Awakening

Trungpa said somewhere in his book: …Self-deception is a constant problem as we progress along a spiritual path. Ego is always wanting to achieve spirituality

From \”A History of God\” I learned about Pascal\’s Wager: decide if there is a God. If you decide \”yes\” then God will help you and your life. Newton\’s God was more a Creator: who then made all this. In the section of the book I am reading, historical figure after historical figure has written about who God is and how to know him, or not.

This morning, in my meditation, a connection suddenly struck me. Between Plotinus, A History of God, other books, I am looking always for an authority figure to say, \”Yes, the common person can know God.\” At the heart of my going to the monastery was a belief that you had to immerse yourself in such a religious system, ala Thomas Merton, in order to know God. Or you needed to be ordained by the Church. Or later, I thought you needed a guru or special spiritual guide.

I read all these things and think that the condition of my life isn\’t correct for knowing God. Yet since the age of 22, I (the honest inner me) and I (my ego) have been doing what ever we could think of to know God; and I\’m still trying to convince myself that an ordinary person like me can know God. Of course, as long as I believe I cannot know God, I never will.

I have grown by a step. Learned by a step. Awakened a little more.

Saturday On My Feet

A Course in Miracles is a fascinating text. It challenges my mental status-quo. This morning, I read this:

ACIM Text 29.VIII.8: \”What purpose has an idol then? What is it for? This is the only question that has many answers, each depending on the one of whom the question has been asked. The world believes in idols. No one comes unless he worshipped them, and still attempts to seek for one that yet might offer him a gift reality does not contain. Each worshipper of idols harbours hope his special deities will give him more than other men possess. It must be more. It does not really matter more of what; more beauty, more intelligence, more wealth, or even more affliction and more pain. But more of something is an idol for. And when one fails another takes its place, with hope of finding more of something else. Be not deceived by forms the “something” takes. An idol is a means for getting more. And it is this that is against God’s Will.\”

Americans are the epitome of \”more;\” especially \”more special.\” My attempt to stay out of society is not because I don\’t like people. If you met me in real life, you\’d think I was a delightful person. And I am. But I am also attempting to buck current trends in human littleness in favor of human magnificence. Specialness makes us little. However, anyone who goes against the tribe becomes a bit marginalized. And I accept this.

I don\’t want to live a dissipative life. I want to foster energy and health and spiritual connection. I feel fear when someone doesn\’t approve of me. For instance not going to lunch with the boss and colleagues. The over eating activity which goes on during these lunches, along with idle chatter, is dissipative. So I don\’t go. But my ego, which worships the idle of approval (the boss is my special deity) is afraid when I go against the system. I put up with this. Please the special deities is the modern survival tactic. I feel fear when I buck the necessary axx kissing. I can only do this at the level I currently do because I am not afraid of losing my job. I do believe I have been chosen to be laid off in the past because of such misbehavior. I survived. My spirit thrived.

I slept late this morning. Being Texas summer, you might think that screwed my running due to heat and humidity. But well, at 9 am, I loaded up my fuel belt and small cooler and went over to the small park with trees. I got 13.3 miles done in 3h11min. Slow of course, but I jogged in the trees and walked in the sun. When I came home, I washed the car right away since it had become cloudy. The car is black, so washing it in the direct sunlight doesn\’t work. But, gah! Thats Texas for you. It felt cooler washing the car at 1 pm than it did at 11 am when I was running.

After my shower, I am now eating a bowl of vegetables. I sat down at 2 pm. That is actually 5 hours on my feet.

In the park today, some new people came. One group was 2 couples with 4 small kids between them. The kids all went to the play area. 2 women and 2 men proceeded to complete cross fit activities along with running laps. That worked very well along with the baby sitting. The other group was 6 twenty somethings playing volley ball. No dog walkers. No dog piles (yay!).

ACIM Birthday Weekend

7/29 is the anniversary of my becoming a student of A Course in Miracles. Coming later than sobriety but part of my foundation for inner peace, I bow before the Course and thank Spirit for giving it to me.

From it I get: looking within, looking beyond, non-specialness, trading littleness for magnificence, the Voice for God, the holy instant, the Real Relationship, the end of fear and more.

