Insane Runner, Course Student\’s Musings

I know you are going to think I think too much.

I had a brief moment of clarity this morning about sin and guilt and how A Course in Miracles changes everything. I don’t think I can explain it to everyone. If you think you are really here, or that the world is real, skip reading any farther today.

I am always processing my thoughts. I want to know what thoughts are coming out of my subconscious and creating my life. If I make myself aware of what I think, it is possible to change my thinking. What follows will seem incredibly weird, but it is the way I have thought. Further, my discussion of running and my subtle feelings is a microcosm of the bigger God picture.

This was triggered by several things:

– My lesson today is “Today I let Christ’s vision look upon all things for me and judge them not, but give each one a miracle of love instead.”

– What I read in the ACIM text 21.II.10, “The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world…When vision is denied, confusion of cause and effect becomes inevitable. The purpose now becomes to keep obscure the cause of the effect and make effect appear to be a cause…The Son is the Effect, whose Cause he would deny.”

– I have a huge desire to go running. My plan for today is to work from home this morning (actually suggested by my boss), go to my old house 50 miles away to meet with an engineer, and then go running in the park up there.

– I have no racing plans for awhile and hence will retreat into a type of running solitude, quiet, and peace. I will return to being more of a phenomenon than an identifiable thing.

– I still struggle with whether I am good enough for my current employer. The company I work for is so incredibly outstanding.

As I began my spiritual workout this morning, I was reflecting on my lesson. My first thought out of the bag was, “It’s not that I stop having an ego, but that I let Christ’s vision go first, rule first.” Then I experienced a miracle, the second thought out of the bag. A miracle, per ACIM, is a perception shift, a correction to the ego consciousness. Here is my miracle thought (then I’ll explain the shift), “Christ’s vision would see me healthy, happy, strong, optimal weight and running. My ego wants disaster and sin and pain. Hence it is my ego that eats too much or makes me feel guilty for running or doesn’t want to lift weights. Sloth and gluttony are pain and insane. The ego is the original insane idea. Running free is the truth of my inner being.”

Now, you say, “Spirit Flower, are you crazy? What do you mean by saying you feel guilty for running?” Let’s go back in time.

During my Harley riding days, when I was a full member in a sober bike club, I hung out with fat dudes who smoked and made fun of runners. At that time, I was a runner in the closet. Then, I got rid of the motorcycle and the fat dude and became only a runner. I was proud of being a runner. I could still run a 23 minute 5k race without even doing speed work. I trained for a marathon. I won trophies in races here in the city. Then, I went to the monastery. There, I ran everyday and it was impossible to be secret about it. But I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb, being the only person trying to be physically fit. I always felt like I was guilty of wasting time when I should be helping out around the house or picking fruit or something. Instead I was using my unscheduled time to log miles on dirt farm roads; experiencing the wind in my face. I dreamt of marathons even though I was wearing a skirt was would never race again. I felt guilty for those $80 running shoes. The rest of the group was sedentary, mostly over weight, in poor health and “old.”

After the monastery, I encountered an ongoing internal thought pattern which told me running was a waste. I should be involved with charity or spending more time at work; not squandering my time on myself. Running has always prevented me from being a workaholic (for some reason, I feel guilty for not working enough). I should be trying to excel at my profession, be dedicated to the corporation or seeking higher education; not doing laps. My dieting is always directly tied to running; so any little weight gain or food binge causes me to feel guilty. Then, a couple of years later, I encountered A Course in Miracles (ACIM). In that theology, my body is an illusion, used by the ego to separate from God; and the ego is always trying to steal power from God. So running became a guilt trip because I was stealing self sufficiency from God (don’t try to understand this ACIM piece. It only means something to a Course student). The ego has a goal of sin, and must make everything into sin in order for it to have power (instead of God). Hence, all my running guilt was thoughts projected out by my ego.

So, I have been a guilty runner for a few years. This morning, however, I found my perception totally, 100% shifted. I must have allowed Christ’s vision to look upon me today. Running was suddenly part of the Holy Spirit’s happy dream for me. I no longer let my ego have the goal of sin (as in seeing it in the world, of which my body seems to be a part of) unchecked. Guilt is the realm of the ego. My ego has been throwing up a barrage of guilty running thoughts all these years because running is part of the joy the Holy Spirit wants me to have. My ego always wants to thwart joy; hence must find ways to make running guilty instead of freedom.

