A Tale of Two Dogs

This post is a story, a fable of the Universe. This story is an analogy, a display of my metaphysical reality. In a story of two dogs, I found my own behavior and how it should change if I want to receive good things from the Universe. I got this story from a YouTube video. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p14efOyweM)

Two stray dogs were lost out in the Colorado wilderness. One dog was a little bit older. One dog was a big puppy. Two nice people, a couple, were camping in the area. The couple saw the dogs and stopped their car. The puppy comes over, just like puppies do, licking and wanting a pat. The puppy slurps down a piece of salami. The older dog is afraid, too afraid to come near and get a piece of salami. The older dog gets too frightened and runs off into the bushes. The puppy jumps in the car and gets driven off to a wonderful new home. (Yes, start crying at this point at how lucky that puppy is).

My point? When the Universe answers your prayer with an unexpected handout, act like the puppy and not the older dog. Get in the car. Sure, life has beaten me up a bit, but it is not too late for me to receive a miracle. I need to put aside my fear or arrogance and accept the gifts. The gifts come, but it is up to me to try to act like the puppy. I should just jump in the car and get driven off into the wonderful new situation available to me. Be humble. Receive the surprise. Allow the miracle. You never know when some other person will stop and offer to help. Take it.

Charlie Salami

Post Marathon Mortem

I\’ve inspected the splits and assessed myself. I\’ve bought a picture from the course photographer. I did a workout yesterday. I got up this morning for work. Marathon weekend over.

I prayed alot this morning about my mental condition. I wish I wasn\’t such a negative person. I wish my head wasn\’t so full of resentments. Spiritual tools are all I have for that problem. I needed a miracle. My work resentments were so powerful all weekend. The miracles I wanted was to let them go. And so this morning, I gleaned power from my spiritual study and took some words to protect me.

After I got to work, I forgot mostly about the slip of paper in my pocket with the words. I also forgot about my resentments. I actually cannot, even now this evening, remember what the big deal was. This is somehow the Course in Miracles way of escaping the dream of fear by overlooking it.

I\’ve been thanking my higher self for that. My request now is for humility and gratitude. And gratitude I can take charge of and complete actions. I can get on my knees, but I don\’t know if I will find humility there. I sense I need ego deflation.

I have a cold. Other than congestion however, I don\’t feel that bad. Only problem is I don\’t feel that much like eating either. So, green stuff didn\’t get cooked. But I ate several mandarin oranges. Yum!

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.

12 Step Endurance Practice

Yesterday I went in an ultra marathon. I know my limitations. I try to prevent the big toe blisters which chronically occur. I tape my knee so the ACL does not get tweaked. I know that if the blisters get too bad, I\’ll quit.

But it is the mental game which is not only the point of a timed endurance event, but the most difficult part. I don\’t mind quitting when my big toes are destroyed. I do need to keep going if my only problem is fatigue. Leg fatigue always happens, but it is not the end of the game.

So, I wanted to avoid premature quitting. I needed a way to keep my mind healthy.

I tried something totally new. I made myself a little book. I wrote down sayings from a 12 Step book, one page for each step. I would study and ponder one step for 4 laps (approximately an hour). This way, my goal is to ponder the steps and not pay too much attention too how I feel. Remember, these steps are taken in the context of an ultra marathon, and my life\’s day to day struggles; not an alcoholic obsession.

Somehow, the endurance run became my spiritual adviser. It spoke to me of character defects I didn\’t really see. So the result is a new understanding of myself and an end to some of the habitual hatefulness.

6:15, I arrive at the park. It is dark still. I unload my chair, little table, cooler, bag of food, bag of extra gear. I pick up my number and chip.

6:45, we have a little meeting where the race director explains every thing. This race has about 50 people. I see a woman who I met at another race. I talk to her. At the Habanero run in August, I had suffered from severe dehydration and had to sit by the side of the trail for a long time until I could stand without getting dizzy. She had stopped her race to watch me. That was very nice. I asked her if she finished. Yes she did; but it took 11 hours to finish that 50k. Oh my. I don\’t think I could have done that regardless of dehydration.

