Business Transcendence

Here I am in Pittsburgh again; on business. I have spent the week leading 2 groups of guys in Hazard and Operability Studies. At the same time, I am always pondering my own spiritual path. I have always continued my studies of A Course in Miracles; and now mixed with the philosophy of Paul Brunton. The 2 philosophies are worded differently but the spiritual principles are the same. Therefore, I am a believer in certain ideas, but not in any religion.

1. \”I don\’t detect the Overself because it is beyond my consciousness. Being universal, it can\’t be experienced familiarly. But this principle is a permanent element within me. The general principle of Thought can be indirectly supposed. I have thoughts but the general principle is Thought.\”
2. \”The world I perceive is a product of my thoughts, but my illusion of the world is not solely mine. Each mind is confined to its own sensational world but each sensational world is rooted in a common mental ground provided by the World-Mind, the Overself, the general principle of Thought. \”
3. \” If Jesus was a man of sorrows, it was not because of what they would do to his body, but because of what they thought in their minds.\”  \”When we identify the I-thought, which always arises first, with the body-thought, which always arises second, we turn the scale of values upside down and limit the larger factor with the lesser one. Through this initial error we not only strengthen our sorrows and increase grief, but also fill hearts with unnecessary fear. But when we become conscious that we are conscious and that this is the most direct thing of our experience, we have reached the momentous turning-point of understanding the difference between both thoughts. For the making of this miracle–and it is nothing less — clear to our own understanding itself puts us on the right path to achieving it.\”

My spiritual ideas are related to identifying with spirit instead of body. My path is of ego transcendence; joining the universal Self and letting go of the small self. this topic comes up no matter what I study. Brunton does a good job of explaining how the world is my thoughts but also a universal world with other people in the same thought field. But it is not a sound bite. I\’m not going to try and explain 25 years of spiritual study in one sentence.

I also think it is time for the ordinary spiritual people to hold to their truth. We are members of ordinary society, not monk or nuns or famous authors or teachers. We are the transcending identities within normal society. We know the truth and we live it to free others. But our teaching is quiet. Our teaching is our presence. Embrace.

I came to Pennsylvania on Saturday and ran a half marathon in Erie on Sunday.

If you read this blog, you have seen my foot x-ray.

Two weeks ago, I decided that I was tired of having my achilles impaled on a sharp point of bone and went to an orthopedist. Surgery is scheduled for….OMG… Friday!

I have pondered over and over, why do I run. Then, why does my heel hurt. Metaphysically, the heel surgery can be a point of transcendence just as much as the daily miles. 6 weeks on crutches will be worth it. It is a death and then a resurrection; not to the same body but to a different state.


Choose the Spark of Beauty


This morning, I was studying chapter 17.IV in A Course in Miracles text. Here is the part that inspired me: \”Let Him [Holy Spirit] uncover the spark of beauty in your relationships, and show it to you…It is still up to you to choose to join with truth or with illusion. But remember that to choose one is to let the other go. Which one you choose you will endow you with beauty and reality, because the choice depends on which you value more…the spark of beauty or the veil of ugliness…\”

I thought about how I didn\’t hate my boss this week and how many people texted me on my anniversary. I decided to allow the love that had been present; which is to choose the spark of beauty I had been shown.

After this, did I become insane? Here\’s my story.

Earlier this week, I got an e-mail about a new 24 hour event in Houston in December. (I went in a 50k there last year). So, I would really like to walk 24 hours. And my new shoe design might allow for a \”Kinhin\” Zen walk for 24 hours. I\’m after the meditation side, not the distance side mind you. I mentioned it to a guy at work. He said he\’d be happy to hand me cups of water and drive my butt home. (Transportation could be an issue after being up all night.)

This morning was my usual Saturday struggle to get out of bed. The only reason to get up early is to run before temps rise above 90F. As a walker however, it doesn\’t really matter. So I slept until 7. Then, I did my spiritual study, prayed about the December 24 hour run. I heard rumbles outside, but I decided to go for a short walk in El Lago and test the shoe.

The first 50 feet out the door, I\’m thinking I\’ll drop down to the half marathon for the Nebraska race in 3 weeks. See, the modified shoe won\’t work in Nebraska on a hilly dirt course. Depressing.

50 feet later, another thought shot across my mind. Well, you could go to St Louis since you are already entered in that 12 hour run.

I shook my fist at the sky. \”G-d dammit, that is the exact opposite thought from what I wanted!\”

During the first mile of my walk in El Lago, I saw the faint trace of a rainbow. An omen? Was God speaking? It poured on me twice during the first 2 hours; but since this is Houston in August, it is always at least 80F. If you get wet, no big deal.

I thought about the 12 hour race in St Louis. It makes a ton of sense. Before dreaming of a 24 hour race, why not see how 12 hours go? And the course in Fenton (St Louis) is perfect for my shoe. The driving is about the same as if I went to Nebraska. I already know some people who will be walking in Fenton. No time pressure for a 12 hour time period. It fits the scope of meditative walking (not racing).

So, crap. I think I\’ll go to Fenton.