Running is freedom, not pain, so it is not ego. Running has become a miracle of accepting a gift of Love, not hating or fighting. Running is not insanity, sloth and gluttony are. Sloth and gluttony are the insane ego’s specialty.

And the bigger picture is that my ego continuously throws up a barrage of insane illusions, called this world, intended to keep me away from Love, or God. The ego absolutely wants me to think I am guilty instead of thinking I am innocent and loved by God. The ego is always building a wall to keep me away from God as well as thinking this world is real and I am bad.

I understood for the first time this morning how the ego denies God and Love; and how the world is really an effect of my projected thoughts. The world does not cause me, I cause it. I returned myself to God as a created idea of love. Running is an idea of love. I have kept up my relationship with God for decades despite downpours of doubt. The doubt is an ego creation and not really true. God waits silently for those who want Him more than ego illusions.

As I turned off the highway into town, I heard myself think, “You were wasting your time here.” I felt that my talents really were not that well utilized. Now I am living my life more at my potential. No, running is not my only thing. No, I no longer have as much solitude. I met with the engineer and contractor. No big deal. Then I went in running in my old park. I felt again that I was not the same person with the same goals as I had had when I lived there. I had been spinning my wheels and getting along because that was where I had been planted. Now, I have been transplanted to a different sort of garden. Coming back from my old house, I heard a interview on NPR about how wonderful running is for mental well being and intelligence. I heard about how humans were designed to run long distances. I heard about why I feel so good after even as little as ten minutes of running. Now, that is a happy dream.

\”What you desire, you will see\” (21.II.9.5).

Reflection on My Thoughts

My ACIM workbook lesson today is number 348: “I have no cause for anger or for fear, for You surround me. And in every need that I perceive, Your grace suffices me.”

This echoes the song, “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound..” Or St Paul, “You grace is sufficient for me…” Do I really believe God or Love surrounds me? Not unless I pause and give the idea some space in my head. If I don’t think it, it won’t be true. Then, the matter of Grace and the phrasing given above. My first thought is actually fear: if I need grace doesn’t that mean something is not going my way and I have to settle for grace instead of happiness? Really….this is how I think. Good thing I am aware of what is going on in my own head; conscious of the dirty details. I see the thought. I examine the thought and decide I don’t want it. Now, I can give it to Jesus for correction. I question myself, “Just who, miss spiritual smarty pants, do you think God is? And why do you seek Him if you think He will send problems and expect you to suffer with measly grace?”

The Holy Spirit can give me new thoughts and thus a new world if I will let Him. I have to let go of my judgment, opinion and want something better. Really, it is hard to want what God offers. That fear lurks. We truly think God will send “challenges” to the spiritual seeker. But this is my thought not God’s. I must stop and honestly consider all these worthless thoughts and get some better ones. I want a different world.

So, I mentioned that my lesson was number 348. There are 365 lessons. I have almost completed the workbook for the second time. Amazing that I am willing to commit and carry out the commitment of completing one lesson a day for a year. I never ever even thought to skip a day because I didn\’t feel like it. Even planning ahead to copy off lessons so I would have them out of town.

I ran 49 minutes this morning. Lightning was all around but I didn\’t get drenched until the last 5 minutes of the run. It is so refreshing to get out in the air. I love it.

I ate half a jar of peanut butter last night; which was reflected on the scales this morning. Ha…my big vice: organic creamy no-stir peanut butter.

ACIM Reality

Personal Statistics: I ran a 31 mile race on Sunday and have no lingering effects. Too bad I have to go to Texas on Sunday or I\’d sign up for another race. Yesterday I had two runs of 5 and 4 miles, morning and evening. Today, my plan is to go for a 7 mile run after work on a new trail I found near my house. I\’ve been diligently lifting weights several times a week, including a good 20 minutes on core exercises. It is actually sunny today.

This morning, I read in A Course in Miracles (ACIM) text 21.II:

“Say only this, but mean it with no reservations, for here the power of salvation lies:

I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.

…Suffer, and you decided sin was your goal. Be happy, and you gave the power of decision to Him Who must decide for God for you.”

