Koln Personal Long Distance Event

I got up at 5:30 and did a tiny amount of spiritual study with a small coffee. I didn\’t drink the normal amount because I was about to take a long run in a city where I have yet to discern a public restroom or even a adequate bush!I loaded the Nathan hydropak left the hotel at 6:30, still dark, cloudy and about 54F (warm). I head north along the Rhine planning to cross at the Mulheim bridge and come back.

An hour and 15 minutes later, I can see the Bayer Chempark in Leuverkeusen across the river…gulp…I must have missed the bridge. Not the first time I\’ve been lost on a bike path, but lost a bridge? I am slipping.I turn around at the Ford plant because the bike path goes away from the river to get around the plant.
Heading back south I finally get the bridge situation straightened out. The bridge I\’ve been running to every night was actually the Mulheim and not the Zoobrueke. Now I cross the Monheim bridge and continue south along the river to a point where there is a fence across the path. What? The beach resort? Shoot! I go inland to a road which runs along the backs of some warehouses. I\’m glad I didn\’t try to do this in the dark! After a mile or so, I find a place near the Zoobrueke bridge to get back to the river. There is a nice park here which I may come back to tomorrow. I\’ve been running about 2 hours and 30 minutes. It is not time to go home; home is just across the river. I am having a magic day where I haven\’t had to pee or poop during this run. So I run around the park once and experience some peace and quiet, realizing I\’m out of patience with being lost. Then I run south to the Severinsbrucke and turn around.
Koln Seagulls

Haha, look at the \”flock\” of seagulls lined up at this one place. I come back north to the park and the Zoobrueke. It is time to go home if I want to get some food and coffee before the hotel breakfast bar shuts down.

Home I go, The run was 3 hours and 48 minutes. I dawdled some taking pictures; but I judge it to be between 20 and 21 miles.
This afternoon, I plan to walk to a huge sporting goods store and a health food store.

Germany Diary – Fritag

The Koln cathedral dominates the landscape. It cannot be avoided very much. The first three days of running, I ran up its front steps around the north side past a museum and down the north steps to get to the river. The river and its miles of sidewalk are the venue for my running.

I get up at 5:30 and make instant coffee; then settle down for spiritual study and meditation. Daily, I go to the hotel’s breakfast buffet, load up my American sized travel mug with coffee, fill a bag with bread, cheese and fruit and bring it back to the room. This covers two meals; breakfast and supper. Every day at 7:45, I go to the lobby and chat with my work colleagues until 8, when we get on the bus and go to our class at the Chempark in Leverkeusen.

We have class until 12:30, go to the cafeteria to eat. Come back to class until 5:30 and get back on the bus to the hotel. Then, in the dark, I go running. It takes 30 minutes to run from the train station/cathedral to Zoobrueke, where I turn around and come back.

So far, that is what I have done on my trip to Germany. In 5 days, it is all I have had time for. I think I would like to get out of class before the sun went down, but that is not up to me. This weekend, I will go for long runs along the river (weather to be a little drippy), peruse the sporting goods store and the natural food store, study my spiritual material and read a book. No, I won’t run around like a crazy person trying to see as much as possible. What is the point of that really? Cologne is about the cathedral. I will spend some more time pondering it.

I have been doing my daily spiritual study and meditation. I need this reflection time and connection time to survive. Like the Cologne Cathedral, God dominates the landscape of my mind. I keep going back to look. Whenever I wonder where I am, I pinpoint God\’s dominance on the horizon. I come close and look at God\’s intricacies, both inside and out. I stop to pray.

Different Drummer

Here is a view from the 6th floor classroom window where I have been spending my days.

Last night, we had a dinner with a really really top executive. Surprisingly, about halfway through the meal, he came and sat next to me so he could visit with the people at our end of the table. There was only our group of 18 at the dinner. I was glad I do not drink. As a drunk, I never knew what my mouth would have to say to such a person.

Tonight, I was a bad girl and skipped the group dinner. They brought us back to the hotel at 6:30 and a group was going to a Brazilian steak house at 7. At 6:38, I was out running along the Rhine. I had a pleasant 52 minute run. I am a person who needs to get away; althought I did go against group norms and expected behavior. I suffer a little when I go against the group.

Even thought there were plenty of other walkers and runners along the river, I experienced a type of solitude and contemplation in the semi-darkness. Now, alone, I stop to reflect that I am alone. I suddenly need to shut off my dialog. This time needs to be cherished.

Montag en Germania

I had a wonderful plate of vegetables for dinner last night. I slept most of the night except for the comforter is too hot. I found a natural food store on google. It is only 1.1 km from the hotel, so this weekend, I can go load up on goodies for snacking after my long run.

Upon arising this morning, I had a wonderful hot shower. Free of grunge and vague dreams of forgetting to get the right settings loaded for some software, I settled down for spirituality. I re-started chapter 22 in the Course in Miracles text yesterday. This morning, as I continued, I felt like I understood something. I felt willing. I did not felt separation. As I write this, I believe that my ego, the tiny mad idea, was hoping that if it sent out a barrage of separation type thoughts, for several days, every time I tried to understand a holy relationship, that maybe I would give up my quest to love others and God.

Of course, I have been on the quest for decades. I don’t know why my ego still thinks I will quit trying to uphold the truth of the real relationship that I (we all) have with God, and the holy relationship that I (we) have with each other in Self: “For no two brothers can unite (in any way) except through Christ, Whose vision sees them one” (22.I.7).

