On Emptiness

VACUUMS

            We live in time and space. Both of these are vacuums, dimensions of emptiness and nothingness, silences.

            It is me that creates the dream of my life. Find an area of your life which you can allow to disintegrate, be a vacuum. It is in these empty places where new life can form.

            Obsession can be dissolved into a vacuum. Take your life and all its thoughts to zero, a vacuum a silence. My life, null and void. How free it is.

            In our society, for your cultural editors, a vacuum is terrible. But you have just learned that becoming zero for a little bit frees you to feel better for a little bit.

            Play with the idea. We can’t escape our humanity and our lives. But we can recreate our worlds. A vacuum provides a new beginning. Be awake. Make decisions.

Photo by Soubhagya Maharana on Pexels.com

MENTAL QUIET

            What would your mind be like if it was quiet? No really. Stop and imagine your brain is working exactly as you want it to. Accept a moment’s peace.

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR SOUL?

            Well, first I must ask, were you looking? Maybe drugs caused you to think you knew God. This is a temporary illusion. The hallucinogen induced illusion of God may have led to deeper introspection while sober. Or it may have led to an inability to escape from deep addiction.

            I know that my soul is my truth. My soul is what gets out of bed in the morning and finds some meaning in a world which I perceive as negative. The path of my soul can lead me forward into amazing love for life and miracles of connecting with all that is. Walking this path is a conscious activity. Choose a methodology.

            Or simply pause a moment right now and ask for your soul to speak.

Photo by Ithalu Dominguez on Pexels.com

INTERIOR EMPTINESS

            Aside from obsession, addiction and worldly stress, there is a pervasive quiet consciousness. Pervasive consciousness is everywhere. Quiet is found in inner emptiness. Making an interior empty space, you have a place to commune in silence with the pervasive quiet consciousness.

            Do this habitually. Do this when your head is yelling at you. This interior emptiness is yours. No one can take it from you.

Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

QUIET INTERCHANGES

            There is a thing to appreciate about spirituality which is different from every day unconscious living. Receiving inspiration is usually a quiet interchange of thought. Quiet interchanges, non-physical to physical, take place beyond the loud veil of mental obsession. The reception of thought from non-physical is a mode of living different from the busy active one, or of the busy one. The thought from beyond, received in the quiet interchange, is the better replacement for the drug euphoria. It fills the dopamine receptors and obsession dissipates.

            Ponder “quiet interchanges.” Sit and allow them. Make that neuro connection now.

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

ELEMENTAL EXISTENCE

            Here, now, we are calling on elemental existence. Way deeper than an average understanding of God is a wordless silent nothingness of being. Lay it bare. It is underneath opioids, food, sex, money, dopamine in all its causations.

            Feel some inner truth or strength. Give it a brief amount of thought, time and space.

            Every addict wants to escape their life, to get out. Freedom from the world’s prison is in finding an inner expansive feeling. The expansive feeling is mostly thoughtless but it results in inspiration.

            Follow the inspiration.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Reflection 10.5 — Form vs. Content

            I have a life. At the moment, I might be saddled with an active addiction or an active despair. Maybe I just got out of treatment and am hopeful for my future. Maybe I have been “clean” for a long time, but despair for life itself still lurks under the surface of consciousness.

            Sure, the outer life of the sober person is tons better than the active addict. The outer form is great. But many of us don’t speak of the depression because we feel ungrateful for the blessings if we admit unhappiness.

            Everyone has an inner life under the surface of the worldly clamors. Noise is covering the inner life, which is quiet. Quiet is my real life. Quiet is content not form. It is here where I must be most honest about my ego. Feel quiet.

            I ask myself, what is my inner life like? The interior life is not the committee meeting in my head but the silence underneath the meeting. Regarding this inner content, what is the meaning for me? The meaning is the real content of my life. Contemplating the quiet, I recognize that it is a bit undefinable, but that I can connect with it and appreciate it and immerse myself within it.

            Choose to feel that silent content over and over. Then go do the dishes.

