Letter 4/28/2020

A beautiful sunny day here. I ran really well in Parkville.

I wore a buff for the first time in order to have a flexible face covering option for passing people on a trail. I admit that it doesn\’t seem necessary, except for the occasional group of people who don\’t practice social distancing. I did make a good example and discovered that it is not that annoying to pull it up when you pass people. I think that if I ever go in another real race, having a mask option and a hand cleaning option will be necessary.

Speaking of races. I\’ve entered another virtual race. Great Virtual race across Tennessee. Virtual races would seem stupid in any other year than this one. But, the races I\’ve entered so far offer benefits I won\’t be able to get in a normal year. Like the Aravaipa race offered a cool belt buckle. The race across Tennessee makes sense if you follow ultra running and have heard about the Vol State race or Laz Lake. Vol State race won\’t be happening this year, but I couldn\’t do it anyway. It is too hard for me to actually run across Tennessee in the given time frame. But I\’m happy to focus my running on getting the miles in over 4 months. And getting a t-shirt that won\’t ever be available again. Only 4684 participants so far.

I have been taking good advantage of my corona-cation. I totally appreciate the gifts given.

Letter 4/26/20

Today was a beautiful sunny day. Finally, KC is warming up. It was only 9 days ago, at the start of my 100 mile run that it was 27F wind chill outside.

I decided to take my run on a bike path that goes through a forest so I could listen to the birds. We have a lot of birds. So I loaded up my hydro-pak and off I went. It is 6.6 miles to where I turned around. On the day, I got 13.3 miles, all jogging. No walking.

The reason I am mentioning this is because of the satisfaction I feel about it. The satisfaction about a run well done is within me. It wasn\’t a half marathon race where I won a medal. It was pretty slow paced. It wasn\’t a training run for any particular race. I did it because I felt like it. But I feel good within me that I did it. To jog for 2:45 was satisfying.

Other things that happened today. 2 chores got done. 2 phone calls to friends. Via zoom, I attended an AA meeting in Texas where I saw old friends. I continued to read that difficult book I have sitting on my kitchen table. I spent 30 minutes lifting weights. I made myself an actual meal for supper.

Only about one week left to my corona-cation. I wonder how nearly 2 months of solitude have changed me. Or maybe they haven\’t changed me. Other than return to work, I don\’t know what else I\’ll be willing to participate in socially. Some people do not take care of themselves and therefore are a danger to those around them. One thing for sure, my physical fitness has improved since I\’ve had more time for working out. I think I have come to enjoy myself more because there is less comparison of myself to worldly expectations. I appreciate almost everything.

Prayer Miles

Day 3 of Aravaipa Strong virtual 10 day race. I\’m going for 100 miles and a belt buckle. As day 3 comes to a close, I have 62.9 miles. Tomorrow will be a shorter day.

I haven\’t been to work or any fellowship meetings since. March 18, a little over a month ago. The people I see are those who use the trails or those in grocery stores. I have had about 5 telephone conversations. I have attended to 13 hours of Abraham Now. Since March 18, I have run 384 miles. You can see that the virtual race is only a melding in to miles I was going to do anyway.

I have for most of my life been a solitary, but never has the needle been closer to 100% for so many days. Never have I shut off the alarm clock for that many days. There has been hours of reflection on my life and my spiritual connection. Contemplative prayer and running are obvious threads running through my entire life. Here in isolation, the two threads entwine, back and forth. My isolation is not about staying busy but about existing as being and relishing how bare my consciousness can be. Who I really am becomes more and more obvious, but also has fewer words with which to explain it. Fewer words because my place in society is gone. There is no mirror. No position.

I watch my thoughts from the moment of awakening to sleep. I watch my thoughts as I run.

This morning, I didn\’t know what I was going to do or where I was going to do it. But I thought I would like to do prayer miles. Prayer miles are those miles done in contemplation. I chose a long bike path through a forest, strapped on my hydro-pak, and disappeared down the trail for 3 hours. Came home. Ate. Disappeared onto another bike path for two hours.

My life consists of many many prayer miles. All of my activities, working or otherwise, are prayer miles.

I\’ve changed during this period. I rediscovered the joy of drinking cold milk right from the gallon jug. Said good-bye to soy milk.

Aravaipa Strong – Days 1 and 2

Yesterday I began a 10 day virtual race. I am feeling very real about earning a belt buckle for 100 miles and for some reason, my body feels like doing it faster than is really necessary.

Segment 1 was on the treadmill for 7.35 miles. Hate to say this, but it was cold and wet and windy outside and I just couldn\’t face it.