The implications are big: my life is my fault. My life is my entire perception. Wow! That is big!

Many of us have heard “you create your own reality.” To actually take responsibility and do something about my thought choices is what ACIM asks. It seems to be asking a lot, impossible even, to take responsibility for my feelings. More than that is to take responsibility for making the projection in the world which I blame for my feelings. Here is where I need help from Something Greater than me, the Holy Spirit. Turning my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand him is AA’s Third Step. Surrendering to God is a basic tenet of most religions. It is not a new idea in ACIM. Jesus in ACIM merely enlarges the picture of what exactly I must turn over. My perception is mine and totally insane. I know this because I don’t see all things as one or love or peace; which is what God created.

The reward for the effort of changing my thinking is inner peace, remembering God, really fulfilling my role in the Son of God; best of all is the end of ego prison. Ego prison is where I want to see others guilty and sinful rather than innocent and sinless. Ego prison is where I perceive others as individual bodies and judge them. Ego prison is my place of fear and anger and failure.

I meditate. I sit and listen to the great beyond which is within. This morning, I realized how lazy I feel regarding awakening. Dragging myself out of the ego prison into the awakened Sunlight seems terribly difficult. My mind wants to go back to sleep and not be bothered.
Here is a vision from chapter 21:

“Listen—perhaps you catch a hint of an ancient state not quite forgotten; dim, perhaps, and yet not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name is long forgotten; and the circumstances in which you heard completely unremembered. Not the whole song has stayed with you, but just a little wisp of melody, attached not to a person or a place or anything particular. But you remember, from just this little part, how lovely was the song, how wonderful the setting where you heard it, and how you loved those who were there and listened with you.
The notes are nothing. Yet you have kept them with you, not for themselves, but as a soft reminder of what would make you weep if you remembered how dear it was to you. You could remember, yet you are afraid, believing you would lose the world you learned since then. And yet you know that nothing in the world you learned is half so dear as this. Listen, and see if you remember an ancient song you knew so long ago and held more dear than any melody you taught yourself to cherish since.

Beyond the body, beyond the sun and stars, past everything you see and yet somehow familiar, is an arc of golden light that stretches as you look into a great and shining circle. And all the circle fills with light before your eyes. The edges of the circle disappear, and what is in it is no longer contained at all. The light expands and covers everything, extending to infinity forever shining and with no break or limit anywhere. Within it everything is joined in perfect continuity. Nor is it possible to imagine that anything could be outside, for there is nowhere that this light is not.

This is the vision of the Son of God, whom you know well. Here is the sight of him who knows his Father. Here is the memory of what you are; a part of this, with all of it within, and joined to all as surely as all is joined in you. Accept the vision that can show you this, and not the body. You know the ancient song, and know it well. Nothing will ever be as dear to you as is this ancient hymn the Son of God sings to his Father still.

And now the blind can see, for that same song they sing in honor of their Creator gives praise to them as well. The blindness that they made will not withstand the memory of this song. And they will look upon the vision of the Son of God, remembering who he is they sing of. What is a miracle but this remembering? And who is there in whom this memory lies not? The light in one awakens it in all. And when you see it in your brother, you are remembering for everyone.”

Ultra Spirit Gets one in the Bag!

I got up at 3:30 and made my Succeed drink. Packed up the stuff and was on the road at 4:50. I got to the trail head at 5:40. Luckily, there were some others there for the early start at 6 am. The race Director, a hilariously funny old guy, has on a reflective vest with flashing red LEDs and a glittery Uncle Sam top hat. He is a Kansas City running legend. Most of the people are somewhat serious 50 milers. I\’m doing 50k, but starting early because this afternoon has rain in the forcast. After a few jokes and a backwards count down, we are off.
Within 60 seconds, everyone else is gone and I am alone with my Petzl for company. After about ten minutes, I catch a few of the sprint starters. The path is a flat pea gravel bike path billed as \”nothing to trip over\” and klutzes like me need these sort of races. How could you get lost on that? Well, as the first road crossing, we do lose the path for a few minutes because it does not cross the road but hangs a sharp left and goes down under the road. I didn\’t see the turn! Sheeesh! I\’m glad it is not the middle of the night on a 100 miler.
I spend the next 3 hours playing tortise and hare with Tom. Tom is doing 50 miles and runs then walks. I go along at my steady 12 minute miles. Tom ran a trail 50k yesterday and a marathon last weekend. He is limping. He lost his wife to cancer a year ago and was devasted. She was his whole life. I finally get ahead of Tom for good after about 4 hours.
The race goes north, out and back, for 9 about miles; south, out and back, for 7 or so miles. Then north again, then a short south leg. I stop twice at the central aid station to refill the Nathan. Stop 3 times to potty. Fiddle with taking shirts off and stowing them in the nathan. 50 milers and 50k\’ers who started an hour after me pass me!
But, all and all, I\’m feeling good. I am not as insane as Tom, but still spending a good 6 hours running. Total time was 6:10. The finishers \”medal\” is a piece of wood cut in the shape of a turtle with a paper sticker stating what race I ran. I am very satisfied with the feeling of sore legs only possible if you run at least 4 hours. As I finish, an extremely ominous black sky is overhead and lightening bolts are striking out. I get some coffee and head home. Cool!

