Friday, December 30, 2016

The Bread of Life

The thing I want out of life, this life and all the others, is God. Like a salmon returning to spawn time after time, I came back here for another journey. 

Here is a new thought: maybe I hated my mother's womb because I knew that this life's journey was starting at spiritual rock bottom. I wasn't born into spiritual privilege; like having enlightened or philosophical parents. I wasn't born already half way up the mountain. I was born into alcoholism, co-dependence; the deepest pain and despair imaginable existed my family.

I looked at the DNA of pain and anger and hate. I felt the net of this pain full DNA settle in. I fought off the poisons of thalidomide and alcohol. Then I looked up. I saw that somehow I could climb out of this pit. Somehow I could find sunlight. I realized the energy it would take. Begrudgingly I said, "Okay God. I'll do it."

When I left the convent, I was determined to be spouse to the Lord anyway. When I left The Church, I was determined to have communion anyway. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life." He is teaching us something new. It is not to have communion but to be communion. DNA and bread of life are the same thing. Allow Life to eat you. Be consumed by Life. 

Feed every scrap of pain into the fire of your heart burning within. Let the fire of your heart burn you up. This is life. This is communion. This is to be The Way, The Truth and The Life. This is to follow Jesus and be his disciple. This is the imitation of Christ.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Organizing 2016 and My Life

It is Christmas Day 2016. I am getting ready for a long walk jog. But first, I did as I always do: read an inspirational book, journal, listen for intuitive thoughts. Many times, the listening part is listening to massive amounts of emotion; but eventually, an intuitive thought comes. Then I work out (exercise). Then I go to my job. Today, I got the following clear thoughts about my life.

My response to the world is consistency. I've been doing the above for decades.

In my life, but especially in 2016, I received the gift of marathons. This gift needs to be unpacked and contemplated. In my life I've run 73 official marathon or ultra-marathon races, plus numerous private 26+ mile quests. In 2016, I completed 22 official races plus 4 private 26+ mile quests. In 2016, I received a dream: a marathon vacation. I went to the Black Hills area and did 4 marathons in 4 states in 4 days. Super.

In 2016, I received the gift of emotion. That is, I finally learned what emotion is so that I could then feel it and let the energy go through.

In my life, I have received 2 Sentences. I see these as purpose, but they are not as simple as they look.
- Shamelessly follow Jesus and live a life of prayer.  This thought came to me after the Columbine shootings (1999); as I was driving down a mid-western freeway in a pickup truck. It resulted in my trip into the monastery. This is difficult because Jesus is not who or what mainstream people think.
- Love is the predominant mode of existence.  This came to me in a dream as I learned I was leaving the monastery and re-entering the world (2003). This is difficult because love and being loving is not what mainstream people think.

The gift of Not-Going-Along. I got this in 2003 when I left the monastery. No, I won't eat your food. No, I won't join your society. No, I won't share your emotional energy. Keep it away from me.

In 2016, I had to figure out what I am. The words finally arrived: Gender Nonconforming. This has nothing to do with sexuality or trans-gender. It means that I don't conform to the standard or typical female. I have not lived my life as a woman; no marriage, no motherhood, a male dominated career....

To Trump or Not-to-Trump. My opinions need to transcend the war going on in our nation and the world. I think this will be an ongoing contemplation in 2017.

The Blockage. I have an emotional blockage. A flaw in my DNA. A dam in my energy pattern. A deep psychic wound. This situation has come more to my consciousness this year. Exploring and healing will be an ongoing contemplation for 2017. Yes, you can heal your DNA.

That's all folks. It is now time for running.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Salvation is as Salvation Does

Marathons. God I want to run another right now. I don't want to wait 10 days, until 1/1/2017, for my next race.

Here is a story of how I can get completely lost in my mind. Here is an example of an addictive thought process. While I am addicted to marathons, you can easily substitute alcohol or cocaine and get a similar slippery thought slope.

Yesterday I was out running. I was feeling real good and I wanted to run another marathon. But there are none right this minute; except for in San Antonio. Here is the beginning of the slippery slope.

I am well aware that the race director P fudges the results. That is, people who didn't run the race, including herself, are shown with results. People who ran virtually are shown in the results. P has claimed to run 1001 marathons, when I watched her cheat at the 2015 Irving marathon.

So I could drive to San Antonio and run a marathon. For me personally it would be legal right? I showed up at the course and ran it. Do I want to support a race director who cheats? But, God, I want to run a marathon right now. But I know perfectly well, that I could be the only one who shows up. So that is not really a race. Why drive to San Antonio, pay $100 to a scoundrel, and run by myself. Why not pay $35 to the scoundrel and run in Seabrook, but have my result appear with the rest of the results. I could run the course for the Seabrook Lucky Trail marathon so I was sure it was a measured marathon and not a Garmin marathon. I could do this and then be able to count one more marathon in my collection.

After this run where I came to this extraordinary conclusion, I got on the internet. I decided to check out results for L. I like L and I have seen L at races all over the country. L has been recognized for the most marathons ever. He includes Iranmarathons results in his list. But strangely, whenever I have gone to San Antonio, I haven't seen L on course. I asked another friend, C, about this. He said that L might start at 10 pm. But, my mind whispered, then that is really running virtually. So, to continue my rationalization, I thought, "If Iranmarathons virtual results are good enough for L, then why not me?"

Then I happened to google L. I landed on a page They had a long expose about L and the impossibility of some of his results. They also had a long expose about the Iranmarathons race director P.

A sour taste went into my mouth. Thank God for that. I was saved. I dismissed all ideas of claiming a virtual marathon result or going to San Antonio. Instead, I found myself sending an e-mail to Marathon Investigations about what I saw with P at the 2015 Irving marathon.

Today I went for a 3.5 hour walk. Just walking. I know I'll survive 10 days until my next marathon.

Monday, December 19, 2016

73rd Marathon - Houston Running Festival

Saturday, I ran a marathon. It was my 22 marathon this year and my 73 marathon this lifetime. I am  57 years old, 58 in January.  I say all that because of the time of year. Another year of marathoning wrapped up. In fact, I far out did myself as far as number of marathons done in a year goes. 11 is the second highest count.

Spirit unleashed, that is my yearning for 2017. Not that I'll run more marathons or train more but that I'll let my soul be free. Free of my character defects and unleashed in joy and athletic power; that my ethos dream for 2017.

In this marathon, I went out wanting to give my fastest. At the same time, as the day got warm, up to 80F with a strong wind, my speed slowed.

As I think of this marathon, I think of the drops of sweat dripping from the brim of my ball cap. For about 2 of the 5 hours, there was a steady drip drip drip. I remember passing Kim several times. Kim cannot run any more. She walks; and due to nerve damage has to sit down every 6 miles. Yet she would walk 50 miles. I admire Kim. I admire anyone who keeps going despite difficulties.Various other people I passed or was passed. We chat a bit. People say, didn't I see you at such and such a race? Or, how far are you going today? Or will you be at the Texas marathon? Or, go girl, you're looking good!

On this day, there was a girls soccer tournament on the ball fields inside the park. Six or so games going at any one time. On one lap, I saw a guy from work who was cheering one of his kids. I didn't say anything. On the next lap he was still there. This time, I yelled hello and got his attention. He waved.

This marathon was 13 laps of 2 miles each plus a loop around a parking lot at the start of the race. As usual, as I approach 20 miles, my feet and legs are tired and hurt a bit. Thankfully no blisters or any other injury. I am grateful for the last lap. As I run it, some guy who is faster than me passes. When I say it is my last lap, he says "I hate you." This because he is doing a longer distance but wants to stop now.

I get my awesome medal and am shortly driving home. I use google maps, even though I know the way, because I don't know which highway has traffic. Houston is like that. Even on Sunday, some highways will be full.

On January 1, 2017, the journey continues. I plan to be Spirit Unleashed. This race report is about the race, but also how I feel about life at the moment. I'm thinking that I'm tired of fighting at work; fighting for what is right and good, or for advancement. I wish I could pull my dog out of the race.

I love how I feel when working out. I love the afterglow of marathons. The marathon journey does not have to end any time soon. I go in races where there are many people much older than me finishing the 26 miles. I can be there for a long time.

One of the things I like about this medal is the big words Houston. I have to admit to myself that I like it here. And ask myself, "Why would you ever leave?"