Photo by Yulia Polyakova on Pexels.com

Working Friday

Today, I am at work. I am here extra early. I didn\’t do any exercise this morning. I do have much work to complete for a refrigeration safety review.

But, though I slept longer instead of exercise, I did not skip my spiritual exercise. This morning, I touched on A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 189 and chapter 27.IV \”The Quiet Answer\” from the text. As I read \”quiet\”, I let go of my world and let God\’s world take over. My world had men who think it is ok to rape women, or kidnap school girls to sell, or continue the mad capitalism or materialism which is killing a peaceful society. In my world, I grow old and wonder if my heel will ever relax and stop hurting; so I can walk for miles.

In God\’s world, there is quiet:

Lesson 189: \”Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.\”

Text 27.IV: \”In quietness are all things answered, and is every problem quietly resolved….The holy instant is the interval in which the mind is still enough to hear an answer that is not entailed within the question asked. It offers something new and different from the question.\”

Perhaps it was not my choice but spirit\’s that brings me to this moment. It occurs to me how much I need the text and workbook of A Course in Miracles to remind me of quiet; and that in quiet I get my answer. When I choose quiet, I relax. I can go do my day.

At times, I feel as if I am still digging my way out of foot surgery and 6 weeks of non- weight bearing living. I feel as if I am still getting to know this post-menopausal body; but also to build it. But the methodology of training is not the same. Other women can walk 100 miles, or 72 hours, or 10 days. This opportunity is available to me; but I need to learn a new way.

In quiet, I receive my answers. In the Holy Instant, I hear what the Spirit is saying. I can \”simply do this.\”

Awakening

Plotinus Enneads 3.6.6: \”…like dreamers take for actualities the figments of their sleeping vision. The sphere of sense, the Soul in its slumber; for all of the Soul that is in body is asleep…in any movement that takes the body with it there is no more than a passage from sleep to sleep…\”

I am a consciousness asleep that wants to awaken. Doing anything doesn\’t help. Following the instructions of guru after guru, I have been frustrated. It became time to set out on my own.

I find the light in quiet. In quiet I make some type of connection with Authentic Being. I need A Course in Miracles because it gives me my own Teacher. My workbook lesson for today was, \”Let me remember I am one with God.\” And then I became quiet. I left the world of sense and body. And I knew the vastness of The One. It was a brief glimpse, but I did know it.

Some teachers and books grant freedom from this world. There are various ways of looking at it. Some religions only grant freedom after death. But I. What do I say? What do I receive from my own depths.

I can sit in quiet and devote my mind towards God. I can wait in that place not of this world. There don\’t seem to be worldly rewards from my practice. This annoys my ego that I have nothing to show. Inner peace is in some way anti-life-in-this-world. It is pro-Life-in-That-Authenticity.

Any time I study outside, my hope become dashed. The methodology didn\’t work. But if I become patient and allow, then I know. Then I am awake. Freedom is free; terribly free.

I must do miles.

Some Undreamed Of Me

Well of course, I had to have dreamed it or it wouldn\’t be.

Today\’s lesson from A Course in Miracles: There is nothing my holiness cannot do. And then I had quiet. I thought a positive thought. I mean, a positive thought came to me. It was: What if I asked to shamelessly follow Jesus and live a life of prayer, and I have ended up in this cave of prayer. I mean, I really came to understand my dwelling as a cave of prayer. Not a suburban duplex but really a cave of prayer. No, it doesn\’t look like what a Desert Father lived in at the dawn of Christianity. No obvious holy objects or altars. But none the less, it is a cave of prayer.

Today at work, a picture was taken of me. Yup, I work in a chemical plant. The fancy head set is because it is noisy around the refrigeration compressors and I needed to talk with the technician. Don\’t I look cool? Well, actually, if I didn\’t know that was me, I don\’t think I\’d recognize me.

Oh…yeah…. it is cold in Texas today. Hence the jacket.

I even was able to finally explain to someone in a sound bite and without recrimination why I am a vegetarian. And also say it is my own conviction of my own belief, not some religious rule that came from others. I don\’t belong to any religion. You have to pray if you want a conviction. Once you have a conviction, Spirit will keep you safe forever.

