What its like now.

I have been a spiritual seeker for many years. I have studied the works of many spiritual adepts. I mean, over 30 years worth of study.

I have gone once before through a period where I wasn\’t teachable. I couldn\’t go to church because every pastor seemed un-meaningful to me. I wasn\’t inspired. What they were saying was fake, not a deep enough truth. All I could grasp for years was A Course in Miracles and the works of Paul Brunton.

I ran many many miles. Why was doing 22 marathons a year so important?

Then, I started working on my own spiritual writing project. It was conceived as an app for addicts. I continue to slowly type what I have already written. My own writing inspires me. I don\’t know where this work will end up, but it continues.

Along the way in the past three years, I met the works of Abraham Hicks. This information helped me to improve my connection with my inner being. This information helped me get out of my corporate job and into a semi-retired life.

In semi-retirement, Starbucks has somehow captured me. I can\’t explain what is almost addictive about working at Starbucks. I look forward each week to another set of shifts, yet each shift is difficult to get through. Working at Starbucks is not easy. We rush almost continuously. Driving home, I feel good. I have a load of endorphins from six hours on my feet.

Along side my app for addicts, I got the brilliant idea to write a novel. Because I am writing a novel, I need to learn how to be a writer. Because I need to learn how to be  writer, I have been reading books on that topic. This morning, I was reading such a memoir from an author which was dull. So dull a tedious, I couldn\’t do more than skim it. I wasn\’t at all gripped by the story of her life.

I teetered on the edge of giving up my own writing. What would make my novel gripping so others enjoy reading it?

I\’m not at the place which Abraham Hicks describes as \”alignment\” or \”in the vortex.\” Further, I can\’t seem to get there from here.

So I stopped to meditate. I prayed for an intuitive thought, inspiration or decision. I took stock of my life now. I love running and being in the forested parks available to me here where I live. I love my sober life and AA fellowship. I am captivated by Starbucks. I have two writing projects for which self motivation is needed. I still want to know my higher self more and more.

And so I decided. Pull yourself together and go on from here. I\’m again in the place of \”unteachable.\” Which means total trust in whatever intuitive thoughts I receive. I will walk forward each day. I want to succeed at being a writer, no matter how long that takes. I want to be sober for life and go to the Big Meeting sober. (This thought brings me to tears it is so meaningful to me). And, I will continue to seek and listen to my Higher Self. That pursuit will never end.

And so?

I am no longer trying to find something out there, from some other spiritual author. I am finding it within.

Get the clothes out of the dryer. Go to the grocery store. Got to an AA meeting. Go running. Meditate again.

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Spiritual Economy

You are used to material dollars and cents, and the continuous worry about having enough. Now consider spiritual wealth and the spirit economy. Tap into a new type of wealth and abundance. The only requirement is belief, which you might not have to begin with. You need only have enough belief to try, and then you will find inner abundance. If you have inner abundance, you won\’t care how much outer abundance you have. You will be free.

What stops you from spiritual abundance is negative beliefs about yourself: self loathing and self denigration. Go under these habitual negative thoughts and find the real essence of your being. Everybody has unconditional life itself. Feel life for a moment. Life will show you into the spirit economy.

Currently, people make it big in the dollars and cents world if they can find an idea which causes others to have a dopamine reward, and then they go to work selling that idea. Today\’s people love dopamine more than people 50 years ago. Maybe our society has developed and leveraged dopamine. Today\’s human brain wants dopamine more than ever and has access to more dopamine rewards than 50 years ago.

Take a look at a graph showing opioid overdose deaths by year, or opioid addiction rates by year and realize: dopamine addiction rates mirror that graph only a quantum leap higher. Everybody in the world is dopamine addicted. Everybody in the world wants to participate in the dopamine economy: getting more and more brain hits. Dopamine feels good.

Is there any way to feel good aside from dopamine?

Yes, in the spiritual economy. Feeling good because you touched the source of life itself which lives inside. Tap into a source which is not in the material dimension of reality. You\’ve heard about meditation? You heard Jesus say to leave this world? Is your church a dopamine producing gaggle fuck with no real meaning?

At some point in your life, you will want to have truth. You will want to know what it all means. You will have to look within. The mother lode is within. True feeling good is sourced from within. You will have to be quiet and look inside.

On another note, ultra monk runs! (sorry about the wobbly video)

The 5th Lap

This is a race report about the Trailracingovertexas race Wildflower 50k in Bastrop State park, May 5, 2018.

But what is the 5th lap? It is the lap you can\’t believe you did and what you get from that.

But first, overall, a very successful trip. This weekend was my first camping trip with my Honda Odessy. Here is a picture of the back with my cot installed:

This worked pretty well. Not perfect. Improvements are needed, but for a first try at camping, it was a huge success. I also say that this van is very comfortable for long drives.

