Its About the Energy

This morning, during my morning meditation, I had a big breakthrough in understanding. I\’m sure I got a glimpse of the way my Inner Being sees things.

Here is a story:

10 months ago, I quit my high paying corporate job and started a part time job at Starbucks. And ever since, some part of my brain has been annoyed with this situation. See, I\’m a 60 year old well funded, retiree, ex-engineer. What the heck am I doing working with twenty year olds for ten dollars an hour? Sure, I can make up some pragmatic reasons like I get my health care from Starbucks, or I\’m too young to sit in the house \”retired.\”

But thats not really it.

The reasons have to go deeper or they are not satisfying. The reasons have to be related to my conscious contact with my spiritual Inner Being, or they are not satisfying.

So, a little bit of back story.

The real reason I quit my job was to design and live Phase 3 of my life. I wanted to take my little ship and go off into the metaphorical high seas, exploring and learning, before I got too old to do such things. I had some writing ideas and I wanted to become a writer.

But what the heck am I doing at Starbucks? Especially since it is more difficult to work at Starbucks than you would imagine. There is a whole new language to learn, there are hundreds of drinks and sauces to learn to make. You have to learn the location of hundreds of buttons in the cash register, and quickly find them when needed. Being on your feet and using fast thinking is totally different from being an engineer who thinks everything through slowly and sits at a computer all day. Compared to the young people, I feel so slow and stupid. I feel out of place.

So what the heck am I doing there?

Well, it has to do with energy and vibration. And that is the break through in understanding I had this morning. Finally I might perceive how my Inner Being sees this situation.

At Starbucks, I am in a fast paced environment with young people who are trying to find their way in this world, still going to school and putting together the pieces. At the corporate job, I was in a slow environment with people who all made tons of money, had all the material possessions, were near the end of their careers, and basically were not learning or growing at all.

So, since my plan is to build Phase 3 of my life as something entirely new and different from my corporate life, then it is a huge blessing that I now hang around young people who are trying to build their lives. The young people have an energy and a vibration about them which is different than the old people I used to work with. My feelings of being out of place at Starbucks, and feeling like I can\’t keep up, are just symptoms of my energy pattern out of harmony with their energy pattern. But over time, my energy pattern is achieving higher frequency and matching the young energy pattern.

So, it is much better for a person hoping to build a new life at the age of 60 to have a young energy pattern. I need to vibrate like a young person in order to do what they are doing, putting together the pieces of a new life.

So, now I embrace the difficulties at work and am at peace with it because it is just a shift in energy patterns. The difficulty is just what it feels like when your energy pattern is out of sync with someone else\’s. In this case, I want to have their energy pattern. So I am living through the discomfort.

And you know what? Today at work, they put me on bar so I can start learning how to make some of those many many drinks Starbucks has.

Spiritual exercises are so worth it. If I don\’t persist in meditating and connecting with my Inner Being, I\’d never know what is going on energetically. Perhaps I wouldn\’t be able to build a new life without understanding the energy, and hanging in there for the change. Maybe I would just vegetate and slowly die.

I really want to experience full aliveness in this life. In my old corporate job, I wasn\’t fully alive. I was going to jail every morning and collecting the money. I couldn\’t stand it. I\’d much rather be out in the waves navigating new things. Maybe this is what self transcendence really is and I\’m really doing it.

Wanting to Live

A strange new thought occurred to me today. A thought which I believe was the result of spiritual work.

I was on my 30 minute meal break at Starbucks. I was walking to my car to sit and eat. This thought passed through my mind, \”I want to relish every minute that I am at Starbucks, not wish that it was over soon.\” Wow, it was a thought easily expanded to my whole attitude and outlook on life and how my view seems to have transformed.

See, for most of my life, I wondered why was I alive. I mean, what good am I? Why would God make me? Sure, I\’m a pretty good person, but there isn\’t anything \”great\” about me. I am above average smart yes. I\’m in extreme good health, unlike most 60 year olds. I did my career. I\’ve been sober for 33 years. But, I really had no purpose for being alive.

