10 Years Ago

It was 10 years ago today, July 29, 2007, that I first started reading A Course in Miracles. I am still reading, though this year it is the new Annotated Edition published in February.

It is day 42 of the Sri Chinmoy 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence race. I\’ve been following the race every day on the Perfection Journey blog and via the web cam. This year I notice that I have interest in only one of the racers: a 58 year old woman who walks her 60+ miles each day.

In my own life, what about self transcendence? In some way, my inner silence is the evidence. At the moment, my ego is stymied so I am pretty calm. There are lots of people changes at work. That could be evidence of inner changes. I have been without potato chips since the start of the 3,100 mile race (42 days ago). More evidence. This month I will have the biggest mileage and largest number of workout hours in 2 years. Evidence of shifting. I have continued to work on my writing project. Evidence of a future.

This morning, I ran 10 miles in the Seabrook heat at a 5 mph pace. That felt good. I don\’t have any problems left over from last week\’s marathons (except for blister healing). I came away from the 2 marathons with a feeling of well being and accomplishment. It was a good thing for me to do. I can hardly wait for my quad; which will be in September.

This bit of scripture has been on my mind. It is from 1 Corinthians 13.4-7. It is the only definition of \”Love\” I really understand; and wish I could be like; especially that bit about enduring whatever comes.

\”Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, 5.it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. 6.Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. 7.It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.\” 



Re-imagining the Dream

My last post claimed I\’m thinking about leaving my job; leaving the American dream. Then I got my bonus. Adding up all the money I actually make convinced me that continuing to work makes financial sense.

So the real problem with my life is me and my attitudes.

And I have spent 31 years working on said attitudes; but with a major distraction. If only I could be spiritual, float around and never work again. Such a dream landed me in a monastery for 4 years; which cost me about $500,000 in lost wages.

As a result of my current investigation into quitting my job, I realized a couple of things. Yes, work is hard and I\’m like most people in not wanting to do it. Spiritual directors say that we should follow our dreams and not work at \”jobs\”. But is working at an engineering job in a chemical plant really killing my soul? If I believe so then yes, it is. If I am consciously going to work with some other attitude, then no. Any emotional problems I have with the people at work are no different than the emotional problems I had with the sisters in the convent. And quitting work altogether would leave me with the same emotional problems.

So the real problem with my life is me and my attitudes.

I have access to attitude improvement. Mostly, it is practicing A Course in Miracles. Keeping in my mind, Course thinking instead of ego thinking is a challenge. Daily opening of the book puts fresh healing cooling balm into my brain.

Another result of this \”quitting\” investigation is that I seem to have pushed away my 2 spiritual advisers. I need to accept my own choices as the best for me no matter what these so called spiritual advisers say. I am an engineer and I must have chosen that for this life\’s purpose. I am not a spiritual author; and I won\’t suddenly become one just because I quit my job. My life is not a worthless life because I work as an engineer.

Yesterday, the bug man came so I don\’t have bugs in the house. Today, the AC man came to check the AC, so the house is cool. Is having the money to pay for such services so terribly un-spiritual?

Tomorrow, I\’m going in a marathon. On Sunday, I\’m going in a half marathon. Because of doing the 2 races in a row, I get a special medal. The swag gets hung on a wall with numerous other bits of swag. Am I guilty of a terrible shallowness because I love medals? I love races, even though I come in behind. Does this make me a spiritual loser?

The problem with my life is not my life. It is how I feel about it. And I can change my decisions about what a good life is. I need to drop the rocks.

The Dream can be a dream of inner joy. Joy just is. Joy does not have to be caused. Just think the word Joy, and I feel better instantly.

Galveston Marathon

So, I haven\’t blogged in awhile. I guess I got tired of posting marathon race reports. On January 1, I ran the Texas marathon. On January 29, I ran the Sugar Land marathon. On February 12, I ran the Galveston marathon. That brings me to 76 lifetime marathons. Here is a picture of a over heated me at Galveston:

I bought the picture and then scanned it for here. Not a great scan. What I most like is that my arms do appear to have muscles. Yes I lift weights. I have always been fascinated with muscles. I must have been a guy in my previous life. As a woman, my muscles will never be too impressive but I keep working at it. As I remember being a teenager and fascinated with my back muscles, I remember other things about those years. It is a wonder that I survived my early life without many more bad things happening to me.

