Yearning for The Almighty

A few years ago, entering the convent, I hoped to find God as this picture suggests;

Yes, this picture tells the whole story of what I believed. Take a careful look at all the symbolism. think about Bible mythology, Church mythology, Jesus savior mythology, etc. Let go of the clouds. Go thru the clouds. Go into your beliefs and into your deepest yearning. Sit there with it.

Today, I read in A Course in Miracles, \”Hold your mind in silent readiness to hear the Voice that speaks the truth…\”  It is so simple.

Here is the same picture. It looks a bit different because it is a different religious order and a different church. It comes from the monastery where I was. If you could see all of the nave, you would see all the same symbols as the picture above.

Monastics are looking for something. Since I did not consummate my religious vocation, I had to look for \”something\” out here in the world.

Today, I look more like this picture (this is not me and not the plant where I work):

I had to find spirituality outside the religious trappings. I had to find a God of my own understanding. It couldn\’t be a Catholic god, or Ekhart Tolle\’s god, or anyone\’s god.

The same yearning I had which caused me to go to the monastery is still with me. It causes me to meditate, search through various spiritual writings, listen to the silence in my mind. That\’s it. I have the spirituality I have.

Short Day in the Woods

I was one of the \”did not finish\” (DNF) yesterday. 31 people started the 50k, 6 have a time for 50k so far; the last being 7 am this morning. I succumbed to the heat.
My drive out of Houston was surprisingly easy. It is almost impossible to get around Houston without a traffic jam. But I did. I arrived at the park without getting lost. Got my number. Set up my aid station all was looking up.
We started at high noon. 98F with a slight breeze. The first lap was 3.1 miles, then 4 more laps of 7 miles each. Soon after starting I was surprised. These trails are not as easy as I thought. In fact, this is alot more work. I went slow to keep from tripping. The first lap took an hour. The second lap took us over a hill which took alot out of me. I was walking more. Even when walking, I kept having to climb little hills; much harder than the flats of Seabrook. I was using much more energy than usual; and my drinking schedule was off due to the race environment and distance between aid stations.
It was on the second lap that I was thinking of quitting. I realized this is what I always do. I thought to myself, \”I need a new way of thinking if I am going to finish this race.\” I was praying, \”please help me.\” I always would say, \”Wow, at this pace, it will take me nearly 10 hours to finish. After dark I\’ll have to walk for sure. What is the point? I think I\’ll quit.\”
I finished the second lap. I sat in my chair and put on my knee brace. With all that walking and rocks, I didn\’t want any stability issues. I re-loaded my drinks and headed out. I was mainly walking. It is now after 3 in the afternoon. Someone behind me. I ask if she wants to pass. She said no, my pace was very good. She had been following me for awhile and wanted to keep doing that. I said I couldn\’t promise anything. In fact, I was feeling quite bad. Soon, I saw a stump and decided to sit down.
As soon as I sat down, I knew I was going to swoon, that is, feel light headed and want to lie down. Unfortunately, Texas is fire ant country so lying down was not an option. I did however, have to move to sitting on the ground to get my head clear. Now, runners are stopping and asking how I am. One of them who was headed back told the race director about me. One of them stayed there instead of going on. Several nurses passed by and told me to stay down.
After about 25 minutes, I felt good enough to stand and start walking back to the start. I was about a mile away. After walking a little, I met a guy who was looking for me. He said he was my rescue squad. Very nice guy, but he wasn\’t carrying any ice water or anything. Don\’t know what he thought he was going to do. We passed the guy who had been in the lead of the race. He was wobbly walking. He ended up on his hands and knees barfing and had to quit.
Well, I made it back to the start and turned in my chip. I had to sit down for quite awhile and drink pedia-lite before I could stand well enough to get to the car. Even in the car, I felt nauseous for another hour and a half or so. I sipped small amounts of liquid while driving until I felt better and could eat something.
I came home safely. Hardly any traffic again, even around NRG stadium where a football game was starting. I still didn\’t feel like eating, so took a shower. Realized that my water heater must not be on. Weird. I couldn\’t light it either. Finally ate about 9 pm. Then wasn\’t sleepy either. So I read a book and then tossed and turned until 2 am when I remembered I hadn\’t taken any melatonin. I did that and fell asleep within 30 minutes for about 5 hours.
So, what do I think about all this?
My dream of peaceful miles in a forest didn\’t materialize. Since the trail had so many trip hazards, I didn\’t look up hardly at all. I did remember the light of the world a little. I did have break through thinking. It ended too soon. Then, the water heater piled itself on top of the day as an issue.
When I add this together, I get the world in its equality. All issues are the same whether they are heat stress or water heaters. The practice of returning my mind to The Presence is all I have.
My Course in Miracles lesson for today is, \”My salvation comes from me.\” That is, from within. Stop looking out and projecting guilt. Look within for Life, Spirit. The ego mind does not have to rule all the time. I am peaceful as I wait for the plumber to show up. I don\’t really care what it costs. I don\’t have to hate the Germans who are taking over my life on Tuesday and Wednesday. I don\’t have to worry about a hurricane for at least another week. I don\’t have to worry about the job in Pittsburgh for at least 2 weeks. These are all the same problem.
You see? All is one.