Today, the Monday after this race, I ran 15 miles in laps around a park. I thought about my current situation. I need to learn to take my dog out of the work race. I need to learn to let go. After my run, I purchased a new hydration belt online and then I entered a marathon in February in Galveston.

I still need to figure out my future. I want to learn to write an essay. I use the word essay in its technical sense. In the writing word, the philosophical world, an essay is a specific thing. I have a dream of writing 100 essays about 100 marathons; and so hope to use my brain creatively and engage independent thinking.

I love the belt buckle:

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Another Zone Experience

I wish I could express what it is like to be in the marathon zone. Whenever it happens, it makes all marathoning so worth while.

I don't have a family, so I'm happy that I got to spend Thanksgiving running marathons with my marathon family. It is so cool to see a small crowd of marathoners get together for multiple days of races. Some of these people are Texans and I see them at Texas marathons; but some are from out of town and I see them when I go out of town. Angela, Clyde, Robert, Ila, Maggie, Kevin, the guy from Mumbai...

I ran 2 marathons. The first day, I played it safe as usual. I set my Garmin for 3x2; then easy jogged for 3 minutes and fast walked for 2 minutes. I finished day 1 in good shape in 5:42 (not counting pit stops). Then chilled in my hotel room.

Day 2, I felt good. I was surprised that my big toes seemed pain free. The usual blisters were not there. At the start I took off running easy. No walk breaks for 8.7 miles at 11:20/mile pace. Then my head did some math and figured that even if I did the 3x2s, I'd only lose about 3 minutes per lap so I might as well take the walk breaks.

But as soon as I started the walk breaks, my running speed took a quantum leap. I mean, I was flying whenever I was running. I became free. I thought, "well I don't have to do another marathon tomorrow so I might as well let my body go." And I did. I began to run just for the pleasure of running. I had one line of a Christmas tune going in my head. Otherwise, I had no presence of mind. I was sheer movement without ego. Man, I loved it. Even with the walk breaks, I still managed an average pace of 11:20/mile. I finished in 5:05 (including pit stops).

What was also cool is I somehow got it in my mind as I came in sight of the course clock, that I could beat 5:05. I actually sprinted the last 0.2 of a mile or so. I haven't sprinted in a long time. I haven't just ran full out in forever. It felt awesome to just let go and go. Are 57 almost 58 year olds allowed to do that? For no reason! I mean, there were no awards for this and I wasn't passing anyone. It was only for myself.

I'm pleased to say that nothing got injured either. I'm going to run tomorrow. I'm going to consider running fast in my next marathon in 3 weeks.

Monday, November 14, 2016

It About the Buckle

Racing season in Texas is winter for everyone else. Summer is just too hot, day and night, for racing. Any racing I do in the summer is in some other state. Racing season lasts until April or May; though May races have to start at 5 am.

This weekend I did my first 2 races of this year's racing season. Long ago, I had a discount to do the Jackalope Jam, a timed race. I signed up for 24 hours hoping to do 100k and get a belt buckle. In the mean time, the Houston running festival in December is offering attractive Texas themed buckles for the marathon. In 2014, I traveled to Calgary hoping to get a buckle. But it was their 50th anniversary and gave out huge bronze buckles which are not able to be worn on a daily basis. Rats! Last year, I went in the Fort Worth marathon to get a marathon buckle. But, while pretty on the front, the working part on the back was dis-functional, so it couldn't be worn as a buckle. Rats!

I have 3 honestly earned race buckles. But I wanted another.

A few months ago, I realized that the Jackalope Jam was the same weekend as this year's Fort Worth marathon. So if I failed at Jackalope, I couldn't turn around and go to Fort Worth. However, I could just do a marathon at Jackalope and also go to Fort Worth. I also realized I didn't want to hurt as bad as 61 miles would hurt. However, I have done several multi-day marathons this year. I really enjoyed the Fort Worth marathon last year and didn't enjoy the Jackalope at all.

So, I opted to do the double marathon and get my buckle from Fort Worth.

Yes, it is all about the buckle:

And what a pretty buckle that is. So worth it. I love it.

For this weekend, I had a secret performance goal: how quickly could I do 2 marathons. See, the Jackalope had a 6 hour time limit and we had to do 27 laps to get a 26.2 medal. So I put a little pressure on myself to get done in time, including pit stops. Fort Worth is the better course for running fast but it was on day 2. I finished Jackalope with 27.8 miles (according to my Garmin) in 5:37 using 4x1s. That is outstanding considering I did have to hold back for day 2; and it was hot after the first 3 hours. For Fort Worth, I decided to set my Garmin for 3x2s. I wasn't in any hurry and wanted a low impact day. I took the early start to get more time in the cool morning and to relax on finishing time limit. But still, I finished the race in 5:35. It must be that whenever I was running, I was moving well.

My friend Angela, who was at Fort Worth, said I was looking strong.

I realize I like going fast. I'm not sure how much fast my legs can stand. And I've decided that I'll get to 100 marathons in this life, but no need to hurry. I've adjusted my racing season accordingly. I have another double marathon over Thanksgiving, but that is mainly to enjoy a group of people I know will be there. But for December, I decided not to do a double and instead, run fast at Houston Running festival. I did really well at that race last year and want to try again. And in February, I'll do a fast half marathon instead of a slow full.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Four Marathons Four States Four Days

In a way, what led me to try 4 marathons in 4 days started many years ago. But also, it was an urge to push my envelope some in hopes of even doing more.

I like doing distance because it gives me a chance to look inside myself and see what I am made of. There are emotions. There are thoughts. It is about self transcendence. It is about prayer.

There is a community of runners which does ridiculous numbers of marathons. My trail-mates for this event are people who have run anywhere between their first and their 1,500 marathon. But mostly people who have run gobs of marathons. I've only run 68, a relatively low number. This was a six day series. I only ran 4 of them. Most of the other 85 or so marathoners in each race ran all 6.

And, if I can run 4 marathons in 4 days, then maybe I've got a fix on how a multi-day race might come out. I'm in terrific shape right now.

Here also, there is the camaraderie of the other runners. I see people I know at these races. Maybe it is about relationships. A relationship with Clyde, or Larry. Clyde was at my first triple marathon this May. Clyde is 69. He was finishing his 200th marathon. They had his picture around the course and on the last lap numerous people, mostly an entourage of girls, joined him; along with having impromptu pit stops where he drank some alcoholic beverage. It just so happens that I was finishing my marathon on that lap too. Clyde and his entourage kept passing me and then stopping to drink; when I would get ahead again. Finally I made sure I got ahead and finished before he got there so I wouldn't finish in the middle of his party. Clyde was at my first quad, but a much different version whose wisdom I enjoyed.

Then there is the matter of old people doing amazing things. Like 84 year old women finishing Iron Man triathlons within the time limit. Women of my mother's generation! I am "only" 57, yet it is my generation that first ran an Olympic marathon, who first finished Iron Man triathlons. At these races, I meet some of these amazing elderly athletes.

And why? It all started with reading race reports of people who did these events and how they felt about it. It started with the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race. All of these distance events cause people to look inside.

I wanted to look inside my soul. If I went in an event, I'd do more than I would do by myself.

In February of 2016, I was successful at running a double marathon (2 marathons in 2 days). I was super pumped and in the zone on day 2. I quickly signed up for two more races which were triple marathons. At each of these, day 3 was super zone day and I ran incredibly fast.

I had known of Mainly Marathon series for more than a year. I kept looking and wondering how I could do such an event. I don't have much vacation time. There is alot of driving each day. Moving hotels each day. But under all that is a multi-day endurance event which I had a chance of doing.

I got a very large bonus from my company this year. I decided that I would take a week off work without pay and go on a marathon adventure with that money. On April 20, I bought my air plane ticket. On April 22, I signed up for the races. My dream was to become a reality.

On September 12, the day before flying out, I'm wondering why I am doing this thing. What alot of energy expended to fly to Denver, drive to South Dakota, then Wyoming, then Nebraska, then Colorado again. For what?

In the days leading up to the race, I didn't have any meaningful thoughts about why. Mostly I felt lethargy.

After a perfect flight from United airlines, in first class on a dream liner, I drove though gloomy and cold weather from Denver to Spearfish, SD. The first thing I did in Spearfish was buy a cheap jacket at Walmart. It was cold for this Gulf Coast girl.

