This weekend is my first 9/80 Friday off. I was going to zip off across Texas and go in a race or two. But that plan got foiled. Also, my boss called a meeting. He is letting me attend online, but I decided not to push the issue any further than that.

This has caused me to re-evaluate my weekend plans. Maybe it will be full of silent miles. I somewhat love El Lago in a misty warm pre-dawn morning. I\’ll also go to Meador park. The weather will be beautiful. Mostly, the Seabrook trail looks like this:

I made my decision in silence. I asked with a thought what I should do. Soon, I heard Silencio.

It think it is right. Since \”Boston\” people at work (the only ones I see), have asked me about Boston. Today I explained in a more intimate conversation with one guy that I am just a runner. Just a simple runner, no agenda attached.

So many people are saying they now want to go to Boston. Now there is a world peace running agenda. Now there is a help Boston victims charity agenda. Now there is a defiance, a finger in your face attitude. I don\’t want to be a part of that.

So my miles will be quiet, solitary. When I am home, the radio will be off. I might fast on nutritious liquids while I think.

I need to think. I need to connect with the Universe. I need to lift weights, spiritual as well as physical.

Today was the first time I saw my boss since he returned from surgery. He talked about going for his walk. That is different. I found out that I was the only one that earned a 3 score in our department during the turn around (3 is highest). Some recognition will follow. Funny how I consider myself a slacker and not in the view of my superiors.

I don\’t live in  a post-Boston reality. Soon, my colleagues will forget about it and quit asking me. I suppose Annabelle will want to tell me her story since she finished the race just a couple of minutes before the blast. But otherwise, I need to be under cover. I need to be doing sit-ups and riding my elliptic while I think.

Columbine was huge for me. I was in the monastery when an unknown man shoot several monks in the abbey next door.

I need to sink my mind into A Course in Miracles and leave it there.


Hawk Marathon – Preparation Fast

I have not done any spiritual fasting for several years, maybe 2008 was the last time.

Usually before a race, anything goes for eating. But yesterday morning, the idea of a Master Cleanser fast entered my mind, and lemons got on the shopping list. In the store after work, I didn\’t feel like buying any cookies for my pre-race meal. The lemons got bought.

Yesterday, I had a small early supper. Then, I had Smooth Move tea. Then I squeezed some lemon juice. Other healing stuff like milk thistle, spirulina/chorella and turmeric were added to the mix. The fast was started.

This morning, the idea still felt right. I had time for extra spiritual study and silent prayer today. I began to feel like I could enter my race tomorrow purified in body, mind and spirit. My run tomorrow feels like a vision quest. A trail marathon is a meditative type affair for me. I\’m alone on a trail with no idea where I am; my sole brain activity is in watching out for rocks. I might not even look at my watch for over an hour.

I learned a couple of things about fasting today. I can’t practice spiritual fasting without some practice of resisting temptation. Resisting temptation is spiritual strength building. So I was forced to practice NOT obeying every little thought that comes through my head. These little thoughts are ego thoughts. At 10 am, I decided to count how many hours since my last meal. That is when I decided 24 hours was my goal. I knew I could hang in there one minute at a time, resisting thoughts (not any actual hunger). No one dies from missing 24 hours of eating. The worsening slide into over eating is checked. I  know I could do this again.

Did I get more spiritual? No, there\’s no such thing. I strongly felt that I needed a break from input. Food was a symbol of also shutting out society\’s input. Its perfectly safe to refrain from input.

Tomorrow\’s ACIM workbook lesson says: My mind is part of God\’s. I am very holy.


This morning my ACIM lesson seemed so difficult. The promises of God angered me; just too wonderful to ever happen to me. First because I thought God hadn’t given me what I sought in spirituality; that is, God hadn’t fulfilled my wants. Second because I thought I was doing something to block God’s love; that is, “not knowing God” is my fault, but I have no idea how to take down the defenses. I felt the anger. So I asked Jesus for help. I listed out some of my frustrations and fears of other people.

