I Never Was

This morning, doing my spiritual study and prayer, I seemed to get an intuitive thought. I was asking for guidance regarding a person in my life. I don\’t like the way that person is in my life; but also, I don\’t want to spend the next 10 or 15 years resenting that person. In some small way, I see some type of resentment associated with all people in my life.

I am a single person. I have a good salary. I should be able to arrange my life the way I want it right?

The intuitive thought that came to me this morning was: My life is not my own.

Really. In a spiritual sense, I am not an I. When I seek God, surrender to some higher consciousness, my life becomes not my own. I belong to Spirit.

I am at peace when I let go this way. I stop fighting. Anything that used to bug me seems to not matter. I am more focused on giving my time and energy to everyone.

Yesterday I was discussing our company split with a colleague. I mentioned that I would probably stay in Texas because I was doing well at this plant, the cost of living in Houston is low, and \”Texas is not THAT bad.\” He looked straight at me and said, \”We come here for the job.\”

I came here for the job. \”I-that-never-was\” is just here.

My Bread is Buttered on the Texas Side

Gah! I\’ve lived in Texas 3 years. I think you can get in to Texas but you can\’t get out. And I suppose there is nothing wrong with that.

Today I ran 21 miles in Seabrook averaging 13.4 min/mile despite doing 4x1s. That is 4.5 miles per hour since I know a stop to talk was included in that time. Now all summer in Houston, in ungodly heat and humidity, I was barely able to crack 4 miles per hour, and couldn\’t really stay out 5 hours. Now, the first somewhat cool day with a stiff breeze, I\’m so much better. Heat training is worth it.

Yesterday, a pack of bicycles went down a road just as I was coming to the crossing. Someone said \”there\’s Laura.\” Another one said, \”Hi Laura!\” Who were these mystery people? Today, I saw my neighbors walking in the park. Another couple I see running in the park every week told me how much they admired me. Another guy asked me if I was an ultra runner. Apparently I look like the real thing.

On Friday, I had a chat with N. He wants me to come back to work for him. I probably will. See, my company is selling the part of the business in Texas. The exact group I currently work for is disappearing. So, I would move across the fence and go to work in the group I was in last year. And, forget moving back to Kansas with some other part of the company. N. is the side of my bread with butter on it.

Another thing. I had a creative moment which yielded a innovative idea. I sent the idea to the plant manager. I didn\’t hear anything from him. Then I saw him last week and asked him about it. He hadn\’t seen it in his in-box. 2 more days and I get an e-mail saying he loves it; and lets do some more brain storming. This plant manager is in the \”for sale\” part of the company.

I have done well with all of my work for the \”for sale\” part of the plant. My skills are valued. Not so much with the other part of the company.

All these bits of anecdotal evidence add up to: Texas has been good to me. It is the side of the bread where my butter is.

In the spiritual part of my life, the butter is on the Course in Miracles side. What I am saying is that there are spiritual truths which are found in many spiritual traditions; but the way they are explained and taught in the Text and Workbook for A Course in Miracles is the way I\’ve found success. Anyone who has had a massive revelatory, emotionally invasive spiritual experience still has to work on making meaning out of it for the rest of their life. Their big moment disappears into the daily distracted life. They still put their pants on one leg at a time. They pick up their bag of racks and continue down the road.

My revelatory experiences have not been massive as far as I can discern when I read someone else\’s story. But mine are in fact daily. Everyday, especially during my morning study of the ACIM text, I completely understand Oneness. And I can find Oneness during the day too. Like out running today, I was able to grant Inner Joyful Eternity to any person I thought of. I knew that Reality is Joy. No doubt or argument was present. That is truly a spiritual experience.

I hate shopping. If I could get everything from Amazon.com and never go in a store, I would. Well, I am giving a talk at a symposium next week. I need a suit. A suit can\’t be bought on-line. I\’ve been procrastinating because I hate shopping and I hate all the traffic near the mall. Yesterday, I finally bit the bullet and did the chore. I finished my run early, showered, drove to Dillard\’s, asked directions to the lady\’s suit department, stopped the first associate I could and explained what I wanted. In particular, I hate women\’s pants that are low cut. The damn things always feel like they are falling off and a shirt won\’t stay tucked in. I don\’t actually know how women are supposed to dress anyway.

Actually, when I finally decide to go an buy something, I also plan to accomplish the mission in one trip without any fooling around. I buy cars that way too.

Well, very quickly, the lady found a pair of pants that fit perfectly. I got the whole suit and 2 shirts for $700. I didn\’t care how much, only that it fit and I looked ok. I made sure the lady thought the shirt was ok. It helps alot that if you go in a store around here and say you are an engineer, they ask if you are an astronaut; so the clothes they show you are not a bunch of girly nonsense. Well, they asked me if I was an astronaut anyway; and I didn\’t say no.