First marathon was in Belle Fourche South Dakota. It was on a bike path along a river. I ran it using 3x2s in 5:47.

ACIM lesson: My holy vision sees all things as pure.

Thoughts: This trip is the ultimate ego fiasco. I'll do it all and still not know the existential me; or not have changed my ego's anger at all.

Second marathon was in Sundance Wyoming. It was on a horribly rocky gravel road around a fair grounds. I walked and jogged based on the footing in 5:48. The uneven footing beat up my toes more than I wanted and I began to worry. I had worn an extra knee support on my right knee and was very glad that the knee was protected from the extra wobbling.

ACIM lesson: I am surrounded by the love of God.

Thoughts: Talking to Clyde, he said he tries to make everyone's life happier by trying to put smiles on their faces. I totally felt my own reticence at that moment. I felt my dis-like of colleagues due to my own biases.  My life is a struggle with myself. I know I am difficult and keep trying to be better.

Driving to Chadron, I saw a perfect double rainbow. I sensed something bigger than myself; or a gift.

Third marathon was in Chadron Nebraska. It was in a beautiful park and mostly on park road; except for a patch of grassy trail that we covered each lap, out and back. The grassy trail was uneven and I worried about turning an ankle; it also beat up the toes. I was worried that I'd not be able to do marathon #4 after that.

ACIM lesson: Creations gentleness is all I see.

Thoughts: Specialness and self pity. I was judging the people who had achieved various levels of marathon quantity awards, frequent marathon awards, shirts saying "I did this" or that. As I struggled with the "trail", I felt sorry for myself, but also realizing I'm there with many other people doing the same thing. I thought about how difficult it is to bring anonymity and service into my life.

Fourth marathon was in Sterling Colorado. It was in a beautiful park and on good dirt footing; though a little hilly. I used mostly 3x2s and finished in 6:20.

ACIM lesson: My holy Self abides in you God's Son.

Day 4 of my time on course, many of the other runners recognized my steadiness in going forward. I thought that maybe my jogging and power walking were helping them to do more.

I cried at the end of the last lap. I was over come with emotion that I actually finished my first quad. This was the brief moment when I knew my soul. It took 4 days and over 100 miles, but finally I felt myself without my ego's intervention. The JOY brought tears to my eyes and tremendous NOW.

After the race, I talked to Clyde. He talked about the family of marathoners. People joined in doing something they love. I was among people like me. People who think a vacation is to go and run several marathons. Clyde lives in Texas so I will see him again.

The deepest longing and yearning that every human has for "something." That is really why we were there. It wasn't the Titanium Award, or the Everest Award, or the world's record for most lifetime marathons. It was the human spirit.

At a minimum, this vacation brought a relief from thoughts about work. Experiences bring thoughts. But I am not at my end, no conclusion. I am still on a journey. I don't have the final answer to my being.

For swag, we got a shirt, one main medal and a medal for each state, plus a little tag that says 2016.

Osmium Marathon Maniac is 4 marathons in 4 days.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Spiritual Progress

This blog has been a bit silent. That is because it is summer. No racing during the summer. The Self Transcendence Race is over. There is only sweaty slow miles eeked out of stubborn-ness.

I have had a 4 day weekend. It came on the heels of a long discussion with my boss labeled "performance."  As an imperfect person, having a discussion with another imperfect person, it would be impossible for my ego not to fight about it. So I entered a long weekend in emotional turmoil. Mentally, my ego was attacking all of my colleagues for one reason or another. I grabbed my spiritual tools.

I am reading A Course in Miracles for about the 10th time. It's words are a healing soothing balm.What am I thinking that God would not have thought? What would God have thought which I am not thinking? Can I change my mind to think with God's.  Also on Friday, Ekart Tolle's "Stillness Speaks" arrived. Tolle teaches about separating your self from the ego yammering. Not new information, but I get sucked surely into the ego's reality time after time. It ruin's my life. Mixed in here are techniques to cleanse my energy.

A phrase from ACIM: Let the Holy One shine on you in peace. Let every voice but God's be still in me.

My mind is full of thoughts about running away from my life. I check LinkedIn. Where can I get a job? I know in my heart it wouldn't fix anything and I'd surely take a huge pay cut. Also, keep in mind, my ego is freaking out over nothing. It is my nature.

I sat this morning during my spiritual time. I knew the ego's hatred was there. I wondered when my spirituality was going to solve this problem. I felt defeated.

I went running. The miles were hot. My ego was mentally attacking my boss and other colleagues. I kept noticing and then saying one of my ACIM phrases. At some point I degenerated into a mantra, "Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us."

Then very quietly. I thought, "I am spiraling into depression." Then, "My ego is having a melt down." Then, "Yes, your ego is having a melt down, but you aren't." Quietly but suddenly, for the first time that I can remember, there was a separation between me and my ego. Suddenly, the meltdown had no power. I felt ok. My turmoil is only co-dependency.

Now you need to know, this was a small moment, entirely mental, with no outward activity. I was just doing my miles and living the inner mental reality. I give credence to that one thought which defeated the emotional break down. I had a reality other than the ego one. For once, I didn't get myself "all worked up" for no reason.

I don't know how my work life will go tomorrow or the next day. Technically, I am super. But getting along with others is a problem. My ego wishes there were no other people. How do I live with that? I can see it but not get it to stop. Don't dwell on it. Instead, speak one of the ACIM phrases. Just choose ACIM.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Self Transcendence 52/52

I deeply honor all the runners in the 3,100 Self Transcendence race. Today Kaneenika finished. She is the last finisher, though 5 more runners will stay on the course until midnight tonight. The video of Kaneenika bring tears to my eyes. Think, I sometimes cry for myself after a marathon. Think of the emotion after 3,100 miles and 51+ days.

Perhaps these emotions are why I run marathons. The human spirit comes forward into the conscious realm.

Today at work, a little spat with my snarky boss. But the guy in the shop was incredibly nice to me, going over board to help me.

I need to remember my human spirit.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Self Transcendence 51/52

The real story of this year's race is found in the post today by the race director: "To keep going when a finish is hopeless must be a difficult pill to swallow. ... it is intriguing for the other five to taste the emptiness of a self-imposed purgatory. Here is where their inner depth kicks in. What better time than now to show their real strength, their real fortitude, their real dedication to the highest reality. What better time than now?"

It is a thing to contemplate. What is that inner force that drives one through pain? I don't go to these extreme lengths with self inflicted pain, but I do feel that inner force. It gets me out of bed. It seems to me that we all have to keep going with our spiritual growth; whether by choice or imposed by The Universe. A Course in Miracles states in several places that it is a way to save time.

Today, I went for a very lovely 2 hour run in the park. It surprises me that even though I did 25 miles yesterday, I ran painlessly this morning. What a privilege to run up to Pine Gully park in time to see sunrise over the bay.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Self Transcendence 50/52

Only 12 people start the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence race. This year, 2 didn't finish the number of days, 5 will finish the 3,100 miles, the rest are doing as many miles as possible. The rest of the people in world didn't start. Or did something else. It takes me a year to do 3,100 miles.

Today, I went outside for 3 1/2 hours, only 2 of which were jogging. Then it was too hot for me so I walked until I ran out of drink. Then I walked home and decided to finish today's workout on the treadmill. At least some jogging occurs on the treadmill. In total, I got 19.4 miles in 5 hours.

While I was outside, I thought of my favorite 3,100 mile runner. It was astonishing yesterday to see a video of the start for that day. She was limping badly. This was on top of the daily blog where there has been a picture of her getting out of a van. You can tell it is a difficult task. Yet, she still does more than 50 miles each day. It is a thing of contemplation, her body-mind relationship. In the middle of it, is her spiritual teacher.

And I gave some thought to pictures of the US men's gymnastics team without their shirts. Wow!

Also, I was doing my own metaphysical work. This means, watching my thoughts. When they get stuck on some resentment towards another person or society, I need to move that energy out. Change the thought. My Course in Miracles lesson today was "My home awaits me. I will hasten there." And to lift your head and notice Silent Consciousness which exists in the trees. Become aware of Something Higher and don't let my mind stay in resentment.

When I got on my treadmill, I was looking at cue cards I have. Over time, I have written meaning full sentences from ACIM Text on the cards; so I can be reminded while I am on my treadmill. Things like the ego's goals, specialness, Love, Oneness, The Holy Spirit.

