The Quest – On Location in Vancouver

My spiritual life is spanning a wide territory this week. On Monday I travelled to North Carolina for a company leadership program. Today I am in Vancouver BC. Tomorrow I am running in the Vancouver Marathon. Last night I got to meet some people from the on-line running club I belong to. They met me at the airport yesterday. When I came out of customs, one of them went crazy running around ringing a cowbell and yelling, \”Run Spirit run!!!\”  This almost caused me to cry. But then, I had felt the tears coming during the long walk from the airplane to customs.

I have today free. I am having a difficult time stopping my mind for even a second and connecting with my soul/Self; that great interior silent love and peace. I know I keep harping on my spiritual life as THE foundation of my life and that everything else springs from there. What I know of as my life is just a communication effort from my soul/Self to me, the little point of awareness. The foundation is why I make an effort each day to return to the connection and give it priority.

ACIM text reading this morning (A Course in Miracles, the section \”Finding the Present): \”For to believe reality is what you would have it be according to your use for it is delusional…You would anticipate the future on the basis of your past experience, and plan accordingly. Yet by doing so you are aligning past and future, and not allowing the miracle…to free you to be born again.\”

Do you ever think about how deeply American middle-classers are programmed to solve deficiencies and increase material comfort? My whole life has been focused around solving problems so I can have what I want for myself. What this means is I have been attempting to make reality be what I want it to be. Incredible! I don\’t think I\’ve ever understood this as clear as I do today (after numerous reading of the ACIM text).

And yes, I know I want to be born again (not talking about born again Christians). And so I lay down my mental distractions and seek inward toward my soul/Self. It matters little whether I am in North Carolina or Vancouver; the main thing is the reliance on my soul/Self without interfering. That\’s how I get the miracle. The expression of love from cowbell maniac was a miracle. (Miracles are expressions of love). All the runners I\’ve met are expressions of love. As I type this, I am giving them their true reality as beings of love. Wonderful!

You would not believe what a monumental mental battle I had just to get here. After I got home from North Carolina, I was certain that their was no way I would voluntarily get on another airplane that soon. I fought mentally with the idea of just taking 5 days off from work and re-couping my energy. But, I made it to the flight, and wonder of wonders, United Airlines did a fabulous job of being on-time.

So here I am, typing this blog and periodically shutting my eyes and savoring my soul/Self. IT is right here. I love IT.

(I didn\’t take any of these pictures)

My hotel is located right near the Y at the end of this bridge. My room is a corner room on the 11th floor with a good view.

This afternoon, I will jog from my hotel to Stanley Park and enjoy the view. Missouri has no beautiful seaside or mountain landscapes.

Here is what the race start looks like. Its not that big a race.

Self Transcendence plus…

….plus leadership.

Currently, in Flushing Meadow NY, a 6 and 10 day multi-day is ongoing (Sri Chinmoy Self Transcendence races). Here in North Carolina, I am at a leadership institute. In A Course in Miracles, I am continuing to understand that what I see is my projection. I am continuing to understand that I can stop using my body\’s eyes and see with the Christ Vision, from within seeing a world of love.

And, to use Christ Vision, I deny my ego\’s thoughts. Denying the ego is a practice. Each time I go through the ACIM workbook, or through my daily text study, I get better at discounting my ego thoughts.

You might think that a leadership institute is for spring chickens, those with 20 more years of career to climb corporate ladders. I have struggled with this myself as I don\’t really plan on working 20 more years. But leadership and career enrichment is for always. Age is not part of the leadership equation unless you want it to be.

My concern is daily leadership not career or financial goals. I am interested in who I am as a person and am I contributing to the High Performance Culture. I have much to contribute and much energy to channel. It is a gift for me to be here.

I think that the people running in Flushing Meadow are an extreme example of what I can do each day: transcend my ego. I transcend my ego in order to identify with the inner divine being. Sometimes I run laps. Sometimes I go to work. Its all the perception and consciousness with which I choose to live: Christ or ego. The choice is up to me. When I choose Christ, the tools and experiences come for me to learn.

I jogged 30 minutes this morning.

The Business of Enlightenment

Today I am traveling to Chapel Hill, NC, for the kickoff dinner and meetings of my company\’s Passport Leadership Program. The two days seem like the antithesis of monastic perfection: staying at the elegant Carolina Inn, being wined and dined, brushing shoulders with executives, being driven around in limos, listening to career planning talks.

All situations can be used by the inner divine self for detachment from the ego and identification with the inner. It is consistent between A Course in Miracles, Paul Brunton, science, what Jesus said, what Buddha said: this world is an illusion and I am not my ego. My spiritual life is about detachment from ego so I can identify with the inner divine self. My priority is spiritual listening and learning, not necessarily corporate promotion.

The shortest spiritual program is this: Silence in the mind, bringing my thoughts to The Spirit, continuously deflating my ego, dependence on God.

One Might Wonder…

…and as well, I do myself: why do I do that?

This morning, I ran a mere 13.1 miles. It took me 3h41min. Thats pretty slow. Well, I do trails slowly for the simple reason that I trip alot. Today every step was a potential tripping hazard. But, I didn\’t fall down today and I did jog the whole time.