In January, I passed my 58th birthday.

Mr Trump was inaugurated. The news continues to be almost solely about his administration; and the crazy doings of a very strange man. Unfortunately we are looking at \”normalization of deviation\” and nothing will be integral again. There haven\’t been any statesmen in Washington for a very long time. Our country will be going down.

I got the new Annotated Edition of A Course in Miracles. This new edition is really fantastic. The person who wrote it got the original shorthand notes of Helen, the original scribe of A Course in Miracles, and then published this edition directly as the notes say. Much new material. A fantastic work.

Speaking of work. I continue to diligently hack away at problems with my manager. I have a fantastic coach for this effort. I have learned alot about emotions. But in general I am unhappy. I continue because I must grow. My boss wants me to be a bonsai but I am a tree and cannot put up with the pruning any longer. I am 58 years old with 35 years experience in this field. I can\’t just go get another job at this level in this field. However, in the not too distant future, I will quit and go do something else. Also, my boss will be retired in a couple of years anyway. I am needed to do what I do. My problem is what would be known in psychological terms as \”differentiation of self\” or less technically as \”taking back my self.\” Living my equality, not begging for it.

I remind myself that I didn\’t come into the world to be unhappy at work every day. But A Course in Miracles continually reminds me that it is my own thoughts which are the problem. I have hope for my thought patterns and am working through the work book again. I still can\’t figure out why I am alive; but the spiritual work I do has been with me since the age of 22. My struggles at work are really a butterfly trying to get out of a cocoon. I need to be free and I don\’t need anybody\’s permission. White bird must fly or she will die.

Self Transcendence 50/52

Only 12 people start the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence race. This year, 2 didn\’t finish the number of days, 5 will finish the 3,100 miles, the rest are doing as many miles as possible. The rest of the people in world didn\’t start. Or did something else. It takes me a year to do 3,100 miles.

Today, I went outside for 3 1/2 hours, only 2 of which were jogging. Then it was too hot for me so I walked until I ran out of drink. Then I walked home and decided to finish today\’s workout on the treadmill. At least some jogging occurs on the treadmill. In total, I got 19.4 miles in 5 hours.

While I was outside, I thought of my favorite 3,100 mile runner. It was astonishing yesterday to see a video of the start for that day. She was limping badly. This was on top of the daily blog where there has been a picture of her getting out of a van. You can tell it is a difficult task. Yet, she still does more than 50 miles each day. It is a thing of contemplation, her body-mind relationship. In the middle of it, is her spiritual teacher.

And I gave some thought to pictures of the US men\’s gymnastics team without their shirts. Wow!

Also, I was doing my own metaphysical work. This means, watching my thoughts. When they get stuck on some resentment towards another person or society, I need to move that energy out. Change the thought. My Course in Miracles lesson today was \”My home awaits me. I will hasten there.\” And to lift your head and notice Silent Consciousness which exists in the trees. Become aware of Something Higher and don\’t let my mind stay in resentment.

When I got on my treadmill, I was looking at cue cards I have. Over time, I have written meaning full sentences from ACIM Text on the cards; so I can be reminded while I am on my treadmill. Things like the ego\’s goals, specialness, Love, Oneness, The Holy Spirit.

But I didn\’t take my body to excruciating pain like those ultra runners. I will go for a walk later since I have a vacation day tomorrow.

Only 2 more days to my self transcendence retreat. I will miss checking on the runners and the focus on my own self transcendence. I will also note that this important annual celebration of my personal history is gone for another year. There will be more miles and more marathons. I have a spiritual dream that I need to keep alive.

Self Transcendence 47/52

Two guys finished the race today. Very amazing. There was actually a neck and neck (sort of) race for first.

The other runners will finish in the coming days. Even those who do not complete 3,100 miles still have amazing piles of miles.

I have a story. I think it is a self transcendence story because it suggests a non-ego state of mind. It suggests a state of mind in cooperation with the Spirit of the Universe.

More than about 10 days ago, a piece of debris on the freeway got tiddly-winked up by another car and it smacked my front bumper. When I got home, I saw that the bumper was cracked and one of the lower lights was broken. I didn\’t know what to do. None of the near by body shops is a clean place where I wanted to take my car. But I did go over to one of them just to see what they said.

Driving home (3 blocks), I decided to let go and let the universe guide me. Stop trying to control.