But I didn't take my body to excruciating pain like those ultra runners. I will go for a walk later since I have a vacation day tomorrow.

Only 2 more days to my self transcendence retreat. I will miss checking on the runners and the focus on my own self transcendence. I will also note that this important annual celebration of my personal history is gone for another year. There will be more miles and more marathons. I have a spiritual dream that I need to keep alive.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Self Transcendence 48/52

Only a few days left in the 3,100 Self Transcendence Race. 4 people have finished the distance. 1 more will finish the distance on the last day. 5 others are doing amazing miles. They are inspiring me. When I was running this morning, all I could think about was doing more miles. And so, well, ok, just do them. No need to enter a race. I almost entered a 6 day race. But the $666 entry fee caused me to balk; especially considering the air fare and hotel and car.

Instead, maybe I'll just do a private multi-day. I'll keep you posted.

This is a special time of year; and I am taking a 3 day weekend to ponder it. 31 years ago, I got sober. Sobriety is much more than not drinking. In a 12 step approach, I've been granted conscious contact with a power greater than myself. It is this, the walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe, which is fantastic. Yes, being a drunk would have been a horrible life. But just not drinking would be a horrible life too.

Also, 13 years ago I got kicked out of the convent. That was an amazing thing how that all worked out.

Also, 9 years ago, I became a Course in Miracles student. A Course in Miracles has given me so much spirituality.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Self Transcendence 47/52

Two guys finished the race today. Very amazing. There was actually a neck and neck (sort of) race for first.

The other runners will finish in the coming days. Even those who do not complete 3,100 miles still have amazing piles of miles.

I have a story. I think it is a self transcendence story because it suggests a non-ego state of mind. It suggests a state of mind in cooperation with the Spirit of the Universe.

More than about 10 days ago, a piece of debris on the freeway got tiddly-winked up by another car and it smacked my front bumper. When I got home, I saw that the bumper was cracked and one of the lower lights was broken. I didn't know what to do. None of the near by body shops is a clean place where I wanted to take my car. But I did go over to one of them just to see what they said.

Driving home (3 blocks), I decided to let go and let the universe guide me. Stop trying to control.

Coming home, I checked my car insurance and decided that the repair would be enough to justify a claim. So I called the insurance company just to see how a claim works. I've never filed one before. The outstanding feature was that they give me a choice of two approved body shops and my policy has rental car on it. Just knowing a good body shop was worth the call. In elegant fashion, I had, within a couple of days, dropped off my car. I never gave it much more thought. Almost forgot about it.

A few days later, I asked the shop when my car would be done. They mentioned that the bumper came in damaged and they had to order another and so my car would be a day or two late. Getting off the phone, parts of A Course in Miracles came into my mind. I thought, "I am not a victim of the world I see." This thought is a metaphysical truth. My thoughts have an impact on my perception and what I think I see, my reality. I also remembered that I had decided to let The Universe take care of this situation.

So that day, I didn't get all pissed off at the body shop. I just went on with life. Then I called the body shop on the original day my car was supposed to be done, a day or 2 earlier than the new promised date, and they said my car would be ready that day at 3 pm. Wow! No need to waste my energy on being pissed off. The Universe has taken care of this situation. It is an example of how we can walk hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe. And change the world.

One last thing about the winner of the 3,100 mile Self Transcendence race. Yesterday, he gave an interview. He said, "The world has let me go.  Everything that was binding me has left.  Right now I am just a soul bird.  For a bird there are no limitations, no boundaries.  But I have a body and I do all I can and this turns out to be 70 miles a day....I am not doing this for the records.  I am doing this to bring happiness to my soul.  To bring happiness to God and to be able to approach him faster.  This is why my speed has increased.”

Is that not beautiful? It matches very well with my Course in Miracles workbook lesson today: "God is my life. I have no life but His."

Every thought of God makes me happy.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Self Transcendence 42/52

It is a Saturday. I transcended myself by sleeping in instead of doing miles. I was rewarded with dreams. I was also rewarded with extra spiritual reflection time since I wasn't doing miles.

July 29, 2007 was the first time I began reading the text of A Course in Miracles. I started it for the 10th time this year on July 27. This morning, I read a couple of paragraphs in chapter 1. I was able to ponder their meaning in light of today's fears and egoism. It is possible I could heal my heart. I believe that in gaining inner reality of love, the world itself will have more love. But some of my perceptions still need healing.

As for the runners in the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race some are doing great with real miles and others are struggling. I have pondered how that must feel. Especially if it is your third time at the race but the first 2 times were easy and you did finish 3,100 miles by the dead line. It forces you to reconsider the meaning of life.

I consider the meaning of life all the time. I can sit in my cushy job and make money for retirement; but I don't like all the people. I look at my ego's heartlessness and ponder. I look to something higher to heal my heart. Here is something from ACIM text 1.IV. 1 and 1.V.3: "...When you have become willing to hide nothing, you will not only be willing to enter into communion but also understand peace and joy...unless you fully recognize your complete dependence on God, you cannot know the real power of the Son in his true relationship with the Father."

Today, my workout will be inside as I ponder these things. I feel humility and gratitude for these thoughts.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Self Transcendence 36/52

Several of the runners in the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race are having trouble. Some who have finished it several times before are struggling. Yet they keep going; even knowing that on day 52, midnight, they won't be at 3,100 miles. It seems sad. Why don't they quit?

Because it is the inner miles and not the outer miles that matter. The actual number of material world miles, 3,100, does not judge the number of inner miles. Any one of us can cross a universe instantly.

I myself have always compared my state of enlightenment to what gurus write in their books. I wonder why I haven't had a bright light experience. (Well, I haven't taken LSD for one thing.) But when I look at my inner miles, I see I am OK.

I had an unusual week. Monday I had to fast all day and then drink some poison to clean out my colon. Tuesday I had a colonoscopy. Wednesday I met my energy healer in the energy plane and on the phone. Thursday my car got whapped by a chunk of metal on the freeway and I filed an insurance claim. Friday was pretty normal: I worked from home. While at home, I tried out my new pressure cooker. A pressure cooker is a decent analogy for cooking spiritual growth. That is, creating an environment where spiritual ideas can be cooked quickly rather than taking a lifetime to figure them out.

Today, I decided to give up heat related ailments and do my running inside on the treadmill. So also, I slept in very late. And I have time now to write this blog.

I am finishing a book by Paul Brunton. I have read 18 of his books in the past 8 or so years. He is a philosopher of both east and west. He best explains the nature of reality as thought and oneness. I am a person who thinks alot. I may look like I am training for a race, but actually, I am thinking about things. I am integrating my life experiences with what I know of truth. Rightly motivated exercise can be a pressure cooker for spiritual ideas, Thought. So can illness or calamity, but I prefer the consciously generated environment.

Only 16 more days of Self Transcendence retreat.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Self Transcendence 31/52

Colonoscopy over: My bowels are completely healthy and no issues.

I guess my inner bowels are doing well also.

Reflection: This just came to me: The essence of the world is Love. And you should know, when I left the monastery in 2003, I received these words from my intuitive self, "Love is the predominate mode of existence."

I am able to participate analytically in the evolution of humankind. I have both the scientific and spiritual education. This is why I am not locked in a monastic choir stall or on a cushion in an ashram. But I have never accepted my role as equal to those granted special places, like religious sisters or gurus. I need to accept myself. I wanted consciousness and I got it. I need to stop being pissed that it didn't come with a white light experience or flowing robes.

I am serving others whether I like it or not.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Self Transcendence 29/52

If you are a student of metaphysics or philosophy or A Course in Miracles (ACIM) you may have heard, "you create your own reality." In ACIM and the philosophy of Paul Brunton, it is clearly explained that reality is a projection. The projection does not come from the brain inside your head because that is part of the projection. It comes from the mind; which some do not agree exists but I am a believer in a higher mind.

I am getting to a startling realization I had today. I was reading one of Paul Brunton's books, and allowing my consciousness to expand into the universe; and suddenly it struck me. Pokeman is a perfect image of how I see other people. From there, I was able to understand the ACIM encouragement to take your consciousness above the battle field. It is so easy to see. Bigger Mind, which is my real mind, is the observer holding and watching the smart phone. My little ego mind is the smart phone. And yes, my ego mind sees other humans a objects to be blown away (for the most part). I am not a psychopath to admit this; it is just outside the social contract to admit this.