And I spent most of my career wishing it was over. I saved money for the purpose of getting away from my career as soon as possible. And well, I guess I\’ve wanted life to be over as soon as possible too. Everything I ever did with my life was a chore and I wanted it to be over, so I could rest.

So today, when I actually felt how much I could be aware and awake and liking working at Starbucks, I….   woke up!

Wait, I want to be alive for every second of my life from now on. I don\’t need a purpose. I just want to experience my life. I don\’t want to just go through the motions, hoping it would be over soon.

I have suddenly dropped the rock of having to have a purpose for my life, or even doing anything good while I am here. I just want to be alive in my own life, to see it, to be awake in it. Not just hope life will quit bothering me soon.

And so I am free.

Hope for US

Many people talk about how bad things are fight now, how divided, how bad Trump is, how the Congress can\’t cooperate or negotiate. How, even biological gender doesn\’t matter (really!); just find a surgeon and some drugs.

Now, I finally read a philosophy which offers hope for our society for the future. Below is a quotation and then a link to the whole article in the NY Times. You have to read the article to see what is meant by first mountain and second mountain. Essentially, the first mountain is the society mountain or the yuppy mountain and I climbed it. I had the career and the safe life and the money. But it was essentially a meaningless existence and served myself. The second mountain is one with meaning and less ego focused. My spiritual life climbs this mountain. I am still climbing, away from the first mountain.

David Brooks offers hope for our nation because he points out that many people are getting off the first mountain and onto the second mountain, where they give back to society and form a very stable moral basis for out culture. By moral, I mean a life governed by love and giving. I don\’t mean rules about behavior. I find this very hopeful. I care about America. I will cling to the idea that many good people are out there and that they are forming an unshakable culture which nurtures a good society.

This quotation comes from the end of the NY Times article and I copied it because it contains the point which causes me to be hopeful (link to the whole article below):

\”Over the past few decades the individual, the self, has been at the center. The second-mountain people are leading us toward a culture that puts relationships at the center. They ask us to measure our lives by the quality of our attachments, to see that life is a qualitative endeavor, not a quantitative one. They ask us to see others at their full depths, and not just as a stereotype, and to have the courage to lead with vulnerability. These second-mountain people are leading us into a new culture. Culture change happens when a small group of people find a better way to live and the rest of us copy them. These second-mountain people have found it.

Their moral revolution points us toward a different goal. On the first mountain we shoot for happiness, but on the second mountain we are rewarded with joy. What’s the difference? Happiness involves a victory for the self. It happens as we move toward our goals. You get a promotion. You have a delicious meal.

Joy involves the transcendence of self. When you’re on the second mountain, you realize we aim too low. We compete to get near a little sunlamp, but if we lived differently, we could feel the glow of real sunshine. On the second mountain you see that happiness is good, but joy is better.\”

David Brooks NY Times

10 Years Ago

It was 10 years ago today, July 29, 2007, that I first started reading A Course in Miracles. I am still reading, though this year it is the new Annotated Edition published in February.

It is day 42 of the Sri Chinmoy 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence race. I\’ve been following the race every day on the Perfection Journey blog and via the web cam. This year I notice that I have interest in only one of the racers: a 58 year old woman who walks her 60+ miles each day.

In my own life, what about self transcendence? In some way, my inner silence is the evidence. At the moment, my ego is stymied so I am pretty calm. There are lots of people changes at work. That could be evidence of inner changes. I have been without potato chips since the start of the 3,100 mile race (42 days ago). More evidence. This month I will have the biggest mileage and largest number of workout hours in 2 years. Evidence of shifting. I have continued to work on my writing project. Evidence of a future.

This morning, I ran 10 miles in the Seabrook heat at a 5 mph pace. That felt good. I don\’t have any problems left over from last week\’s marathons (except for blister healing). I came away from the 2 marathons with a feeling of well being and accomplishment. It was a good thing for me to do. I can hardly wait for my quad; which will be in September.