Coming home, I checked my car insurance and decided that the repair would be enough to justify a claim. So I called the insurance company just to see how a claim works. I\’ve never filed one before. The outstanding feature was that they give me a choice of two approved body shops and my policy has rental car on it. Just knowing a good body shop was worth the call. In elegant fashion, I had, within a couple of days, dropped off my car. I never gave it much more thought. Almost forgot about it.

A few days later, I asked the shop when my car would be done. They mentioned that the bumper came in damaged and they had to order another and so my car would be a day or two late. Getting off the phone, parts of A Course in Miracles came into my mind. I thought, \”I am not a victim of the world I see.\” This thought is a metaphysical truth. My thoughts have an impact on my perception and what I think I see, my reality. I also remembered that I had decided to let The Universe take care of this situation.

So that day, I didn\’t get all pissed off at the body shop. I just went on with life. Then I called the body shop on the original day my car was supposed to be done, a day or 2 earlier than the new promised date, and they said my car would be ready that day at 3 pm. Wow! No need to waste my energy on being pissed off. The Universe has taken care of this situation. It is an example of how we can walk hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe. And change the world.

One last thing about the winner of the 3,100 mile Self Transcendence race. Yesterday, he gave an interview. He said, \”The world has let me go.  Everything that was binding me has left.  Right now I am just a soul bird.  For a bird there are no limitations, no boundaries.  But I have a body and I do all I can and this turns out to be 70 miles a day….I am not doing this for the records.  I am doing this to bring happiness to my soul.  To bring happiness to God and to be able to approach him faster.  This is why my speed has increased.”

Is that not beautiful? It matches very well with my Course in Miracles workbook lesson today: \”God is my life. I have no life but His.\”

Every thought of God makes me happy.

The Silence of My Soul

I wonder if the energy that goes into work is robbing me of inspiration. I mourn the holy leisure I had during my 4 year monastic life.

Are there any thoughts which are not spiritual?

Looking at facebook pictures of a sister getting ashes, I wonder, \”Does it help to play church all day and live in the play house?\”

My soul does produce thoughts I didn\’t have right before I prayed.

A Course in Miracles 27.III.4 : \”An empty space that is not seen as filled, an unused interval of time not seen as spent and fully occupied, become a silent invitation to the truth to enter, and to make itself at home… For what you leave vacant God will fill, and where He is there must the truth abide.\”

\”Reality is ultimately known without a form, unpictured and unseen.\”

And so, sitting quietly this morning, I had a brain storm. What if \”I\” am configured like a mag drive pump? Google mag drive pump if you don\’t know what that is.

 Essentially, the impeller part of the pump, in its casing, spins and moves liquids. That I think is like my ego mind or ordinary consciousness. The motor causing the impeller to spin is connected magnetically, but the impeller itself doesn\’t know this. Like my ego mind does not know how it comes into action. The motor is like the right side of my brain; totally in control of the left side and itself connected both to power and to communications. Power for the motor is connected to a Source, the power plant. So I see it as the Spiritual connection to Source. Communication is a connection to a control room which orders starting and stopping and speed. I see the control room as Higher Self. It also of course is connected to Source, but differently than the individual motor and pump.

Don\’t get too carried away with the analogy. Just imagine yourself connected in some way, in touch with Spirit and part of a whole. It feels good.

I don\’t need to go around playing Church all day and night. I just need to pay attention to my spiritual connections. I know it is impossible for any one to not be connected.

Birthday Blog

Today is my 57th year of life. I am a woman and I was born a woman and I am not any other thing.

This is the first year that someone named Cortana who lives in my computer has wished me a happy birthday. Google Chrome did it also. I am on Windows 10.

It is my 47th year as a runner.
My 35th year as a spiritual seeker.
My 33rd year as an engineer.
My 30th year of sobriety.
My 12th year post monastery.
My 10th reading of the Course in Miracles Text, hence the 10th year as a Course student.
My 7th year with my current employer.
My 5th year in Texas.

I read in the ACIM Text this morning an utterly great and lovely section on holiness (copied below). It is beautiful that I turn my mind to spiritual things twice a day and several times, momentarily during the day. Spirituality is my salvation. My ego mind is filled with horrid thoughts so it is a blessing to switch to Christ Consciousness frequently and know the field of Love in which we actually live.

And now, I am going for a run.