I have broken the social contract in many ways, like being a vegetarian, non-drinker, non-sexual, non-feminine, non-religious, non-TV-watcher, etc.

What else have I projected? I am willing to admit that, like most humans, I am fascinated by mass killings. Are you willing to admit you projected those activities? The ordinary unconscious person living in a material world instead of a metaphysical one cannot possibly take responsibility for projecting mass killings. But a ACIM student must.

I also take responsibility for the political situation. Donald Trump is the only person on earth who can a) shake up the old white men of the GOP and b) beat Hillary Clinton. So he had to be projected. The fact that the old white men need to be shaken up is my projection too. They are my own rigid ego.

A few weeks ago, I read a story about a woman dying of colon cancer, how unspiritual it was, and how she wished she had got a colonoscopy. Then, googling around, I learned that I have none of the risk factors for colon cancer but also it is a top 3 fatal disease. I realized that I had just projected something. I would have a niggling fear in my system unless I did something. So I embarked on a project of finding a doctor and someone to drive me around; and the colonoscopy is scheduled for Tuesday. Metaphysically, I am searching the bowels of my being for dis-ease.

Cancer is not God's fault. In fact, I'm pretty sure there is no God. Only consciousness, Bigger Mind. It is easy for me to expand my mind to encompass the universe and energy.

Today, I woke up at 4 and got up at 4:40. Hence, I had a nice time for spiritual study and I got to the park at 6. I ran first to the new forest and then to Pine Gully. The view of the sunrise over Galveston Bay was great. Then I got back to Meador Park before the sun hit the trail along Todville road. Then I ran mostly in the shade for another 3 hours.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Self Transcendence 26/52

It is the half way point of my self transcendence retreat. This retreat inspired by the 3,100 mile self transcendence race, which has a 52 day time limit. Here

I realize that for my entire life I have wanted "more." Not of material things but of consciousness. I got some idea of enlightenment, but it was others descriptions. I tried their techniques and didn't get it.

Sometimes I think of those pictures which used to be popular: If you looked at the picture, all you saw was a muddy mess of color, but if you somehow glanced sideways, you saw a picture. I was never able to resolve one of these pictures. That is sort of how I feel about enlightenment.

Over the years I've studied many books and realized that some of what they said was the same thing. But the past 2 days, reading one of Paul Brunton's books, I finally seem to get how I am projecting my world. How it was my ideas and consciousness which came first.

The universe breathes with me. That is what I thought today.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Self Transcendence 22/52

Self Transcendence does not stop. It does not wait.

Yesterday, I was thinking how many of my mental conversations are somehow "at" my boss; as if he was God or something. Once aware of this, I could see it pop up over and over. It makes me sick to think I am living my life in front of that guy as if he was a mirror. How do I have a different consciousness?

Then when I was running today, other people at work we popping into my mental dialog, including my various emotions towards each one of them. Contrast that to my morning meditation which had been a reading from Paul Brunton about how the body and its feeling sense is no different that this pen I am using to write. The explanation of how we project things was so clear, I momentarily completely understood how thoughts create reality, and reality is an illusion.

Trouble is, I just can't go about the physical world with that awareness. Today, while running I was in a small tree covered park. I could look forward from time to time and just be conscious. Running these little laps, I had no need of time or space. I could just be; until some person from work popped back into my mind.

Is self transcendence having some different consciousness? Or is it just being at peace. The more I seem to grow spiritually, the less I have of concrete explanations of what it is exactly. I want to be spiritual, but from a sub-atomic-physics and a neuro-science point of view, there is nothing.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Self Transcendence 21/52

Three weeks into this retreat. I can't say that some big burden like fasting is added to my life during this time. Mostly I look at the race statistics and videos and blogs; then think about what does self transcendence mean to me today.

What race? This one: 3100 Mile race

I had alot of excitement during the last 21 days what with a big work event, then going to a triple marathon last weekend. This weekend, I am quietly at home. I got up at 4:30 this morning and got in almost 10 miles of jogging before hanging it up. Already the real feel was 102F.

Right now, I am leaving space for God in my life; for somehow making a spiritual connection. I need a vital spiritual experience. But I also need a nap.

At least I did the weed eating already and groceries have been bought.

Peace permeates my soul. It turns out that spirituality is not some huge emotional trip. It is silence. It is miles. I got no answers to anything. Let the balls fall down.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Self Transcendence 18/52

I am home now, doing laundry and buying food. This morning I had time for a good long reflection. I thought, " I went to Oregon. Instead of driving around and looking at natural beauty, I ran 3 marathons and looked inside at my soul's beauty."

Thoreau went to Walden Pond. I went to Portland.

Here is a picture of the many people doing the triple:

Monday, July 4, 2016

Self Transcendence 16/52

Well! What a miracle!

If self transcendence is going beyond yourself, then that happened today. Even though I walked for 90 seconds/ ran for 3.5 minutes, I finished a marathon just under 5 hours clock time (4:55 garmin time which doesn't include the 3 pit stops). Not just "a" marathon, but my 3rd marathon in 3 days.

Incredible. I was nearly sprinting for the 3.5 minutes of run.

I am in a place which has beautiful mountains all around. The views are described as stunning. However, today was cloudy, cool, breezy. No great vistas but great running weather. No vistas in this world, but vistas of my heart and soul.

This was a big race. Usually in a big race, many people are doing 5 hour marathons. That is less than 12 minute miles. But in this race, I was very lonely for most of it. So it wasn't the excitement of other runners that pushed me. It was purely an inner decision.

At first I thought, "isn't it stupid to be running like this when this is day 3 of a triple?" I mean, what if I have an injury? I decided to just see how things went. It turns out that they kept speeding up. And after 20 miles when I should have started slacking, I just kept on with the sprinting.

I thought about the self transcendence race and how they said that they were in so much pain they had to focus on the spiritual. Mine was the opposite. I felt so much energy that I couldn't focus on the physical. I read in A Course in Miracles this morning, "give up all self deceptions." My self deceptions are thinking I can't cut loose with running; or allowing negative thinking to interfere with energy flow.

To know that this can happen every time I allow it makes the airfare and 5 nights in a hotel worth it. To have this view of my soul is worth the money.

I'll probably have more to say after a nap.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Self Transcendence 15/52

Firecracker Triple day 2: Stars and Stripes marathon

This morning, as I was reading a Course in Miracles lesson, it said, "Give Him your thoughts."  What thoughts? My right foot hurts.

Then I thought, "What would life be like if  thoughts were more than _____?"  More than the mundane worries I go about with most of the time. Then I thought, "Prayer;" that today should be a day of prayer.

Lesson: The power of decision is my own.

I decided I didn't want any more dregs today. I want happiness, joy, peace thru the marathon. For a second I wondered if I had to quit the race to get this. Then I thought, "The triple is the new normal." Running is about energy and love, not physical st all. Victory is the only option.

Then I drove to the race. Today turned out to be cool and cloudy. The course was easier than yesterday. My foot felt better with a change of shoes and insoles. But most of all, my mind was not fighting me. In fact, I spent most of the race humming my these song: Let Your Love Flow, by the Bellamy Brothers. A video is here

I was using my normal 3x2 run walk pattern. I felt good is the main thing. I wasn't thinking about anything too much. The laps were 3.28 miles and they seemed to be going by quickly. One time when I looked at my Garmin during a run segment, I noticed. the speed was 10 something. I couldn't believe it. I looked again and it was still pretty fast. Truth is, when I was running, I was not holding back very much. My natural speed was fine. Nothing was hurting. I kept singing my song and going fast.

And that it it. I finished in 5:50 by my Garmin (no pit stops). That's 15 min faster than yesterday. Even coming back to my hotel, I'm in better shape than yesterday. It is a mystery such a day as today.

Tomorrow is day 3 of the triple. Hope I have something left.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Self Transcendence 14/52

Sopan said, "Physically (in 2014) I did not do well.  But because of that I had a very profound spiritual experience.  Because I could focus only on the spiritual.  The physical did not matter anymore." Sopan is one of the athletes in the 3,100 Mile Race.

I am getting ready to do a marathon today. No race, just finish. I am in a beautiful area, but focused on the business of marathons. Somehow I need a moment to stop and wonder. Maybe its not enough to gaze at a mountain from the window of an airplane. The whole area looked smoggy anyway.