Friday, text 29.VIII.3: No one believes in idols who has not enslaved himself to littleness and loss. And thus must seek beyond his little self for strength to raise his head, and stand apart from all the misery the world reflects. This is the penalty for looking not within for certainty and quiet calm that liberates you from the world, and lets you stand apart, in quiet and in peace.

My world depends on something else than ordinary daily living. It depends on some infused spiritual reality such that this world is not really the only thing or even the most real thing. I am something different than the physical body. If I don\’t eat for one day, that validates the potentiality of another reality; something else besides ordinary reality. This morning, I was thinking that my years in a monastery did provide a reality non-ordinary. Re-calibration became possible. Every time I don\’t go along or don\’t participate in groups, I am shifting to the something else.

It happens every day that there is a challenge to my commitment to \”other\” reality. Some fear pops up because I have not gone-along with the rules of society. But really, it is getting less and less as time goes on.

I think the natural state of the human animal is to lay around eating and seeking pleasure. It takes a mental effort to go beyond subsistence and personal satisfaction. It takes an even greater effort to aspire to the spiritual reality and find some sense of its reality. Who really wants to go to any effort when you could just lay around the house eating and watching TV?

The entertainment industry provides littleness for the minds of those who watch its products. I refute littleness in favor of magnificence. Under or beyond our littleness is magnificence. I seek to shift there.

I stand by my spiritual stance, my spiritual seeking.

My Own Life

That is, live my own life. Take ownership of it. Stop feeling bad because I am not doing it someone else\’s way.

Maybe it is the age of 55+ years that allows me to finally say that and be mostly able to live up to it. Mostly…. Sometimes fear of those \”others\” still gets in my face.

But in my spiritual/ meditative work this morning, that is the intuitive response to my silent seeking. Live your own life.

I get up every morning at 3:30 am (and have for many years). First, I sit at my kitchen table, with coffee, and read spiritual material and also make silence in my mind for silent reaching out and silent listening. Then, I work out for about an hour. Then, I shower, grab my stuff and get to work by 6:30.

I am a vegetarian of the convicted variety. It means I\’m not doing it for health but because I strongly believe eating meat is consciencously wrong. I also restrict my diet as much as possible in other ways since I also believe that participating in the Great American Obesity Machine is wrong. I don\’t like eating at table with others.

I abstain from participation in society and entertainment and consuming (as much as possible) too. No religion, TV, voting, sex, family, holidays, football, face book, and etc. There are aspects of work culture which mirror society and I don\’t participate in those either.

I tried for many years to achieve \”enlightenment.\” But it seems to me now, that as long as I sought enlightenment per someone else\’s definition, I missed the enlightenment in my own heart. If I truly appreciate what I have been given for my own spiritual growth, then it is much more beneficial for me and I am given more. Along those lines, reading a book on the evolution of world religions or a Greek philosopher from the early Christian era or someone\’s research on early Christianity helps me to remove or discount beliefs which I have been given by society. I at least know where these beliefs about God came from; not God in any case but men who had their own agendas. (Yes, I meant men.)

I take ownership of A Course in Miracles as I have been a student 6 years. It has brought much mental peace and joy. I take ownership of my non-participation in the general mass habits; renunciation as it were. I take ownership of my solitary life. I take ownership of being an elderly athlete. This stance is to dis-obey survival synapses and the fear they generate and stand alone against the tribe.

I\’m not going to feel less than or guilty because I am what I am. This could be a new era in mental health and appreciation of life for me. If I can successfully throw off peer pressure and just love me for what I am. It is finally possible. Of course people say this to each other all the time; but most people do not dare go outside society\’s rules and be a unique individual. I have been trying this process for awhile, well probably at leat 5 years. I see happiness in it which I never had before.

I Can\’t Believe….

….. I just spent an hour editing a paper on ammonia refrigeration for work.

Of course, that was after getting up early today and doing a few miles in Seabrook. I got out early enough, and there were enough clouds, to enjoy 2 hours before the heat seemed bad. I wore my Nathan, but I felt heavy in it. So I quit early, hence I had time to do work for work.

That somewhat amazes me that I got the work done.

Now it is back to the God question. The question which cannot be answered. But in the space I leave in my days, God comes and sits with me. The Ineffable makes no sound, nothing to perceive. I can only say I believe, I knew. Beyond that, I got only a feeling of okay-ness, companionship, presence that is not a presence.