Then, after a protein shake and a sandwich, I headed for the park and segment 2 was 9.15 miles. After a shower and food and resting, I managed to walk segment 3 for 4.05 miles.  Total so far: 20.55 miles

An odd feeling came over me yesterday afternoon as I was thinking about an evening walk. I had the idea that COVID is over for me and somehow, this virtual 100 mile run caused this displacement. What that means is my focus of attention is doing miles and caring for myself. I have no other intention for several days, and this is exactly how I dream of the perfect life. But the main point is that COVID has been displaced as a point of attraction. At this point, anyone can find a different point of attraction than COVID.

I slept!

For day two, we had a totally clear sunshiny day. Still a little chilly and very windy. I made it outside for two runs in the morning. Segment 4 was 9.15 miles and segment 5 was 8.48 miles. In between morning segments, I drank a protein shake, took a gel, and ate a banana. Good fueling. Segment 6 was the 4.6 mile treadmill walk. Cumulative total 38.18 miles.

After a shower, food and rest, I\’m now walking slowly on the treadmill and listening to the radio. Just getting in a few miles (4.6) and not taxing my legs. And I\’m sick of the 20 mph wind which is still whipping things up out there. My cumulative total for 2 days is 42.78 miles.

Over 2,000 runners signed up for this event. 10% of the entry fee went to the WHO. That is pretty amazing. Lots of runners whose races have been cancelled and want to put their energy somewhere.

Letter 4/16/20

Virtual race starts tomorrow. It is 10 days. If I complete 100 miles, I get a buckle. In the mean time, the hoody, t-shirt and number arrived today. I am wearing the hoody already.

My feet are ready to go. I\’m looking forward to focusing on miles. I plan to get at least 15 miles per day. But if I can stay blister free, I\’ll do more. It is supposed to rain all night and snow early tomorrow. We\’ll see what time I go out. Too cold out there to wear a t-shirt.

Yesterday I ran 10 miles. I did it along the Missouri River. I hadn\’t see it for awhile so I enjoyed the image of power and strength. Running or walking feels good. This good feeling alone is a good reason to do it.

In the middle of social distancing, it is awesome to have something exciting to do.

Behold

Behold is a word I rediscovered in my current spiritual reading (\”Silence-a user\’s guide\” by Maggie Ross).

Look! Stand is awe! Wordless. In your meditation, don\’t try for enlightenment but for beholding that which is silent and vast and non-physical. Quiet the mind for the purpose of beholding.

Jesus said,\”Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me\” (Revelations,3:30, English Standard Version).

Has there ever been a more metaphysical saying? That great presence which you seek is standing at the door of your consciousness. Quiet the self-conscious mind and behold with a deeper awareness, a clarity, a now consciousness which has no words.

Behold, the bird in the tree. Behold, the tree. Behold air. Behold the sun. Behold, water. Behold, cells in your body. Behold, food. Behold, consciousness. Behold, earth. Behold, love. Behold joy. Behold, thought. Behold, gifts. Behold, compassion. Behold, altruism. Behold, help is here. Behold, I go before you always. Behold, seek and you shall find. Behold, mercy. Behold, these things shall be added unto you. Behold well-being. Behold abundance. Behold, I am with you always.

Be still and know that I am God.

Behold. I saw but I have no words for it. I couldn\’t grasp it. But it was and is. Behold.

The place of beholding is called liminality, the threshold. Behold is to see beyond. This place can be found somehow. And then sit at the threshold and you will know everything. Behold is a verb. Behold is a command. Self forgetfulness is beholding. Beholding is not an experience, because you were transfixed in thoughtless awareness when it happened, but ever transfigured afterward. Transfigured meaning software and cell biology updated.

You live in a new word. Behold!

Letter 4/9/20

UPDATE 4:10 pm — /success. 60 minutes on the elliptical this afternoon burned calories but didn\’t at all annoy the left toe.

A lovely day, chilly, sunny, windy. I went for a 6.2 mile walk this morning. A slow walk. A slow walk to anticipate an upcoming event. I signed up for a 100 mile virtual race. I\’m pretty excited to earn a belt buckle and remember this period of self isolation. For a real race, I\’d be tapering in order to be very fresh on race day. But now, I still want to go outside and enjoy hours of walking because walking is part of how I stand self isolation. But, I have one tiny injury problem that needs to heal before I unleash myself on 100 miles. Hence, slow walking.

Doing massive quantities of miles is a dream of mine, carried out with varying results over the past 18 years since I heard about ultra running. And every time I am off work, either between jobs or on vacation, the time has been used to do miles. Heck, every vacation has been to races. I love this. However, I have a fat short big toe which always gets blisters if too many miles are done. Since my last day at work in March, through today, I have jogged 264 miles, 95 miles just this month. So today, I decided that whatever exercise I took, it would be non-aggravating for the toe. Success so far.