7 am, off we go onto a one mile out and back course. It is a nice park and it turns out that I like seeing all the racers, so I don\’t mind out and back. But clearly, this type of race offers no challenge but the inner challenge.

I step up to the plate with Step 1: \”who cares to admit complete defeat?\”  Wow, how do I start a race with that? But really, such a thought smacks my ego right at the start. I get rid of any expectations of what \”I\” think \”I\” will do. Right from the start, I accept that my ego will be defeated. No grandiosity. No glory. No bragging rights.

\”…unless he has accepted his devastating weakness and all its consequences…\” The toes are my devastating weakness. The eventual pain of toes and legs which will force me to quit are my devastating weakness. I am powerless. It is only a matter of when. My ego hates quitting.

\”… no amount of human will power…\” Well, this caused me to think about the normal approach to ultra marathons which is successful for most people. They decide that they will finish the race no matter what. And they do, come injury or whatever, they finish. I\’ve never done this. And now, my Step 1 has told me that no amount of human will power will do it. Other people can do it, but it doesn\’t work for me. In other words, I can\’t. I agree.

4 laps done in just under an hour. On to Step 2: \”Having reduced us to a state of absolute helplessness, you now declare that none but a higher power ….\” Really? Only a higher power will get me through this race. New thinking for me in the context of a ultra marathon.

\” …all you need is a truly open mind…\”  I looked at my mind. How closed is it? I could see some places where it was closed.

\”…I had only to cease fighting…\” I fight alot in many areas of my life, but regarding this race here and now, what am I fighting? Shoes, food, heat, race management, other people, the rough patches of pavement, porta-potties… This concept turned out useful a bit later when it was very hot and I decided to walk instead of fighting the heat. At the end of step 2, two hours into the race, I thought I might like to eat one of my sandwiches and some fruit, only to realize that those things had been forgotten at home. I\’d have to eat course food. Rats! I\’m not in control.

\”…road blocks of indifference, fancied self-sufficiency, prejudice and defiance…\” All  of these ideas have application in life and in a race. But my theme for the day seemed to be realizing that self reliance would not work for me.

\”…provided we place humility first…we received the gift of faith…\” Now I had to think about my pride and gain humility. My pride causes me to go too fast in the early part of a race because I want to be done at a certain time. Or I look at the other lady who is my age and I want to beat her. Or the fat person. Or the guy talking too much. Or…  God, my head is full of crap.

\”…we had substituted negative for positive thinking…this trait had been an ego feeding proposition…\” Now this really hit me. I suddenly saw my whole pattern of thinking, for the past 11 years since leaving the monastery, as negative and how that fed my ego. Amazing. I\’ve never seen this before. The race is my spiritual adviser.

\”…at no time had we asked what God\’s will was for us.\” Here, I had to realize my race goals and plans were mine, not God\’s. And then throw up the silent prayer of wonderment, \”What are Your goals for me?\” Remember I forgot my food? Well, now, the Race Director and his plans for the aid station became the higher power and God\’s will for me.

Completing 8 laps, I moved on to Step 3: \”…cut away the self will that has blocked the entry of God\” My self will…. hummmm. I had an inner niggle related to self will blocking God, or Higher Self if you please. That enlightenment which many others get always comes at a moment of defeating self will.

\” … instinct and logic always seek to bolster egotism, and so frustrate spiritual development\” Oh yes, another sudden revelation of how \”I\”, logic and instinct, was bolstering egotism. And it is egotism which is causing all my unhappiness and hatefulness in life.

\”…dependence on a higher power is really a way of gaining true independence of spirit.\” I really would like independence of spirit.

\”…some problems refuse to be solved by all the sheer personal determination and courage he can muster\” Well, here I am, My own courage is not going to finish this race.

\”It is when we try to conform our will with God\’s that we begin to use it rightly\” True, but do I do this? Not really.

Now, about 3 hours into the race. A guy from work shows up. I am truly surprised. He had called me one day last week and in the course of the conversation, I had mentioned I was going in this race. I only vaguely mentioned where it was. And I was joking about him coming. But he did come! And he was there for quite awhile. He walked some with me and he went off to practice his Frisbee.