I cannot follow a guru. I\’ve never met one. I tried a monastery and learned the truth of living with 50 Roman Catholic nuns. I tried fasting. I tried running. I tried dopamine. Now I just sit. I send my consciousness into the void. I don\’t ask for anything. I let the time pass with no accomplishment. I am that and not that; this and not this.

Let go. Let it be.

Nothing Again

Last week, the big thing is that I was running a race. I ran over 200 miles in 7 days. I won the 7 day and 10 day portions of the race. I got swag and gift cards. All was focused and attention getting.

This week, back to work. I did not injure myself in my running, so I was also back to normal workouts. More miles and more weights. I did a great job in my hazard analysis this week. I achieved some very good consensus in my facilitation. It is fun to see HAZOP team very engaged in reducing the hazards of their process and not just bored or worried about how much it will cost.

Now it is Friday. I have space and time. I have perused all the race calendars at least once and don\’t see a race I completely want to sign up for. I face again the reality that activities can be a distraction from going inward.

What I want to find is within. The trick is that when I achieve the mental silence and practice the contemplation, my ego doesn\’t get anything. No big emotional moment. No ecstasy. No book to write. No greatness to show the world.

So, my mantra today is from A Course in Miracles workbook: This is a day of stillness and of peace.

Less than 10 days to my 7th anniversary of being a Course in Miracles student. Less than 19 days to my 29th sobriety anniversary, which will coincidentally also be the 11th anniversary since leaving the convent. This time is holy; as is all time.

It is Houston. It is not that hot today.

And now let go.

7 Day Race Update Thread

I officially stopped racing on the 7th day with a tiny bit over 200 miles. Below log is in reverse order, last day to first. I made myself an award for my wall:

Thursday day 7 6:30 pm-

Yay!!!!

I just spent 2h15 min on the treadmill to finish my 200 miles in 7 days. I nearly cried when I looked down at the fitbit and saw it was at 27. 08 miles and I knew I just had one mile to go.

I decided to finish off the 200 miles today because I am training my mind to get out there and finish the miles by some deadline. Of course, to get and 200 miles buckle, I have 3 more days. But it means something to me to get it in 7 days.

Today was alot of hard work. I can\’t believe I did it.

This virtual race was excellent for motivating me to do more than I would have without it.

Total time spent actually running: 47.9 hours. Daily average: 6.8 hours.

Thursday day 7 11 am-

I don\’t know if I slept at all last night. I have no idea why. But, when the alarm went off at 5:30, I easily got up. I made it to Meador park by 6:45. I had a wonderful two hours going down to Pine Gully and Wildlife parks. It was beautiful and very nice with a few clouds. I got to see the men from the city working on the new bridge. We are getting an extension to our trail which looks like it will be really nice.

Then it was hot. I really struggled the last of 4h17 min / 18 mile run. If my goal is to drink my dregs, scrape bottom, today I was there. Yet I kept playing this game with my Fitbit. I\’d look at it, then decide, one more lap. It was dreadful. But it got me to 18. Only 9.5 miles to go to get to 200 miles. If I was at a real race, I\’d make sure to get it done by midnight when the 7 days end. In this case, I still have 3 more days to get my buckle. I will do more today, but if I go for 9 miles, it is for my inner being.

I need to do something Saturday morning, but I am sure more miles will occur tomorrow and Sunday. I just won\’t be killing myself.

Wednesday day 6, 8 pm-

It turns out I have a goal: 200 miles. So, I continue to be obsessed by miles. So I went for another 85 minute walk this evening. It was quite pleasant. Low humidity, only 68%.

I think I\’ll set an alarm for the morning. Only 28 more miles. Sounds like a snap, but my will power is waning.

Wednesday 3 pm-

Well I am totally amazed. Is it the heat gear shirt? I don\’t know. I started my jog at 9:45 am. Not a cloud in the Texas sky, and none showed up during my 4h21 min / 18 mile jog.

Wait, I stayed outside in the heat and humidity jogging for 4 hours?

Yup.

I can get to 200 miles for this race. That would be awesome. I\’ve not ever trained that many miles before. My foot has been doing pretty well. The toe nails did ok today. I like the Clif electrolyte drink the best of what I\’ve tried so far. I like its bite.