This bit of scripture has been on my mind. It is from 1 Corinthians 13.4-7. It is the only definition of \”Love\” I really understand; and wish I could be like; especially that bit about enduring whatever comes.

\”Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, 5.it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. 6.Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. 7.It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.\” 



Dear American

It is day 16 of the 52 days allowed for the 3,100 Self Transcendence Race. Three of 10 people are above 1,000 miles. Wow! What a lot of perseverance, endurance, tears, loss of sleep, discipline and unswerving focus on moving forward.

Dear American, say to your government and the media, \”Not my soul.\” By this I mean, be that high integrity person which you are and don\’t allow the shortcoming of the government distract you from your personal worth. To engage in quiet dis-ing of the president and hating the health care struggle is to sell your soul. I am mainly speaking to that large quiet group of people who go to work and pay taxes. We fund everything. We take up the yoke of work which is our embodiment of honor and integrity.

Now or never, stand up for yourself. Discover your slave narrative and overcome it; then vote for people who have integrity. Not the ones who merely lie. Hate the cost of health care? Do what you need to do to be healthy. Stand outside the pale by engaging emotionally only what brings worth and integrity. You have to pay your taxes but you don\’t have to be begrudging. Hold the hand of a small child. Take a walk in the neighborhood. Wash the car. Mow the lawn. Do your job. All these little things comprise your personal 3,100 mile self transcendence race.

Are you an alcoholic or an addict? Let today be the day you do something else.
Do you eat too much? Let today be the day you are free to do something else.
I personally engage in self punishment and self sabotage, despite being a very successful person.

Today is my day to do what I know is right. My mental self immolation can change direction. Today I make the declaration of independence and start to live it. Do you doubt I can be more emotionally free starting today? Will I slip? Yes. Will I forget? No. Will I keep on the course of my personal 3,100 mile self transcendence race? Absolutely. I have all the thoughts necessary for healing and moving forward.  I think this has been going on for a long time, but today I feel empowered. I don\’t feel helpless or hopeless in relation to my seeming emotional flaws. I don\’t feel the usual hate towards the world around me. I feel good towards myself. Freedom is ringing in my body, mind and spirit.

We the people of America are damn good people; but we need to stand up and be what we are. We need to stop the government from robbing of of our great nation. That is what we really want.

Eve of Self Transcendence

Tomorrow is the beginning of the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race.  I got hooked on this race years ago because it taught me how running could be a meditation. Learning about the inner runner was the start of my desire to be an ultra-marathoner. Now, I use the 52 days of the race to focus my workouts on inner running; self transcendence as it were. Catholics has Lent. I have Self Transcendence.

Heading into these 52 days, I find myself in a very decent place physically and emotionally.

Check out the Perfection Journey blog to get daily stories about the people in the race.

Here is a quote from Sri Chinmoy:
The outer running
Begins on the road
And ends on the road.
The inner running begins
Inside the silence-heart,
And it continues
Along Eternity’s Road.

Can\’t Afford It

Yesterday evening I was thinking about dopamine. I was reading an article about how cell phone apps are programmed to trigger certain brain responses and encourage fixation on checking the phone. This linked up in my mind to our nation\’s, and my own, obsession with Trump entertainment. That is, the media are marketing moral outrage and something in our brain loves it.

I think it is my negative ego which loves all the controversy. I get some sort of dopamine pleasure by reading about the battles in politics with Trump. But I don\’t think I can afford to carry on this chemical pleasure; and it surely is a type of porn and addiction.

So today I drove to work in silence. My beloved NPR has been shut off. I thought about what I wanted to think about. Some of my thoughts are work related. But also I thought about what my spiritual work has produced in me. One of the themes of my spiritual work is \”conscious contact with a power greater than myself.\” One of the requirements of conscious contact with a higher power is consciousness itself. That is, I must accept consciousness in totality. As soon as I am conscious, then I am aware of my dirty little secrets, like taking pleasure from the Trump bashing. And so I must do something about myself.