I went on to Step 4, now with this guy from work as part of the mix: \”…total inability to form a true partnership with another human being…we have no once sought to be a worker among workers…of true brotherhood we had small comprehension…\” Here is this guy from work who has driven 40 miles to this race. I would never have done that. But he did. Why has he done it? I really don\’t know. I do know that being \”just one of the engineers\” is very hard for me. He takes my picture.

\”…discover a chink in the walls my ego has built…\”  I imagine myself as behind an ego wall and I can\’t really see any chinks. But as I mentally decide to inspect the wall closely, maybe a small chink can be found. The main thing is that I realize it is a wall. All the metaphysical teaching of A Course in Miracles and Paul Brunton and Eckhart Tolle and Plotinus speak of the separation caused by the ego. Step 5 of the 12 Steps is meant to take down the wall and put you on The Broad Highway.

\”…pride, leading to self-justification, always spurred by conscious or unconscious fears…\” Now, I suddenly realize how much of my thinking is self justification. I am continually silently telling stories to various people about why I have failed them. Now I see it is self-justification. Now I see it was pride and that behind pride is fear. If I can only become conscious of the fear.

\”…all the faulty foundation of my life will have to be torn out and built anew on bedrock…\” The race is doing this, step by step, mile by mile.

\”…why do I lack the ability to accept conditions I cannot change?\” I need to let go of my plans and go along with the conditions of this race. I wish I could accept conditions at work.

Now it is 4 hours into the race and I\’m at Step 5: \”humility…a clear recognition of who and what we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be.\” Back to humility as a concept for an ultra marathoner.

\”we began to suspect how much trouble self delusion had been causing us.\” Self delusion is another metaphysical proposition: that the world we see is an ego world and not the Real World. I accept self delusion and feel a slight inner nudge; but can\’t attache any conscious realization.

\”…that mysterious barrier we could neither surmount nor understand…\” Yes, I again inspect the ego wall. I see that it is there. I see I have no plans to change it.

\”…the steps all deflate our egos…\”  I knew this. I also know for it now. I am beginning to suffer as the miles pile up. It is getting warmer.

\”…things which really bother and burn us…\”  Again I look inside. I haven\’t lately really tried to define the categories of situations which really bother and burn me. Certain things are my hot buttons. But I haven\’t tried to define the ego aspects and say consciously that this ego button bothers and burns me. And, now in the race, the idea is too slippery.

Now it is five hours and 20 miles into the race. My toes hurt and I am upset because they shouldn\’t. Something is very wrong. I run marathons without toe tape and don\’t have so much problems. Now, I have taped the toes and am in serious difficulty after only 20 miles. The tape is taking up space in the toe box. The tape job is not good. And, it is hot.

Step 6: \”…who doesn\’t like to feel superior…\”  I can again identify a habitual trait within me. I can feel superior to certain other people on the course; or worse, the fat people having bar-b-q and not exercising at all. But then I also know those people I scorn will also stay out there longer than me and go farther because they are willing to slow down and shuffle forward regardless. Or the bar-b-q people are being kind to one another and enjoying family.  I\’ll decide that the pain is enough and quit.

\”Self righteous anger can be enjoyable…\”  I again identify a habitual trait within me. I think about this more in terms of my work relationships. Its bad.

\”we take satisfaction from the fact that many people annoy us, for it brings a comfortable feeling of superiority.\” My thoughts go to conversations I typically have with others, especially related to those slow drivers.

\”abandon our limited objectives and move towards God\’s will for us…\” Now, I arrive at the race itself. I have limited objectives. Is it possible that God has a further limit? This part comes true when I get to 26 miles. I can pick up a medal for 26 miles. The next medal is 50 miles. If I go past 26 miles but not to 50, then I have nothing to show for it.

I had planned to walk and jog for 30 miles, then switch shoes and walk only. But my toes are bad. It is hot. ok, I need to change myself and accept where I am at. The steps are making this possible. At 24 miles, I change the shoes and decide to walk. I say to myself, \”I am used to going for 10 miles walks in these shoes. I will forget the previous 24 miles and now start a new 10 mile walk.\”

And on to Step 7: \”the attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of AAs 12 Steps\” No kidding. This was the 7th hour of the race. If, I made it through 4 laps, I\’d be at 28 miles, an ultra marathon. My legs were in pain but not the injury kind of pain. My toes were bad. It was hot. I\’m out long past a normal training run. I\’m approaching a marathon, when normally the race would be over. Yes, the race is kicking my butt; and my ego is insisting that this should not be. But it is. Accept it. I am under performing according to my ego.