I\’m a fake astronaut but a real engineer and ultra runner. Texas immigrant.Embodied Inner Joyful Eternity.

Consciousness Itself

Most people think that running is about training for a race or a time goal in a particular race. They think of how dreadful all that running is. My adventure into ultra-running came about as an extension of meditation; a way to discover consciousness beyond daily striving.

A hot humid day in Houston, after about 3 hours of jog walk produces mindlessness.

I love A Course in Miracles because it is a text book. As I read it and practice it\’s lessons, a Teacher enters my consciousness. I don\’t need to travel to India or even around the United States. I receive inner peace right here. I \”look beyond\” right now.

My only mistake, seemingly, is not having the great emotional experience that others write about in their books. This experience distinguishes them from all others and seems to once again produce separation. It is my inner job to let this go.

I once was in a monastery and a Benedictine novice for 4 years. Within 3 days of my monastic profession, invitations printed and sent, altar flower arrangements in the cooler, I was suddenly kicked out. At the moment of being told to leave, I spontaneously (out of the blue) visualized a white bird suddenly having a golden ankle chain cut and it flew free into a blue sky.

When I want freedom at any time today, I think, \”Eternal Silence lives It\’s life in me. Stately Quiet Love has set me free.\” I suppose I am able to fall down in adoration before Stately Quiet. It is here that I am free.

I had a dream during my final retreat in the monastery. I dreamed that I was dust mopping the long hallway near the Novitiate. I finished my cleaning work and then I was sitting outside on a rock, looking up at a starry sky, waiting. \”Love is the predominant form of existence,\” is the word that I heard in this dream.

All this is important now since the same thing is happening. My universe is changing. The waves of emotion tied to thoughts about appearances and perceptions attempt to take me away. I must sit in quiet calm right now.

I can see how my life is merely a love affair of joy and Joy.

Modern Life

The new veggie burger with plant blood… ¬†ewwww! As an ethical vegetarian, the last thing I want is something bloody looking that tastes like meat.

The pill that reduces the effect of alcohol, so you don\’t drink as much. This product misses the point of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a spiritual disease.

Continued to read \”Waking Up\” by Harris this morning. There was a bit on neuro-science. I have read about 4 books on neuro-philosophy, I finally get how there could be a consciousness which is unknown to the verbalizing left brain. I\’m supported in my understanding that my brain is not consciousness. I\’m glad the inklings I get from the quiet consciousness doesn\’t have to be tied to religion or to some massive emotional experience called \”enlightenment.\” In fact, after at least 30 years of study and practice, I think it is a working part of my everyday life.

I can observe my left brain activity. Like, I am supposed to go to ¬†department meeting next week. We were all asked to take a personality test (similar to Myers Briggs). I didn\’t want to cooperate. I hate those Myers Briggs labels. But I decided it wouldn\’t hurt to take the test and not report the findings. Then I saw the result. I clearly felt my decision change through the doorway of pride. I liked what the result said about me. I was proud. So I reported the information.

Wow! I think that is the first time I could so clearly see an ego decision.

What is more important though is that reading Waking Up, I now understand why I feel conflicted and confused about what I really want to do with my life: career and societal involvement vs silence and contemplation. I understand how it is that with my ego yelling negative information, I still do the ethical and nice thing. Self restraint does not come from my ego.

This week, because of my struggles over work, I was gifted with a new skill. When I feel upset, I notice my ego yelling at me about justified up-set-ness; and I kept asking why? The answer to \”Why?\” from the ego seems to be silence. I\’ve not been that capable before.

It has been a week since I was forced to get an Apple ID and join the iphone world. I find that I use the phone the same as I did my BlackBerry: mostly to read work e-mails.

Running is fantastic. Houston is still freaking hot.

Self Transcendence

This morning, I read the opening pages of \”Waking Up\” by Sam Harris, noted atheist. It was yet one more description of enlightenment; that experience of self transcendence which causes people to know the love behind the world. In his case it was caused by the drug ecstasy.

I have read many such stories of enlightenment experiences and tried the techniques.

Of myself I can do nothing. I can only sit quietly. I realize I have had glimpses of love and the vastness of the universe; but they are subtle compared to the enlightenment experiences described by others. But I can\’t take the drugs, fast enough days, undergo monastic profession, run far enough, have a brain injury or even reach a deep enough despair.

Of myself I can do nothing. My spiritual path is the one of the tortoise not the hare. Whatever I wish for, I cannot change this. I can\’t take the drugs. I can only love what is here in my daily life. My self transcendence happens to be a conscious action. It is not dramatically emotional and this is the main difference between me and the so called enlightened. I didn\’t get a main event. I got my life here and now. I got a decision, a choice of thinking now. I got a choice of perception here and now.

It has been more than 30 years since the moment I stood in the Jaffa Gate in the old city of Jerusalem and considered God for the first time. Since that time, I have grown in conscious contact with a power greater than my small self. THIS!

