Monday, July 29, 2013

Inner Journey

From Anton Krupika's blog, where he runs:

Today, I jumped on my elliptical, closed my eyes and ran the mountains. I ran the desert too:

And the plains:

My journey is mostly inner. I am grateful to A Course in Miracles for the many spiritual gifts over the past 6 years.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Scraping Bed Rock

Without getting cancer, a serious brain injury, going to war, fasting 40 days, or er um any number of traumatic life experiences, how can I get to the root and ground of my being?

Well, as of today, I know it is totally possible if you work at it every day. I feel that bed rock becoming visible under my shovel. I scrape and scrape and I see rock beginning to appear.

Today's experience involves the re-appearing and disappearing pain in my foot; plus the decision about the tatoo. Well, it started with A Course in Miracles and "The Special Hate Relationship." Eye opening to remember this, my 9th reading.

Then I went to the Kemah bridge. I really enjoyed running back and forth for an hour. Then I cased the tatoo joint, washed the car and bought groceries. The bridge run went well, but after the groceries, I went over to Brummerhop park. This was more depressing and painful. I should have stuck with cross training.

Eventually, after 6 miles, I came home, got cleaned up, ate, rested, jumped on the elliptical for a little, then went back to the tatoo joint. I had a nice discussion with one of the artists; but finally decided to think about it some more.

See, the tatoo won't fix anything. I want it to show off I guess. I got in the car to go to an AA meeting, but turned around after a couple of blocks. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I realized that every moment of silence is pure gold. That's the bed rock moment. I jumped on the Nordic Track and started skiing. My foot wasn't hurting. Just silently listening to the quiet, listening to my thoughts, this is terrific. That is the true meaning of spirituality.

It is the eve of my 6th ACIM anniversary. Also, 8/8 is my 28th sobriety anniversary and my 10th year after leaving the convent. These things will be celebrated quietly. No tatoos. Going to work. Just doing my daily pattern.

Bedrock is when you realize that nothing makes anything better except thought decisions. I decided that the peak of my life is quiet meditation. That pure un-adulterated relationship with quiet. Nothing is needed. Bread and water is fine. No distractions. Self induced dregs, poverty: bedrock, the ground of my being.

It is not important to many people to achieve their bed rock. It is to me. I have realized that I didn't come to this world to raise kids or be famous or productive in any way. I came here to know my own nature. It is in solitude that I find myself.

So time on the Versa Climber has been added to the exercise log. Triceps are on the strength rotation today.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chapter 16.I

My ACIM anniversary is only 2 days away. I am on my 9th reading of the Text.

Chapter 16.I: "...sit quietly by and let the Holy Spirit relate through me.  ...I have invited Him [Guest] and He is here. I need do nothing except not interfere."

My ego is ferociously competitive, continuously lashing out against "them" who are higher on the corporate food chain. I feel a victim of "them" who are stupid yet have made it up the ladder. Stories about the middle class on the radio feed fuel into this inner fire.

Yet as I studied A Course in Miracles this morning, I realized there is nothing more important than living the ACIM life. I need do nothing. I am fine. Just let the Holy Spirit do His work without interfering. Continuously give my resentments to Him. Hang on to nothing. This is how I gain inner peace. This is the reality I choose to live in: Love is everywhere.

I have wanted to give a presentation on "Creative and Breakthrough Thinking" for awhile. Today is my day.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chapter 15.VII

Today, twice, I found myself ignorant of pop culture in front of others. I am happy I am free of pop culture; but others think that's wrong of me.

Well, I don't eat meat or drink alcohol either.

Exercise. It is a piece that cannot be moved. Whether or not I can enter races is not relevant to the activity anymore. Just that it is done for it's own sake.

On July 29, it is my 6 year anniversary of being a Course student.

Chapter 15 is about the holy instant; but it talks also about special relationships and ego agenda and the one real relationship. The information about special relationships and how the ego is angry is nothing if not hard hitting. Actually, it is only now, almost 6 years and many readings of A Course in Miracles text that I begin to understand the anger. And that it happens every time my ego starts a relationship. Just watch. Every time.