But, is that fun? I don\’t know. Fun is not exactly what I would call it. Beautiful, challenging, meditative, different, are ideas which come to mind.

But all of these long distance races seem at times pointless for me. I don\’t really train for them as I am always ready for a marathon. In March, I ran 50 miles around a 1 mile loop. In May, I\’ll be back at the park where I was today, only running twice as far. These activities are nonsense in a way.

When I don\’t go in races, I spend each weekend running anyway. I ran 80 miles last week for no particular reason. If I was \”training\” and attempting to accomplish something, then it might make sense to do it.

Well, anyway, I got a nice cup, t-shirt and finisher\’s medal. This afternoon, I do foam roller and core and maybe something else. Tomorrow, I\’ll go running again.

How Do I Know?

Really, how do I know if I\’m on the spiritual path or not?
This morning, I slept in, spent an hour on spiritual study, worked out in my apartment for an hour, ran for 11 miles in the rain, came home to eat and relax and meditate. Then I took up my ongoing study of Paul Brunton\’s notebooks (and whoops, ordered the 18 volume set of his notebooks from the publisher).

I don\’t feel spiritual. I feel sacred; and this feeling is pretty persistent.

My life for the past few years has been very much about solitude and silence. Now, my spiritual life still contains reflection/meditation, and surrender. It is more focused on letting go and trusting all through the day. I don\’t know which direction my life is leading: into Mechanical Integrity or into Mindful Matters. I must bring out my inner power, which I feel all the time, and let it go.

Now I am going to do some leg stretches, foam roller, core and free weights. Tomorrow, I\’m going in a trail half marathon.

The Hope Dilemma…

It seems to me I might have lived most of my life without hope. Or maybe I\’ve lived my life in a total delusion of hope. Hope vs hopeless is my dilemma.

I have drive. My inner drive never gives up. My inner drive relentlessly pushes forward no matter what the probability of success.

ACIM lesson 12: \”I am upset because I see a meaningless world….The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a correction for a major perceptual distortion. You think that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. All these attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in itself.\”

I admit that I put Aristotle\’s \”Metaphysics\” aside this morning and went back to the ACIM text for my spiritual reading (Chapter 13). ACIM is a definite challenge for my ego; meaning, my ego hates what ACIM points out about it.

Its been true for a long time that I don\’t seem to make much progress in my career; except to do very well as a basic engineer. I don\’t seem to move ahead financially; except to do very well providing a basic comfortable life. I run and train a gob; and this is enjoyment. As the years go by, I seem tremendously successful because my peer group quickly slides into obesity and ill health by my age.

Today is Holy Thursday. The Roman Catholics start their 3 day Easter liturgy today. I know the Christian world is going into a convulsion over the celebration of the death and rising of their Lord. I no longer think God really cares about all this. I don\’t think Jesus does either. I find any religion unbelievable. It just can\’t have anything to do with God.

I live in a twilight reality. As an ACIM student, I no longer completely believe this world is real. I grant myself a shift in belief toward the realization that the world I see truly is my illusion. As an ACIM student, I use the course to shave down and ruff up my ego on a daily basis. Hence, my ego is always irritated and crabby.

But the other part of me which is not ego, that drive I mentioned above, turns towards spirituality as the only possible solution for hope. This world is meaningless to me; so I look beyond towards my inner being to find something, anything, to grasp. I must believe in the divine consciousness. There is no alternative.

My weekly rolling mileage total at livestrong.com is 73.65 miles. I\’m going in a trail half marathon this Saturday. Next weekend, I\’ll be in Vancouver BC running a marathon.

No Breakthrus

The blog goes silent when I have no big deal to write about. lol! I guess I just write this for my ego\’s satisfaction: see look how advanced I am.

Enabling Focused Growth: a way to evaluate the marketplace and organization to ensure our continued leadership. Maximize my efficiencies. Focus on the future of my business.

I ran 78 miles last week. I don\’t care about Boston.

I am up to lesson 8 in the ACIM workbook. I\’m glad I\’m reviewing these. ACIM continues to be my structure for spirituality, my text.

I woke up in the middle of the night hot with anger. The anger is over my career: cocktail parties coming up, potential promotion, a need to see the site manager. I knew my thoughts were going crazy for no good reason, but changing channels was difficult. I remembered my litany. As soon as I remembered \”I am spirit, know this need not be\” I must have fallen asleep.

So combine the pre-bed musings about my seemingly unsuccessful spiritual growth and the pent up anger; and what I got was a dream. The dream was set in the monastery I used to live at. Beds were a strange sort of stacking arrangement, 6 high. The bathrooms were outside, thru the cold about 3 blocks away. This seemed like an impossible arrangement. But then, I found out I was leaving, and at the same time, cramming these interesting sandwiches into my mouth (because I was leaving). But then the superior told me I could load up a van and take whatever I needed. I somehow knew that the sandwiches would not spoil, so I stopped trying to eat them.