I used a tiny loop in some trees today. I got to see millions of tiny crabs in the bayou.

On the introspective side of things. I\’ve settled a question about \”true identity\”, my life as a renunciate, what path I choose as my ethos. None of these ideas are changes. When I say settled, I mean at peace with who I am.

Wednesday 9 am-

I slept damn good last night and did not set the alarm today. This morning, I find myself wanting to go outside and walk around and I think I will, slowly. I looked at the Mountain Challenge website. Second place is a few miles behind me. I find myself not wanting to take up a challenge to stay in first. Part of my ego wants to. I Myself don\’t want to. I can\’t let winning corrupt my purity of miles.

In the real world, I\’d just be called a loser. So I say these things here, not on the Mountain Challenge website. In that world, I\’m supposed to try harder. But really, I just want to do my miles in peace.

Yesterday, I went to The Academy and got another heat gear shirt and some Clif sports drink. It dissolves completely so I am happy to put it in my hydro-pak. The Succeed Clip-2 and the Heed were not dissolving. Gatorade G2 dissolves but it is not on the shelves here in Texas.

Last night, I unwrapped my big toes and let the blisters dry out. I wrapped them up again this morning. They should be ok in the special shoes.

Out into the heat I go. Don\’t know how long I\’ll last.

Tuesday July 8 8 pm-

Don\’t know what is wrong with me. But, I felt good this afternoon evening. I started with 70 min on the treadmill and then walked outside for another hour. I could get 200 miles in the 10 day race. Wouldn\’t that be something!

Tuesday July 8 11:30 am-

Ultra Monk\’s Little Way. Don\’t know why I suddenly think of that. Therese of Liseux had a little way; and she became a Doctor of the Church. I won\’t be becoming anyone but myself. Or perhaps I am being myself already.

I haven\’t had 10 days off work where I was healthy in almost 5 years. In 2009, I was laid off all summer so I got to run in the morning and walk in the afternoon every day for about 6 weeks. Now, this 10 days off work, I am doing it again. It is amazing considering my heel spur surgery last September and the ensuing 6 weeks on crutches and then months of pain as the foot got back together.

It hurts now. More like the heel gets bothered by the shoe since it is a different type of roundness as well as a bit of hardware. But, doing my slow walk/ jog, I don\’t stress it out too much and I can keep going.

Speaking of going, my little way is just like this: get up early and complete spiritual study and meditation. Get to the park and do miles. Come home and shower, eat, rest on the bed. Do more miles in the afternoon. Do additional spiritual study and go to bed.

I noticed today that my mind was stuck on a part of my personal litany. That is, I quit noticing how fast or how far and just jogged along thinking one spiritual phrase over and over. This is the jumping off place I seek. At this point, I\’m not really in this world.

That I got up at all today is a miracle. When the alarm went off at 4:40, I would have rolled over but I needed to pee. After that, it was easier to decide, \”I\’ll go downstairs and make tea and just do spiritual study.\” But after a good study period, I was suddenly moving around the kitchen, getting my drinks ready.

I made it to Meador Park by 6 am. It was very nice that early. I jogged north to Pine Gully and back. Then just went around Meador park after the sun got up.

To get to Pine Gully on the trail, we run along this boardwalk to cross the bayou. This morning, I saw lots of sea birds.

I know of course that what I am doing with this 7 or 10 day race is completely different than going to a race with a bunch of other people and completing a set distance, like 100 miles, all in one shot. And sure, I\’d do lots of miles whether I was entered in a race or not. I\’m watching to see what the external influence of the virtual race is doing to my internal drive. I don\’t think I\’ll ever do 100 miles straight through. But I\’ll continue to do multi-days. I am more interested in doing something every day rather than accomplishing one big thing and then doing nothing.

Monday July 7, 4 pm-

Having finished 103 miles yesterday, way ahead of where I thought I\’d be, I slept in today. It was supposed to be a rest day. But after an extended time of spiritual study, laundry and cooking beans, I felt good so jumped on the treadmill for 90 minutes/ 6.5 miles. That went really well.