A Course in Miracles discusses a practice of forgiveness, which means looking beyond (quite different than what denominational Christianity does). If I realize that my ego generates anger every time with every one, it is much easier to look beyond the dream. The ego is not one of the things that is real. It is part of a delusion/ illusion. It need not be relied on. It is easier to deny what it says if you realize it will generate the anger with every person every time.

So many would say to me, "Oh, I'm not angry." That just means they are unconscious of it and too distracted by this world to know how angry they are. But listen to them talk about how frustrating other people are; and you know I am right about the anger. We all have it until we realize it is a thing of the ego and can totally be devalued. Do the divestment of ego anger and find inner peace. That is the point of A Course in Miracles.

I can't explain the whole Course. All I can say is that careful study over a period of time will change how you feel about yourself, others and the world. What you value slowly changes. Truly I can see how fear could end.

"For every relationship on which the ego embarks is special...The ego establishes relationships only to get something. ...It is impossible for the ego to enter into any relationship without anger...The ego wishes no one well...every relationship the ego makes is based on the idea that by sacrificing itself, it becomes bigger. The “sacrifice,” which it regards as purification, is actually the root of its bitter resentment. For it would prefer to attack directly, and avoid delaying what it really wants...For each one thinks that he has sacrificed something to the other, and hates him for it...Whenever you are angry, you can be sure that you have formed a special relationship which the ego has “blessed,” for anger is its blessing...All anger is nothing more than an attempt to make someone feel guilty, and this attempt is the only basis the ego accepts for special relationships. Guilt is the only need the ego has..."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Beautiful Transcendence Run

Today, as usual, I had no idea how well my foot would feel. Yesterday was terrible. Today, I switched the insoles on my new shoes and they felt pretty good.

I yearned for endless miles in the hot sun; allowing Spirit to occupy me. I studied my Course in Miracles chapter 15.IV. I turned over my private thoughts and my plan for salvation. I said, "God has chosen my way. This is my holy instant of release."

Then, I filled my water bottles and headed over to Brummerhop Park, thinking I'd just walk around for a few hours. After one lap, I added a little jogging to the mix and was feeling good. I achieved a 4.1 mph average pace. The humidity was so thick you could see it. I stuck with my mantra and just did laps.

Soon, I passed yesterday's total. Then, I decided on 10 miles. Then I decided on 3 hours. Then I decided on a half marathon. Then I decided on 4 hours. Then I decided on 50 laps. And so it was.

I thought about God. The spiritual seeker faces the atheist. The atheist insists consciousness in only a function of neuro-science (the brain and its synapses). The seeker always says, "Who then made all this?" I totally believe that in the beginning, God said, "Let there be light." But I don't believe God said anything else. I am mostly made of other organisms; but somehow this community of life wants to do miles and think about God.

In tiny Brummerhop Park, I find this nothingness: my dregs, my detritus, my bottom. I love this. Here are the nuggets of gold in my consciousness, the white bird that flies.

I noticed one of the rabbits has one bad eye. I saw Oscar the garter snake.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Littleness vs. Magnitude

I was inspired by "magnitude" this morning. I knew that it was a quality that I have and I only need let it be.

From A Course in Miracles text chapter 15.III: "All your striving must be directed against littleness, for it does require vigilance to protect your magnitude in this world. To hold your magnitude in perfect awareness in a world of littleness is a task the little cannot undertake. Yet it is asked of you, in tribute to your magnitude and not your littleness. Nor is it asked of you alone. The power of God will support every effort you make...The Holy Spirit can hold your magnitude, clean of all littleness, clearly and in perfect safety in your mind, untouched by every little gift the world of littleness would offer you. But for this, you cannot side against Him in what He wills for you. Decide for God through Him. ..."

"A sleep deprived cameraman who was filming the race said 'Death Valley is the coldest place on earth', and I think he's right. The temperature may be hot, but emotionally it's a cold and inhospitable place. However, I rekindled my love of the desert, with its austere and harsh beauty. There are two sayings; 'God made the desert so men could find their souls' and 'going for a run clears my head, but running 100 miles distills my soul'. Running so far in the desert can a uniquely purifying experience." (from

How can I purify my soul without running Badwater, or running the 3,100 Miles Self Transcendence race?

A Course in Miracles is really my only option for success. It has brought me mental and emotional success for almost 6 years. I can't run 100 miles. I don't live in an ashram and worship a guru. I live in Houston and work for a living.