On waking, I interpreted the dream for myself. I decided that I must still be enjoying the fruits of my monastic experience and need not worry about the status of my spiritual progress. I think I need to really really stick to my own guidance and not judge myself based on others.

And, I got in to see the site manager today. My fear of authority dealt with.

The Most Certain of All Principles

I have continued to plow my way through Aristotle\’s \”Metaphysics.\” I\’m all the way to page 48 (haha).

On this page, he makes a point. \”Evidently then, it belongs to the philosopher … to inquire into the principles of syllogism. But he who knows best about each genus must be able to state the most certain principles of his subject, so that he whose subject is existing things qua existing must be able to state the most certain principles of all thing…the most certain principle of all is that regarding which it is impossible to be mistaken; for such a principle must be best known (for all men may be mistaken about things which they do not know) and non-hypothetical….It is, that the same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the same subject and in the same respect; we must presuppose, to guard against any further dialectical objections, any further qualifications.\”

So, can the most certain principle be God? If so, then almost all of us are mistaken and do not know. In this sense, religion is an add -on. You know how some web pages want to run an add-on? Religion is an add-on in just this way. I sort of think the ecstasy of enlightenment is an add-on.

The abstract principle of God, without any add-ons, is my interest. And, I can only say that when I quieten my mind, ignoring any stray thoughts, I get as close an experience of the most certain principle as is possible for me. The silence before the ecstasy is the pure experience of God. Holding the silence holds the know of the most certain principle in its purest form. As soon as I try to explain, I\’m formulating an add-on.

Selah!

God – Not God

Last night, just before lights out, I finished the book \”Jesus\” by Deepak Chopra. I was struck by the clever story weaving his own personal belief preferences into his story of Jesus. But, I was again in desolation of Jesus. And a prayer for Jesus went through my mind. Then I was quiet.

What I heard right away in my mind was, \”Knowing God doesn\’t require flashes of bright lights or emotional ecstasy. For the dedicated soul knows quietly inside. This is enough.\” So, don\’t discount your spirituality just because you seem not to have had some enlightenment experience. Hang tough with the still small voice and follow its guidance.

This morning, I started Book IV of Aristotle\’s Metaphysics. I read this, \”…we are seeking the first principles and the highest causes, clearly there must be something to which these belong in virtue of its own nature.\”

Right away, my mind leaped to the \”something\” as God. Then I was sort of filled with disgust. I thought, \”Its such a trap. Everyone wants to know if there is a God.\” Getting ready to go running, I flipped on NPR. There was a woman Buddhist who had lived in Boulder and known several famous gurus there. I thought then, \”Some teachers think they know.\”

No one knows on this plane; unless they know the silence.

Today, I\’m starting lesson 1 from the Course in Miracles workbook: Nothing I see means anything.

Now its off to running on the hills. Then, so exciting, a Canadian is coming to visit me!

Lament – in search of…

In search of blue berries; yes and I want to be my soul too. I am a superficial \”me\” but I want to be my soul.

What about leaders? They are not followers. “Be true to thyself or thou canst be true to no man.” (Shakespeare?) The leader is not necessarily the manager. The leader does not necessarily make the most money. The leader does not go along with the group. The man with the brown nose and high position in the organization is not a leader. Organizations can fail because they are fooled into thinking conformists are leaders.

I am a leader, but of the sort that doesn’t win at corporate politics. I am a leader because I am willing to make a decision which might be unpopular; do thing differently. Here is an example. Alcoholic beverages are both poison and mind altering. I do not drink them myself as I am unwilling to consciously drink poison or damage my mentality. And I don’t really like being around people who do. To be true to myself, I choose not to observe people drinking alcoholic beverages when possible. This choice can work against me as the drinkers do not like my attitude; and they’d prefer if I just went along and kept my mouth shut. Sometimes I do, but always need to cut my involvement short.

I am an anti-body in society. I am the skinny among the fat. I am the spiritual among the religious. I am the healthful among the sick. I am the female in the male professional group. I am the vegetarian among the meat-eaters. I am the abstinent among the partakers. I am the chaste among the sexually active. I drive my Prius like a sports car. I’m not registered to vote. I don’t own a TV. I have no family. I have no friends (for obvious reasons I hope you can see).

We are in a financial crisis. Companies are not hiring American workers. I think that is because there are none. In fact, “American worker” is like “Military intelligence,” a contradiction in terms. There are many American bar-b-quers and TV watchers and over-eaters and consumers and social welfare recipients; but not really too many workers. We have Mexicans and other immigrants for that.

Today is Saturday. My rolling weekly running mileage total is 69 miles. I ran 23 miles this morning. It was in our first hot and humid weather. Many of the regulars were down there. They had a walk for an organization called “Hands of Hope.” Sort of funny, I don’t know what that group does, but it was worth identifying T-shirts and badges and walking in clusters, chit chatting away. Several were advertising their Christianity or Jesus himself.

Do I sound dour, like didn’t the joy of God escape me? Yes of course this blog is a lament for the magnificence of humankind. I can’t stand the fact that we are so little when we could be glorious.

Selah