I can feel the root and ground of my being here in my hotel room. I will feel it again on the marathon course. Once again I'll be facing myself as I do the miles. Every time, there is The Wall.

Lesson 151: All things are echoes of the Voice for God.

The details: get dressed carefully, pack all the little things, know where you are going. Where am I going spiritually?


Now it is post race, but still 14/52. Today was a hard fought marathon. 6 laps in a beautiful course with many trees. It was hard fought because for the first 3 laps, my mind was not accepting the mission for this weekend. Shouldn't I be out driving around trying to see great vistas instead of running laps? Other people are. Here I am running marathons. It is easier to run a triple marathon in an ugly place like Dallas than this beautiful place where I am. It was an energy wasting distraction.

But because of that distraction I got to experience what marathons are all about, drinking your dregs. In whatever way it is possible for me to discount myself, it will come forth as the miles add up. And in a triple marathon, there is also the excuse making as I ponder whether or not I can actually complete 3 marathons.

Drinking the dregs of your ego and continuing to carry out the marathons is self transcendence. There is not really any outer glory to running 3 marathons. In the dregs of my ego is a whiny quitter cheater. And so, I'll be taking care of myself this evening and tomorrow I'll be back on the course.

On my last lap, I thanked the huge old trees for being there for me.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Self Transcendence 13/52

Yes it is still my Self Transcendence retreat. To understand what I am doing, the links are on the blog 1/52. I have journalled daily about self transcendence but only blogged sometimes.

A retreat is a period of special spiritual focus; just as a Muslim does Ramadan or a Catholic does Lent. I am doing Self Transcendence.

Today I begin a 6 day vacation. I am doing 3 marathons starting tomorrow. Today, I slept very late and sat with my philosophical book for a long time. I had time to ask myself, "What self transcendence?" I had some ideas I've never had before.

When I was a child, I saw many commercials about "Go climb a rock." I can't remember what that was for. If I google it now, it seems to be about Yosemite National Park. In a child's imagination, the saying stuck as an aspiration for more, to achieve in some way. The drive to succeed can be found in me. Since my early 20s I've wanted a spiritual achievement. The ideas that reality is an illusion and the desire for knowing my higher self have been there since late 20s.  In my middle 20s, I realized the corporate achievement was not going to work for me. I don't seem to be a gifted athlete, but I have pursued physical achievement all my life; except in 2004 or so, my running became spiritual due to the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race.

What mountain am I climbing? It is an abstract mountain. This morning I had a new thought: What if I was born with the metaphysical and spiritual knowledge that medieval spiritualists received as an emotional sledge hammer, so that it doesn't seem so outrageous to me?  If that is true, then I'm already at the top of that mountain and there is some other mountain I want to climb. If I look out in my world, can I find reflections of inner mountain climbing?


Somehow my spiritual metaphysical work is gaining energy, transforming energy. My inner world seems more at peace lately. My outer world is successful in material ways. However, I still want more spiritual consciousness. I still want a higher view. But I need to stop looking at the old methods. I need to transform these old methods. This had to be the reason I've learned so much about various old methods. And the reason I know how to integrate. I need to push the integration forward, to make that quantum leap into a new orbital.

At the physical 3,100 mile self transcendence race, I notice that several people are doing more miles than they have in previous years. This is my affirmation that I myself can transcend.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Self Transcendence 9/52

Check page 1/52 to learn what I am doing for 52 days.

While you are there, note my mention of Germans coming to town and 4 presentations. Well, on that day, in my journal, I wrote about how I wanted to be recognized for what I do in the world. I wanted the recognition to be that I got invited to the meetings in Germany.

Today I learned: my presence in Germany has been demanded.

I am grateful to The Universe, or Universal Guru, or whatever you call it. Or just that I knew what my Higher Consciousness wanted and I went along with it. Now, I have to let go of one other thing. Maybe the conference in Germany is during the time that I have already scheduled a vacation. I'll need to let Universal Consciousness handle that problem.

Today is day 9/52. I exercised this morning with the idea that all is love; and I don't have to be afraid to release my love. My love is caged due to an unfortunate childhood. But now that I am conscious, I can let it go. Fear is the self that needs to be transcended. Don't accept it at all. Be yourself fully.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Self Transcendence 8/52

I have thought about self transcendence alot today, but there weren't any massive revelations.

It is Houston summer; the temp where I live never goes below 80F and it is very humid. I try to stay near trees; but even so, the heat index goes above 100F and I can only walk. Today was such a day. I got started at 6:35am in a small park doing 0.37 mile laps. I seemed to be very slow and by about 9, I had to walk only. I stuck it out for 4 hours, when my water ran out.

During the afternoon, I managed to work on a paper I need to write. I am scheduled to give a talk in October, but I need to write the paper to go with the talk. I had to first remember it at all, then force myself to re-direct my thinking and try to do even the smallest little work on it. I wonder if I pretended I was giving a TED Talk if I'd feel more energy. I'll try that.

Then this evening, even though I was tired from the morning heat, I did 45 minutes of cross training machines and 21 minutes of free weights. I was listening to Freak-onomics radio. The phrase "life organizing principle" came up. That caused me to stop and think. First, I keep wanting some spiritual breakthru which affirms consciousness of my higher self. Second, I've been a life long athlete and plan to continue. Third, I work for financial security.

It is turning out that my 52 day Self Transcendence retreat is different from the rest of the year in its focus on transcendence; as in what am I transcending?

I had vegetables for dinner.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Self Transcendence 6/52

It is hard to write your blog several hours after you had the inspiring thoughts. But I needed to get outside before it got too hot or no miles would have been done.

As I began my morning meditation today, I thought of how I like to take a little extra time on the weekends to snooze a little longer and do spiritual reading a little longer. Then I thought of the 3,100 mile runners. They do not get to do any slacking until they are done with the race (52 day cut off). The volunteers don't get to rest either.

Self Transcendence waits for no one.

I had a fruitful week being of service to others. Lets no digress. Spirituality does not wait. Do the work today. I never mention spirituality to anyone at work. They hear about running because they ask; and it seems a safe subject to mention. I don't mention the spirituality of running. But they always say something like, "You are so disciplined." I claim not, since I like my exercise. But as I watch the 3,100 mile self transcendence runners, I realize, yes, they are disciplined.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Self Transcendence 4/52

Sri Chinmoy said:

I have been quite busy at work for two days (and again tomorrow) as we have guests at the plant and we are doing a workshop.

I have had fruitful morning meditation and journaling. I am grateful for that. But during the day, I have been completely wrapped up in serving the group; so no time to ponder the universe. This morning, I had a good topic for philosophical discussion. So, now I suppose I would need to put together the resources to write a proper essay on that topic. Lets see if I do.

This morning, since I didn't have to be at work at my usual crack of dawn time, I got to run in the park across the street in daylight. And I went really fast. I was very happy with that run.

Then when driving to work, I was thinking about isotopes when a slow vehicle turned in front of me. I perfectly executed an emergency stop.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Self Transcendence 2/52

Today in my morning spiritual reading, I realized I was quietly hating my boss; just for various reasons of being hemmed in by hierarchy. Reasons of old consciousness. I called my feelings the hateful self. Today's transcendence points to transcending the hateful self.

It is an ancient hate of oppression and abuse.

There must be another way to live, another synapse. I realized my job is just to move the energy. Or A Course in Miracles calls this "forgiveness" ; looking beyond the physical world to the love energy within the true heart.

There are tremendous possibility for achieving higher consciousness, if we have a way to focus. That is part of my problem. I go off to work and completely forget anything higher; I'm just immersed in the annoying relationships.

The results from the first day of the self transcendence race have not yet been posted. typically, the do 70 to 90 miles the first day.

For myself, I will go ride my exercise bicycle and my nordic track and then go to work.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Self Transcendence - 1/52

Today is the first day of the 3,100 mile Self Transcendence race. Here

I have been following this race for many years. I love the idea and I love the daily blog about the athletes. This year, I began looking at the web pages several days ago with anticipation of who was coming and various other bits of information. I mean, I'm excited about it. I can't wait for the daily reports by Uptal at "Perfection Journey" blog. Here

This morning, I remembered the race while I was doing my morning spiritual reading. I made a decision. I am going to celebrate 52 days of the race with my own focused situation. Each day when I journal, I will find a point of self transcendence within myself, my inner runner. I might not have time for blogging every day, but I will journal.