I am safe forever. I don\’t think I realized that before.

I can rest in quiet too. The incessant yammering is still.

The Qs: Quest, Quandary, Quiet, Quotient

1/1/14

Lesson one of A Course in Miracles workbook: Nothing I see means anything.
In the ACIM text I am at 24.VII.6 ; \”What is it for?\”
I am also studying Plotinus and am in Ennead 6.8.

I have no resolutions for a new year. I have a continuance of whatever I was involved in.

The Quest: yes, I still seek God.
The Quandary: yes, I still feel separate from relationships with others. I don\’t know anyone with whom I could discuss ACIM or Plotinus (apart from the internet). I don\’t participate in life; and continue to see society in general as \”fallen\”. So no, I won\’t join. No I won\’t feed specialness. I continue to have little in common with others and nothing to discuss.
The Quiet: in solitude, I can find my essence, return to my source and be at peace.
The Quotient: balancing the Quandary with the Quiet.

In my life, the pieces cannot be moved. I can only balance them and seek inner peace. So a lesson like number one above gives me a great deal of joy. Yes, I can let go. Yes, I can look beyond. Beneath the level of my ego, this is wonderful. The trick is to deny the ego and sink into the soul.

Week 5

I\’ve completed 5 weeks of confinement due to foot surgery. These weekends, I\’ve spent more time in spiritual study instead of doing miles outside. This weekend, I was partly reading \”Glittering Vices\”, going to AA meetings, and studying A Course in Miracles.

Fighting giants. The Israelites didn\’t want to leave the desert and fight the giants in order to enter the promised land (Numbers and Deuteronomy). What giants do I not want to fight, hence staying in a desert. AA meetings have giants at the door. Each and every meeting is an ego battle. I have 28 years of sobriety. Why should I go to meetings? Because AA is a spiritual fellowship and a spiritual program of action for a spiritual malady. That I don\’t want to go to the fellowship is evidence that I still have the malady.

Silence is not enough. For my ego at least.

Trappings. Trappings are for the ego. If I have trappings, I am somebody. But if I refuse to look special or live in a special place or drive a special car, my ego hates it. Monastic life has trappings. Runners have trappings (those belt buckles we get to 100 miles). Buddhist monks. Lately, it seems like my spiritual life is nothing. I\’ve not had any big moments of clarity or enlightenment. This doesn\’t mean God went away. It means the ego got nothing. But it led me to realize, what if I hadn\’t read books about other people\’s enlightenment experiences? Would I realize there is nothing wrong with this particular moment?

\”Lay aside the body and quietly transcend…look you not back….\” (ACIM 21.VI.9). Life in the monastery is over and in the past. Running is over and in the past. Quietly transcend.

Spirit soaring. I lay on the floor with one bad leg doing leg lifts. Not exactly as romantic as running 100 miles or climbing a mountain. But my spirit soared.

Accessibility: This week I was at the Hilton in College Station. Since most of the floors have a padded carpet, it was very difficult to get around on wheels. It was like pushing through sand or mud all day. And while they did have a chair lift to get to one of the meeting rooms, it was slightly broken. I got through the broken part and used it once. But later, when I had to go back to that room, I drove my car around to the back of the hotel and went in that way. Then a buffet lunch was provided. I had to ask a colleague to carry my plate since I couldn\’t hold it in one hand and also push through the carpet. I think I was the only \”handicapped\” person at the conference.

4 day weekend

For most folks it is Thanksgiving. For me, it is a 4 day weekend. And, I thank God that I do not have to participate in Thanksgiving. I love being off the hook. I remember various times in the past, in particular when I was in the monastery. I used to feel so guilty if I went for a jog instead of either cooking or decorating the tables. And we sat there waaaay too long. And there was an amazing mountain of dishes to be done after.