Then, I read this in the Text: “The still infinity of endless peace surrounds you gently in its soft embrace, so strong and quiet, tranquil in the might of its Creator, nothing can intrude upon the sacred Son of God within.” (29.V.2.4)

Suddenly I was able to reach peace. To be one with God, I need to be in peace and I am able to choose peace. I can be at peace whenever I remember to be at peace. It is not hard for me. I have learned to do it. To have any of God’s promises, I must accept the peace. There is no other way. I was able to let the anger go and just be still. My anger and hate of Jesus and God are the very things I gave to Jesus. I realized that if I use my meditation to seek “something” within, I’ll fail and end up angry at God. If I use my meditation to sink into peace and quiet, than that is what I get. Peace is what God is. Peace is what the fearless state is. Nothing in this busy world is really totally peaceful. There is always at least a stirring or rustling of something. Anything other than utter silence is of this world.

I have the ability to choose peace. I have the ability to be in peace. Trying for anything else takes me out of God’s presence. Anything other than peace attempts to attack the Son of God within; causing my awareness of Him to disappear.

Personal statistics: Last week I did 3 days of juice fast; but quit because I found myself ravenous. Today is day 4 of a renewed effort. This time I hardly feel like I am fasting at all. Except my body feels much better to be on juice alone for a few days. I am still recovering from my ultra-marathon. I’m doing walking and slow jogging. As usual, I am lifting weights. While I was out in the park this morning, I felt relaxed and ok with everything. I was so involved with “training for a marathon” last winter, that I might have lost sight of the simple joy of running. I am back into that now. It was a relief to think: I am free, I can run or jog or walk or whatever because I have no goals. I bought a bicycle yesterday. The bicycle I got for free was too small and very uncomfortable to ride for any period of time and so cheap the gears didn’t shift properly. Since it is hilly here, operational gearing is needed.


Day 3 – 61 hours of juice fasting

I am juice fasting as a duty to my body. It is rejuvenation. It is transformation. It is space and silence and listening.

When I was driving home at lunchtime, I really wanted to eat. But I prayed for Jesus to come into my fast. The word \”prayer\” has been on my mind. At lunch time, I pondered the subject. I have no answers. I get the most from prayer if I just stop and sink into it wordlessly. There are no new prayer techniques that are going to be more entertaining for the ego. God is satisfying but not at the ego level; and it is the ego I experience most of the time. So at lunch, I was able to pray and patiently wait. Prayer in this way becomes communion; but not ego gratification. This may be a lesson I am learning about the fact of God\’s presence.

Coming back from lunch, I searched the internet looking for \”something.\” I found that fasting is for sale. Everything is for sale nowadays. We need to stop buying, but “they” want us to keep buying. I will have to practice my fasting and come to my own conclusions. Like most things in this life, I’ve read everyone else’s book. I know the techniques. Now it is up to me to journey forth and find my own gold.

Back to the nagging doubts: I guess because my bowel is empty, I want to eat. I guess because I am tired of the juice, I want to eat. I may switch to Master Cleanser for a few hours, because this does not turn me off. The distilled water is delicious.

Well, there was another change at work: one of the top dogs was fired (we have been downsizing for months). Change scares me and I want to eat. But change is also transformation. Fasting is about transforming inside: so I go back to my inner searching, investigating fear and seeking Presence. Both are there. They are the gold. They are satisfying.

May I always subsist, abide and love this Communion with Them, which is so greatly on my mind and contained in “prayer.”

Distilled water is the water of life.

Juice fast – 47th hour

I wanted to pray, but I don’t know anything.
I can barely read or focus on anything.
My only possibility for prayer is silence.

Is prayer asking or talking or yearning?
Is the word, “prayer,” an expression of my deepest yearning for the Divine Presence?
His one Word of Love is my only thought and my only reality.

What really could be more fulfilling than allowing yourself to offer your innermost precious essence to the divine?
And know that the divine has offered Theirs?
And all precious essence is one.

I am the nectar of divine Life.
I am the sweetness of divine Love.
The scent of lilac drifts into my senses. It is communion.

It is quiet. I gasp. My heart beats.
The Gift of Presence is found in the depths of desire.
There is no one here but God.

Reflections – Fasting 122 Hours

There is a difference between a secular solitary and a monk eremitic. The secular solitary is alone just to be alone. The monk is alone to be alone with God. By secular, I do not mean atheist. By monk, I do mean spiritual; the monos who is one heart with God. The secular solitary may say prayers. The monk is the prayer.

I am a monk. The point of my life is God. I am not traditionally consecrated into a religious tradition. I am a monk in the world; self styled. I learned about being a monk from Benedictines. I learned about it from books. Most of my monastic practices are traditional: lectio divina (spiritual reading) and contemplative prayer. Anthony was an early Christian who famously started the tradition; leaving the city and going out in the desert to live with Christ and fight demons. But most Holy Rules for monks advocate the structure of a monastery. I am the variety who left the monastery and went to the Poustinia to live on my own. The lack of religious validation is a cross I seem to bear; a relic of my Benedictine teaching. I have no trappings, like religious garb, or title, or hairdo. I look very ordinary and do not generally speak publicly of who I really am.

You might say, “But you are an engineer.” I would say, “I don’t have a desert cave or a monastery, so I work for a living.” You might say, “You are a runner.” I would say, “I am running to God. I run in the Spirit.” Alone, I am not constantly busy, not even reading all the time. Often, I just sit and contemplate. I spend hours in lectio. I listen. I am silent. I am being still and waiting.

I live in a Poustinia. Poustinia is the Russian word for desert. It was traditional for Orthodox monks to go to a hermitage. A Poustinia in the West is a place for someone to go and seek God. It is a place of silence and solitude and prayer. Although looking like a house, inside it is the Mount of Carmel, the Mount of Tabor, the cave of Jesus tomb, the cave of Elijah, the Bodhi tree of Siddhartha, a Tibetan mountain peak, an ashram of one in an Indian forest. The Poustinia is the agony of the cross where Jesus cried, “My God my God, why have you forsaken me?” The Poustinia is the river of baptism and the mount of transfiguration where God cried out, “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” The Poustinia is a prostration at the foot of the cross, and before the Glory of God. The Poustinia is the wild shouting, “Hosanna” and “Maranatha.” It is the place where I have chosen to go.

My Poustinia is also in my heart, my consciousness; my inner temple where God dwells eternally. I go to work and the store and the marathon and other places, but my life is always hidden in the inner temple, known only to Christ. The light of Christ shines out. If it was me that lived in the world, not Christ, there would be no light for others and I would be a dreadfully sickened person. This is not so.

In the Poustinia, there is the darkness of Mother Theresa, the great faith of pilgrims crowding Lourdes. There is Eucharist and Adoration and Reconciliation. There is no football or election campaign or financial crisis. The monk’s material needs are minimized, being filled by God. Music is a type of veil, hiding the soul from God; or a covering which prevents the mind from being totally exposed to the divine light. The news is a distraction, diverting thought from the divine Presence and from prayer. TV is programming; filling the mind with something other than Christ. The monk’s food will often stray into nothing but spiritual texts; eating the words and being satisfied with God. The Poustinia is not often ecstatic. Usually it is just a desert, just a silent place, just faith. With the darkness of God’s silence and the blinding light of faith, the monk waits and watches and listens and prays. This is the life of a monk in the world and what I have embraced as my vocation.

This leads into my response to your question, “Why am I telling you about being a monk?” There are cosmic and eschatological reasons for the eremitical life, the silent life. At a minimum, the conscious contact of one person with God is a gift for all; whether they know it or not. Christ is a cosmic consciousness remembered for all and given to all. It is because I feel the inner light of Christ beaming out to all creation. I wanted to offer Christ consciousness as a gift; and remind us of spiritual realities beyond normal day-to-day life.