Today I asked myself, "What self is it that I am trying to transcend?" Immediately came the answer: the punishing self. My inner punishing self came about first from my parents but then from society; a continuous dis-sing of females in general, smart females in particular. And the hierarchies of society and corporations which make some people "better" than others.

In transcending the punishing self, I get to be the wonderful divine self that I was born as. We are all wonderful divine selves, but few of us really know it. I am going to make progress in consciously being my wonderful diving self as a focused project for 52 days.

Some people do Ramadan. Some people do Lent. I do Self Transcendence.

I should get plenty of practice this week. The Germans will be in town. I work for a German company and us Americans know full well that The Germans think they are better. Since I am making 4 presentations for an international group, I'll get plenty of exposure and emotional feelings about myself.

Today I was able to do 4 hours of jog walk in the Gulf Coast heat and humidity. I'm pretty happy about that.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Training and in the Zone

I have had a fantastic day.

First, the alarm went off at 5:15 am. Eeeek! But I made it out of bed at 5:30.

Then I decided to go to Brummerhop park so I could leave my newly washed car in the garage. There was a few dribbles coming from the sky, but still 77F.

I started running. It felt pretty good. I was getting more than 13 laps per hour which is good. I did get soaked in a downpour. Then the sun came full out. Oh boy! I stopped running at 10 miles, and walked one more mile. My speed was very near 5 mph, which doesn't sound very fast until you realize the humidity. When I got home, I looked at the weather and the humidex was 99F. I felt damn proud of being able to run 10 miles at all let alone in a hot shower. While running, I was glad to see that I am recovered from my triple marathon. 

Then this afternoon I did some cross training inside. First was an elliptical/versa climber combo. I did 5 min on the elliptical and one minute on the versa climber. I was really going fast and feeling good about the elliptical and then doing the full 20" on the versa climber. Total of 60 min on elliptical and 10 min on versa climber. I like that really long pull on the versa climber because it engages my arms and core. Second I did a nordic track/ trx combo. I did 5 min on the nordic and then switched to the trx for one round/ 5 reps of my 6 exercises. I was less energetic for this and quit with 40 min of nordic and 25 min of trx. I added 100 crunches to the tail end.

While I was working out this afternoon I felt like I was in the zone. I realized I must have been in the zone this morning. Feeling strong and painless, I feel like an athlete. It is cool.

No really, being able to run 10 miles at age 57 is incredible. It feels incredible. For once I noticed that I don't have to be in a race to be in the zone. I just have to feel good. I felt good today.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Quiet and Wet

This weekend, there is no excitement with racing. I am quietly doing miles. Owing to a stationary low pressure, Houston has been drenched all week and it continues to rain.

This morning, I thought about the treadmill. But, nah! It wasn't raining that hard and was pretty warm. So I went outside for my run. I ran pretty fast for 7 miles. It surprised me how fast.

Then I went out again in the afternoon. I was taking it easy by walking and jogging on a path by a lake. I went there to be near water. It did rain some more. For awhile it was very light, but finally a downpour with wind so I stopped as I was getting cold and not having fun. 14 miles total today.

This evening I did a strength workout of 34 minutes. Now my shoulders are quivering. I did this workout while listening to Garrison Keeler on A Prairie Home Companion. He was cracking jokes about his seizure earlier this week. He will retire in July. I will miss his shows.

I am reading a book written before 1900. Maybe more like 1800. It is upstairs so I don't have it in front of me. I love the detailed writing style.

Today I downloaded a voice recording app to my ipad. And I recorded my own voice reading a meditation. I think it will work very well to go deeper into Mind. Last weekend, when I was in the zone, I learned about my inner self. This weekend in my running and meditating and silence, I am learning about my inner self also. What I know about my inner self is it's drive. It has an urgent need to push forward.

Tomorrow, there will be more miles.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Triple Marathon - the inner and the outer runner

This discussion is not a tweet. Are you able to read serious stuff and ponder? Not many people do now-a-days. It is difficult for me to focus long enough to write out my thoughts in enough detail for someone else to enjoy them.

Lots of ideas and factors went in to this 3 day journey, ending in some new understanding of myself and my higher consciousness.

Paul Brunton (philosopher) once wrote, "Every word has therefore two meanings: the external meaning, which is the objective fact or event in external experience, and the internal meaning, which is the idea of that fact or event which is formed in the mind."

This is a race report, but I'd like to focus on the internal meaning, what is in my mind. I'd like to focus on content vs form. I'm not alive on this planet to brag about how I ran 3 marathons in three days. I'm here for some spiritual activity; and everything I experience is for that activity. Don't dumb down the purpose of human life.

Sri Chinmoy taught about the inner runner and the outer runner.  Here The outer runner is what I appear to be doing: suffering through 26 hot miles, 3 days in a row. The inner runner is how I am pushing the spiritual purpose of my life forward.

Paul Brunton said in another place, "The goal towards which man is slowly travelling by successive steps is a threefold one: the fully developed environment, the fully developed intelligence, and the realized soul. The last is the best and the other two are servants of it, for he comes first to a comprehension and then to a realization of himself. ""The purpose of gathering experience (the evolutionary process) is precisely to bring such an awareness (of the realized soul)." I am wanting to express how three days of marathoning is an experience gathering activity.

For everyone, their first marathon is amazing. For me, finishing any marathon is also a journey. Every marathon has its learnings. I've now done 61 of them.

Besides Brunton and Sri Chinmoy, there is something my energy practitioner said the last time we talked. I have talked to her about my continual frustration with enlightenment. I'm frustrated because I haven't had that peak experience that so many spiritual teachers write about in their books; even though I've tried all the methodologies (short of drugs or traumatic brain injury). She discussed with me that realization of my inner essential being (realization of my soul), my quest for consciousness, is in itself The Thing. My Higher Self is The Quest Itself. This 3 day marathon journey was exactly that.

In a 3 day marathon, there is some aspect of my quest for consciousness. I want to discover That.

How difficult it is for me to pause and really dissect the inner experience. I have feelings which are hard to put into words.

Form: I completed 3 marathons in 3 days. The first took 5:59. The second took 5:54. The third took 5:27. These times are my garmin times and do not contain pit stops. They were all on the same course. Okay, done.


The inner experience is about how hard it was to get to the start of day number 3. Wow, that is the gist of it. Enlightenment is about pushing past the ego's shrieks, complaints and barriers. That takes some kind of spiritual effort.

I've been a life long runner. In 2005 or so, I learned about the Sri Chinmoy 3,100 Mile Race. In reading about this race, I learned about the self transcendence aspects of distance running. I tried to enact that possibility. Time and distance are involved; but not necessarily entertainment. Many laps are run. Laps are boring. Laps are perfect place to turn inward and listen. This 3 day marathon was on a 3 mile loop. It was a place to turn inward and listen.

In February of this year, I completed a double marathon. This made it possible to believe my dream of going on a Mainly Marathon vacation could come true. So I signed up for the Texas Threesome as a step along the way.

In the days prior to this race, I could hear my ego grumbling. I live in Houston where the main topic of conversation is traffic. My ego was grumbling about traffic on the trip home from Dallas and traffic around Houston if I left later in the day. This grumbling was bad. It was forcing me to think that maybe I would skip the third day of the race and drive home inthe middle of the night when there wouldn't be any traffic. This is the first ego barrier I had to overcome. I call it an ego barrier meaning it is something I have to spiritually get through in order to achieve conscious awareness of my soul.

Second problem was my ego questioning why I needed to do a third day at all. I mean, if two days are successful, shouldn't I skip the third day and not hurt my body? After all, I am signed up for a triple in July, why not wait until then? Why risk injury now? These fears are another ego barrier. They suggest a lack of understanding about what is going on metaphysically: ie. I hadn't had the experience yet so I didn't know what it was for. I have a habit of quitting difficulties based on my ego's yelling at me. I had to solve this problem spiritually as well.

There were other minor issues like not having enough vacation time at work but needing a day off prior to this adventure to sleep. There is the malaise which occupies every ego. It takes energy to get it out of a rut and go do something.