24.VI. Salvation from Fear
(underlines mine)
1 Before your brother’s holiness the world is still, and peace descends on it in gentleness and blessing so complete that not one trace of conflict still remains to haunt you in the darkness of the night. He is your saviour from the dreams of fear. He is the healing of your sense of sacrifice and fear that what you have will scatter with the wind and turn to dust. In him is your assurance God is here, and with you now. While he is what he is, you can be sure that God is knowable and will be known to you. For He could never leave His Own creation. And the sign that this is so lies in your brother, offered you that all your doubts about yourself may disappear before his holiness. See in him God’s creation. For in him his Father waits for your acknowledgement that He created you as part of Him.
2 Without you there would be a lack in God, a Heaven incomplete, a son without a Father. There could be no universe and no reality. For what God wills is whole, and part of Him because His Will is one. Nothing alive that is not part of Him, and nothing is but is alive in Him. Your brother’s holiness shows you that God is one with him and you; that what he has is yours because you are not separate from him nor from his Father.
3 Nothing is lost to you in all the universe. Nothing that God created has He failed to lay before you lovingly, as yours forever. And no Thought within His Mind is absent from your own. It is His Will you share His Love for you, and look upon yourself as lovingly as He conceived of you before the world began, and as He knows you still. God changes not His Mind about His Son with passing circumstance which has no meaning in eternity where He abides, and you with Him. Your brother is as He created him. And it is this that saves you from a world that He created not.
4 Forget not that the healing of God’s Son is all the world is for. That is the only purpose the Holy Spirit sees in it, and thus the only one it has. Until you see the healing of the Son as all you wish to be accomplished by the world, by time and all appearances, you will not know the Father nor yourself. For you will use the world for what is not its purpose, and will not escape its laws of violence and death. Yet it is given you to be beyond its laws in all respects, in every way and every circumstance, in all temptation to perceive what is not there, and all belief God’s Son can suffer pain because he sees himself as he is not.
5 Look on your brother, and behold in him the whole reversal of the laws that seem to rule this world. See in his freedom yours, for such it is. Let not his specialness obscure the truth in him, for not one law of death you bind him to will you escape. And not one sin you see in him but keeps you both in hell. Yet will his perfect sinlessness release you both, for holiness is quite impartial, with one judgement made for all it looks upon. And that is made, not of itself, but through the Voice that speaks for God in everything that lives and shares His Being.
6 It is His sinlessness that eyes that see can look upon. It is His loveliness they see in everything. And it is He they look for everywhere, and find no sight nor place nor time where He is not. Within your brother’s holiness, the perfect frame for your salvation and the world’s, is set the shining memory of Him in Whom your brother lives, and you along with him. Let not your eyes be blinded by the veil of specialness that hides the face of Christ from him, and you as well. And let the fear of God no longer hold the vision you were meant to see from you. Your brother’s body shows not Christ to you. He is set forth within his holiness.
7 Choose, then, his body or his holiness as what you want to see, and which you choose is yours to look upon. Yet will you choose in countless situations, and through time that seems to have no end, until the truth be your decision. For eternity is not regained by still one more denial of Christ in him. And where is your salvation, if he is but a body? Where is your peace but in his holiness? And where is God Himself but in that part of Him He set forever in your brother’s holiness, that you might see the truth about yourself, set forth at last in terms you recognized and understood?
8 Your brother’s holiness is sacrament and benediction unto you. His errors cannot withhold God’s blessing from himself, nor you who see him truly. His mistakes can cause delay, which it is given you to take from him, that both may end a journey that has never begun, and needs no end. What never was is not a part of you. Yet you will think it is, until you realize that it is not a part of him who stands beside you. He is the mirror of yourself, wherein you see the judgement you have laid on both of you. The Christ in you beholds his holiness. Your specialness looks on his body and beholds him not.

Spiritual Workouts

First the running. I had a great day yesterday. I had to split my miles into two periods, but I ended up with 19 miles. Ultra-marathoners as I hope to be, walk a ton of miles. So yesterday, about 9 of my miles were walked. It felt good. Today, I also intend to walk for a long time. As long as I don\’t get blisters on my big toes, I don\’t mind walking.

I really really want to be an ultra marathoner and go in timed races. But if I think about spending my weekends walking 8 hours or so in order to train my mind, I can\’t grasp it. But I am so close to using my frequent flyer miles for a 48 hour race, and letting go of any goals.