Next was volunteering at packet pickup. I met a lady who was 67. For her 65th birthday, she walked 900 miles of the Appalachian trail by herself. Wait. What? You did that? I was impressed. I didn\’t know 65 year olds could do that by themselves.

The following day was race day. How nice to be right in the park! The weather was clear and a little cool, to start at least. Although there were many runners, and the race started immediately uphill on single track, the whole conga line thing didn\’t bother me. It was dark so I wore my head light. I made it through the darkness without tripping!

Once we could see, it was a beautiful park with lots of green. Not that much shade as forest fires took out most of the trees.

The big challenge for me was that this was a trail race in hilly country. I live in a city that is totally flat, so the ups and down plus the rocks was all new to me. The audacity of me thinking I could do 50k on a trail! So I spent the first 2 of 5 laps thinking I would quit. It was going to be hot after all, and surely my quads would collapse on me. Somewhere during lap 2, I thought, \”this is what it means to be fully alive.\”  During lap 3, I knew I would do lap 4. No heat related illness was felt which means I took enough electrolytes and drank enough fluids. Win! During lap 4, I knew I would do lap 5. What changed about my mental condition? Was this my doing or the work of my higher consciousness? Despite all those quitter thoughts, it was very easy for me to get back out on the trail for the final lap.

Having some mental gift to get back out and finish a race is a transcendence. It is also wealth and abundance beyond money. A rich experience, especially if it brings meaning to your life or knowledge of what you are made of, is worth more than money in the bank. It is abundance already in your possession. I mention my learning because I am still struggling with the idea of early retirement. Logically, the money is in the bank; but breaking my father\’s rules and spending instead of saving is still difficult mentally and emotionally. Going away from my lucrative but boring day job to pursue interests which don\’t pay that well seems to scare me. Living my life at a different vibrational order of being is new. These are the gifts of meaning and self esteem gained by going out on the 5th lap.

Well, I did finish the race:

Plotinus Beauty

This morning, I was studying Plotinus\’ Enneads 1.6.2. I put together these pieces.

Beauty – something, a quality seen, heard, or sensed or felt and known. We think: beautiful.
Beauty – \”…all the loveliness of the world which comes by communion in Ideal Form.\”
\”…minds that lift themselves above the realm of sense to a higher order are aware of the beauty that derives from Soul.\”
\”This, then, is how the material thing becomes beautiful – by communicating in the thought that flows from the divine.\”

Plotinus leaves the door wide open for the spiritual aspirant. Step through the door. Touch the thought that flows from the divine. This communion is more that what is found in church. Turn off the TV. Put down the drink. Stop. Listen.

Not everyone is a spiritual aspirant. But, if you hear the call:
1. answer it.
2. Reduce the world.
3. Take up a practice.
4. Balance your worldly needs with communion.

I have had a long term interest in self transcendence. Another way to express that is to become beautiful; as in communicating in the thought that flows from the divine.

Somewhere, I heard about the book \”Into the Silent Land\” by Martin Laird. It is about Christian contemplation. It is the sort of book where you can read one paragraph and then shut your eyes and let your spirit soar. \”…Our greatest need is to be silent before this great God….A spiritual practice is not a technique but something that disposes us to allow some thing to take place….God is already the ground of our being. It is a question of realizing this in our lives….why most of us spend our lives ignorant of this….\”

How blessed I am to have entered the spiritual path. I admit it seems to have reduced a family live or sexual relationship or co-habitation. This causes me to see the world differently: not as me and my family but as us.

I simply boil the beans and rice.

I go running. I am actually in training. I own tickets to Calgary and am entered in the 2014 Calgary marathon. My body is different now that before surgery last September. I am up to 10 miles. My task now is to get the weekly mileage up. I think I can. It is wonderful to jog around Seabrook and also El Lago. Now I will go do that.

Business Transcendence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Self Transcendence

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

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

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

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

Surprising Progress

Wow. I\’ve spent so long seeking enlightenment. But now I feel like that is a non-issue.

Here is an example: Since 2006, I\’ve followed the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race (  http://3100.srichinmoyraces.org/ ). I\’ve tried to seek self transcendence by doing miles and miles. Today, when I was reading the blog, I realized I\’d rather be engaged with my life. that is, I\’d rather be actually doing my job at work than endlessly running around a block.

So that is weird for me. I guess that reading Merton helped me to let go of the past. Or I realize that all is spiritual and there is no need to suffer. Just allow it.

Not that I am stopping running or stopping my Course in Miracles study; but that I appreciate the path laid before me.

I\’m just a marathoner. I\’m a professed engineer.

This morning, I had a 3 mile run around El Lago in the early morning darkness. It was hot a sweaty and I loved it. What more could a person want?