Surrender and do better

One way to get through a day is to remember \”I am a worn and no man.\” (see the 7th degree of humility) Remembering this, I survived 4 years in a monastery where I was in fact below all other precious but annoying little nuns.

Rule of Benedict, Chapter 7: On Humility

The seventh degree of humility
is that he consider himself lower and of less account
than anyone else,
and this not only in verbal protestation
but also with the most heartfelt inner conviction,
humbling himself and saying with the Prophet,
\”But I am a worm and no man,
the scorn of men and the outcast of the people\” (Ps. 21[22]:7).
\”After being exalted, I have been humbled
and covered with confusion\” (Pa. 87:16).
And again,
\”It is good for me that You have humbled me,
that I may learn Your commandments\” (Ps. 118[119]:71).

Another way to get through a day come through the 3rd step of AA: \”Father, I offer myself to you, to do with me and build with me as thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do thy will. Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to the will, thy love and thy way of life. May I at last abandon myself utterly to you.\”

Another way is a daily phrase from A Course in Miracles. From the Manual for Teachers: \”The name of Jesus stands for love beyond this world. Jesus is the Word of God. The Word of God is the Atonement.\” or also,
\”I am here only to be truly helpful. I am here to represent Him who sent me. I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me. I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me. I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.\” (text 2.V)

\”Into thy hands I commend my spirit.\”

What I am saying is that if I abandon my ego, turn my will and my life over to God, I do better. Otherwise, I am a stressed out worrisome mess every day. If I practice downward mobility in a hierarchical sense, that is, stop trying to protect and defend but merely serve, I do better mentally and emotionally. I may or may not do better financially, but that is not the point.

Now I will go to the park and run laps.

Prayer of the Heart

From the ACIM Manual for Teachers 21: \”Strictly speaking, words play no part at all in healing. The motivating factor is prayer, or asking. What you ask for you receive. But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying. …The prayer for things of this world will bring experiences of this world. If the prayer of the heart asks for this, this will be given because this will be received. It is impossible that the prayer of the heart remain unanswered in the perception of the one who asks. If he asks for the impossible, if he wants what does not exist or seeks for illusions in his heart, all this becomes his own. The power of his decision offers it to him as he requests. Herein lie hell and Heaven. The sleeping Son of God has but this power left to him. It is enough. His words do not matter. Only the Word of God has any meaning, because it symbolizes that which has no human symbols at all. The Holy Spirit alone understands what this Word stands for. And this, too, is enough.\” (bolding mine)

Other books have been written about the prayer of the heart. I had quite forgotten this phrase. I had heard it first in the Forest of Peace, my first monastic home in Oklahoma.

The phrase cause me to sink in silence into my heart, some layer of consciousness deeper/ different than ordinary daily consciousness. What sort of experiences am I asking for in my heart? I feel the energy of certain images and I know what I was seeking positively or negatively. I can change the negative associations to feel positive too. I realized that the positive interpretations are truly my heart and my negative interpretations are my ego. The ego is so easily over-ridden in this activity.

Anyone who attains enough conscious awareness to over ride the ego\’s shabby sense of self and hateful outlook on everything can have a happy life. I can have a happy day.

And so I went running, on a very glorious day of coolness here on the Gulf Coast. I was nodding to the other runners and thinking about my spirituality. I thought about what sort of energy seems to come from my heart and drive my life. I thought this must be the prayer of my heart. Then I thought about the Great Rays mentioned in the Course in Miracles text. I\’ve always thought of them as coming from some point above in the heavens. But suddenly, I realized,the Great Rays come from within. And everybody is emitting the Great Rays. And knowing this a seeing it with eyes of the heart, I surely know what is meant by \”forgiveness\” in A Course in Miracles.

Jogging around Seabrook was delightful today. It caused me to wonder if I should not go to the company I work for and tell them I want to stay here; to go ahead and move my office across the fenceline to the new company.

i-Joining

ACIM Manual for Teachers 20: \”His Will is wholly without opposite.\” To which I add another phrase from the ACIM text (citation not available): \”Turn you to the stately calm within.\”

Say very well during exercise and drive to work:
His Will is wholly without opposite.
Turn you to the Stately Calm within.

I have had a big week. Despite the issue at work, where the company is splitting, I did get a new work computer and new work iphone. It is my first entry into Apple products. In some sense, I have joined the world. But I still don\’t want to join FB or watch TV. The IT tech was amazed I don\’t have itunes on my computer. I used \”selfie\” mode for the first time.

I also got my flu shot this week; and donated to National Public Radio.

It might be cooling off in Texas!

I am so optimistic about my running that I was surfing ultrasignup.com this morning. A year ago, I was one week out of surgery and still with 5 weeks of non-weight bearing. Today, I was running uphill on my treadmill at 5 mph. That is so awesome.