Speaking of the monastery, I gave in to my inner angst for this 4 day weekend. I ordered several \”nun\” books from Amazon and am having a nun-book-read-in this weekend. See I understand my personal quest for God. I understand that religious orders promise fulfillment of that quest if you become one of them. But I am one of the most unlikely-est people I can think of to spend 4 years in a Roman Catholic Benedictine semi-cloistered monastery with 60 elderly women. I got kicked out of the monastery, and the \”false\” promise of spiritual fulfillment. The training in monastic practices did significantly alter my life; and I use this to continue my quest in a much more efficient manner. I went in to the cloister and came out different. I am still unwaveringly on the spiritual quest. I am not Roman Catholic, but firmly a student of A Course in Miracles.

I need to go deeper into what this experience could have meant. So reading books about others should give me a broader perspective and give me the freedom to think about my own experience.

Otherwise, a 4 day weekend is for training. This morning I did a 10 mile jog. It was wonderful to be in the warmth of the Texas coast; but also foggy so a blanket of quiet was laid down on everything. Others were out jogging too. It was so peaceful.

I\’ll do a cross training workout this evening. And repeat for the next 3 days.

Holiness

I went in a half marathon today. I walk/jogged for the first 9 miles (2 hours) and then ran the last 4.1. I was saving my knee, since my doctor doesn\’t think running at this point is a really good idea. I see him again on Wednesday. I had an MRI last Wednesday.
Then, this afternoon, I was looking at the web page of the convent I used to live at. One of the young sisters has started wearing a veil. I would kill to hide myself in a holy garment; not that she is, that\’s just what my ego wants.
Then, sweeping the floors of my Texas palace, I thought about the mental difficulty I have with being nobody. I listened to my ACIM lesson for the day: \”I have invented the world I see.\” And then I must laugh. If I take ACIM seriously, I see that I invented the perfect circumstance for me to give up the ego\’s thought system and take on the Holy Spirit\’s thought system.
Beside having my slowest time ever in a half marathon today, I enjoyed being one of the other walkers. I got to put another medal on a wall of my palace. This wall is coming to symbolize my story in Texas.
Quietly running. Quietly working out. Quietly drinking my green smoothies. Quietly cleaning my house. Quietly going about my work. It is all nothing. And so I know, the ego\’s world is nothing. 
There are some reasons why I want to love quiet and nothingness. Like the sisters veil, it is my sign of holiness. The wall with the medals is a symbol of holiness. The quiet solitude of my palace is a symbol of holiness.

The End of Greatness

My life has been so occupied with the move to Texas for about 2 months. All the hub-bub is over now. There was an army of people provided by my company which accomplished the task. I don\’t know why I am here at a deep level. I know that of the situation which existed at the time I decided, this was what I wanted. I like it here so far. I don\’t know if there is a deeper meaning for my spiritual or emotional growth. Now I am alone with my decision and my new life. Everything is quiet. The loneliness of the long distance runner and the solitude of the contemplative reign.

Little mentioned was my humiliating \”did not finish\” at a 50 mile race in October. The DNF caused me to totally realize I don\’t have the mind of an ultra runner. So there won\’t be any oohs or aahs over impossibly long races and physical hardship.

It seems like I would have already figured this out earlier, but I am not a religious woman. My monastic period is far in the past. As of this weekend, if I ever darken the doors of a Catholic church again, I won\’t know what to do. I don\’t qualify as a spiritual teacher. I am not a real monk or solitary. I haven\’t been enlightened.  God has not spoken to me personally. I haven\’t figured out the origins of the human species, or even if we are in fact spiritual beings. I still stand for my inner yearning to know my Higher Self, to have vibrant conscious contact.

But I cannot leave A Course In Miracles behind. Despite its nonsensical origins, the material works for me in my daily life. I\’d even go so far as to say that quietly doing my daily practice is the only point of my life. If I ever satisfy my yearning for my Higher Self, I think it will be ACIM that paves the way.

If I truly set out for ego deflation at depth, then the purposeless emptiness of my life is successful.

Now I sit quietly in my nice duplex south of Houston. I am still a runner. I still run long distances. There will be another hurricane someday.