Today, I walked 4 hours in my shoe. I came home once to modify it and finally stopped at 4 hours cuz I needed to modify again and I realized that the thicker sock was tearing up one of my little toes. Fang (one of the heel spurs) was quiet today. The only problem was the back of the shoe heel wasn\’t short enough and kept banging into the bottom of my heel and hurting it (4 hours of that really was enough). So, I have 3 weeks to get the shoe right. I don\’t even have to decide for sure until that week so I can shift my hotels around. But, I think Fenton will be much better for me.

I\’ll try again with the shoe tomorrow.

Epic Win

I have a retrocalcaneal heel spur. This means that the back of any shoe pushes my achilles tendon against a sharp line of calcium build up. It hurts.

So, about 2 weeks ago, I got an idea. I\’ve been experimenting with the idea. Today, I proclaimed the idea a winner.

Its not for anyone who wants to run fast, or on trails; but for a jogger like me, it works great.

Here it is: the pain free Haglund\’s shoe.

Yes, it is missing a portion of heel right where the greatest pain is. But still enough heel that if you want to stick a Dirty Girls gaiter over the opening, you can. But on paved roads, no issue. I wear thick socks and lace up tight. The shoe doesn\’t come off.

Self Transcendence

So inspiring, the amount of miles completed at the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race, which ends in 6 days:

 And here is why my foot hurts (Haglund\’s deformity):

Today is my Friday and next week is business travel. Almost as soon as I get back, I go to a race in Wyoming where I\’ll also see a friend.

I am ready to do slow walking in the Houston heat. I actually love doing this. Very meditative.

Not God

In relation to Liu Xiaobo\’s wife\’s comment, Meng Hu gleaned this bit of wisdom: To engage in the world is to give it tacit approbation. To be invisible is the true incompatibility. 

This morning, I read in A Course in Miracles chapter 13.III: \”you have used the world to cover your love, and the deeper you go into the blackness of the ego’s foundation, the closer you come to the Love that is hidden there…\”

Reading Merton as he works out the decision to join a monastery and become a priest, I clearly see what synapses in my brain were triggered and why I decided to do the same thing. I also see that I was acting on thoughts in my own mind, just as Merton; but based on what I\’ve learned about neurophilosophy, that doesn\’t mean God was speaking.

I am going to go outside and sweat. I have a heel spur. I asked Dr to tape it. We will also do the other exercises to work around it.

I have been trying a 24 hour fast today. I still have a couple of hours. I seem to be able to do such a thing only as prayer or renunciation of the world. For health is not enough.

Not going in races makes me invisible and not eating makes me incompatible. My other compatibility activities are antagonistic to others, hence not invisible. I could become more invisible. At least my recognition award was not handed out in front of the team.

Creative Fitness

For miles….for the spirit.

On the cusp of yet another 3100 Mile Self Transcendence Race (Sri Chinmoy).

It is hot in Houston. Earlier this week, I decided to take this afternoon off and sleep. This was because I needed to recover from the stress over work reorganization. That is, I was waiting for an interview and then a decision. Tuesday, we got both of those things done (I got the job).

Coming home, I drove by 3 places before deciding what looked like a nice enough place for my Prius to go. I got my tires rotated. I know, big deal. But, since it was 10 am, no waiting either.

Then, I was reading Thomas Merton \”The Seven Story Mountain\” when the nap occurred. I haven\’t read the book for 15 years or so. For some reason, Merton was instrumental in my trip to a monastery. I\’m only a little way into the book. So far, I didn\’t find the dopamine trigger; but I am sure I will.

What if….. The Hassidic Jews in Jerusalem had not appeared to have something I wanted, triggered the survival instinct and powered a decades long search for God. Did God want this?

My heel was really good for 2 days. Today it is swollen again. Cross training seems ok, but we\’ll have to wait to tomorrow to see about miles. I\’ll need to start walking very early due to heat. I wish I could walk a marathon, but it seems unlikely.

Creativity…. I\’m praying for a thought, something original and interesting. Is there such a thing?

Swell Sunday

I couldn\’t find my off button today!

I guess my latest innovation in heel comfort really worked good. Beside the usual tape job I\’ve been using for a few weeks, I put a piece of Dr Scholl\’s lambs wool inside my sock on top of the place that always hurts like hell. But, it didn\’t hurt today. Despite the heat (32C/ 37C heat index) during the last 2 hours, I ran pickups (yup real running) along a couple of spots in the shade (26 of them to be exact). All in all, 19 miles and 4h46 (hit the 4 mph average which is much faster than I have been doing).

Today\’s run caps a 45 mile / 3 day jogging binge (plus a couple of hours of cross training). 13 hours in 3 days. So…..I think I\’ll be able to stay on my feet for 12 hours next Sunday at Flatlander\’s 12 hour race in St Louis. 50k gets me a silver medal. If I am the only little old lady, I win the Seniors age group ( haha). Only problem is that the remnants of Isaac might be drenching the St Louis area (hope not). Well, first priority is that Isaac does not come to Texas.

After my St Louis adventure, I have the rest of next week off. My real A race this year is Ultracentric (near Dallas in November).