One person alone praying seems so worthless. No evangelization is attempted. The works of charity do not take place in the physical world. Purpose is carried out metaphysically and spiritually; perhaps not seen but deeply known. No trace of the hermit’s healing hands are found, but surely they were there. No sound of the hermit’s prayer was heard, but surely a blessing was received.

In my silence and my fasting, I have found the well of praises for Christ my life. These praises gush forth uncontainable. My dam has broken. My reservoir empties. Peace be with you.

Reflections – Fasting 100 Hours

The hermitage, the fast and the long run are mine today. I have a sense of humility about it because nothing seems to have been accomplished. I existed in worldly uselessness; yet conscious of continuous divine communication. I prayed, but the divine communication was unperceived, seen only by faith and heart.

Running, fasting and solitude are my cross; unexplainable to the uninitiated. These are gifts I carry; vertical aspiration and horizontal expansion. Carrying the cross, I am the tool of Spirit. I seek not crucifixion, nor sacrifice, nor suffering. I carry a cross of joy in Spirit, peace in all directions and love at its heart.

Running, fasting and solitude have emptied me today. If not for the four days of juice, the 17 miles in a hilly frigid park and abstinence from the world; I might be fat, dumb and complacent. Fasting prepared the raw materials. Running threw me over a cliff, where the gentle embrace of solitude became my cushioned fall and endless immersion in light.

The fasting was the furnace. The running was the pounding and shaping by the divine hammer. The solitude was the quenching. I have become a tempered soul under the hand of Divine Love. I was refined from a pile of dirt to fine gold. I was transformed from an iron bar to a tempered steel sword. I was etched with beautiful designs and mysterious symbols. I am lovingly oiled and polished and placed in a sheath worn at My Lord’s waist.

There lies my humility, again I notice. I am carried at the side of Love, never withdrawn for violence, beauty forever hidden. I am an accessory, an accoutrement. His Presence requires my service, but my purpose is hidden away from what I appear to be. My silent unused position is a kind of prostration which I gladly offer.

What a strange reflection today. It is nonsensical, meaningless puffs of fantasy, musings of a spiritual drunk, the ravings of a mystical fool.

Christ the life of my soul.
My life hidden in Christ.
Christ lives, not I.

Fasting 54 hours – Reflections

The desert to which Christ calls me, in fasting and in solitude, is not for ecstasy but for contemplation. It is for learning to be satisfied with the knowledge of His Presence, not euphoria. In the desert, my life becomes Christ; as I lose all other identities and worldly props. I am here because He called. I am here because He is Love. I am here because I’m willing to give up all but His Light. In contemplation, I am light; nothing else, nothing special. I have no special perception and I do not ask for anything; merely being in His Presence. I am neither saint nor sinner nor wisdom nor dullness. The others here with me in the desert, fasting and contemplating and utterly silent, form a chorus of pure joyful thought communicating with Love through a channel of unified innocence and holiness. There is only one well from which we drink the living water; and only one life which flows in our veins. Having given up all else, only His joy is ours; as we are Christ.

For what other purpose would I use my human life? Does the problem of not knowing God strike anyone as crucial? I have nothing to give but everything of the world to lose in order to remember Love. At what point would I give up on God and go out to eat? At what point would I stop in my tracks and realize what it is I really want; falling at His feet in gratitude for His ever extended Love. He did not ask for more than my glance; and suddenly I saw and was captivated.

I worked out on the porch early this morning. My passion for Him was in the nudging of the resistance on the bike or the speed of the treadmill. I ran 6 miles this afternoon. My passion for Him was in the effort of racing up a hill, the squinting at the sun, or the sudden looking up to see a bird. I went to work and related. I went to WalMart and smiled. I sat in silence, in light, and waited; embraced by Love.

Christ is my whole life.