\”without humility, they cannot live to much useful purpose or in adversity summon the faith that can meet any emergency\” Well, I see that self will cannot help me in THIS emergency; or any other I realize. Never has.

\”character building and spiritual values had to come first\” The race is causing me to build character; mainly as I face the weakness of my pride and ego. Mainly as I face my personal physical shortcomings. Short  fat toes get blisters no matter what. Shoes just don\’t fit them.

\”we never thought of making honesty, tolerance and true love of man and God the daily basis of living\” Yes, but how do you do that? I don\’t have the ability to not be egotistical. I mainly live by instincts: selfishly protect my self. But yet, there are many instances where I help someone else even though my ego has just told me not to. How do I become the person which is always helpful and not have to fight with self all the time?

\”For just so long as we were convinced that we could live exclusively by our own strength and intelligence, for just that long was a working faith in a higher power impossible\” I am beginning to realize my ability to focus on spirituality is failing. I\’m hot and tired and in pain and higher thinking isn\’t happening.

\”the process of gaining a new perspective was unbelievable painful\” This only told me that I am in pain at that moment. If I was gaining a new perspective, it was certainly through the pain.

During the 7th step, 26 miles came and went. I passed the point of getting another medal since I didn\’t think I\’d make it to 50 miles. Now, for the first time ever, I am doing miles for no gain. that is new. There won\’t be a material reward for what I am doing. I don\’t know the answer to why I do ultra marathons. The answer is somewhere out there in the miles and in the time.

I just passed my 50th lifetime marathon. One of the guys decides he will walk this lap with me. He says that the course is long. That his garmin just went past 27 miles even though we just past 26 miles. This is when I remember this is my 50th. I tell him and lift my hands in the air. We talk for this lap and it goes pretty fast. Then he quits.

7th Step Prayer: \”My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength as I go out from here to do your bidding\”

Step 8, 8th hour: \”…. develop the best possible relations with every human being we know…\” I don\’t try to do this. Now, at this moment of the race, I can\’t even figure this out. I\’m ok with these people here. I\’m not really able to want to fix my work life right at the moment. I am hot. My toes hurt.

\”… Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness…\”  Slippery again. I know I came from a bad family. I know the emotional problems are there. I can\’t do more right at the moment.

\”…what happens when we wallow in depression, self-pity oozing from every pore…\” I do this. My only hope is that when I return to work next week, I will become conscious of when this is happening. Right now in the race, I can\’t realize that I feel sorry for myself. Everyone else here hurts too. I know I am going to quit but they will keep going, no matter how slow, someone will be doing it. If I was unconscious of self-pity, I might quit and hate myself but not know why. Today, I will quit eventually, but not out of unconscious self-pity.

9th hour, 32 miles complete, Step 9: \”…we should try to be absolutely sure that we are not delaying because we are afraid. For the readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of step nine.\” This isn\’t helping me at all. I can\’t focus on it.

I changed my shoes after 32 miles. Now I am wearing shoes that have the toe box cut out. I decide to see how bad my toes hurt. I consider that if I quit, I won\’t finish the 12 Steps. My toes hurt even without anything touching them.

But here\’s what happened. Near the end of lap 33, I pull into the shade. Suddenly I think, \”If there is a traffic jam on I45, you might as well stay here at the race.\” Suddenly, my race is to be decided by Houston traffic. I can\’t help myself. The iphone comes out and Houston Transtar app is opened. No traffic. 100 feet later, I am asking for the 26 mile medal and handing in my chip. Game over.

Last night, I could barely hobble around the house. I stayed in bed about 10 hours. This morning I feel quite good. Definitely, 33 miles is not as bad as 50 miles. I\’m glad.

The major difference between this race and other similar events? While I did go a few more miles before quitting, and I didn\’t quit in hatefulness. I think that at other times, I have quit in seething hatefulness and self-justification. This time I quit with a peaceful mind and good attitude. So I quit at the proper time, but my ego was not involved. this is called serenity and I am grateful for it. Thank you 12 Steps.