The Oldest Woman

I don\’t suppose 56 is all that old. Actually, I thought I was 57 until ultrasignup.com corrected me. At 56, I am the oldest female in an ultramarathon to take place today. It starts at high noon in the middle of Texas. The main challenge is that it is hot. It will take me about 9 hours to walk and jog my way through 32 miles.

Today, I am on lesson 69 in A Course in Miracles: My grievances hide the light of the world in me. I am also reading The Power of Now by Tolle for the second time. The ACIM \”light of the world\” is Tolle\’s Now, pure consciousness, Presence, the life in me. So the point of doing this race today is to practice being being.

Yes I meant to say \”being being.\” Or rather, being Being. Out there in the heat, in a forest park, I\’ll be saying my ACIM lesson. Every so often, I\’ll say \”good job\” to some passing racer. No doubt I\’ll get into a conversation with some one. I\’ll be thanking the aid station volunteers for their help. At the end, I\’ll get my medal, get in the car and come home.

It doesn\’t really matter if I finish today. It matters that I was there.

60 Miles a Week, Average

I was looking at my spreadsheet of workouts. I usually do around 60 miles a week. Usually on Sundays, I go out for a 20 mile run/walk.

I was thinking about this. Most people ask, \”What are you training for?\” It is true that I go in races. It is true that mileage has to be up in order to do marathons. But I\’m not really training. I\’m doing miles with my body while I practice metaphysics in my head. I\’m watching where my thoughts go and then bringing them back to now.

I am signed up for a marathon in 3 weeks. I am signed up for a 24 hour race in mid-October. I am signed up for some races in 2016. But, I keep wracking my brain about what I want to do in November and December. I can\’t decide. A trip to a marathon seems like too much hassle.

I have 2 job offers within my company. One is here in Texas. One is in Pittsburgh. Comparable jobs. It is so incredible that my ego is not capable of being happy right where I am at. Texas has been good to me. I\’m happy. I\’ve built the respect and trust of many people. I have enough money. Still, it is almost killing me to accept that. For the first time in my life, I am trying to make a job decision based on spiritual principles; not just money, power, or prestige. The Pittsburgh job would be more money and is on a corporate level. But I can\’t see that it is the call of my higher self.

I was in Pittsburgh this week. I\’m not sure I like it. Houston is hot and sometimes they have hurricanes; but I like it here. I don\’t think I want to retire in Pittsburgh. Yet, still my ego simply cannot stop pushing.

The decisions about races or jobs are the same decision. What do I do about ego yammering if I want to live by metaphysics instead? There are books on this topic. Go read them. I am practicing the techniques.

Many people who are \”enlightened\” got that way by severe emotional trauma, drugs, brain injuries, illness delirium. None of those things have happened to me. I am waking up gradually in each little moment during each day when I notice Presence, or I do something without my ego.

Would I do all those miles if I wasn\’t doing races? I hope so. There is something about endless miles that draws me. I love strapping my hydro-pak to my back and going out on the trail. I love doing laps in the little park across the street. I always wish my body could do more.

It is raining for the first time in over a month. Yay!!!!

Spiritual Experience No 073115

I was seated in a type of room that looks like a small theater or a college lecture hall. Next to me was a cute young black man in a pink shirt. He needed a pen and asked to borrow mine. I gave it to him. Then later, when we went on break he saved my seat. This was a cute relationship. We were somehow connected that quick.