Would you walk 100 miles to get a buckle? Well, I am.

The Great Rebooting

This corona time is a time of rebooting, not pandemic.

I have been participating in a series of conversations at Abraham Now. It has been incredible. Abraham was talking about this being a time of rebooting. You know, the computer gets glitchy, and locks up, so you reboot and it starts working fine again? Now, during this time of social distancing and time off work, is a time when you can restart you life: body, mind and spirit. Not new software but return to the software you came with. So…I\’ve been doing my spiritual practices in isolation and receiving from non-physical. Then…

Holy eff! I woke up this morning rebooted.

What does rebooting mean?

Rebooting means: Rebooting is to suddenly have this original understanding of my self-conscious mind/ego default network plus the deep mind/primary consciousness plus the inner being/spiritual consciousness equaling a unity of being. I suddenly woke up this morning with a self-conscious/ego mind willing to understand that it is a receiver. Rebooting means that my ego I has been unseated, no longer alone as an I, but now I am a whole system of a being.

Rebooting means that I suddenly am able to sit quietly in meditation without the continuous checking by the self conscious mind: am I doing it yet? Am I enlightened yet? Suddenly, I am trusting and believing that my self conscious mind will receive thoughts as needed because I am at one with the greater part of me. \”Meditation\” is for quietly sitting in communion with the other parts of me; not about achieving enlightenment.

My ego mind is accepting the role of self-consciousness as a receiver from the greater system and not angry about the threshold place beyond which the self-conscious mind  really can\’t go. I just need to stand at the door and what I need will come. It is not a door to keep me out but a transition place for receiving thoughts into physical reality.  My whole world is turned upside down by this understanding. I\’ve been seeing everything backwards and been pissed off about it.

I can trust this. The trusting is is important. Previously, I was unwilling to accept the role. Unwilling because my self-conscious ego mind thought it was somehow less than, and so was fighting to become something more than it is. Being a receiver doesn\’t mean that I, ego, am less than anything; it means I am part of a system. In this acceptance of being part of a system, I have access to the whole system. Rebooting is that now I am accepting and understanding all of me, and appreciating that the whole of my consciousness is always available, always standing at the door. I\’m not pissed off that self-consciousness can\’t go through the door. So, really, there is no door. Just receive and be happy. I am whole (suddenly brought to tears of appreciation).

All this without LSD. Amazing!

Beginner

Isolation can change you. If you are intentional, the outcome is different than if not. By \”not,\” I mean, merely being busy, just using up time. I have been using up time in some ways. Yes, indeed.

But also, my mornings start with spiritual reading. At the moment I am reading \”Silence: A User\’s Guide\” by Maggie Ross. I have had the book a long time and did read it years ago. Reading it again, i am in a new place and realizing new things.

This morning I read some astonishing information about meditation, as well as information about the self-conscious mind versus the deep mind. About meditation, she mentions that life transfiguring meditation is not about 15 minutes a day but a whole life of transfigured perception. You are not trying to get anything out of meditation but discovering your own unique unfolding truth. Letting go of ideas of myself which came from the outside and waiting in complete openness for the emergence of the deep mind.

Quotation: \”Many teachers limit themselves to various techniques of meditation–in effect making meditation in itself something of a panacea, a goal, even an idol, and therefore a dead end. The primary reason for this limitation is that both teachers and students are unwilling to pay the price, which is not monetary. They are unwilling to let go of their ideas of themselves; unwilling to let go of a sense of belonging to a special in-group; unwilling to wait in the dark in complete willingness; unwilling to turn away from noise and static in their minds whenever they notice it in order to reach into the dark; unwilling to seek solitude and silence; unwilling to radically simplify their lives in order to sustain the context in which the riches of the deep mind may emerge. Willingness to change one\’s life is not the condition of entry in to the silence; rather, once entered, the silence itself elicits such changes. It is the same with so-called asceticism: it is not the condition of entry, but rather the condition for sustaining the process; it arises organically.\”

So, my own thinking this morning. Not in a hundred years or more has so much of humanity been forced into isolation. In my isolation without TV and very little news, I have more silence than ever and less outside influence than ever. My life of \”stay at home\” is necessarily simple. I am with me. I can now see my idols. I can become without idols and let the deep mind speak to me. My whole life has become really nothing. I am forced to admit that my life is a human life with value from the deep mind; or my life is nothing. What is my intention for meditating or spirituality at all?

I am at a kind of bottom. My self-conscious mind is at the moment without possessions. I have nothing to show for me. I am nothing to the world at the moment. Only my inner being can have meaning. I can only listen.