Grateful Thursday

I read this in the ACIM text this morning (20.VI):

“The meaning of the Son of God (all of us together including Jesus) lies solely in his relationship with his Creator. If it were elsewhere it would rest on contingency, but there is nothing else. And this is wholly loving and forever. Yet has the Son of God invented an unholy relationship between him and his Father. His real relationship is one of perfect union and unbroken continuity. The one he made is partial, self-centered, broken into fragments (each of us separated) and full of fear. The one created by his Father is wholly Self-encompassing and Self-extending. The one he made is wholly self-destructive and self-limiting.”

The unholy relationship is the ego consciousness which sees God not. The ego consciousness is insane with hatred of other people. Until I met the Course, I had no chance of every escaping from the consciousness of hate.

ACIM forgiveness is not to see a person’s sin and then decide not to hold it against them. ACIM forgiveness is to look beyond the physical body, because it is an illusion made by my ego, and see something else: the face of Christ.

I have a great feeling of gratitude today. I have been working very consciously on ACIM forgiveness instead of judging. Then, last night I remembered that God loves me and cares for me. I need do nothing. Then, true enough several material world things fell into place for me. The material world things are not what God gave me. God gave me peace and a function of forgiveness in the world. I received peace, accepted my function and this resulted in my projecting happier dreams for myself.

Aspects of Happy Dreams:
– I went to a company function last night with a good attitude.
– The dinner had been moved from its previous location to one very near my house.
– The restaurant had a well stocked salad and veggie bar.
– I did not judge the guys loading up on meat or desserts. I had pleasant conversations instead of being all uptight.
– The relocation company made a very decent offer for my house which is good enough to cover all the repairs.
– There is no asbestos in the house.
– Since I am going out of the country before I can get a contractor to finish all the repairs, the relocation company is willing to settle up based on the contractor’s estimate.
– My company has a new health care policy this year which will make it an extremely good deal for me, a very healthy person.

I say again, the spiritual work (forgiveness) made it possible for me to have happy dreams because I am not completely controlled by my insane ego. I gave up trying to see everyone else as guilty sinners (ie. meat eaters are sinners).

ACIM Text 20.IV:

“You may wonder how you can be at peace when, while you are in time, there is so much that must be done before the way to peace is open. Perhaps this seems impossible to you. But ask yourself if it is possible that God would have a plan for your salvation that does not work. Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. He will go before you making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way. Nothing you need will be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. You need take thought for nothing, careless of everything except the only purpose that you would fulfill. As that was given you, so will its fulfillment be. God\’s guarantee will hold against all obstacles, for it rests on certainty and not contingency. It rests on you. And what can be more certain than a Son of God?”

Yes, I like it when things “go my way;” but I have to remember why: I was trying to put God’s purpose first and not trying to get what I wanted for myself. I acknowledge that this post may sound like I’m trying to justify my luck and be smug about economics. I remind you that I didn’t have say anything or attempt to give credit where it is due; I wanted to give credit to God.

The Choice for Freedom

The thing I love about A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is that it saves me from my own thinking; the root of my problem. If I look around and see a bunch of sinners, including myself, and go to a regular church with this information, I would be counseled to accept the world, confess my sins and forgive the sins of others. In this, Jesus is my Savior who hides my sins from God so I can go to heaven when I die.

In ACIM, I am taught that the sin I see is the sin I chose to see, want to see. I am given tools for looking beyond my illusion to see the Love of God, Christ, residing in everyone. As I overlook what I made for me to see, I am free and so are they, my brothers. Jesus is my friend and brother who helps me change my thinking.

This morning I read in the ACIM text, 20.IV:
– Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so.
– Power is of God, given by Him and reawakened by the Holy Spirit…
– He (Holy Spirit) gives no power to sin, and therefore it has none; nor its results as the world sees them—sickness, and death and misery and pain.
– Salvation is a lesson in giving as the Holy Spirit interprets it. It is the reawakening of the laws of God in minds that have established other laws, and given them power to enforce what God created not (this world of sin I see).
– Your savior (your brother) gives you only love, but what you would receive of him is up to you. It lies in him to overlook all your mistakes and therein lies his own salvation. And so it is with yours.
– Sin has no place in Heaven…and therein lies your need to see your brother sinless. In him is Heaven. See sin in him and Heaven is lost to you.

My ACIM workbook lesson for the day is: I will receive whatever I request.

Why is this all so important to me today? I looked out at my world and made this assessment. I have to go to a dinner on Wednesday evening for work. The way I see it is I’ll have to drive to an inconvenient part of town, park in a strange garage and then pretend to be nice for a few hours, getting home way past my bed time. Then, I have to go to Texas for work; flying down on my Sunday afternoon and coming back on Monday and having to hassle with airplanes and an unfamiliar city. Then, worst of all, I have to fly halfway around the world to attend a work seminar for 10 days; spending 12 hours a day with guys from work with whom I can only have superficial conversations, disrupt my eating routines and running routines and risk illness from being cooped in an airplane for two long long flights, trying to get home on the day before Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of the year.

So, this morning as I prayed, I realized how hateful I am. As I read ACIM text, I realized that the hate was my choice. I was projecting hate and sin onto Mr. Vice President who was causing all the inconvenience in my life. I was making him, my brother, into a sinner because I wanted to. It was all my choice. Whereas, if I overlooked, looked beyond, the man and saw only the Christ residing within, I would be much happier. In fact, my hate instantly faded and was replaced with gratitude. Gratitude for the man and his situation, gratitude for Jesus and the Holy Spirit for teaching me to think differently.

Reading on in the text:
– Those who choose freedom will experience only its results. Their power is of God, and they will give it (power) only to what God has given to share with them. Nothing but this can touch them, for they see only this, sharing their power according to the Will of God. And thus their freedom is established and maintained. It is upheld through all temptation to imprison and to be imprisoned.

It is my ego who dwells in hatred and projects it on the world. This morning, in taking my own inventory and bringing it into the Holy Spirit’s thought system, I was set free. I am not in ego prison right now. I am free to see what I can do contribute to life instead of hate it.

So, I went for a run. Lightening was all around but no rain on me. I went the hilly route and enjoyed the fresh warm wet air. As I ran, I reflected: I have requested a new outlook on life and I was given it immediately. I am so grateful.

I’ve entered a very small low keyed race this weekend in Blue Springs MO. Good thing I did because my Texas trip precludes the Springfield marathon the following weekend. So this Sunday, I will be blessed with the company of maybe 50 other runners on a quiet flat bike path, with someone handling our snacks and water, as we mosey our way through 31 miles (50k). We pass one point three times, so I can leave a bag there with my own goodies, drinks and extra clothing. We’ll get t-shirts but no medals or age group awards. Afterwards, I’ll pack up my stuff and drive in silence back to my apartment; where I will eat and lay on the bed. Quiet. No big deal.

Reflective run on a chilly foggy sunny morning

2009 Olathe marathon: cancelled due to snow. 2009 Frisco 50k: 5:24. 2009 Maryville marathon: 3:57. 2009 Psycho Psummer 50k: sprained ankle and DNFd. 2009 Heart of America marathon: 4:30. 2009 KC marathon: injured and DNS. My 2009 success rate for races is 50%. 50% of the time, I do the training, prepare and plan, but do not achieve a finish.