Another part of the 12 Step program is the Serenity Prayer. This prayer did not occur to me yesterday but it does now as I reflect on the race. I got serenity yesterday. Serenity was the outcome.

\”God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.\”

Onward to life\’s next lesson.

Ready Freddie

Yesterday, I did a 25 mile jog/walk. In the evening, I did some free weights and another 25 min of elliptical. The last 25 mile run I did was 3 weeks ago. Last weekend, I had a 3 day training extravaganza. This week, I had a bit of a cut back recovery week (only 47 miles).

Thats the background. Today, I only did 10.1 miles, mostly walking with numerous fast pickups. I felt much better than after my last 25 mile run. I like looking at my garmin during a pickup and seeing 8 min/mile in the instantaneous speed box.  I\’ll probably do a bit more workout this evening.

All this is to say that I think I\’ll do fine at my 50k race in 2 weeks. I haven\’t done a 50k since last September in Silverton, CO.

I entered the Frisco 50 because I wanted to remember what it feels like to go that far. I don\’t have the mental fortitude to do it by myself. I am familiar with this course and the location is easy and cheap on Southwest Airlines. I am signed up for a couple of 12 hour runs in the fall, but before I buy any airplane tickets for them, I need to feel the 50k.

I think ultra running is a sport that comes from a different place than marathoning. My mentality for this is very different than when I am training for a marathon. I seek the quality of endlessness, not speed.

I am reading \”The Song of Prayer,\” a supplement to A Course in Miracles. Here is my psalm:

Let prayer but leave the ground where it begins
to rise to God and true humility
will come to grace the mind that prayed.

The only way I survived 4 years in a convent was to remember all day one line from the rule of Benedict: I am a worm and no man. The only way I survive in daily life as an engineer is to remember humility. When I place myself below, and take my dog out of the race and surrender to God, things go well. That is all I care about.

Humility and Gratitude

By humility, I mean anti-pride. By gratitude, I also mean anti-pride.

I was sitting in a 12 step meeting this morning and really feeling my pride deeply. I always think I am too advanced to go to a meeting and listen to the others, no matter what they have to say. I\’m not there to lecture others about how superior I am or how spiritual I am. So many people do praise me, but I forget, it is really God who used my mouth. How arrogant to not value the others at the meeting and all they have given me. I even pretend that they never did give me anything. To be arrogant is to be drunk on self-pride. May I somehow achive sobriety of self. It means turning my will over to God and seeking only to serve; seeking only His will for me.

I also am arrogant towards the out of shape, over weight, or smoking type of people. See? I am so arrogant. Every now and then, I realize this at a deep enough level to be ashamed and then talk to God about it. Then, I mend my thinking.

That is when gratitude hits me. It is others, known and unknown, who have helped me with my life. My life is not my own beyond the sense that things happen, but that anything good comes from others acting on behalf of God. If anyone buys my former house, that is their gift to me. I remembered to be grateful for my new job and remember that it was given me. If I accomplish anything at work, it is due to someone helping me. If I don\’t goof off at work, that is due to a power greater than myself. If I do some work on my own time, that is not my will but my higher power. I forget to thank God.

I spend an hour a day in spiritual study and another 30 minutes in meditation. I forget that it is not my will power which accomplishes these things. It is my higher power.

I run marathons, work out and struggle to eat only as many calories as I need. It is not my will which accomplishes these things. It is my higher power.

I asked for help and He came. May I remember, it wasn\’t me. May I be willing to \”just be sober,\” as the purpose and value of my life. May I thank my higher power.

Sheepishness

The ultra-sober wanna be stands in dismay: I want to run a 50 miler. I plan to run a 50 miler. I have told others; so my ego has no cover should things not work out. I\’ll tell you: I am aware that the odds against me are huge. Success depends mainly on me not being stupid; a difficult assignment at best.

I plan to share my idealism, peaks, valleys and disasters. I plan to keep up the walking, jogging, bike riding and situps. Tonight, I added 1.5 pounds to the bar bell.