Why did I think I needed to cleanse my soul? Magnitude does not need to be cleansed. It just needs to be accepted; and from that God which is so hard to discern.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

9/80 Long Weekend

Tonight is my Friday night this week. I have 3 days for quiet and contemplation. I ran a marathon 2 days ago, so my mileage needs to be either slow or short. As I write this, I can imagine strapping on my Nathan and just walking. You can walk even in the heat. Thats a beautiful thing.

This evening, I did an hour on the elliptical and biceps for strength. Then something fun: As Many Reps As Possible CLAMs. My butt is quivering.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

BadWater in Seabrook

Finished it. Did it. Almost failed, but somehow not.

As I write this, my friend Parvaneh is past mile 81 according to FB but not yet checked in at 4th aid station miles 90 according to Adventure Corps. BadWater is 135 miles. That is a long day at the office.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I've had my own strange day. Lets go over this again. About 6 weeks ago Parvaneh said she was having a marathon along the BadWater course. I told her I couldn't go to Death Valley, but I would run a marathon in Seabrook that day. She said fine. I paid an entry fee. She gave me a medal and a t-shirt the last time I was in San Antonio.

Last night, I was anxious. I didn't feel good about my heel. I didn't feel good about the weather. I was sure no marathon was going to happen today. I didn't make it out of bed with the alarm. I listened to a down pour. I listened to my brain tell me what a slacker I am. Finally at 7:30, I got up.

I still didn't think I was going to run a marathon today. Finally, about 8:30, I decided to run for 42 min in El Lago and then do a series of 42 minute cross training intervals. ( A marathon is 42.2k. thats where the 42 came from).

Well, things went pretty well in El Lago. At 42 minutes, I hit the lap button on the Garmin and decided on another 42 minutes. That went well too. I had to go home for a pit stop because there is absolutely no place in El Lago to pee. I had no water with me so I had to go home anyway. As I got home, I could imagine walking 42 laps of Brummerhop. So I gathered up my water bottles, a couple of Vibrancy Bars, several gel packets, hit the start button on the Garmin and headed over to Brummerhop Park.

The rest is more or less history. I thought of Parvaneh the whole way. I don't know if My energy helped her or her determination helped me. But for sure, once I got started, it wasn't that hard to keep going. I was blessed with a cloudy and rainy day, or it wouldn't have worked.

So, thats my BadWater story. I'll keep tabs on Parvaneh. I know she'll make it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Here is my friend who is running BadWater. She is RD for the many Iranmarathons I run in San Antonio. She offered a BadWater marathon for Tuesday. I'm running mine in Seabrook. I get a shirt and a medal though.

I am glad I am off the ultra-marathon circuit. I have the heart of a champion; but physical limitations. But I was doing it for self transcendence. But now I know I don't need to torture my body to have self transcendence. It is much better to just live one day at a time.

Surrender to Texas

I did it. I am now an official Seabrook runner. I ran back and forth across the Kemah bridge 3 times at o'dark this morning. And I wasn't the only runner out there.

Thats it: the only thing even close to a hill for 80 miles.

Then I came home for a pit stop and then directly to Brummerhop park for another 2 hours of jogging.

Friday, July 12, 2013


....of whether I post or not the robots keep reading this blog. sometimes the robots dig up very interesting posts I wrote years ago and I like re-visiting them.

I haven't posted because no news is good news.

My foot does not hurt today and I have a new shade hat to try out. It is Friday evening and I'm working my way through a long cross training workout. Tomorrow morning, I need courage to complete something new. I want to get up early and head over to a local bridge that many runners use as the only hill for hundreds of miles around. It won't be fun; but I need to get over my qualms and get to it.

I've been working hard this week on an expansion project. Yesterday I did 2 pre-startup safety reviews. The plant accomplished the work last night with no incident. Whew! Process Safety is a piece which cannot be removed.

This week in my mental life I've been exploring my exercise motivation. What is it that keeps me going? How do I get over that inertia and do a workout? Regardless of rewards I do it. It is a piece that cannot be removed.

