Spiritual Progress

This blog has been a bit silent. That is because it is summer. No racing during the summer. The Self Transcendence Race is over. There is only sweaty slow miles eeked out of stubborn-ness.

I have had a 4 day weekend. It came on the heels of a long discussion with my boss labeled \”performance.\”  As an imperfect person, having a discussion with another imperfect person, it would be impossible for my ego not to fight about it. So I entered a long weekend in emotional turmoil. Mentally, my ego was attacking all of my colleagues for one reason or another. I grabbed my spiritual tools.

I am reading A Course in Miracles for about the 10th time. It\’s words are a healing soothing balm.What am I thinking that God would not have thought? What would God have thought which I am not thinking? Can I change my mind to think with God\’s.  Also on Friday, Ekart Tolle\’s \”Stillness Speaks\” arrived. Tolle teaches about separating your self from the ego yammering. Not new information, but I get sucked surely into the ego\’s reality time after time. It ruin\’s my life. Mixed in here are techniques to cleanse my energy.

A phrase from ACIM: Let the Holy One shine on you in peace. Let every voice but God\’s be still in me.

My mind is full of thoughts about running away from my life. I check LinkedIn. Where can I get a job? I know in my heart it wouldn\’t fix anything and I\’d surely take a huge pay cut. Also, keep in mind, my ego is freaking out over nothing. It is my nature.

I sat this morning during my spiritual time. I knew the ego\’s hatred was there. I wondered when my spirituality was going to solve this problem. I felt defeated.

I went running. The miles were hot. My ego was mentally attacking my boss and other colleagues. I kept noticing and then saying one of my ACIM phrases. At some point I degenerated into a mantra, \”Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.\”

Then very quietly. I thought, \”I am spiraling into depression.\” Then, \”My ego is having a melt down.\” Then, \”Yes, your ego is having a melt down, but you aren\’t.\” Quietly but suddenly, for the first time that I can remember, there was a separation between me and my ego. Suddenly, the meltdown had no power. I felt ok. My turmoil is only co-dependency.

Now you need to know, this was a small moment, entirely mental, with no outward activity. I was just doing my miles and living the inner mental reality. I give credence to that one thought which defeated the emotional break down. I had a reality other than the ego one. For once, I didn\’t get myself \”all worked up\” for no reason.

I don\’t know how my work life will go tomorrow or the next day. Technically, I am super. But getting along with others is a problem. My ego wishes there were no other people. How do I live with that? I can see it but not get it to stop. Don\’t dwell on it. Instead, speak one of the ACIM phrases. Just choose ACIM.


Self Transcendence 29/52

If you are a student of metaphysics or philosophy or A Course in Miracles (ACIM) you may have heard, \”you create your own reality.\” In ACIM and the philosophy of Paul Brunton, it is clearly explained that reality is a projection. The projection does not come from the brain inside your head because that is part of the projection. It comes from the mind; which some do not agree exists but I am a believer in a higher mind.

I am getting to a startling realization I had today. I was reading one of Paul Brunton\’s books, and allowing my consciousness to expand into the universe; and suddenly it struck me. Pokeman is a perfect image of how I see other people. From there, I was able to understand the ACIM encouragement to take your consciousness above the battle field. It is so easy to see. Bigger Mind, which is my real mind, is the observer holding and watching the smart phone. My little ego mind is the smart phone. And yes, my ego mind sees other humans a objects to be blown away (for the most part). I am not a psychopath to admit this; it is just outside the social contract to admit this.

I have broken the social contract in many ways, like being a vegetarian, non-drinker, non-sexual, non-feminine, non-religious, non-TV-watcher, etc.

What else have I projected? I am willing to admit that, like most humans, I am fascinated by mass killings. Are you willing to admit you projected those activities? The ordinary unconscious person living in a material world instead of a metaphysical one cannot possibly take responsibility for projecting mass killings. But a ACIM student must.

I also take responsibility for the political situation. Donald Trump is the only person on earth who can a) shake up the old white men of the GOP and b) beat Hillary Clinton. So he had to be projected. The fact that the old white men need to be shaken up is my projection too. They are my own rigid ego.

A few weeks ago, I read a story about a woman dying of colon cancer, how unspiritual it was, and how she wished she had got a colonoscopy. Then, googling around, I learned that I have none of the risk factors for colon cancer but also it is a top 3 fatal disease. I realized that I had just projected something. I would have a niggling fear in my system unless I did something. So I embarked on a project of finding a doctor and someone to drive me around; and the colonoscopy is scheduled for Tuesday. Metaphysically, I am searching the bowels of my being for dis-ease.

Cancer is not God\’s fault. In fact, I\’m pretty sure there is no God. Only consciousness, Bigger Mind. It is easy for me to expand my mind to encompass the universe and energy.

Today, I woke up at 4 and got up at 4:40. Hence, I had a nice time for spiritual study and I got to the park at 6. I ran first to the new forest and then to Pine Gully. The view of the sunrise over Galveston Bay was great. Then I got back to Meador Park before the sun hit the trail along Todville road. Then I ran mostly in the shade for another 3 hours.

Run-cation day 7

Yesterday, I ran two whole laps of the Seabrook trails. If you go around the outside of all 3 parks, Meador/ Pine Gully/ Friendship, you get 8.8 miles per lap. This is the first time I\’ve done the complete circuit twice. Usually, I run more laps of a smaller loop.

That got me up to 88 miles in 6 days.

Today, I got out of bed whenever. For spiritual study, I read both some of A Course in Miracles and some of Brunton. I had planned to just walk today and I was going to do it in Brummerhop park. But, I started off with a full hour of running in El Lago so I could take my first pit stop at home. Then, I loaded up my Nathan and went across the street to Brummerhop park. I did 40 laps of Brummerhop. So the total for the day was 19 miles. For 7 days: 107 miles and 27 hours (includes cross training).

Of course, I spend all this time thinking. Today, my mind traveled back and forth between this world and not-this-world. When I was being conscious, I directed my thoughts toward the World Idea, seeking and listening to something bigger than myself. When I was not watching, my mind was busy trying not to hate someone at work, and rationalizing / fictionalizing why I don\’t participate in holidays.

Today is a holiday in the US. I don\’t participate in it. I am ethically and morally against this day\’s activities, so I don\’t participate.

This does not mean I am ungrateful. In fact, I\’m grateful every day for a number of spiritual gifts.

My loops around Brummerhop are very small. Obviously, it is not an adventure run. It is a run designed on purpose to be nothing but time on the feet; and plenty of space to work on the mind. Today, after 38 laps (which came after a 4.8 mile run), at about mile 18.5 on the day, I finally got the answer to why I spend my vacation running, and not doing something exciting. It is because I actually am nobody, even nobody special. At that thought, I became peaceful and happy. Any resentment I have is suddenly released as I took the lower place in society.

I am always happier when, from my heart, I believe that I am nobody. Perfect.

Lesson 183

I found so much comfort in this lesson last night and this morning. It soothed both my ego and my soul and made peace inside my being.

Yesterday I was stressed out at work. I felt reactive emotionally and pushing back. Then, in the evening I felt bad anything had happened. I did my evening exercise, then read the lesson and took my inventory and meditated.

I slept good. I did not obsess about work or any person in the night. I woke up a little before the alarm and got up. I did the same spiritual activities again. I realized how my main conflict is with myself.

For my life, I\’ve struggled to be more calm inside. Do others struggle or is there something wrong with my wiring? No, I think most people are either unconscious, or not involved with mental self improvement through spiritual / meditative techniques. Most people are too distracted with activities to address the depth of the issue. I live a solitary life with lots of silence, no TV or other outside input. This makes me sensitive to times when my ego/ emotions are stirred up. Then it is my job to get the swirling upsetness to settle into peace. That is my spiritual life at its core.

So I went for a very nice run this morning and ordered pictures from my last marathon. Today at work, I am successfully accomplishing work; and staying out of anyone\’s face.  Peaceful I am.

Here is the whole of Lesson 183.

I call upon God’s Name and on my own.
1 God’s Name is holy, but no holier than yours. To call upon His Name is but to call upon your own. A father gives his son his name, and thus identifies the son with him. His brothers share his name, and thus are they united in a bond to which they turn for their identity. Your Father’s Name reminds you who you are, even within a world that does not know; even though you have not remembered it.
2 God’s Name can not be heard without response, nor said without an echo in the mind that calls you to remember. Say His Name, and you invite the angels to surround the ground on which you stand, and sing to you as they spread out their wings to keep you safe, and shelter you from every worldly thought that would intrude upon your holiness.
3 Repeat God’s Name, and all the world responds by laying down illusions. Every dream the world holds dear has suddenly gone by, and where it seemed to stand you find a star; a miracle of grace. The sick arise, healed of their sickly thoughts. The blind can see; the deaf can hear. The sorrowful cast off their mourning, and the tears of pain are dried as happy laughter comes to bless the world.
4 Repeat the Name of God, and little names have lost their meaning. No temptation but becomes a nameless and unwanted thing before God’s Name. Repeat His Name, and see how easily you will forget the names of all the gods you valued. They have lost the name of god you gave them. They become anonymous and valueless to you, although before you let the Name of God replace their little names, you stood before them worshipfully, naming them as gods.
5 Repeat the Name of God, and call upon your Self, Whose Name is His. Repeat His Name, and all the tiny, nameless things on earth slip into right perspective. Those who call upon the Name of God can not mistake the nameless for the Name, nor sin for grace, nor bodies for the holy Son of God. And should you join a brother as you sit with him in silence, and repeat God’s Name along with him within your quiet mind, you have established there an altar which reaches to God Himself and to His Son.
6 Practice but this today; repeat God’s Name slowly again and still again. Become oblivious to every name but His. Hear nothing else. Let all your thoughts become anchored on this. No other word we use except at the beginning, when we say today’s idea but once. And then God’s Name becomes our only thought, our only word, the only thing that occupies our minds, the only wish we have, the only sound with any meaning, and the only Name of everything that we desire to see; of everything that we would call our own.
7 Thus do we give an invitation which can never be refused. And God will come, and answer it Himself. Think not He hears the little prayers of those who call on Him with names of idols cherished by the world. They cannot reach Him thus. He cannot hear requests that He be not Himself, or that His Son receive another name than His.
8 Repeat God’s Name, and you acknowledge Him as sole Creator of reality. And you acknowledge also that His Son is part of Him, creating in His Name. Sit silently, and let His Name become the all-encompassing idea that holds your mind completely. Let all thoughts be still except this one. And to all other thoughts respond with this, and see God’s Name replace the thousand little names you gave your thoughts, not realizing that there is one Name for all there is, and all that there will be.
9 Today you can achieve a state in which you will experience the gift of grace. You can escape all bondage of the world, and give the world the same release you found. You can remember what the world forgot, and offer it your own remembering. You can accept today the part you play in its salvation, and your own as well. And both can be accomplished perfectly.
10 Turn to the Name of God for your release, and it is given you. No prayer but this is necessary, for it holds them all within it. Words are insignificant, and all requests unneeded when God’s Son calls on his Father’s Name. His Father’s Thoughts become his own. He makes his claim to all his Father gave, is giving still, and will forever give. He calls on Him to let all things he thought he made be nameless now, and in their place the holy Name of God becomes his judgement of their worthlessness.
11 All little things are silent. Little sounds are soundless now. The little things of earth have disappeared. The universe consists of nothing but the Son of God, who calls upon his Father. And his Father’s Voice gives answer in his Father’s holy Name. In this eternal, still relationship, in which communication far transcends all words, and yet exceeds in depth and height whatever words could possibly convey, is peace eternal. In our Father’s Name, we would experience this peace today. And in His Name, it shall be given us.

Marathon #45 and spiritual practice

When I went to The Woodlands marathon about a month ago, I took along a spiritual book. As I sat in my hotel room for an evening reading that book, I felt like I had a mini-retreat. I decided to do that again with the Irving marathon.

I arrived in Dallas on Friday about 2 pm. Packet pickup was near downtown so there was traffic even given it was Good Friday. Packet pickup was at Luke\’s Locker. I have never been in such a huge running store. Amazing, all the bright colors. Unfortunately, every thing cool was $150. So I used my $10 coupon to get some insoles and a seat cover.

Another traffic jam getting to my hotel next to the Irving Convention Center 12 miles away.

Very nice room at the Holiday Inn Express, an easy 2 min walk to the starting line.

I settled down with my spiritual book \”Humility Matters\” by Mary Margaret Funk. There is a history between Sr Meg and me which I won\’t go into now. But because of the history, I respect her spirituality and teachings. Regarding humility, I was reading about how to de-rail thought trains. Her technique, which is not unique to her, she terms \”un-thinking\”.

So I was thinking about the various times my ego gets all fluffed up over some behavior of some person out there. My ego begins yammering and pointing fingers and having an amazingly loud go of it in my head. I hate this but I often fall prey to it. I was reading Sr Meg\’s procedure. Now get this: the procedure is fresh in my head. Also is some silent meditative practice as I watch the sun go down on the Irving Convention Center.

I slept good and was awake early. I shuffled around the hotel room getting my race gear in order and packing and another period of quiet time with Sr Meg. Then I waited in the lobby since it was windy and chilly outside. Also, figured the hotel restroom was the best place to snag a last minute pit stop.

Then I walked with others over to the start. There was lots of traffic for other people trying to get parked. I was happy my car was at the hotel.

While waiting in the starting area, I said hi to a guy from Ottawa, Canada who noticed my blue BMO gloves and wondered if I was Canadian. I confessed to having got them at Vancouver, but that I was the only American in a Canadian running club. I also praised NCM as the best organized marathon I\’ve been to.

Off we go. The course starts off on city streets, goes onto a bike path with two out and backs, some city streets on the second out and back, then returns to the convention center. The marathon starts a few minutes before the half marathon. The bike path was very scenic, lined with upscale Dallas suburbs.

They had some exercise equipment along the bike path. One was a rowing machine peacefully placed under a tree. This reminded me of a guy I know who rows alot.

I\’m chatting here and there with people I\’m running with. I spent much time with a young woman running her first marathon, Lindsey. The half marathoners quickly caught up with us and it was impossible for me to maintain a slow pace. Consequently my first 10k was done at 9 min/mile pace. Since it was out and back, I kept looking for people I knew, one lady in particular. This lady was claiming this as her 800th marathon and there was a press release about it. I see her in many races as well as go to the races she directs. So I was looking to say hi.

Didn\’t see her on the first out and back. Hummm, strange. Heading into the second out and back, I crossed the half way mat at 2:21. Wow, too fast. But I was feeling good. My Garmin was set for 7x1s. So even with the frequent walk breaks, I was running fast. During this stretch, I was worried why I didn\’t see any faster runners coming back. But the mat and mile markers assured me I wasn\’t off course.

Finally, speed demons coming with a lead police motorcycle. Yay!! Good job!!

When I was at about 13.5 miles, I finally saw my friend walking towards me at what would have been mile 21+ for her. I said hi and got a hi five. But my mind immediately started doing math. How fast is she? She normally does marathons in 5 to 6 hours. Then, the 3:30 pace bunny passed me. My brain said, \”No freaking way.\” She can\’t be ahead of that bunny.

Stop pause. Remember I mentioned Meg Funk and humility and un-thinking? Here is where my spiritual work begins. So what if my friend is cheating her way into the Guinness Book of World Records. I can\’t afford to have my ego start yelling at me and having a conversation about others behaviors. Any spiritual seeker knows this. So I have to practice unthinking. I need to run my race for me now. My life is my business and my business at the moment is managing my thoughts.

I pray. I offer the budding resentment to my Higher Power, Spirit. I ask for help with my thinking. I occurs to me that this incident is not by accident. I must have asked for practice while I was studying Meg\’s book on Humility.  Then, some miles go by where I\’m not thinking about my friend at all. Then, my ego fires up again. Then I redirect my thinking again. Then my mind is quiet again. Repeat for 2.5 hours in the sun while running a marathon. I say hi to some others I know. There are many Marathon Maniacs so I am saying \”Go maniac\” alot.

Towards the last few miles, I am feeling good. It is warm but not too bad. I have enough liquids. My legs are achieving tired but not injured. I decide to run it in. I catch up with Lindsey at about half a mile to go and she decides to hang with me. From that point, we can see the convention center and it is a light down hill around a curve. Great view. We run fast, side by side, to the finish. I clock in at 5:06.

Incredible, my fastest marathon in several years.

I\’m 5th of 5 in my age group. And this too requires thought management. I\’ve won aG awards in 4 of 5 races this year. Have a good day and finish last.

I walk back to the hotel. Change in the lobby restroom. Jump in the car and high tail it to Houston. For once, I45 is a breeze.

Last night, in my quiet home, I think more about my friend. I have looked at her race results including the several places where she is missing splits. I may be right, but my thoughts are my problem. I think about A Course in Miracles. I realize I have projected this. I have asked Spirit for a lesson and Spirit has provided. I remember the ACIM lesson that says, \”Give me your blessing Holy Son of God.\” And I mentally fell at the feet of my friend. The only way to deal with this problem is to realize that I am looking with the body\’s eyes, not Christ Vision. But remembering the lesson, I am granted knowledge. I know I can see it differently. I know I can look beyond. I know I can see the Real World by seeing my friend through Christ lenses. I do it.

I also thought about the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I thought about the prayer from it I use, \”I pray for ____. I pray for her health, her prosperity and her happiness. I pray that everything I want for myself be given to her.\” And then I realize I got nothing. I just gave it away. I ask my Higher Power how I may be of service. My life is service. In this case, a spiritual service.

Funny thing is, this lesson is not over. At the end of this month, I\’m going to two races put on by this lady. They are small races so I will of course say hi and be gracious. It is not up to me to make her feel guilty. It is up to me to accept the Universe\’s lesson on humility and thank her for my salvation. I have to go to work for the next 10 years with people who similarly behave in ways I judge as wrong. For them, I cannot afford the resentments. I need inner peace. Well an objective lesson with one person can be practiced and improved with all these other people.

That is my Easter Story.

Today, I am making my beans and bread. Laundry is done. Car washed. I might need a nap.

Irving Marathon course video


Today I ran 5.7 miles in the Seabrook area. I did it at just slightly under the 5 mph pace. My achilles did not hurt at all. Such a miracle a year from surgery.

Saturday, I was in this location and doing what these people are doing: running a marathon.

It is the long way home.

I ran a fantastic race; 12 min miles on average for 26.7 miles. The extra distance is because I didn\’t run the tangents of the course hence I ran more than 26.2, a marathon. During the race, I had to think about my body; how are it\’s knees and heels. This leads to thinking about my training situation in Houston and my training situation as a 56 year old. It turns out that training in the Houston heat is very slow, but when you do run a race in a drier climate, you ARE trained.

While I was running, I heard someone mention the inner person. To look for the inner person. This alone provides my reason for being here. I began to think about the inner person of the Clydesdale runner; and then about young obese Americans in general.

But as I got to 20 miles in 4 hours, an hour faster than any of my training runs, I entered the race mentally. I decided that my body was good and I would not give up. I kept my pace for the next 6 miles.

Keep it Simple. Let the Universe be in charge. Just do the miles. It is looks downhill, be careful. Don\’t give up on the uphills.

This weekend, running a marathon, I got to escape my real life for a few days.

United Airlines did a fantastic job. I worried all weekend about my Denver connection for the trip home. It only allowed 30 min and I feared they would give my seat away. But I came in on time, got my bag from the gate checck, walked 20 gates to the next airplane and walked on during the announcement saying I must be on board. I flew on a 787 Dreamliner. That is a nice plane.

My company is in a turmoil as the parent company has decided to IPO our division. I think most of us will have jobs, just not with our current company. We don\’t like that but who knows if it will turn out good or bad and for whom.