I have a closet full of brand new Asics Nimbus running shoes. What more could a person want?

I\’m holding airplane tickets to go to 2 running races. What more could a person want?

I don\’t need to fast, run a hundred miles, sit cross legged for days, follow a guru. Just have Being.

That is what I have Being; my most valued possession.

Got Being?

If you know you have Being, then you don\’t need anything else.

It is the weekend. Dr Hot Dustin has worked some miracles on my left calf and ankle. Even fang is not bothering me. There will be a few miles tomorrow and Sunday, plus cross training. But not too much since I have a marathon in San Antonio on the 4th.

It is so freaking good to NOT be in massive pain all.the.time.

This evening, I am cross training plus TRX-ing. What a great way to do intervals.

I think about generating spiritual energy, and the sense of endlessness flows through me.

Drink plain water.

Eat bread.

Juggle the kettle bells.

Endure transcend love.

83 hours including 187 miles so far in June. The goal for the weekend is to get to 90 hours.

Turn Around Saturday

I have time this morning. I always have more time than most people, but today I have an additional period.

Today\’s spiritual thoughts from A Course in Miracles Ch 27:
Accept the dream He gave instead of yours.
Rest in the Holy Spirit. Hear His Voice.
Choose a happy wakening and the joy of life.
Dream your brother\’s loving kindnesses.

This part centers on the secret dream, underneath the illusion of reality.

I woke up this morning before the alarm and wondered why no one seems to know the Holy Spirit. But as I write this, I know that I do know; when I switch to my deeper non-ego consciousness. Giving up the ego thought system, I see my brother\’s innocence and kindness. My dream is much happier.

Well, I would say that since moving to Texas a year ago, my dream improved dramatically.

Today it is raining and I go to work later. So I think I\’ll work out on my ex-machines.

I mentioned yesterday about the spousal relationship to Jesus in the theology of the consecrated religious. But the explanation mentioned \”…in the deepest level of one\’s reality, to be betrothed to Transcendence.\” Now this is the part I relate to. Somehow this betrothal surfaced into my conscious mind. I have pursued it from both an ego level and a spiritual level. Since before going to the monastery, in fact since my trip to Jerusalem when I was 22, my life has been seized by Christ and reordered. Since leaving the monastery, I have become counter-cultural in ways that affect my daily living to the smallest detail. I cannot go along with the degradation of the human person which our society seems to support. I just can\’t let go of this and put up with the friction it causes me.

I am speaking of Love who is the most important relationship I have.

Middle Class Hero

I am the everyday un-illuminated, the New Age un-enlightened. I am the group that sought God in every possible way, from conservative right Christian to pseudo-Buddhist to channeled entity to sweat lodges, vision quests and labyrinths. In the convent, I sat for hours adoring the Blessed Sacrament. Post convent, I fasted for extended periods of time and then ate only raw foods. As far as I know, Revelation didn’t happen.

What I am I is a mature American woman, single, professional, white, educated, vegetarian, long distance running, health freak. I have been in pursuit of God since an unfortunate (or fortunate) trip to Israel at the age of 22. But my actual life has mostly been about going to work in order to have money and staying straight emotionally. I’ve not succeeded at suburban family life, nor at weirdness pretending to be wisdom. The heroes of my cultural heritage are the ones that retire young and live comfortably. Since the American economy no longer plays that game for us, I am one of many who will not retire young, if ever. The crumbling of the United States is just enough to show us its false unfounded delusions of grandeur.

My culture does not have a class of wise ones.

My problem is that my story is not a hero’s story. I have done what is heroic in other people’s stories, but in mine it is ho hum. I am done with the pseudo-Buddhist bullshit and the romance of suffering for Christ.

Before I went monastic, I fit in. Post monastic, I scorned society. I did not settle for a life of fitting in with ordinary social groupings (and everyone is encouraged by psychology to fit in somewhere). My scorn turns out to be pure ego. It is not based on any real advantage. I don’t have a special place in anything to justify my position. I just don’t want to be like “them,” to be contaminated by their corrupted food, overeating, television programming or useless conversations. But I am not special either. So I have sunk into nothing.

Nothing can be made of nothingness. I’ve tried that too; the romanticizing or spinning of nothingness into a prized position, close to God. Recently, in a brief interlude of difficult emotions, I came to the truth. I suddenly realized that I am in a valley, not the inhabitor of mountain tops at all. It is a delusion to think some sudden discontinuity in reality will save me. Not even A Course in Miracles, which offers a way out, has transported any of its followers in THIS lifetime.

So I guess I will go running, lift weights, collect my paycheck, eat tofu, drink coffee and quietly grow. That is the blessing of my life: I do keep growing.