The Task – Memorial Day Multi-day Results

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

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

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

We all have to face that question some day.

Dis-satisfaction

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

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

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

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

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

What is is silence.

The Task – Sentience

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

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

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

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

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

The Task – un-named

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

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

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

The Task – Memorial Day 2011

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

I am about The Task.

This is my name for it.

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

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

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

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

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

Spiritualized Thinking

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

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

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

Unbelievable – Giving and Receiving are the Same

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

Here is a story about it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts While Running in a Forest

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

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

Why would I just run laps like that? I wanted to keep speed on the easy parts and maximize hills. I am actually training for an endurance event: The Silverton 1000: http://silvertonspecialevents.com/silverton_special_events_033.htm

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

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

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

I\’ve had many teachers; but no single guru.

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

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

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

Ordinary Everyday – Athlete and Spirit

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

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

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

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