Then I decided to try a new thing. That is, I have a new \”heat gear\” shirt from UnderArmor. The shirt is very tight so it absorbs sweat, then the breeze cools you off. And the shirt keeps the sun off your skin, so it is like wearing shade. I decided to put it on and go over to pine Gully park. This park has half trees and half sun, but it is right on Galveston Bay so it is always windy. And the clouds might come up sooner at that location.

Well, the shirt worked great. I felt really good despite the sun being out. I was there 2h39min, 11.06 miles. Then I went to the grocery store. There is chocolate in the house. But right now I am eating for the first time today. The shirt is in the Woolite in case I want to try it again tomorrow. Today was supposed to be a short day, but I have over 18 miles.

I\’ve learned that I love Red Bull and grapefruit juice much more that other drinks I\’ve used in the past.

Total for the race is now at 122 miles. I feel fine except for toe nails. I might just continue with \”easy\” days for the next 6 days

I\’ve been very lucky to figure out the weather here; or at least how to get along with it. I am still amazed that I am doing so well. I never do this well at a real race. I think it is because my body needs to re-group every few hours and this can\’t be done away from home. I always feel better after laying on the bed a couple of hours; and if i am at home, it is easy to get going again. At an \”away\” race, I\’m likely 100 miles up the road.

Sunday July 6, 6:35 pm-

Ha. I felt good this afternoon so I went for another 7.27 mile walk. I am at 103.78 for 3 days. Legs haven\’t felt that tired in years.

Sunday July 6, 2:40 pm-

Perhaps I was suffering from heat sickness earlier. But after lying on the bed a couple of hours, and allowing the nerve pains to work out, I have arisen. I am wearing a special pair of shoes and considering walking.

Sunday July 6-

The alarm went off 7 minutes earlier than yesterday. And I needed that extra time to decide to get up. But I did get up and was downstairs at 4 am. I did a little Course in Miracles study. I suddenly understood \”accepting Atonement for myself.\”

By 4:48, exactly the same time as yesterday, I went jogging in El Lago. That went well and I finished in exactly the same time as yesterday (6+ miles and 78 minutes). Then disaster, like slowly falling off a cliff.

I got to Brummerhop by 6:20. I had put on mosquito spray today, but darned if they weren\’t very hungry this morning. And God it was humid. Not a cloud in the sky, at least over me, the sun was out from 7:20 onward to about 10:30. There were some thunderstorms over the lake about 1/2 mile away, but the clouds didn\’t reach me until, maddeningly, I was ready to leave. The sun had done its damage by the time the clouds came. The clouds didn\’t stay either. It is still freaking sunny out there.

I was very tired and cranky today. Nothing horrible wrong, just exhausted and hot. Carrying the 2L hydropak was a chore. After I came home, I found that another toenail has bit the dust. A short day; 41 laps of Brummerhop, giving me a total of 23.9 miles this morning. Too much heat and humidity.

I found what I am made of. It takes 3 days and 90 miles to drink my dregs. My dregs are ego. I want to drink the dregs because under the ego is Essence.

Today\’s mantra is for ACIM students: I accept Atonement for myself. I do not support his dreams of fear. We are but the Living Thoughts of Love.

When Jesus said, \”My god, my god, why have you forsaken me,\” that was his ego dying. When he said, \”Into Your hands I commend my spirit,\” that was Essence knowing it was alive. Life cannot die. Running was never \”for\” anything. I do it for myself. It is beyond exercise. It is a tool for discovery of my soul. May I rest in peace.

This is a 7 day race. I don\’t know if more will happen today. I have 2 toes taped. Another hole will be cut in the shoe for toe number 2. An easy walk this eveing would get me the 100 miles in 3 days. We\’ll see how I feel. Miles will happen tomorrow. But I might not set the alarm clock.

I\’m actually pretty freaking proud of what I\’ve done so far. By myself I wouldn\’t do it; but the extra little push of a virtual race got me going. I\’m surprised at how well the heel that had surgery is doing.  All praise for Nimbus 16s.

Saturday July 5 pm-

It is cloudy here so the temps were very reasonable. I felt good by 4:30 so I taped up my toe, cut a hole in the brand new Nimbus and went for a 7 mile walk.

I don\’t know if it will happen or not, but I could get 100 miles tomorrow. A whole day early. No promises. It proves however the fact that I do try harder if it has some reason. I don\’t think I\’d have tried for 100 miles in 3 days without the challenge.

