Living Gold

Plotinus Enneads 4.7.10: \”Imagine living gold: it files away all that is earthy about it, all that kept it in self-ignorance preventing it from knowing itself as gold; seen now unalloyed it is at once filled with admiration of its worth and knows that it has no need of any other glory than its own, triumphant if only it be allowed to remain purely to itself.\”

It says something about me, my essence, that I have plowed my way through more than 400 pages of Plotinus. The writing is from 250CE or so. And I am not previously at student of Plato, so I didn\’t at first understand the terminology.

I bring up Plotinus today in relation to a special hate relationship I\’ve had to pray about for the past few weekends. Students of A Course in Miracles will know about special relationships and special hate relationships. Well, there is a person in my life who I dreamed into an object of hate, attack and then guilt. So I turn to the Holy Spirit to practice ACIM forgiveness, a practice of looking beyond or looking within. The words of Plotinus were a very good help today as I kept \”Imagine Living Gold\” as something of a mantra while I ran.

I cannot afford the agony of a special hate relationship. I cannot afford to judge or resent anyone. Spirituality is the only tool I have for healing of my own mind. I have nothing enlightening to say about God because all my energy is taken up with healing my resentment. I pray for X. I pray for his health prosperity and happiness. I pray that everything I want for myself be given to him.

Selah! I am now free.

If I am committed to finding The One, then I need to be free of this world. Downward mobility, resisting the powers and principalities clothed in society\’s norms, grasping for more, insatiable competition. All these urges are in me. I try to be the opposite.

Running laps in Brummerhop park is extreme nothingness. It wears one\’s ego down, clears the dross and I find Living Gold.

I have had an extremely great month for miles:

The amount of hours can only increase slowly and reach a working girl max pretty soon. But I have been running more (cross train less) so the miles go up. This mileage from a person who is rebuilding a foot that had achilles surgery and 6 weeks of non-weight-bearing.

Starting at 12:00 am on Friday this week, I am starting a 7 day race. I can\’t tell you how eager I am to take 7 days off work and do laps in Brummerhop park. I can\’t tell you how I relish the Houston heat and humidity. This weekend I spent 40 miles and 8.5 hours literally dripping with sweat. It was awesome. I wore my new Nathan Vapor Shape and took sips every 5 minutes or so. I wore my Solumbra sunhat with the wide brim and neck drape.

I go around and around Brummerhop park and pray my mantra. It is a tiny park; but it is across the street from my house and it does have trees. Shade is all important in a place like Houston.

I think alot. I think about the Sri Chinmoy 3,100 mile race. I think about my own running and what races I might like to go in. I think about work and the friction I feel because I don\’t go along with certain group norms. ¬†And the strange life path that lead me to Houston. WTF: Texas. Freaking Texas. I live in freaking Texas! How did that happen?

Ultra Desire

I have had a very unusual week. See, I have thought that once a woman is past menopause that hormonal emotions went away. So I didn\’t know why I have been in such a struggle for a few months. For awhile, I thought it was recovery from surgery. But on Monday, my inner emotional state was so bad that I finally realized I felt like I was under the same could that I had experienced for months as part of menopause. I mentioned this to a co-worker. She sent me to the drug store to get an herbal estrogen product. She said, yes, you don\’t have what you used to have and that is the reason for the inner struggle.

I tried a dose of the product Monday evening; and slept in a whole new pattern. This past week, I have actually felt happy and able to get out of bed quite easily.

So I was up very early on my days off (Friday and Saturday) to get running in before it got too ungodly hot. This brings me to today, Sunday. I gave myself permission to sleep in; which I did because my hips were not hurting. So, I thought I might have to do my exercise on indoor machines but when I looked outside, it was cloudy. That means, it is warm of course (88F/ 31C actual) and humid, but not unbearable.

So I loaded up my new Nathan and at 9:45 headed across the street to the park. I though, \”I will just walk a bit.\” Well, it turns out that I got in 18.15 miles in 4h35min. Wow!

There is something amazingly wonderful about a 2L hydro-pak. I had enough fluids and gel and energy bars to last for several hours in that heat. Indeed, I didn\’t go home til it was empty. With the pack, I become detached from the world for a few hours. I can dream that I am totally lost in endless miles. I got to do this 3 days in a row too.

I am \”training\” for a real race. I am \”preparing\” for a virtual race. I am just doing what I like to do: miles. Now that I am \”old\”, I don\’t need to worry about how fast I\’m going, whether I\’ll win anything, what a training schedule might require of me. I just do miles. I just be free. Nothing more.

Car Wash Meditation

Today is my Friday off. It has been awesome so far. I got up at 5 and did my spiritual study. Then at 6 I went across the street to Brummerhop park and started jogging laps. I got in 25 laps and was wondering if I should stop when I noticed the AC guy\’s van drive by. Well that settled that question. I ran home since I had scheduled the AC guy to come and give the AC a summer check-out. After he left, I had some food then went outside to wash the car.

I have not for decades done a hand wash on my own car. I was either taking it to a commercial spray wash or to a Mexican staffed hand car wash. But, a week ago, I had wandered into Home Depot and wandered out with a bucket, soap, hose, spray nozzle and a large stack of micro-fiber towels. Gulp. A new project for me.

Next, I had to wait for a day when I could wash the car in the morning when my driveway would be shady. Trying to wash a black car under the Texas sun is futile. The soap dries in seconds. So today, being home, I had time to try my new project.

Unwrap and uncoil the new hose. Read the instructions on the soap. Fill the bucket. Wet the car. Ready Freddie, to work I go. I found it quite soothing to dip and scrub, dip and scrub. I could feel areas that needed scrubbing. I could see a spot that needed some work. Quietly, quietly.

Then even more meditative was the hand dry. Grab a towel, wipe,wipe,wipe. Toss towel aside. Grab a towel, wipe, wipe, wipe. Toss towel aside. Quietly, quietly, At the end, I could still go around the car with one damp towel and one dry one and remove all streaks of water marks. Wow! The car looks great. The car is black and very shiny. It looks much better if you hand dry it.

For a brief moment, drying the car, I realized that I had my spiritual connection; that tiny knowing entered my consciousness. I knew. Doing this simple task is as good as running miles or sitting hours.

Now the towels are in the wash. The hose is rolled up. A few drops of rain are falling outside, but the car is safely in the garage.

Do other people think about their spiritual connection? I don\’t know. I am glad I keep Spirit in my frontal buffer memory. It is handy to quickly access. It is my joy.

Endless Spiritual Miles

It is 2 1/2 weeks since Calgary Marathon. I really did a good job of preparing for 26.2 miles, hoping to finish in less than 6 hours. Compared to the utterly flat landscape of south Houston, Calgary is hilly and altitude. I did well with that part. My foot which had surgery last September did well too. I am happy with my trip. My Canadian peeps were awesome. Even United Airlines did a great job.

Now, time for a hot humid summer on the Gulf coast. My next race is a virtual 7 day race July 4- 10. The race is linked to my fitbit and I get a buckle for 100 miles. I am going to take it seriously. I like to be at home where I can feed myself, shower, sleep in a bed and the course is right by my home. No adventure at all, just miles.

I\’ve been reading a book called History of God by Karen Armstrong. It is incredibly interesting to learn where Christian sects get their dogma. Ms Armstrong gave the first explanation of the Trinity I\’ve ever understood. The meaning of Jesus is really quite different than churches teach. Christianity as practiced denominationally in the US is what I will now call Pauline. Consider, vast amounts of people practicing some religion mainly bastardized from letters not all written by a man who had a delusional experience but never knew Jesus and argued with James and Peter and eventually separated himself.

The adventure of the Sermon on the Mount is totally lost to denominational Pauline Christianity. That religion is for the masses of people who want to belong and feel safe.

I like more and more that since leaving the monastery nearly 11 years ago, I have done my research and stood up for my convictions. I\’ll accept anyone\’s personal experience of the Spirit of Christ; but not religion. Daily I do spiritual miles. These miles add up. I am grateful for them.

I am 55 years old. I thought I was post menopause, which I am. But I am just learning that hormone induced emotions continue on since now I am missing what I used to have. Yesterday, I discerned that my black cloud of more than a year ago had come back a few weeks ago. When I realized how that was exactly how I felt (seeing the world thru a red haze of hate for no reason), I mentioned it to a female colleague. She told me about a natural supplement she used. Now, I am trying it. I don\’t want the cloud. It is incredibly difficult to find a MD that will give you more than 20 seconds and no prescription unless you are hysterical. So, I go the way of hearsay. Other women will talk about what works for them.

Nothing

The result of my morning meditation is: I got nothing to stand on.

My life is secure in the life of God.

My life is not my own, but a gift. In prayer, even the prayer of silence, I can thank The Giver. To do this, I need to stop hating The Giver. As soon as I just look at The Giver, letting all my thoughts go, all my expectations of worth go, then I am free. I am in awe. I am nothing but completely able to carry out Life Itself.

No kudos. No approval of this world. I am closer to being a servant.

I am willing.

All this comes about as I brought into meditation a no-win situation at work. Despite good work and great work product, a colleague will continue to produce combative e-mails. He does this to all, and many don\’t even read his e-mails. But for me personally, I hate someone criticizing my work. This hate is my problem. This hate is a symptom of ego fear. My ego is my problem; not the quality of my work. I let go of my work and what anyone says about it, and refrain from self-promotion.

How could it be more important to me to deny ego despite what others are saying? That is the crux of my spiritual life. And this situation is just an example. There are others where the world may cause my ego to fight. To be fully in the spiritual journey, ego must be denied. The idea that all is God, and just go along with it, must rule. Look beyond everything to God alone. That is A Course in Miracles forgiveness.

Renunciation only means something if it includes your ego. Material possessions pale in comparison with ego possessions. In some sense, we thank God for offering humiliation so we can deny the ego. Doing nothing in the face of exterior activities is definitely hard.

I wish it wasn\’t so hot outside. I think I could put on some water and go walk in the trees, but I am not sure I feel up to it. Maybe just some indoor cross training will be what happens.

Privileged

I\’ve been a runner since I was 13 years old. I am now 55. I actually ran a marathon last Sunday. I am pretty much amazed. I did a good job.

The daily workouts go on. I\’d like to say I am training for a race; and I suppose I am. But really, I maintain fitness and then go in races. I like to do miles at any old slow speed. Next up is a 7 day virtual race. I\’m pleased with this idea. I\’ll challenge myself to get 100 miles done as soon as I can. It is a privilege to be an athlete at age 55.

But what has been fascinating me lately is my Christianity. Finally an integration is occurring as I\’ve found distinctly Christian authors expressing truth. See, I quit going to any organized denominational church because I didn\’t think the real truth of Jesus was being preached. Well, I also found that the despicable acts of Catholic priests and the hierarchy could not be supported with my being.

But finally, I\’m finding the point of coalescence between A Course in Miracles, Greek philosophy and Christianity. Books of interest:
The Slavery of Death by Richard Beck
History of God by Karen Armstrong
Books by Keith Akers on the earliest disciples

I\’d like to say I am a Christian; except that associates me with a denomination and the Christian denominations don\’t have my support.

Peace, non-violence, renunciation and silent listening work for me. Christ is in my heart and yours.