I have the spiritual tools. More about what I will do will be coming forth. Starting Sunday is the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race (google it). Annually I use these days for my own self transcendence. Some people have Lent. I have self transcendence.

By the way, the last time I shut off the news for years was when Clinton was president and I decided not to listen to any testimony about Monica Lewinsky.

I am a member of the silent majority. I go to work and pay taxes. No matter who is in Washigton, they want my money.

Self Transcendence 52/52

I deeply honor all the runners in the 3,100 Self Transcendence race. Today Kaneenika finished. She is the last finisher, though 5 more runners will stay on the course until midnight tonight. The video of Kaneenika bring tears to my eyes. Think, I sometimes cry for myself after a marathon. Think of the emotion after 3,100 miles and 51+ days.

Perhaps these emotions are why I run marathons. The human spirit comes forward into the conscious realm.

Today at work, a little spat with my snarky boss. But the guy in the shop was incredibly nice to me, going over board to help me.

I need to remember my human spirit.

Self Transcendence 51/52

The real story of this year\’s race is found in the post today by the race director: \”To keep going when a finish is hopeless must be a difficult pill to swallow. … it is intriguing for the other five to taste the emptiness of a self-imposed purgatory. Here is where their inner depth kicks in. What better time than now to show their real strength, their real fortitude, their real dedication to the highest reality. What better time than now?\”

It is a thing to contemplate. What is that inner force that drives one through pain? I don\’t go to these extreme lengths with self inflicted pain, but I do feel that inner force. It gets me out of bed. It seems to me that we all have to keep going with our spiritual growth; whether by choice or imposed by The Universe. A Course in Miracles states in several places that it is a way to save time.

Today, I went for a very lovely 2 hour run in the park. It surprises me that even though I did 25 miles yesterday, I ran painlessly this morning. What a privilege to run up to Pine Gully park in time to see sunrise over the bay.

Self Transcendence 50/52

Only 12 people start the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence race. This year, 2 didn\’t finish the number of days, 5 will finish the 3,100 miles, the rest are doing as many miles as possible. The rest of the people in world didn\’t start. Or did something else. It takes me a year to do 3,100 miles.

Today, I went outside for 3 1/2 hours, only 2 of which were jogging. Then it was too hot for me so I walked until I ran out of drink. Then I walked home and decided to finish today\’s workout on the treadmill. At least some jogging occurs on the treadmill. In total, I got 19.4 miles in 5 hours.

While I was outside, I thought of my favorite 3,100 mile runner. It was astonishing yesterday to see a video of the start for that day. She was limping badly. This was on top of the daily blog where there has been a picture of her getting out of a van. You can tell it is a difficult task. Yet, she still does more than 50 miles each day. It is a thing of contemplation, her body-mind relationship. In the middle of it, is her spiritual teacher.

And I gave some thought to pictures of the US men\’s gymnastics team without their shirts. Wow!

Also, I was doing my own metaphysical work. This means, watching my thoughts. When they get stuck on some resentment towards another person or society, I need to move that energy out. Change the thought. My Course in Miracles lesson today was \”My home awaits me. I will hasten there.\” And to lift your head and notice Silent Consciousness which exists in the trees. Become aware of Something Higher and don\’t let my mind stay in resentment.

When I got on my treadmill, I was looking at cue cards I have. Over time, I have written meaning full sentences from ACIM Text on the cards; so I can be reminded while I am on my treadmill. Things like the ego\’s goals, specialness, Love, Oneness, The Holy Spirit.

But I didn\’t take my body to excruciating pain like those ultra runners. I will go for a walk later since I have a vacation day tomorrow.

Only 2 more days to my self transcendence retreat. I will miss checking on the runners and the focus on my own self transcendence. I will also note that this important annual celebration of my personal history is gone for another year. There will be more miles and more marathons. I have a spiritual dream that I need to keep alive.