Day 1

I got my packet on Friday evening. At packet pickup I spoke with a woman who is older than me who finished a 300 mile race over 10 days. She got 5 stress fractures but finished the race even with the severe pain. Ever since, she has had various physical problems. But she mentioned to me she wants to go back to the 300 mile race because it was such an inspirational experience for her. At this event now, she hadn't been able to train, but still walked 5 hours on 2 days to finish 2 half marathons. I have to honor the inner runner, that deep desire this woman displayed.

These races begin at 5 am. It was warm and humid (even though I wasn't in Houston!). I planned to do all the races with 3 minutes run/2 minutes walk. The first day I spent most of the time with a cancer survivor who was finishing his 100th marathon. The survivor part is a new American idolatry; and yes, I buy into it and see the inner runner in it. But as he continued his story I became less impressed. There is some opioid use. It became clear that he had no regular workout routine other than walking marathons. He was killing his inner runner. Finally about mile 17, as I was jogging very slow and listening to his breathing, I blurted out that I thought he should talk to his doctor about that. He was gasping when I was not even near winded. I mean slow jogging for 3 minutes. After that he quit tagging along with me. After he left me, I did speed up some. This makes me wonder if he hadn't been sucking my energy.

But, I finished in my goal time of 6:03 by the course clock which includes the pit stops. All in all, a satisfactory day.

Day 2

Again we are there at 5 am. Lightening in the distance. The race director mentions that we should seek cover if the storm gets close. I don't know any runner which would make the right choice without being told. But, the storm didn't get very close and the rain didn't get hardly more than a sprinkle. I ran mostly alone until about 17 miles. Then my friend Mathew suddenly showed up. I was so happy to see him I tried to hug his sweaty body. Mathew is a 73 year old Indian. I don't know much about him but I enjoy talking to him during races.

It became hot again towards the end of the race. But even so, I had an inkling. I knew at the end of day 2 that I would be back. Despite all my ego's desire to just high tail it back to Houston in the middle of the night and not finish day 3; I knew. Very quiet was that knowing. I finished in 6:01 by the course clock which includes pit stops.

I went back to my hotel room. I realized that I had just finished 2 marathons without any real physical problems. That, in and of itself is amazing. I had no excuse about tomorrow. If I didn't do it, I'd have to make up something to tell others.

I sat there with my Paul Brunton book and tried to listen. I got some intuitive thoughts.

The first thing was to just pretend I am doing a third marathon, but not really commit. So I repaired my tape jobs, rubbed my legs with muscle rub, got my things organized.

Then came a truly monumental thought. "Why don't you let go? Why don't you let the universe worry about Houston traffic?" OMG! Why don't I? The inner experience is about the decision to let some higher consciousness worry about traffic during the drive home. It turns out, I drove home in record time. Many drivers seemed to think 87 mph was a good speed. (more about letting go below)

Next there was another mind altering thought. How would you feel about yourself as you drove past the race site on your way out of town. Wouldn't your ego immediately attack you with tons of thoughts about how stupid you are and what are you going to say to others? The mind altering thought was a decision.. A decision that a DNF (did not finish) would be better than a DNS (did not start). Check out the picture of the shirt I got at an emotional race 3 years ago. My honor was involved. My honor is totally about the inner essence of me, my quest for my higher consciousness. I actually didn't have the energy to make excuses for my sorry self. It would be much easier to run a marathon.

Day 3

Again it is warm and humid with thunder storms around. As I started the race, I realized than nothing hurt. I had no pains of any kind. So, I took off the brakes and began really running. I mean what the heck, its the last day. I kept to the 3x2s, but during the run, I was really running. I felt great! I was making great time.

As I was getting to mile 20, I thought, "You can't tell me I'm not an athlete." What an athlete, 3 days of marathons and still strong! I was in the zone. I never know how or when I'll get in the zone. But when it happens, I fly with no effort at all. I finished in 5:33 by the course clock which includes pit stops.

I had solved my ego problems with spiritual solutions. First, to let go and let something higher be in control of everything. Second to honor my integrity. These decisions tell me about my higher self. They tell me the truth of my being.

Day 3 finisher picture taken with a sweaty cell phone.

The inner experience is about how I feel now: sort of special? Awed at myself. Dis-belief that I ran so well on day 3. How maybe the three days was like being pushed through a birth canal. I was reborn. It is not that I prayed and the universe did what I wanted. It is that I let go of trying to control so I lived in harmony. The miracle was that I ended up at the starting line on the third day only to discover that I was filled with positive energy. I got to the starting line, not by self will, but by letting go. Then I felt guided all day. This is not about God but about a higher consciousness. The quest is about discovering essence not about defining God. So in letting go, I allowed higher consciousness.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Outrage Transformed to Prayer

I have been working on my psychological issues the past month or so. I've made progress in becoming conscious of how co-dependence feels. Now that I know how it feels, I know when I am sinking into it and about to NEED remediation. Since I am now aware, the remediation doesn't have to be unconscious reacting but conscious self care.

And so, there is the topic of inner outrage. I've been listening to it. As I ran this morning, this is what I thought. I think at some point as a toddler, I became outraged at being in a human body. I think all toddlers have this problem. But at some point later, I became outraged at what horrible parents I had. Outraged that had to be turned inward, since I had no place to go. I came squirting out of my family with a diagnosis of PTSD. But, unconscious of how that was affecting me.

And, throughout my life, I've looked out at the world and been outraged at the other humans. Very few of the humans were worthy of respect. Then sometimes I got caught. Some individual human became a parent figure and I began to live my life before them as a child. I was trying to do what I could to get their positive attention; then feeling massively bad if that didn't happen, or worse, criticized. Then, damage control kicked in with even greater attempts at approval. Hyper-vigilant is what I realize I am. Forever looking out for danger and enacting protective mechanisms of various sorts.

So, I can see this in my life now. And now, I am conscious of it. So I want to be free. I want to be me, the real me, not some doll that only lives to dance before others.

What do "I" want? What would I say if I wasn't reading it from a book? I asked this in my meditation this morning. I then remembered, I want to live a life of prayer. Then I thought about how I need to consciously make everything I do part of the prayer. It seemed possible. To live a life of prayer is what I call spiritual. Not saying words and asking God for things. More like awareness of the partnership, the communion.

Friday, May 13, 2016


Positive Mental Attitude.

I had PMA on Wednesday. First time that I can remember for a long time. It was only for 1 day.

I am just now learning how deeply co-dependence has affected my life and how it currently affects my mental outlook. The boss was snarky towards me in an e-mail. Part of my current learning is to realize that his attitude shouldn't govern my feelings about myself. Instead of taking it in stride, I want to kill myself. Yes, I was raised by an alcoholic and a deviant. I came squirting out of childhood with a diagnosis of PTSD. Only now do I really get how this has affected my life.

For instance, in the past, I've gone and got a new job for the smallest level of snarkiness that happened to show up in my boss's e-mail this week.

So, if I need to run marathons and practice fitness in all ways, it is just to stay alive.

I ran my 58th marathon last Saturday.

I finished sooner than 6 other little old ladies and won the Master's division. I was quite surprised to win. Usually, I get an award when I'm the only one in that category. And "Master's" encompassed women 17 years younger than me.

It is summer in Houston. Where I live, it might not go below 75F and extreme humidity until October. Every run is sweaty and not very fast. But this morning, I really enjoyed 6.6 miles in a park. It was just really great.

I am relieved to think that I'm only signed up for marathons for the rest of the year. No ultras.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Portrait of an Old Lady

See this old lady? I don't know how old she is, alot older than me and I'm 57. She is in a 10 day race and got 157 miles in the first 3 days. Awesome!

I hope to be like that in a decade or two.

In the mean time, I am entered in 3 multi-day marathons this year. And in two weeks, I'm going to try a 50 mile race. Strangely, all that has held me back from going to a multi-day marathon has fallen away. It seems like my blister prone toes won't be an issue.

I have been feeling unreasonably fantastic for about 2 weeks. I think it is because I learned a way to do daily "energy hygiene." That is, if the world is just energy, then I can keep my energy pattern free of negative accumulation. And keeping my pattern refreshed is my responsibility.

I feel better about publicly stepping a little outside the lines and feeling good about it; not guilty or shamed. I've my entire life lived outwardly inside the lines but inside been outraged by the lines. Now, I'm a tiny bit more daring. Like being more myself at work, displaying my natural personality. No more egg shells.

Like, this is not the world's most meaningful blog post. But I am posting it anyway. Maybe some day I'll be wise, but don't hold your breath.