Reflections – juice fast

Reflections during the first 30 hours of a juice fast:

Fasting is not about sin. I am already holy and pure, but I may not know it. Fasting is equal to going to work and doing the dishes, just part of my life.

I had symptoms of self disgust which I was projecting onto my body. The disgust is a mind sickness. In fasting, I am putting away my foolish hatred and giving it to Christ. What came first, the healing or the fasting? Fasting is a symptom of healing.

I fast because I’ve discovered what is right about me. Fasting is a triumphal journey away from the ego’s prison into the heart of God.

Fasting is easier said than done. We read of its physical and spiritual benefits, yet there are times of weakness, where quitting is so close. At 3 pm, driving home from work, I assumed that I would go for a short run and then eat; all resolve was gone. But, during the run, I decided I would make juice and tea and then decide. By the time I got to drinking those items, I also had a spiritual book in front of me, “The Hermitage Within.” Reading the book it occurred to me, I am not fasting by my choice but at the request of Christ. I could not break the fast too soon no more than I would take a drink of alcohol.

I wanted Jesus to tell me what fasting has to do with A Course in Miracles (ACIM). The relationship is buried in the quiet. In fasting, I have made a strange desert solitude where I am alone with God, in quiet conversation. Sometimes I feel hunger and temptation to satisfy the pallet, but do not respond. I am cold; wouldn\’t hot food be great? To not respond to temptation, I turn to the Holy Spirit and occupy my mind with the knowledge of God’s love; how much God wants me. Eating is not a need, God is. Hunger is not real but a delusion; God’s yearning is real.

Though I might want to fast for health, I cannot accomplish anything without God. The gift of fasting is too much too contemplate, as is the Love of God. The best I can do is try to stay with it one more moment; and this is not accomplished without Help.

Distilled water is His greatest gift.

The Love of God – Juice Fast Day 4

To blog or not to blog. I am low on caffeine, so my mind is very quiet.

Today\’s ACIM workbook lesson: \”I am sustained by the Love of God.\” The explanation of the lesson encourages us to put all our faith in God, not idols or trivial and insane replacements for the love of God (overeating, TV, money, problems, decorating our bodies, ego pride practices, etc.).

The lesson encourages me to remember the phrase as often as possible. To which I add my desire: I don\’t want the words to be an empty effort. I want my heart to open and the Love of God to be real.

This lesson works well with my juice fast which is now on day 4. [Once again I repeat: when I juice fast, I get more nutrition that I do when eating whole food because it is concentrated without the fiber. Juice fasting is a powerful health restorative.] On a juice fast, I lose all my little daily props which get me through the day because they are partial anaesthetics. I have none of my mind numbing techniques which help me avoid facing God. Do I believe in God? Do I believe God is love? What is love? Do I want God to love me? Do I think God pretty much doesn\’t know I exist? This is the desert. Jesus is walking with me.

Today, part of my focus is to touch the inner place where God is, and project that out, seeing that everything is His Presence.

I started this fast thinking that I wanted to detox and rely on God more. I\’m going to be 50 on January 12, time for a new outlook on life. I want to find new, \”enlightened\” ways of being. Last night, I asked Jesus, \”Why really am I doing this? In my words, not someone elses.\” I received these five words:

  • CHANGE – new paradigms of thought and purpose
  • RECEIVING – letting God do everything
  • PEACE – fasting ends the inner fights and wars. Also, today is day 4 of my fast and day 4 of Isreal attacking Gaza.
  • LOVE – That is being love. The last thing most people would think of to do to increase love would be fasting; but somehow, I think love is what Jesus found in the desert.
  • TRUST, FAITH – How foolish does fasting appear to be, but God uses it as an environment for greater reliance on Him.

Today I got up at 3, my usual time for spiritual study and meditation. I went for a run at 4:30. Then I went to WalMart for 4 pears and 2 yams and distilled water. I found a juice recipie for joggers which I will make later (2 pears, 1 yam and 4 oranges).

Now I am at work and drinking distilled water.