The room was known as jury room 2; as opposed to another similar room filled with similar people, but their room was jury room 1. I\’m pretty sure almost no one in either room wanted to be there. We were there on penalty of punishment if we failed to show up on the day of our summons. It is amazing how obedient most people are when threatened with jail. I even made a joke to a colleague about not wanting to die in jail. My colleagues had coached me to just be calm and remember I am not in control.

I suppose many of the people are like me. I got my summons about a month ago. And ever since, I\’ve been wondering how to drive to downtown Houston for an 8 o\’clock start. I\’ve been frightened as hell because I don\’t ever go to down town Houston. The fear also produced a great deal of anger that I\’m going to have to drive 40 miles to get to jury duty and quite likely not let out until after 5 pm when it would for sure take at least an hour and a half to get home.

Fear would arise over and over during quiet times and in the night, or like when running. I could feel the steam building and building. I could feel almost on the verge of panic. Then, some lesson from A Course in Miracles or a prayer from AA Big Book would come in to my mind. The anxiety bubble would pop and I\’d forget it for awhile.

I was on a jury once and disliked it intensely. I vowed never to do that again. The next time I was called, I did something to make sure no lawyer picked me; but the judge gave me such a dirty look. I don\’t think I would ever try that again.

So I\’m scared to death of being on a jury and driving in Houston; and pissed about how late I\’ll get home. My small ego is having a field day with creating anxiety and hatred. The morning of, I turn my will over to the care of whatever higher power there is, I write down my ACIM lesson and grab The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I\’ve read this book once and I know it will help me with my false anxiety.

I look at the Houston Transtar map and see an accident on the highway I was planning to take. I quickly re-plot a route that is much longer but turns out to be free of traffic. I make it to the parking garage about 6:45 and note other people sitting in their cars; as I do until after 7. Then I walk down to the basement and through a series of tunnels to the jury plaza. I hand my paper in at the window and am told to go sit in room 2.

So I go sit. I watch the power point presentation about security and how to pay for parking and how can I be exempt. I read the juror hand book. Other people come in and sit. Everybody is pretty quiet. I open The Power of Now. First I read about Tolle\’s spiritual experience. I realize that Tolle is the same as Sam Harris, a guy I know named Larry, and numerous other stories I\’ve read. He didn\’t do any spiritual work. He was distraught one day and suddenly the universe opened up to him and he knew God. I am a spiritual seeker, but the emotional mountain top hasn\’t happened to me. And these books by these people seek to teach people like me how to have this experience. However, despite the lack of a mountain top, I realized I firmly stand on spiritual intuition as the basis of my life. I get through each and every day by trusting and relying on God. Divine help is my strength. These lessons from A Course in Miracles and these prayers from AA save my emotional bacon daily.

I pondered that for a little bit. I read one of Tolle\’s techniques. I totally agree with the statements on silence. So I shut my eyes there in jury room 2 and quiet my mind. I realize that I\’m more interested in being of service to the universe than playing games to piss off a judge to get out of jury duty. How may I best serve you? Thy will not mine be done. I realize that I\’ve put my life in the hands of the universe. Whatever my spirit wants to do, I will do. I sit there in the surrendered state for a brief few moments. I had achieved inner peace.

Suddenly the bailiff comes in and stands in the front of the room. He has a funny sort of smile on his face. He says something like,\” I have an announcement which I know will disappoint all of you. We called many extra people to jury duty today because we thought we would be having an extraordinary trial, that is, it would last more than 6 weeks.\” He pauses. The room full of people takes a collective gasp, \”Oh fuck, we all think.\” \”But, \” says the bailiff, \”that case just got settled out of court. So all of you are going to be set free in just a few minutes.\” Now everyone cheers. We high five. We are jubilant. A miracles has occurred. I look across the hall into jury room 1. Those people are not clapping and celebrating. They are lining up to go to various courtrooms.  In deed, in a few moments they let jury room 2 go. I am in my car and headed home, traffic free, by 9 am. And I did make it to my 5 pm AA meeting, a thing I worried I\’d miss.

But I have to tell you, I felt the miracle of creating my own reality at the moment I heard what the bailiff said. My ego didn\’t do anything. It hearkened to the ACIM chapter called \”You need do nothing.\” It was like, when my ego finally let go of it\’s plans and I achieved inner peace, another reality could arise.

When I myself quit projecting bad dreams, the world itself stops being a bad dream.