I also think about improving my spiritual life, conscious contact with Something. I spent decades chasing that white light experience. Now, I accept that it can\’t be forced. It requires some deeply ego deflating emotional condition, or drugs, or disease delirium, or a brain injury; or produced in an ultra marathon due to extreme physical deficiency.

So I have the spiritual experience of the slow growth, gradual awakening variety. My biggest concern is a head full of resentments, and the ease with which another person can upset my emotional apple cart. A Course in Miracles is directly intended to provide help for this. This week, I\’ll be using Workbook lessons 271-4 (shown below).

I think that in my life I have made great strides in getting along with people, no matter how I feel inside. But I know that I am not illuminated. I have only had glimpses of that greater consciousness. I continue to do the spiritual work, surrendering each day, praying, meditating, taking my inventory. These practices are providing a good life; and good relationships.

I still yearn for that one great moment; but it is out of my direct control.

LESSON 271

Christ’s is the vision I will use today.

1 Each day, each hour, every instant, I am choosing what I want to look upon, the sounds I want to hear, the witnesses to what I want to be the truth for me. Today I choose to look upon what Christ would have me see, to listen to God’s Voice, and seek the witnesses to what is true in God’s creation. In Christ’s sight, the world and God’s creation meet, and as they come together all perception disappears. His kindly sight redeems the world from death, for nothing that He looks on but must live, remembering the Father and the Son; Creator and creation unified.


2 Father, Christ’s vision is the way to You. What He beholds invites Your memory to be restored to me. And this I choose, to be what I would look upon today.


LESSON 272

How can illusions satisfy God’s Son?

1 Father, the truth belongs to me. My home is set in Heaven by Your Will and mine. Can dreams content me? Can illusions bring me happiness? What but Your memory can satisfy Your Son? I will accept no less than You have given me. I am surrounded by Your Love, forever still, forever gentle and forever safe. God’s Son must be as You created him.


2 Today we pass illusions by. And if we hear temptation call to us to stay and linger in a dream, we turn aside and ask ourselves if we, the Sons of God, could be content with dreams, when Heaven can be chosen just as easily as hell, and love will happily replace all fear.


LESSON 273

The stillness of the peace of God is mine.

1 Perhaps we are now ready for a day of undisturbed tranquillity. If this is not yet feasible, we are content and even more than satisfied to learn how such a day can be achieved. If we give way to a disturbance, let us learn how to dismiss it and return to peace. We need but tell our minds, with certainty, “The stillness of the peace of God is mine,” and nothing can intrude upon the peace that God Himself has given to His Son.


2 Father, Your peace is mine. What need have I to fear that anything can rob me of what You would have me keep? I cannot lose Your gifts to me. And so the peace You gave Your Son is with me still, in quietness and in my own eternal love for You.


LESSON 274

Today belongs to Love. Let me not fear.

1 Father, today I would let all things be as You created them, and give Your Son the honour due his sinlessness; the love of brother to his brother and his Friend. Through this I am redeemed. Through this as well the truth will enter where illusions were, light will replace all darkness, and Your Son will know he is as You created him.


2 A special blessing comes to us today, from Him Who is our Father. Give this day to Him, and there will be no fear today, because the day is given unto love.

Because It Is the Truth

The Inner Shift, A Course in Miracles Text 21.VIII

I first read the Course in Miracles Text in 2007. I\’m now on my 9th reading. I\’ve done the workbook more than once. Frequently, I suddenly understand something I didn\’t \”get\” on previous readings. The Text is like a gold mine, with nuggets of golden inspiration available for the digging every time.

This morning I \”got\” one.

Yesterday, I had a happy day at work. I was happy because no one got on my nerves. I thanked Higher Power for that. This morning, reading the ACIM text, it occurred to me: I  want to be happy to feel better, not because it is the Truth.

Ahhhhh! That is what the Text is saying. Desire happiness, joy, Relationship with Higher Power, because it is the truth; not to feel better. Cuz, if you desire it for Truth, no matter what happens you are happy with HP\’s Will for you. You\’re not in it for your small self.

Yesterday I worked out per my usual twice a day. No I didn\’t rest from my 10 day vacation. I just reverted to my usual work day routine. Exercise is a way of life. Daily workouts are a way of life. I just do them.

Now, I need to get over to the elliptical and do one now.

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.