I continue to frame my life in A Course in Miracles. Company or no company, airlines on time or late, I simply must frame my life in ACIM. Right now I am reading chapter 4.II and I offer some statements about ego as described by ACIM:

  • Undermining the ego’s thought system
  • always evaluates itself in relation to other egos
  • continually preoccupied with the belief in scarcity
  • “Self-esteem” in ego terms means nothing more than that the ego has deluded itself into accepting its reality, and is therefore temporarily less predatory.
  •  always vulnerable to stress, a term which refers to any perceived threat to the ego’s existence
  • The ego literally lives by comparisons. 
  •  The ego’s ceaseless attempts to gain the spirit’s acknowledgement and thus establish its own existence are useless. Spirit in its knowledge is unaware of the ego.
  • While the ego is equally unaware of spirit, it does perceive itself as being rejected by something greater than itself.
  • The so-called “battle for survival” is only the ego’s struggle to preserve itself
  • The ego cannot survive without judgement
  •  Who is the “you” who are living in this world?

\”The ego must offer you some sort of reward for maintaining this belief. All it can offer is a sense of temporary existence, which begins with its own beginning and ends with its own ending. It tells you this life is your existence because it is its own. Against this sense of temporary existence spirit offers you the knowledge of permanence and unshakeable being. No one who has experienced the revelation of this can ever fully believe in the ego again. How can its meager offering to you prevail against the glorious gift of God?\”

Continually deflating my ego in order to experience my own spiritual inheritance is why I study ACIM. This is valuable to me.

Exciting Enlightenment

I have been a student of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) for several years. Also, for the past 6 months, I\’ve been slowly plowing my way through Plotinus\’ Enneads. I am not even half way through, up to the third Ennead.

Every few days, I find some gem of an idea buried in Plotinus. Often, these gems overlap with a principle of ACIM. My understanding of Plotinus, who was a Platonist (studied the Greek philosopher Plato), is framed in principles which overlap from ACIM. I\’m taking the principles themselves to be general truths and as such should be true for all humans and all religions and philosophies.

Not Christianity, but Christ Himself. (imo)

A key principle of ACIM is \”forgiveness\” which doesn\’t have the same meaning as most people think. It means looking beyond to the Christ Principle within, beyond this world. If this idea is translated into Platonism using Ideal Form, Reason Principle, Authentic Existence, and others; we get a unified explanation of ACIM. So truth is true and completely practice-able by ordinary humans. (er, or anyone who really wants to).

I can\’t offer a sound bite of two books, each of which is over 700 pages. I offer my excitement to know I am happily on a path of truth.

If you are a student of ACIM, you will recognize Christ Vision and forgiveness in the following key cut from Plotinus 3.8.7:

\”All the forms of Authentic Existence spring from vision and are a vision. Everything that springs from these Authentic Existences in their vision is an object of vision-manifest to sensation or to true knowledge or to surface-awareness. All act aims at this knowing; all impulse is towards knowledge, all that springs from vision exists to produce Ideal-Form, that is a fresh object of vision, so that universally, as images of their engendering principles, they all produce objects of vision, Ideal-forms. In the engendering of these sub-existences, imitations of the Authentic, it is made manifest that the creating powers operate not for the sake of creation and action but in order to produce an object of vision. This same vision is the ultimate purpose of all the acts of the mind and, even further downward, of all sensation, since sensation also is an effort towards knowledge; lower still, Nature, producing similarly its subsequent principle, brings into being the vision and Idea that we know in it. It is certain, also, that as the Firsts exist in vision all other things must be straining towards the same condition; the starting point is, universally, the goal.

When living things reproduce their Kind, it is that the Reason-Principles within stir them; the procreative act is the expression of a contemplation, a travail towards the creation of many forms, many objects of contemplation, so that the universe may be filled full with Reason-Principles and that contemplation may be, as nearly as possible, endless: to bring anything into being is to produce an Idea-Form and that again is to enrich the universe with contemplation: all the failures, alike in being and in doing, are but the swerving of visionaries from the object of vision: in the end the sorriest craftsman is still a maker of forms, ungracefully. So Love, too, is vision with the pursuit of Ideal-Form.\”

I am happy I continue to shamelessly follow Jesus. I am excited and enlightened. The Compassionate Spirit has worked within my heart and brought me a vision of The Real World.

ACIM Resurrection Lesson

This morning, my Course in Miracles lesson was number 151: \”All things are echoes of the Voice for God.\”

And as the culmination of years of prayer and meditation, I had this astounding thought: All the others are my spiritual companions.

Now this thought is a healed thought. It is a thought the Voice for God could have thought with me. The Voice for God honors Christ (the Christ within all others). And I see the love beyond the hate. And so I experienced resurrection: life beyond this world.