Saturday July 5-

I did not get up in the middle of the night today. But I did make it out of bed at 4 am. About 4:50, after a short meditation, I went jogging in El Lago. I was surprised that my feet and shoes felt really good. I was doing all jogging but low impact; just under 14 min miles. After 6+ miles, I came home for a pit stop. Then gathered up the Nathan and the cooler and went over to Brummerhop park. I did really well there. It is hotter today than yesterday. When I quit, it was 103F humidex. I had full sunshine by 9:30. I stuck it out until 11:30. I ended the day with 27.87 miles. That is amazing.

Except for one toe nail, I don\’t have much wrong other than fatigue. Dealing with the heat is dreadful. I will say that as today wore on, I started to reach the reason for this endeavor: The Secret of Endurance. It takes many mile to get me to this point. It is the point of survival, the end of the body\’s resources. I struggle with this point in every race I go in. The point where I think I am going to die so I quit. I want to grapple with this state.

The game I play with this 7 day endeavor is utter nonsense. I am doing miles and pushing myself literally for no external benefit. Actually, it is an external deficit. But only after hours and miles do I get to drink my dregs. I want to drink my dregs.

Hardly anyone was in the park today. The wienie-man who doesn\’t cleanup after his dog didn\’t come; so no new dog piles.

I\’m past halfway on getting 100 miles; 64.39 miles. I have given myself permission to do nothing else today. I said that yesterday too, however, and walked another 5 miles in the evening. I have one big toenail that got hammered today. I see that I\’ll need to carve a hole in the shoes as well as tape up the toe.

Friday pm July 4– About 6 pm, I felt spunky again so I went out to do more walking:

Friday, July 4-
My cell phone awakened me at 11:45pm on Thursday. I came immediately downstairs and put on my shoes. Then waited for 12:01. I checked my fitbit and it said zero. So, I clipped it on and walked on the treadmill for 3.8 miles / one hour. Then I went back to bed.

I was dead asleep at 3:55am when the alarm went off. I failed to get up! I snoozed for 20 minutes and then made it up. After a brief meditation, I went outside to El Lago and jogged for an hour / ending with 8.81 miles on the fitbit. Then, I had a pit stop at home, gathered up the Nathan and a small cooler. By 6:20am, I was doing laps in Brummerhop park.

My foot was very fussy at first. I had to change insoles 3 times until I got one that didn\’t hurt. Then I remembered that my foot already had 9 miles on it so a bit of fussiness is to be expected. It reminded me that my foot will stand a certain number of miles each day; but not as many as my brain seems to want to go.

I did 52 laps of Brummerhop. What goes on there? People walk their dogs. I know exactly who didn\’t clean up after their dog. I asked the one elderly man about what looks like an abscess on his dog. It is a sad story but the vet cannot fix it. Guys play basketball. Other runners breeze through. A wild looking young man pushes a stroller through. Brummerhop is very small, but it is one of the few places with dirt paths and many trees. So running can be done. Here\’s how the front of it looks.

It is hard to see, but the post above the doggie dumpster has two bags hanging on it. Besides the Nathan on my back, I brought a small cooler and a bag with insoles and hats. In the cooler I had ice cold Red Bull, Starbucks latte, grapefruit juice, lemonade and 2 apples. I drank all that plus 3 gels and one fruit bar. I still lost weight due to sweating.

Houston is hot all the time, but for Houston, I would have called today tolerable. I stayed outside until almost noon. I didn\’t have any heat problems. But there had been a completely blue sky for the last hour and it was getting hot.

Today, I was walking a little over 7 hours and got 30+ miles so far. My legs do feel that. I don\’t know that much more will happen today. I still have 6 more race days. I think 100 miles will be reached quite fast; but I need to keep from going into too much foot pain. Or the race is over. I actually didn\’t think I\’d stay outside until almost noon. Usually, I get too hot before 10.

Here is a screen shot of my race statistics so far:

1/3 of the way there almost. But I will keep putting up miles for the whole race. I don\’t think I\’ll get as far tomorrow.

