TV and haven't watched her show in 15 years, but I am aware of her endeavors. She ran a marathon. She is always trying to lose weight. She has an interest in the spiritual. She has access to a ton of experts. I can relate to her search and realized it is a typical yearning which those of us raised in the 60's seem to have.

I also had a flash of insight for myself: I (my ego) failed at being special. I went to the monastery in large part driven to be like Thomas Merton, whose books I had read. After arriving at the monastery, my spiritual journey was twisted into an ego conquest. I wanted so much to be consecrated and bear the initials OSB (Order of St Benedict) after my name, to wear special clothes (a habit) and to have passed through the presumed gateway to Jesus known as monastic profession.

Now, I have a daily spiritual under current to life. But it is difficult to discern results. Any progress could be measured in a peaceful life. Last night I asked myself, "How do I even know I have a spiritual life?" Silence was the answer. That I experience Silence is the only thing I have. Anything else is engineering.

Silence doesn't have any results. It just is. Just do it and don't ask it for anything.

This morning I slept in and there was no morning workout. I am resting my body in preparation for Saturday and the Hawk Marathon. Surprisingly, I am eager; far more eager than I was 2 weeks ago when I went to Vancouver.

Deep in my imagination, I wish I could run 100 miles. Not just any 100 miles but these:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What is in my Inner World?

Today's lesson from ACIM workbook is (32): I have invented the world I see.

The practice is to look out and realize this and look in and realize this; and realize the inner and outer were both invented by me.

What do I see when I look in? I see the loving feelings I have towards several people at work; in particular a situation I had today. Isn't that amazing? Well, I'm feeling good about all people right at the moment; as if love springs from itself.

It is really easy to create a world if you believe that what you see on the inside gets projected to the outside. Shut your eyes and see. then decide what you want to see. then be at peace as your inner decision will be what you see out there. Heidegger called this worlding. Do it!

Hawk Marathon - Prelude

Here is where I will be on Saturday. I'm doing a 26.2 mile endurance run on a trail. Well, most of the trail is less rocky than this; and a tiny part is more rocky. It will take me a really long time to jog my way through the mileage without tripping and falling.

This run is called a race because someone will get to the finish first and "win." This run is called a marathon because it is 26.2 miles. I would be just as happy running a 25 mile run. I don't need to say I ran  marathon. I don't need to call it a race as I will certainly not be trying to beat anybody, including the clock.

I am tired of people judging me by asking how fast I ran my last marathon. I really don't race marathons, I run them. Going fast is too much work.

When I was out running this morning I was having my current mental struggle related to the Boston Marathon. I qualified by 15 minutes; so it is likely I would get in if I applied. This week, the travel company opened registration for hotel rooms. I should reserve one now if I'm planning on going. Other people want me to go to Boston. Other people have spent time and energy telling me I "have" to go.

I don't want to go. I've never wanted to go. I'd rather run on these crummy rocks by a lake in Kansas.

To thine own self be true; or thou canst be true to no man.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Simply My Deepest Desire

I want to be a real person; not one of the fakes, not one of the copy cats.

Space - 2

As a kid, I watched the original Star Trek on TV over and over about a gajillion times.

"Space, the final frontier...."

Space is abundant in my life. I don't mean a big house. I mean time not filled, empty time = space. It is a difficult challenge to not fill it. It is also difficult to let your entire spiritual life and practice consist of nothing but space. Space is truly the final frontier. It is beyond the ordinary busy life. It is beyond TV. It is beyond religion. It is nothing at all.

Space means cutting back on the number of thoughts. Letting the world become thin by thinking less of it. Letting your small self become thin by denying its thoughts.

The Quest - Space

Last week, I spent tremendous emotional and spiritual resources on my trip to Vancouver and my business activities related to a potential promotion and leadership programs. Yesterday, I got in a 4.5 hour trail run and then I was resting on the bed reading Paul Brunton in the afternoon.

Something Brunton said made me realize that my spiritual bank account was zero. My spiritual basis was nil. My ego had failed in its bid for money and prestige and control of others; but it seemed as if I had spent spiritual resources for these pursuits.

So I asked my soul/Self right then, "What for?"

The immediate answer was, "Space."

And I understood. I had needed to do the pursuits. I had needed to spend spiritual resources to complete the tasks. But what I bought was space. Space for a renewal of that spirituality; sort of like pruning, I have space for new growth. So, I begin again at nothing and keep growing.

Today's run was a pleasant 10 miles. My mind was alternating between a soul/Spirit connection and a problem with hydration pak bladders. It is now summer and my trail marathon next Saturday will require the hydration pak. The brand new Outdoor Products bladder I had tested this morning had failed its leak test. Now, I need a bladder with a good valve. So after the run I went to Dick's and got a Camelbak bladder to put in my Nathan hydropak.

This afternoon, I'm going for a long walk and drink water from my new bladder.

Tomorrow is back to leadership activities at work.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ordinary Person's Spirituality

I was born an ordinary person. I have no outstanding talents; I mean stuff way way beyond the norm. But I am above average in a number of ways and I've managed to keep from deteriorating under the effects of dissipative American culture.