And so I went to Brummerhop park and jog walked 50 laps. It is a small park so that is only 18.5 miles. It is a good place to meditate.

The first 13.1 miles were part of a virtual half marathon. Silly me, I signed up on-line for what I thought was a virtual triple race. I liked the idea of earning a medal for three half marathons in 3 days, my private Easter triple. But the RD e-mailed me and said I\’d need to enter 2 more times and send her another $70 to get \”credit\” for 3 races. At which point I became cheap and annoyed.

So, one medal is in the mail. I have been assigned a number. The result of today will be recorded. But I still plan to do miles tomorrow.

Because miles are what I do. I do spiritual study the first hour of the day; and then meditate on the day\’s lesson while I do miles. Tomorrow however, I think I\’ll go to the Seabrook trails. Then I\’ll get a view of Galveston Bay. I have come to rather like that. The park there will be full of Mexicans camping for Easter weekend. I find myself happy with that idea.

Now, I feel a bit like my biceps need some work. So, upstairs I go.

Here is the medal for my virtual race. I like it.


Sitting in silence yields nothing. The ego gets no rewards. The ego cannot steal any inspiration. No dopamine reward cycle. This is the hard part of solitude and silence: it is not an emotional reward. There is no drama. Nothing to say.

But as I type, I realize I am in adoration of the Great Silent Altar within. I\’m not sure if I have felt such adoration before. I feel the power.

No specialness. That is what is at this altar. Silence offers no specialness. Anyone willing to leave their specialness behind can come and adore.

Societal programming is about teaching children to seek specialness. Religions are about specialness. Religious professions, ordination, sacraments are all specialness. The requirement of a guru is specialness.

What if you could just come and adore? No sacrifices required of you or anyone else. What if Jesus was not the epitome of specialness but just a man in total adoration.

Anyone at any time can be in total adoration. It is very quiet in total adoration.

This is the purpose of the Lenten desert. Adoration.

I like A Course in Miracles because it is open to all. We all have access to The Teacher.

I have had one of my best running weekends in years. 17 miles of jogging on Saturday and 11 miles of sprint/ walk today. It is true that I had some big mileage last year, but none so well carried out. Today\’s big miracle, beside doing miles the day after a big long run was that the Nimbus 15s are back to feeling good.

My heel is 4.5 months after 6 weeks of non-weight bearing. Slowly, annoying random pains are going away. My arch doesn\’t feel like the inside of a shoe bears a sharp knife edge pointing up. The forward heel spur is manageable. The scar doesn\’t have so many random sharp pains.

Talking Back

Saturday evening. I just finished a workout of more than an hour. I was thinking about how I might have stepped on someone\’s toes on the internet. As the big book of AA tells me, they retaliate. And we don\’t always know why.

But, on another track, I see situations like this where I am bothered as a distraction from the spiritual realm towards the world of illusion. Distractions cause me to stop looking towards spirit and start paying attention only to my emotional thoughts. Talking back is a concept from the Desert Fathers (and in particular Evagrius), early Christians who went to the desert to fight demons. I believe the demons were upsetting thoughts. The Desert Fathers used Biblical phrases to talk back to the demons.

I need to talk back to upsetting thoughts. I can use an ACIM lesson like \”these thoughts don\’t mean anything.\” If I habitually talk back, I will more easily return to the realm of the spirit and happiness.

I have habitual upsetting thoughts. I am sometimes hopelessly distracted by them:
– How I was denied God because I was denied monastic profession.
– How I am stupid because I live like an athlete even though I am slow and old.
– How my life of solitude and spiritual study must be boring and stupid and I should get a life.
– My foot hurts.

This is not a complete list of distractions. these are just the ones frequently on my mind. In a way, these are attack thoughts. Another ACIM lesson that works is to say, \”I can escape from the world I see by giving up my attack thoughts.\” I use my ACIM lessons to talk back to thoughts.

Today, 3.3 months after surgery, I jogged 6.3 miles. It was wonderful. It wasn\’t fast but it was long enough to become meditative. I got to be outside on a nice day in the Texas winter. Nothing better.