Aside from racing, I’ve logged tons of miles in 2009. Running kept me sane this summer as I logged 16 to 20 miles a day instead of obsessing about unemployment. In fact, running that much on a daily basis has been a dream of mine for a long time. Some people were unemployed and hiked the Allegheny Trail. Some people were unemployed and worked on their hot rods. Some were unemployed and took motorcycle trips. I was unemployed and ran a personal multi-day ultra marathon; a private self transcendence race.

I almost always feel tons better after a run. Airing out my mind and body brings me joy. Racing holds a self importance factor for me. I admit it. There is some ego involvement with my racing which sickens me when I stop to think about it. Running by itself brings joy. Racing brings worry and egotism. I get ideas like running two marathons in two weeks so I can join a club called “Marathon Maniacs” and have a swell t-shirt declaring my status and causing envy when I wear it to races.

The thing about racing is the fussing it adds to my life. I fuss about the weather, when to go to packet pickup, where to park on race day, how will I relieve myself before the race, what will I wear, if I win an ag award will I stick around to pick it up, how quickly can I get home after the race, etc, etc. When I think about a race, I immediately start fussing. As I ran this morning, I thought about whether to run the Springfield marathon. I immediately began a succession of fussy thoughts beginning with one that would ruin next week’s long run because it would become mandatory training instead of something I want to do for joy.

It was a blessing to run this morning, however slow. After my run, I saw a friend of mine. She too was in the doctor’s office on Friday getting her foot x-rayed. But she came out with a boot, instead of a golf ball of gauze like me. Today, my toes are wrapped in Compeed to protect their sensitive bruising, but otherwise they are not too bad.

Without any plans for a race, I still think about strapping a fuel pack on my back, stuffing my pockets with Gu and heading out for 4 or more hours. I love long runs, especially in the winter. As I think of myself jogging down a long road into a blustery north wind, all concerns of the world fade and the timelessness of the run occupies my brain. All my brain cells stop firing, the synapses become quiet and they all gaze down the long road into the wind.

For some reason, LSD holds a romantic fascination for me. I like how my legs feel after at least two hours of running. I like how my legs feel after four hours of running. Yes, they hurt, but it is a fascinating sort of hurt. One time last summer, I ran a 31 mile training run. That afternoon, I lay on the bed with ice packs on both knees and both ankles and red splotches up and down both legs from the heat. It was one of my finest and most memorable moments.

Am I whining about racing because yesterday didn’t work out? Is it a good time now that I am not officially entered in anything to take my inventory and decide what is important. What adds true value to my life?

I am convinced that I can eat below a calorie minimum 90% of the time (or more); so calorie burning isn’t mandatory to counter the excessive calorie eating. I have a great weight lifting routine which I think is important for longevity. I drive around my neighborhood and find ways to add an extra loop or mile to a run. Running is my thing. I hope to have a personal multi-day ultra sometime this winter.

Next Saturday, I will probably be doing a long run, but I hope not for any particular reason. I may even go running again today!

Silent Saturday

I am not in the KC marathon today. I kicked a chair in the middle of the night on Thursday. Now, I can hardly walk. I had a dream on Thursday night about being off course in the marathon. Now, in my worldly dream, the same thing happened. This morning as I sat in my silence, I asked the question, “What is the message?”

Immediately came the answer, “Look within.” Running marathons, getting medals and bragging about it (grandiosity), which I do, is part of my ego’s little plan. To let go of little plans and accept God’s bigger plan is the point of the spiritual life and the sober life. God is not against marathons. I myself request of God to live life at a level higher than my ego; but sometimes I need God’s hand to get me out of my own littleness and hopes for grandiosity. For me, that means looking at the two dreams and accepting the message, accepting God’s help. I abandon my ego once again. Abandoning ego in favor of the Holy Spirit is a continuous project.

The ego seeks grandiosity to satisfy itself. We know that ego satisfaction only lasts a few minutes. Looking within, what do I find that is of value? What do I find that is more desired than grandiosity? Really, that is a difficult question to answer. The inner does not present itself in the same way as the ego\’s grandiosity. The satisfactions are quiet and peaceful; so much so that they really are not desired by most. Appreciation of peace must be learned. Refraining from seeking worldly kudos is impossible for most of us outside of monasteries.

I cut a hole in one of my running shoes. A little later, I will do a weight workout and then give the elliptical machine a try.