7-day Prelude

Tonight, at 12:01 (Friday), I\’ll start walking on my treadmill. I know that is a very unlikely start to a 7-day race. I prefer to stay inside in the middle of the night; but that is when the clock starts ticking. I want to honor my commitment and start when the clock does. So the treadmill it is.  Then, I\’ll take a nap. Then I\’ll get back up in time to jog in El Lago for an hour. Then, I\’ll come home for a pit stop and head over to the park with my Nathan for as many hours as I can stand. Then, an afternoon snooze. Then more and more walking until I get to 100 miles and then 7 days. Hope I can do it.

My life has been about a desire to know God. Running got mixed into the God quest when I read about the Sri Chinmoy 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race (google it). It was a life changing mile stone. Other mile stones were: the trip to Israel when I was 22; sobriety at the age of 26; Zen meditation at the age of 38; 4 years of monastic life, getting out when I was 45; several years attempting to achieve enlightenment through fasting, meditation, prayer, running; then moving to Texas.

Just 2 days ago, a small mile stone which could be course changing. I read for the first time a paper discussing how \”enlightenment\” breeds dualism, hierarchalism, egoism in its own right. I\’ve not heard someone speak of these aspects in relation to the sacrosanct \”enlightenment\” which I had been chasing for years. At least up until a year or two ago when I decided that enlightenment was a dopamine reward experience for most people.

I have continued to read other people\’s writings about God and Christianity and philosophy. I have continued to be a student of A Course in Miracles. I grow in gratitude that \”Spirit\” continues to teach me the fallacies of religion and enlightenment. I might just die happy because I continued to lose delusions.

Jesus said, \”my god my god, why have you foresaken me.\” Not, \”My Creator, why have you foresaken me.\” Not \”The Good, why have you foresaken me?\” Not \”My Father, why have you foresaken me?\” I am the first in history to make this distinction. Jesus was talking to the lying ego, the tiny mad idea, which left at the moment of death. True, I don\’t need to die. I don\’t need \”enlightenment\”. I just need to live.

I am however a renunciate. I can\’t go back on that. When I came popping unexpectedly out of the convent, I didn\’t want a great deal of what society has. I don\’t want the food, the alcohol, the sports hype, the entertainment, the religion, the politics, the gadgets, the clothes, and many other aspects. I don\’t participate. I have convictions about these things. I recoil from them.

Returning to my 7-day race, my running is totally selfish; but also an inward journey. It is true that Houston heat, sweating and walking, causes my ego to shut up. In a perverse way, I like sweating. Since I am on my own, me and my thoughts, walking to nowhere, I can only turn inward. This walking activity, however, is totally futile in a spiritual sense; except every time I quit doing miles and go inside like a sensible person, my ego\’s grandiose dreams die. Humanity wins. I go back to being just a person who needs to eat and sleep and gets blisters and has pains in the foot. A 7-day race by myself is a futile effort. Nothing to brag about. Just something I want to do because I like the park and I like the freedom of doing miles with nothing but a Nathan hydro-pak and a couple of energy bars.

Can\’t Wait for Miles

It is Tuesday morning. I went for a fantastic jog at 5 am. It was of course warm and sweaty as Houston is this time of year. I felt great.

Starting Friday at 12:00am, I begin a 7 day race. It is a virtual race, using my fitbit synced to Matchio. Others are in the race and if I get 100 miles, I\’ll get a belt buckle. For the first time in years, I have 10 days off work; without needing surgery to get it. I am healthy. I love it. Time to sweat. Time for miles. My own bed. Showers and toilets.

Shopping list this week tells the story: Gatorade G2, grapefruit juice, lemonade, Coke, Red Bull, Starbucks, 5 Hour Energy…  I think I\’m planning on being thirsty.

I don\’t care that it is a \”virtual\” race. I\’m happy to go without the hours of travel, hotels, cost of airplanes and rental cars. I know I will do what I can. If someone else isn\’t, I don\’t care. It is me and my body and the heat. No special race course. No roots or rocks or mountains. In fact, some of the miles in the middle of the night or the middle of the afternoon will be done on a treadmill. Some of the laps might be done back and forth on my street since it is a gated village.

I\’ve been fascinated by multi-days for several years. I\’ve done my own private multi-days before. traveling to a race really does take alot out of me; although the cameraderie on the course is tremendous. Into the future, I see less of my own entries into public races as I attempt to live in a budget. I don\’t really like what I see for-profit race directors doing.

I accept inner swag.

Its just miles.