Eve of Self Transcendence

Tomorrow is the beginning of the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race.  I got hooked on this race years ago because it taught me how running could be a meditation. Learning about the inner runner was the start of my desire to be an ultra-marathoner. Now, I use the 52 days of the race to focus my workouts on inner running; self transcendence as it were. Catholics has Lent. I have Self Transcendence.

Heading into these 52 days, I find myself in a very decent place physically and emotionally.

Check out the Perfection Journey blog to get daily stories about the people in the race.

Here is a quote from Sri Chinmoy:
The outer running
Begins on the road
And ends on the road.
The inner running begins
Inside the silence-heart,
And it continues
Along Eternity’s Road.

Can\’t Afford It

Yesterday evening I was thinking about dopamine. I was reading an article about how cell phone apps are programmed to trigger certain brain responses and encourage fixation on checking the phone. This linked up in my mind to our nation\’s, and my own, obsession with Trump entertainment. That is, the media are marketing moral outrage and something in our brain loves it.

I think it is my negative ego which loves all the controversy. I get some sort of dopamine pleasure by reading about the battles in politics with Trump. But I don\’t think I can afford to carry on this chemical pleasure; and it surely is a type of porn and addiction.

So today I drove to work in silence. My beloved NPR has been shut off. I thought about what I wanted to think about. Some of my thoughts are work related. But also I thought about what my spiritual work has produced in me. One of the themes of my spiritual work is \”conscious contact with a power greater than myself.\” One of the requirements of conscious contact with a higher power is consciousness itself. That is, I must accept consciousness in totality. As soon as I am conscious, then I am aware of my dirty little secrets, like taking pleasure from the Trump bashing. And so I must do something about myself.

I have the spiritual tools. More about what I will do will be coming forth. Starting Sunday is the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race (google it). Annually I use these days for my own self transcendence. Some people have Lent. I have self transcendence.

By the way, the last time I shut off the news for years was when Clinton was president and I decided not to listen to any testimony about Monica Lewinsky.

I am a member of the silent majority. I go to work and pay taxes. No matter who is in Washigton, they want my money.

Pain

I know I am human today because I felt a common pain. The thing hadn\’t happened to me but I understood how it felt.

There is a thing happening to many people in our corporation. We are the competent experts who keep the company running; but not given promotional opportunity since clearly our careers are ending. It is like a death to realize you are at the end. Your career has stopped. This is pain.

I talked today to a colleague who just now experienced this problem. I also talked to her about what I am doing in my life. I realized that I am happiest when I discuss having a phase 3 of my life and a new career.

What Makes My Life Worth Living?

I\’ve struggled with this question on and off all my life. Especially after I left monastic life, I wondered, \”What good am I?\” I didn\’t get to be Sister ____ OSB, and have the world think I am special. I am a single woman, professional engineer. Nobody\’s mother. Nobody\’s wife. Not religious at this point.  All of these are society\’s measurements of what makes a good person or a worthwhile person. And I have dissed myself over them so much.

Today, I asked myself what made my life worth living today? I remembered the deer that came within 3 feet of me. It is a doe who limps and I\’ve seen her in that park before. Seeing her was worthwhile.

I jog walked slowly for 4 hours today. It felt really good to do low impact. Doing this made my life worth living to me. While I am on my feet for 4 hours, I get to dream of running marathons. Running marathons is a worthwhile activity to me.

While I was jogging, I was thinking about my metaphysical life. I thought about my recent decision to stay in Texas at my current job. So I asked the Universe what was I going to do now? I realized that I need to let the fabric of my mentally controlled view of the world to unravel a bit. You\’d have to study metaphysics to know what I am talking about, but it has to do with \”I am responsible for the world I see.\” As I thought about letting the fabric unravel, let go of control, I got a vision of my boss. Suddenly, I thought, \”let go of the control,\” and the fabric of my boss unraveled revealing a hole in the fabric and the bright light was shining beyond it. This vision is a true practice of A Course in Miracles \”forgiveness.\” Forgiveness is looking beyond, undoing. It was astonishing to envision the unraveling of my mental control of the world.

Another thing about this weekend is that I finally made it to Home Depot to buy some paint for my front door. The associate did a great job of helping me because I know nothing about paint. And I was scared of doing the job. But I did do the job today. Now, watching my ordinary consciousness fiddle and be scared by using my higher consciousness is in fact a thing to be aware of. It is a doorway into the fact that I have a higher consciousness and I can be aware of it.

So if I have a higher consciousness, do I have to ask the question of the worth of my life at all? For sure, a higher consciousness just is. There is no measurement of its worth. Exploring consciousness, finding the higher has been a desire of my lower consciousness for decades. To have  worthwhile life, do I need to be great or famous or in a helping profession? My life was worth living to me today. I need to find small worthwhile parts of life each day; and not judge myself as less worthwhile because I work at a corporate job.

Marathons 80 and 81

I didn\’t start my running career with a goal of 100 marathons. I ran my first marathon at age 19 and didn\’t run another until I was 35. I don\’t think I planned running another marathon at all. During my 30s, I could run 5ks fast enough to win awards and that was enough for me.

Then, around 2008 I heard about the Sri Chinmoy 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race. I ran my next marathon as a prelude to becoming an ultra-marathoner. I was fascinated with ultra-marathons as a means of self transcendence.

I don\’t think I have achieved self transcendence. But in the past few years, having moved to Texas, I realize there are many more marathons to run than in Missouri. I began to have friends which had run 50 or 100 or 600 marathons. I began to see my own number of marathons piling up. So that is how I got here.

Marathoning is fun for me. I get to travel to various places; as well as make friends. The trip to Red Deer Canada for marathon #80 was a social trip. I got to run a marathon on an outstandingly beautiful course and meet friends.

The trip to Dallas for marathon #81 was about seeing friends. It is in Dallas where these people are who run hundreds of marathons. Dallas weather was fairly decent for this time of year; but the course around Bachman Lake is nothing to rave about.

I think alot about the reasons why 100 marathons is a sort of goal. It has been since 2012 that I began to run numerous marathons per year. At first I wanted to run 50 marathons. That number came and went. So then I thought I\’d like to say I ran 100 marathons. It will be 2018 before I get there. When it happens, I will notify one or two people. They will say, \”Congrats.\” Then the whole thing will have passed by and number 101 will be planned.

But also, I like to look at where I was in life during marathon number x. Or delve into the endurance and perseverance of any person who runs that many marathons. I have obviously invested much energy, time, thought and effort into a project. Since everything I do is a symbol of life, I should come up with why I am doing this. I\’ll know soon.

Red Deer finish:

Texas Threesome day 2 shirt and belt buckle swag: