The Secret

Hi blog world, I\’ve been away partly due to communication gaps. However, I\’ve found that getting the new job finally squared away and begun relocation in earnest, it is hard to be quietly spiritual. This morning, I had a fine meditation.

Lesson: The hush of Heaven holds my heart today.

Reading in the Course in Miracles text about the holy instant (15.IV): The holy instant is a time in which you receive and give perfect communication…a time in which your mind is open…It seeks to change nothing, but merely to accept everything…How can you do this when you would prefer to have private thoughts?

In meditation, it occurred to me I have learned the secret of my main problem with God. I get caught in mental turmoil because I think God has never contacted me directly; hence, I’m not sure and doubt His existence. But, when I am willing to seek silence and merely listen to the silence, setting aside the turmoil and expectations; then merely go about the business of my life; I find joy in the little things of life. I find peace in the silence. I realize I am in communication but it is not felt communication. It is communication deeper than my ego. So, the secret is to seek only quiet and let everything else go.

So here is actually what my day was like:

I got up at 4 for 1.5 hours of spiritual practice, then lifted weights, then went to 6:30 Mass, then ran 8.1 miles, then took a call from my new boss who wanted to already send me e-mails as well as mention that his wife and him would like me to come to dinner, then got a state car inspection (while I ran down the street to the apartment complex and rode the elliptical for 30 minutes), then worked on my autobiography, then ATT showed up and got the phone and DSL working, then I went to Platte City license office and waited about 15 minutes to learn I didn’t have enough paperwork to get either the car plates or MO drivers license, drove over to Liberty to get a tax waiver at the court house, went to the license office there and waited about 15 minutes to obtain the car plates, drove back to Kansas City and had success at Wal-Mart and Penney’s, then Prudential called about relocation and I may be able to get them to move me next week.

Whew, what a day!

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The Silence of God

What is my relationship with God like?

My relationship with God is described by a two sided nature. One side is inspiration for my worldly life. The other dimension is for relationship with The Mystery of silence, and love of The Mystery.

The silence of God does not provide answers to everyday problems, although the Holy Spirit does assist with these. The silence of God does not provide ecstasy because this would distract from the eternal silence, the true nature of God. Love need not shout. An embrace speaks without sound.

In my contemplation, I fathom the silence of God and find unfathomable silence. I sit with the silence, in the silence. The nothingness grates on my ego, slowly stripping it, diminishing it. I become nothing in this world, freer of ego; and more in the nothingness of silence, where the Holy Spirit can freely direct my worldly life.

The silence is a beast, a suffocating black hole where my ego rages uselessly for specialness.

This silence is The Mystery. The Mystery is completely open, vulnerable, revealed. The Mystery gives itself completely and welcomes me into its being.

The silence is a pool of cool peacefulness, a comfort zone for resting in total love. In the silence, sharing is mutual, unified, wholly an experience of existential love. Fully entered into the pool of love, I have no perception. Though my ego rages at the doorway, silence itself merely awaits my relaxation into the oneness of pure existence.

Stay tuned for more.

Gratitude and Love

I didn’t follow my rules for spirituality today. I didn’t do a schedule. I didn’t meditate for hours. I’ve been thinking again to trust God that I will find the next place He wants me to go. It even occurred to me that there is nothing wrong with this moment. I don’t need to be afraid about employment.

Gratitude is the word that just came to mind. I am filled with love and I am grateful. Grateful for the love, but also just to be. The love I am filled with does not have conditions or results. This love is just moments of comfort and companionship.

Maybe the early morning run in the rain was a cleansing thing. Maybe I received love while I was at the fellowship meeting. In this moment love is a feeling I have. If I feel safe in love, it could also mean that I have accepted love from Someone; that Someone who is everywhere and in everybody.

All the food I have is a gift from above. The cashier at the store almost hugged my apricots as she described how delicious they were. It was an experience of God sharing His love with me.

As I ran by the river this afternoon, I realized that my life is not a failure, but a series of experiences. Divine love was always there. Somehow, I sense I\’ve never been alone, never failed and always accomplished the mission of love that was given me.

I almost understand the depths of despair my mother lived in and have compassion for her. I must be thinking with a mind not my own. For as long as I can remember, I\’ve hated my mother for what seemed like pretty good reasons. Today, she is safely off my hook and free to be the spirit she really is. I came to this conclusion completely apart from any psychological processing. It was just a thought that entered my mind. A thought of compassion that surfaced from within.

I must be safe in God or I’d be terrified. The sense of gratitude and love simply cannot come from the ego. So, I must be in the hands of God.

I am grateful for the running I did today; who would not be? It seems such a simple thing, running. But at times, running is the most elusive thing or the most painful thing we have experienced. Then, it shows us its playful bashful side and we are filled with joy for that one moment of sheer existence.

Ultra-retreat – 2

I got up late (5:30) because it was another ferocious thunderstorm outside, and I felt like a shorter run this morning was necessary for healing of fatigue. After studying ACIM, I’m not so sure I need to believe these physical limits. “I am not a body. I am free. I am still as God created me.” I have a plan to get back on schedule.

Lesson 208: The peace of God is shining in me now.

I will be still, and let the earth be still along with me. And in that stillness we will find the peace of God. It is within my heart, which witnesses to God Himself.”

I was looking at the fear my ego offers and the peace Jesus offers. My ego thinks I am in a predicament: no job. What if I question the ego’s opinion? You see, my true position in life right now is safe and neutral. Any fear I feel is an ego projection. My ego continuously tells me to be afraid of the future. I’m coming to see however that the ego’s main fear is that I will realize its fears are false and turn exclusively to the peace Jesus offers.

I read in the Text (Ch 4): God is inevitable…you will merely know God…the Unalterable…

The name of God, the Unalterable, can evoke an image of a wall, rigid judgment, a feeling of fear that God will keep you away because you are bad. This is the image the ego throws up. More quiet and arriving second is the Holy Spirit and Jesus\’ image: total Love. Love asks you to come without any ego specialness but as the innocent and pure idea of love which you truly are. Of course the ego fears God, because you cannot return to God with the ego.

Instead of dwelling in fear and listening to the ego repeatedly shriek, “What will happen to me?” I admit that my thoughts are literally killing me. When my ego cries out in fear, it is not fear of physical insecurity, but really a fear that I might start to disregard the ego entirely because it lies to me. The ego is terrified I might throw my entire trust and mental investment to the Holy Spirit and Jesus. “Jesus, I need to live in the sunlight of the spirit.” To heal, I turn to the lesson. I feel the peace. The thought of peace keeps me safe. It gives me a place to go in my mind that is not destructive. A place which returns me to God. I don’t need to fix the fearful predicament at the illusion level, that is this world. I can just disregard it and return to God. The ego offers me a list of people to hate in conjunction with its predicament. I can choose to forgive, that is, see everyone only in the sunlight of the spirit and not at the level of illusion. I choose to see everyone as the innocent and pure idea of love which they truly are. This job of forgiveness is my real profession anyway.

I choose not to dwell mentally in fear, but dwell mentally in Jesus’ lesson and its light. I read the prayer and feel its light. I rise up to it.

Peace

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.

Peace

Who the f**k am I?

Dear God, I can read the answer about who I am in a book; but I want to know your opinion directly. It is the whole reason I’m contemplative. I don’t want to be an unconscious person. I want to know, or life is a complete waste. Why run? Why be alive? These are the same questions. I keep doing both. I pause and listen with the ears of my heart:

As a child, I was merely trying to survive. In college, I had hopes for a meaningful career. In my 20’s, I hoped God would give me something. God and career joined forces. This modus operandi continued into AA, where I began to hope for a “spiritual experience,” and find a husband. Then I had an era of studying the New Age, where I hoped for enlightened ecstasy. I still wanted God to give me something.

Then, I got a motorcycle and a boyfriend. Pride won and lost. I was cool on the Harley, but I hated the attention because I knew it was fake. People admired my chrome and leather. Once in a while, someone would mention “God on a Harley” or “The Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance.” But I had found neither God nor Zen on the Harley; no spiritual experience. The boyfriend(s) didn’t provide the spiritual experience or even financial security. In fact, the boys were taking up a good deal of time. I eventually realized that the motorcycle and the boys were draining energy from the spiritual quest.

I got rid of both the cycle and the boyfriend. I discovered meditation. Meditation led back to religion as many meditaters are religious in some way. Then, I wanted to go to a monastery, where I hoped to find what the mystics had found. So, off I went. Four years later, finding myself unsuited to their communal life, the monastics booted me back to the secular world.

I made a new life in the secular world. I continued with religion for about two years, until I found I disagreed with its premises. To this day: I meditate, I run, I read, I talk to Jesus, I try this or that technique, I fast, I search the internet, I play free cell, I stay in solitude. This series constitutes a futile search.

I look inside, searching my inner being. I find that part of me continues the futile search, in frustration. Another part of me is happy to rest in peace. If I run, I can get a day-in-day-out peace with my body. If I meditate and study spiritual writings, I can get a day-in-day-out peace with my mind. But what about my spirit?

At the level of my humanity (body and mind), my life has accomplished nothing and means nothing. It is entertainment. If there is a higher level, a spiritual or divine level of existence, it does not produce at the human level. It must be relegated to the un-graspable, intangible, nebulous. It can enter a human awareness as intuition or peace; not as satisfaction or profit, but as fleeting phenomena. If peace and healing are the same, then it can be said that the spiritual heals. If peace and love are the same, then it can be said that the spiritual is love.

Love does produce human by-products. Love is a phenomenon. In my humanity, if I am at peace, then I am also love. Hence, the highest order of human existence is peaceful love or loving peace. In the state of loving peace, nothing about this world, my body or my mind matters. The world, my body and my mind, therefore, must not exist, or have meaning or purpose. True reality can only be loving peace, and not anything which doesn’t matter.

Being alive at the level of loving peace is satisfying. I call this satisfaction Christ. Loving Peace is Christ. I will give up myself to Christ. I will live in Christ, as Christ. Who the f**k am I? Christ. There is no other answer.

Personal statistics: I ran 17 miles this morning after the early morning storm. Since returning, we have had wave after wave of strong thunderstorms. In the ACIM workbook, I am on lesson 157 and in the text, I am at 28.I. I will need to mow the lawn during the week, as I didn\’t get to it today.

Running Spirit

I arrived in the city about 8 this morning. I figured I would go to the fellowship and then run. I had a car full of running clothes. As I sat outside the fellowship, the north wind gently rocked my car. I thought I might cancel my long run because of the wind.

After the meeting, I was driving to the park. My mind itemized my clothes and my Gu and water and the wind. It struck me….how completely terrified I am of the long run. Not just this long run, but all of them. It struck me that every weekend, I fidget around worrying about weather and running locations and the like. Then, the door of my inner being opened and a light shone in my mind: I am terrified to be a human being period. It was awesome to ponder the depth and to want to explore further.

I got to the park. I didn’t know if I was doing my long run or not, but I put my water on the car and the Gu in my pockets and got started. I would run a lap and then see. The course is east-west, so its only half into the wind. You wouldn’t think it was that bad: 25F, sunny, wind at 20-30 mph.

My mind was still thinking about fear, and the totally of my life’s fear. I was exploring inward. That is the beauty of a long run on a flat dirt path that loops for 2.7 miles. There is plenty of time to think. I returned to my one single question: who is it that gets me out of bed in the morning since I am terrified of the world? I see people all around me, eating and watching TV and perhaps not getting out of bed. Here I am, not only out of bed but a marathoner doing a long run on a bitterly windy day.

I turn the corner and head into the wind for the second half of the loop. The wind, has switched from an embrace at my back to sharply probing gusts at my face. I am dressed perfectly except for my head. I have to pull the nylon up over my face. I feel the wind’s fingers trying to reach in and challenge the fear. I am a little whiney about it. I survive the first lap. I look in my car to see if the other face mask is in there. It is not, but I decide on another lap.

The second lap, the wind doesn’t seem to be bothering me. The third lap, I notice that there are 3 or 4 other runners doing the same as me, long runs. At that moment, a peace descends on me. The thought of us 3 or 4 runners patiently doing our long distance running in this little park seems utterly quiet and holy. The park is sandwiched between the Missouri River and a RR track and a busy road. The busy people in the cars are quickly scurrying to their next event. At least three of them get speeding tickets today. But there in anonymity are these 3 or 4 runners; together experiencing the secret and mystical world of long distance.

This picture is a microcosm of my life. I really am not going anywhere with my life. I do the daily deal in a circle; and what I am contemplating is all that really matters. The thing that gets me out of bed is greater than me. It is my truth: love, peace, vision, intention, joy, innocence. In other words: Christ or spirit. I am a spirit. I have not lost the point of being alive: learning to be spirit rather than human.

After 4 laps, I figure I’ve been out there 2 hours without any major problems, might as well do 6. After 6 laps, I decide I’d hate to waste coming this far, might as well do one more. After 7, I decide to do a short lap to cap the run at 21 miles. Then….I get in the car and drive home. Simple as that.

Christ

It seems good to share beautiful passages from A Course in Miracles.

-The Holy Spirit’s vision is no idle gift, no plaything to be tossed about awhile and laid aside.
-…you see glimpses of the face of Christ behind the veil…
-…the Son of God is innocent…
-Together we will disappear into the Presence beyond the veil, not to be lost but found; not to be seen but known.

The main thing I have learned from ACIM is to look beyond the physical world, beyond the veil of illusions and dreams, to The Christ, The Son of God, The Self, residing in everything; but importantly in everyone. The Christ is joy and love and innocence. I can see Christ with inner eyes and the faculty of knowing rather than perceiving.

The most difficult thing to learn is that the physical world (including my body) is an illusion, a dream. It does not exist except in dreaming minds. In fact, the illusion I see is entirely my projection of my dream. If I see sin, I have to accept it is a projection of my self hate and fear of God. Sin cannot really exist in a dream. Hence, I have no need to judge (mentally attack) anyone. All I need do is practice seeing Christ, not with physical eyes, but with inner eyes. There are no separate people, only one light of Christ which we can learn to see.

The goal of ACIM is peace. If I quit my mental attacks and look beyond the physical to Christ, I will have peace. The reason I hang in there with ACIM and its counter-cultural teachings is that I see myself making progress in seeing Christ. My daily consciousness is no longer a continuous hateful commentary on everything and everyone. There are many difficult concepts in ACIM. Many seem foolish or outright idiotic.

I take my spirituality seriously. God is not a side light for Whom I carve out a few minutes. God is the main point from Whom I’m torn away to attend my dream world. I keep practicing the Presence even at work. I think about how little I give God; even a couple hours a day seems small to me.

My Real Relationship and The Study of The Course

I graduated from high school early. I got a full time job at a hamburger joint as I had several months before college started. In those evenings, I would sit in our living room with my brother\’s college calculus text. I would ponder the confusing mathematics of differentiation and integration, and work problems. My father would be there laying on the couch, asleep with the newspaper collapsed on his face. My mother, in a drunken stupor would be in her room with the TV blaring. I suppose my brother was studying in his room. It was the peaceful aftermath of whatever torture had gone on at dinner, when my mother, in a drunk blackout, would attack us visciously in whatever way would hurt us the most.

I went on to college. There, at the suggestion of a physics professor, I read the huge physics tombs written by Feynman. Feynman shared a love of physics and opened the universe through applied mathmatics. I loved it.

Then, at the end of college I went to Israel. I came home wanting to know God. So I sat down with a Bible twice a day and studied.

Now I sit and study A Course in Miracles. The Course contains differentiation and integration, physics and holy scripture. It is the Voice of Jesus or The Holy Spirit or Self or Source. This morning, the Text gripped my imagination as I could see the way to Love and my role, not only for myself but also as a means for peace for everyone. Enthralled and enraptured by the Voice, I gave additional time to God. I gave additional time to meditation; sitting in the light, knowing it is real, knowing I yet sleep and dream of this ego world.

One way to hear God and live in the realm of the Spirit, is to turn off the ego world; literally stop listening to it. The ego world is but a projection. The projection I see is somewhat collective, but also it is mine. I admit that the fear and anger I see is mine; and I admit this to Jesus, holding it out to the light. The \”financial crisis\” is partly mine. But I have turned it off, including divesting myself of all \”stock\” in it, and turning off the radio. I am taking my own inventory and letting Jesus have my hate and fear.

I want to invest in something different. This morning, pondering the Text, I pondered the holy relationship. I had an interpretation of a holy relationship which I really can call an investment in something different, the realm of the Spirit; and it works for a contemplative, and for someone who lives in the world with others who have not heard what a holy relationship is, or who still believe this place is real, not an illusion. It is my interpretation of a real relationship; but if it makes sense, invest in it, take it to the bank, hold it safely within your mind. It will produce happy dreams and the awakening in Heaven.

My holy relationship: is my relationship with my brother, held in a perfect love on the holy ground within the inner radiance, and where the Holy Spirit has taken charge at my request. This center of perfect love is in Chirst, with Christ, the Christ. It is blessed and surrounded and permeated by Source. (ref T18.I)

Is this not a true gift of peace from a loving God, from a Teacher (the Holy Spirit), and from a Friend (Jesus)? I see how if I grasp this inner relationship, I will project peace. I want to project peace more than I want to project fear. Projecting peace is sanity and it is provided by something other than the ego world. Jesus, I\’m willing. Jesus, I accept your peace. Jesus, I am willing to be the means for peace to extend beyond me to my brother. Jesus, yes. Jesus, thank you!

Praying Afternoon

I spent the afternoon in prayer. This means that I found a comfortable position for sitting for a couple of hours, sipped distilled water now and then, closed my eyes, and gently thought the name of Jesus over and over. I say this name as Christ, with Christ, to Christ and in Christ. We, in our innermost Truth, are the Christ; created One by the Father to be the Son of God, in-dwelled by the Holy Spirit, and joined ineffably to Love beyond our wildest dreams. I hope to call all people to Our Father, who sits on the inner altar; where we can be joined in peace. I don\’t want or expect anything for myself other than the knowledge of The Presence, same as all may receive.

This prayer is a non-worldly prayer. Its efficacy does not exist in the ego\’s material world and hence cannot be perceived or judged. My ego bitterly resents my prayer and strives to thwart my actions. Today it did not succeed. NOTHING other than the name of Jesus interested me.