At the ripe young age of 22, I suddenly became interested in God. I am not highly gifted in spiritual attunement; but I am very persevering.

I've learned that all my personal efforts to attain God consciousness may have prepared me somewhat, but that God or Spirit or soul/Self are really doing the work. My efforts are mainly ego efforts; combined with ego deflation. I cherish ego deflation as it gives me a new clarity for spiritual progress. My Vancouver marathon was ego deflation. My next marathon, Hawk marathon, will also be such.

The fact that I have to go to work and get along with others is ego deflating. Seeking stillness is ego surrender. Prayer is joining soul/Self in divinity. It is Grace to which I offer my ego for correction that I may live as spirit. This is my simple spiritual life. Over and over. Day after day. Nothing more but also nothing less.

There are some great prayers for surrendering the ego and thus passing into God consciousness.

From ACIM: This holy instant would I give to You. Be Thou in charge for I would follow You; certain that Your direction gives me peace.

From AA:
  • God, I offer myself to you to do with me and build with me as Thou will. Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Thy will. ... May I at last abandon myself utterly to You.
  • How may I best serve you. Thy will not mine be done.
Jesus said, "Into Thy hands I commend my spirit."

I also recently read of a meditation method which involves meditating on a blue cross, then a golden triangle, then a silver star. I noticed that in turning to these shapes in time of mental turmoil, I am immediately at peace. Turning to prayer in times of turmoil is an act of ego renunciation, surrender to Grace.

I am an ordinary person. While I am not really making much progress towards enlightenment in this life, I refuse to give up and am certain that the future brings God consciousness.

Vancouver marathon before and after:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Vancouver Marathon - The Doorway Beyond

It was a beautiful day.

I finished.

If you are A Course in Miracles student (or contemplative of any other sort), then you have heard that this world is an illusion. You have heard that there is no satisfaction in this world because it is a projection of your negative ego thoughts (fear, hate, anger, guilt). You have heard that nothing here is worthy of God's Son, which we all are.

This marathon dealt my ego a crushing blow; and I was left with the realization of undifferentiated Thought.

Like this: I was running slow so my time was nothing to brag about. I spent most of the race pissed off because 3 of the aid stations had no cups and I scrounged a cup from a garbage can but detected a slight after taste from whatever was previously in that cup and thought I might be poisoned. My achilles was unhappy. No one was at the finish line that I knew. I didn't give a shit about the medal photo and had to be cajoled into it by one of the photographers. Finally, I had a 2k walk back to my hotel but couldn't use the same route I came by so I felt lost and alone.

I found myself wandering under a highway overpass next to a large hockey stadium when suddenly the desolation hit me. In the forest of tall buildings, my smallness overwhelmed me. I broke down into actual tears and despairing sobs. Despite my monumental effort, my ego had nothing to show for it. My inner self knew this before I ever got on an airplane to go to Vancouver. My inner self calmly watches my ego try time after time to gain glory from the world and it never works.

And then, I pull myself back in and sit with this calm inner being. I receive heaven from this calm inner relationship. I am a worthy candidate for the spiritual journey. I stick by inner growth very conscientiously and consistently. But I also engage the worldly illusion and experience the ego's dissapointments time after time. It is my job to step back and not be too wrapped up in glory seeking. At the same time, I see I have received gifts from these disappointments: they break down the ego and allow me to glimpse my inner truth. Had my ego won the day in Vancouver, I wouldn't be introspecting. I'd be running around bragging and then planning future victories.

Instead, I am feeling the depth of my soul. As I was walking under the stadium and bawling my head off, I could also feel the certain hands of undifferentiated Thought. It felt like steady, consistent, pervasive eternal strength.

It is this ego/self back and forth which troubles me with decisions. Because I know disappointment, I don't think I should bother with Boston next year. I view Boston as a hot stove. If I want to risk being burned, I'll go. But Escatologically speaking, I might have to go because it is not my decision. In contrast, I am signed up for a trail marathon in 2 weeks. It will be a huge challenge to finish that. There will only be 8 people in the race and no shiny medal at the finish. But, the rewards of pure contemplation are available in what will be a nearly 8 hour effort.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Marathon - the urge to go deeper

I want to see beyond the surface of things. I don't want today to be just a distraction from my soul/Self. I want it to be a partnership of consciousness.

I have run many marathons. What does it mean? Why? Besides a shiny medal and bragging rights, what is it? The meaning of life is contained in the marathon. Today is a day for listening, looking beyond the surface illusion, actively claiming the intuitive as I run.

4 to 5 hours of concentration inward. Each step wears down the pomposity and big talk and unrealistic day dreams. Each minute I come closer to the truth, deeper and deeper, buffeted by wind and sun, pounding it out on paved roads. Delusion and personal myth is debunked.

All I ever wanted out of life was to know: wtf is it?

Soon, as I race down the home stretch, tearing up as the crowds roar, I will feel that inner magnificence.