The final five lessons of the Course in Miracles workbook use this:
\”This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge. For I would follow You.
Certain that Your dicrection gives me peace.\”
I said this a lot on the airplane when I couldn\’t sleep. I realized that the trick is to know that I am speaking to Someone. I have to consciously make the divine connection; not just repeat this over and over to myself. I reach out! It is swell.

How much courage to take time for spirituality.

Fear is my worst blockage.

I have felt well around my co-workers at the class.

I will survive here is Germany.

Today I was in class all day, not returning to the hotel until 6. Our class is 2 South Americans, 4 Indians, 2 English, 2 German, 2 Chinese and 4 Americans. The class is at a huge chemical park. They had a nice cafeteria which even had a machine that made fresh squeezed orange juice. Fresh orange juice is heaven. They also had a lady who was making smoothies.

After class, I got out running about 6:15. I ran 40 minutes, turning around at Henry Blum Platz. There were other runners, walkers and bikers. I got the nod from a couple of the ladies, “I see you running maniac.”

This morning at breakfast, I foraged for fruit and bread so I think I’ll skip eating out tonight.

Tomorrow night, we have dinner with an important person; so no running.

Koln Temporary Monastic Cell

On Saturday, I got up at 3:45 to do my spiritual work. At 5:30, I was at the park and did a 22 mile LSD run. Then, I went home to shower and eat. At noon, my friend Lore took me to the airport. All flights on time and very nice. Arrived in Dusseldorf at 7:30 am Sunday (what happened to Saturday night?).

I said I would set up my mini-monastery in my hotel room. Here is a picture:

I noticed there is a nice bike path along the Rhine River, only a few blocks from my hotel. I\’ll be in class for most daylight hours but I should be able to figure out when jogging would be good.

Friday the 13th

No matter how crazily your brain seems to be yelling at you; silence it for an instant and the Love of God will flood in, healing all mistaken notions.

I\’m ready to eat when I get to Germany:

Here is the beginning of the pile of stuff that needed to be packed:

This morning, I got up at 4:45, having granted myself a day off. I weigh 130. I did my spiritual study but was somewhat distracted with a) putting things in the pile for Germany and b) my thoughts about myself which separate me from others. I have been studying chapter 22.I of the Course in Miracles text all week. It is on holy relationships. I have been unable to move on because my ego keeps really hammering me about how different from others I am. I keep asking Jesus about this gap between what the Course says and what I believe about myself. Yet, Jesus keeps encouraging me to look beyond the material level surface to the sameness of Christ, which lies within everyone. This practice of continual awareness of my thoughts and then drawing them back to seeing sameness (Christ vision) has been a chore. This morning, as I entered into mental silence, I suddenly had a holy instant (ACIM text 15.I.9):

“Begin to practice the Holy Spirit’s use of time as a teaching aid to happiness and peace. Take this very instant, now, and think of it as all there is of time. Nothing can reach you here out of the past, and it is here that you are completely absolved, completely free and wholly without condemnation. From this holy instant wherein holiness was born again you will go forth in time without fear, and with no sense of change with time.”

In my holy instant, I realized that all was peace.

Then, I went to 6:30 Mass. I didn’t talk to anyone. After that, I went running. I saw some people I knew. As I passed them at the same time I passed my car, they pointed out that I had left a packet of Gu on the trunk of my car, “Did you know you left this here?” I hollered back, being a little ways down the road, “That is supposed to be there.” You know how my ego heard their question? “Hey stupid, did you know you forgot this?” And my ego would have answered, “Quit being such a know-it-all busy body you dip shit.” I admit that the voice in my head sounds this hateful all the time. So now you know why it is so imperative to me that I pay attention to all my thoughts and keep them from unconsciously living in hate.

After eight miles, I decided I’d had enough. I went to the store and then home. At home, I started laundry, worked on my suitcase packing project and installed the software for my new $20 camera. It worked! I got the shirts ironed and folded. Then, I thought I would go to an AA meeting at noon.

Just before I got in the car, I checked the Blackberry. There was an e-mail from human resources granting me a credit for home improvements I had made on the house in Atchison. So, when I took my job, there was a relocation package. The house didn’t sell so I accepted the offer from the relocation agent; which dinged me for about $6,000 worth of repairs. But, I was quite happy because, getting rid of the house was a super thing period. So, now this morning, the company will add in several thousand more dollars. I just can’t believe this.

I had a nice meeting, someone even thanking me for what I said. After the meeting, I did not run out so a couple of guys stopped me to chat. One of them even sort of acted real nice as if he knew I might have been upset with some previous behavior of his.

Yesterday at work, I made my first presentation of a work product to management. They all commented at how well organized, detailed and of higher quality it was than what they had been doing in the past. “I really like the way you think.”

I am going to Germany tomorrow. I finally achieved peace with the trip as I decided that I would do as I always do: set up my mini-monastery in my hotel room. I have arranged my spiritual study materials and coffee supplies. I packed a jar of peanut butter. No matter the cost, I will pay for the fitness facility at the hotel. I have packed running supplies. On the weekend, I’ve planned a personal endurance event. It probably won’t be much different than what I would do at home: run around a park for 4 hours; or perhaps along the Rhine River (if there is a sidewalk). The unknowns are: where will I go pee! I’ve packed my Nathan Hydropak, so water will not be an issue. I should be able to get pictures and write a blog as I’m taking my laptop.

I’m flying first class.