At this moment, it is important to contemplate my ego\’s reaction to full disclosure: fear.

Ha! Laugh my axx off! Show that ego!

The ACIM concept of defenselessness is what I will employ. I will not attack or defend. I will only look for holiness. Holiness depends not on form, depends not on this world. Holiness simply is. Holiness simply exists. Holiness is the quiet existence of ultra-sobriety, slow jogging in the early morning darkness and taking each step as the gift of God which it is.

There you go…I went philosophical again!

Fire and Humility

Last evening, as I sat at my table in silence, gazing, I realized that my spirituality does not make me better than other people. I became conscious that at some level my ego hoped that spirituality would cause me to excell or be revered (ie special to God and worshiped by others). I am less successful at life than many many people. In fact large quantities of unspiritual people are hugely successful. I can barely get through a day. I am usually terrified of work and filled with hatred. Somehow, this reminded me of the seventh step of humility from the Rule of Benedict: I am a worm and no man. I love it when I voluntarily grovel in the dust. It is much easier (emotionally) to consciously be still and not compete or think I\’m better.

This morning, I was once again pondering my spirituality. Once again I was wondering how some people have the Oneness experience and others of us have the slow growth experience. I worked at stopping my thinking and not expecting anything. I realized that the muddiness of my exterior life will never go away. My problems may look different than other people\’s but the muddiness and futile attempts to fix them is the same. Nothing in the ego world can be fixed. Nothing, not a new job or a relationship or money, will ever make the mud go away. It will only always be muddy. A thought went through my head, \”There must be an inner fire, a blazing essence, which is Christ, which is everywhere and in everyone.\” I cannot see the fire. Its emotion is subtle knowing. I know it. The fire is the God Presence, Love. Seeing the fire in others and all around me is my new attitude which is grateful and doesn\’t fight the mud.

And so here I am at this muddy place where I work. I look not to outward things to satisfy me. All I find out there is problems. My problems are (metaphysically and directly) of my own making. I want them. I make them. I don\’t know how to quit; but fighting them doesn\’t help. It is so much easier to just swim in the mud than to try to fix it. In fact, loving the mud is my best chance for happiness!

This evening, when I go running in the pouring rain, I will be thinking about the fire and humility.

Before I went to the monastery, I \”worked\” AA\’s 12 Steps. After I went to the monastery, I was always fascinated with Benedict\’s 12 steps of humility. To me, it is worthwhile to keep these in your pocket or on the wall at work. It is so much easier to be humble than proud. Here is an excerpt from each:

  • The first degree of humility, then, is that a person, always keeping the fear of God before his eyes, should avoid with the utmost care all forgetfulness, and be ever mindful of all that God has commanded…
  • The second degree of humility is, that a person, loving not his own will, delight not in gratifying his desires…
  • The third degree of humility is, that a person for the love of God submit himself to his superior in all obedience, imitating thereby the Lord…
  • The fourth degree of humility is, that if, in this very obedience, hard and contrary things, nay even injuries, are done to a person, he should take hold silently on patience, and, bearing up bravely, grow not weary nor depart…
  • The fifth degree of humility is not to conceal from one\’s Abbot the evil thoughts that beset one\’s heart, nor the sins committed in secret, but to manifest them in humble confession…
  • The sixth degree of humility is, that a monk be content with all that is mean and poor, and, in all that is enjoined him, esteem himself a sinful and unworthy laborer…
  • The seventh degree of humility is, that a person not only call himself with his own tongue lower and viler than all men, but also consider himself thus with inmost convictions, humbling himself and saying with the Prophet: \”I am a worm and not a man…
  • The eighth degree of humility is, that a monk do nothing except what the common rule of the monastery or the example of the seniors direct.
  • The ninth degree of humility is, that a monk restrain his tongue from speaking and, maintaining silence…
  • The tenth degree of humility is, that one be not easily moved or quick to laughter, because it is written: \”The fool lifteth up his voice in laughter.\”
  • The eleventh degree of humility is, that, when a monk speaks, he do so gently and without laughter, humbly, gravely, and with few and reasonable words…
  • The twelfth degree of humility is, that a monk, not only in his heart, but also in his very outward appearance, always show his humility to all who see him…