In the silence: pray and listen. I want a spiritual life. So I invest in it regardless of the atheists and agnostic bloggers; and despite denominational Christians. Spirit cannot be removed.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Soul

The Soul....
Is the heart of the human.
The core of love.
The pearl of great price.
The light on the hill.
The cross we take with us.
Entered by the Spirit at baptism.
Flashing real on the Mount of Transfiguration.
Never dies.
The only real thing.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Big Why - Post marathon pondering

I did a great job of my marathon yesterday. I liked it alot. It recharged me to run a marathon without horrible pain.

Today, I jogged for an hour and now I am in the middle of cross-training. Fitness is of course on my mind. Fitness for the long run, my fight against American obesity, goes on with or without metaphysical or spiritual implications.

I think it is smarter to run faster marathons than ultra-marathons. Partly because the cross training is better for me than the endless miles.

But I have wanted endless "something" since I was a very small child. I was always dreaming of the longest bike ride or trail ride or basket shooting or swimming or "something."

I don't have to win at spirituality any more. But I also don't quite get all of A Course in Miracles. Luckily, I mainly need to let go.

I wish for an original thought. Yes, my life has been inspired by others. But I would like to be original somehow. I'm always thinking that to think outside the box, you need to be outside the box. Hence my divorce from mainstream society.

Marathons can be a box too. Well, almost everything is a box. Perhaps we can only select subsets, not uniqueness. There are pieces which cannot be moved.

I have 2 more days off to ponder my life in depth.

August is a big month: 28 years of sobriety, 6 years as a Course in Miracles student, 10 years since leaving the monastery, almost 4 years at my current employer, almost 2 years since migration to Texas.

Here I am with Dan. Dan is 78 and he ran about the same time as me. This is the third time I ran a marathon with Dan. Below is a picture with Parvaneh, Steve, Larry and me. Larry is only 68 and he has completed over 1000 marathons in his life. But Dan, who is much less famous runs them an hour and a half faster; despite an additional 10 years on his life. Dan also runs many marathons a year.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th Marathon

That went well. More to come later.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Clear and Free

Today I begin 5 days off work; the longest since last November.

I was just reading something about silence. The thought struck me that I don't need to pursue silence for what other people say. Somehow, this is bound up in my freedom from dogmatic self transcendence or an extension. I can pursue silence on my own terms. I am free of what other gurus and religious people have said about it.

My path to enlightenment is now my own. It harbors no jealousy or resentment. It can look however it looks.

So my 5 day retreat: begins with exercise and packing. Tomorrow, it will have a visit with my foot doctor and a drive to San Antonio and most likely dinner with a new friend. Then, Thursday is a marathon and a drive back to Houston. Then ear plugs so I don't have to listen to explosions.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday are more exercise and AA meetings.

If anything is achieved, it is in the little encounters.

I always expected God to speak in the silence. And He does, but not as I expect; that's why I miss it.

If I was in the monastery still, I'd spend the 4th holiday sitting on the porch and eating pizza and ice cream. My personal choice as a free person is to go in a marathon. I totally prefer marathoning to sitting on the porch eating. I suppose many people will spend the 4th sitting and eating and drinking. I am free of that.

This morning, I got in my wonderful run in El Lago. This evening, I got in an hour on the elliptical.

I get to sit and think without anyone telling me what is right or wrong.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Surprising Progress

Wow. I've spent so long seeking enlightenment. But now I feel like that is a non-issue.

Here is an example: Since 2006, I've followed the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race ( ). I've tried to seek self transcendence by doing miles and miles. Today, when I was reading the blog, I realized I'd rather be engaged with my life. that is, I'd rather be actually doing my job at work than endlessly running around a block.

So that is weird for me. I guess that reading Merton helped me to let go of the past. Or I realize that all is spiritual and there is no need to suffer. Just allow it.

Not that I am stopping running or stopping my Course in Miracles study; but that I appreciate the path laid before me.

I'm just a marathoner. I'm a professed engineer.

This morning, I had a 3 mile run around El Lago in the early morning darkness. It was hot a sweaty and I loved it. What more could a person want?

I have a closet full of brand new Asics Nimbus running shoes. What more could a person want?

I'm holding airplane tickets to go to 2 running races. What more could a person want?

I don't need to fast, run a hundred miles, sit cross legged for days, follow a guru. Just have Being.

That is what I have Being; my most valued possession.