Vancouver Marathon – The Doorway Beyond

It was a beautiful day.

I finished.

If you are A Course in Miracles student (or contemplative of any other sort), then you have heard that this world is an illusion. You have heard that there is no satisfaction in this world because it is a projection of your negative ego thoughts (fear, hate, anger, guilt). You have heard that nothing here is worthy of God\’s Son, which we all are.

This marathon dealt my ego a crushing blow; and I was left with the realization of undifferentiated Thought.

Like this: I was running slow so my time was nothing to brag about. I spent most of the race pissed off because 3 of the aid stations had no cups and I scrounged a cup from a garbage can but detected a slight after taste from whatever was previously in that cup and thought I might be poisoned. My achilles was unhappy. No one was at the finish line that I knew. I didn\’t give a shit about the medal photo and had to be cajoled into it by one of the photographers. Finally, I had a 2k walk back to my hotel but couldn\’t use the same route I came by so I felt lost and alone.

I found myself wandering under a highway overpass next to a large hockey stadium when suddenly the desolation hit me. In the forest of tall buildings, my smallness overwhelmed me. I broke down into actual tears and despairing sobs. Despite my monumental effort, my ego had nothing to show for it. My inner self knew this before I ever got on an airplane to go to Vancouver. My inner self calmly watches my ego try time after time to gain glory from the world and it never works.

And then, I pull myself back in and sit with this calm inner being. I receive heaven from this calm inner relationship. I am a worthy candidate for the spiritual journey. I stick by inner growth very conscientiously and consistently. But I also engage the worldly illusion and experience the ego\’s dissapointments time after time. It is my job to step back and not be too wrapped up in glory seeking. At the same time, I see I have received gifts from these disappointments: they break down the ego and allow me to glimpse my inner truth. Had my ego won the day in Vancouver, I wouldn\’t be introspecting. I\’d be running around bragging and then planning future victories.

Instead, I am feeling the depth of my soul. As I was walking under the stadium and bawling my head off, I could also feel the certain hands of undifferentiated Thought. It felt like steady, consistent, pervasive eternal strength.

It is this ego/self back and forth which troubles me with decisions. Because I know disappointment, I don\’t think I should bother with Boston next year. I view Boston as a hot stove. If I want to risk being burned, I\’ll go. But Escatologically speaking, I might have to go because it is not my decision. In contrast, I am signed up for a trail marathon in 2 weeks. It will be a huge challenge to finish that. There will only be 8 people in the race and no shiny medal at the finish. But, the rewards of pure contemplation are available in what will be a nearly 8 hour effort.

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The Marathon – the urge to go deeper

I want to see beyond the surface of things. I don\’t want today to be just a distraction from my soul/Self. I want it to be a partnership of consciousness.

I have run many marathons. What does it mean? Why? Besides a shiny medal and bragging rights, what is it? The meaning of life is contained in the marathon. Today is a day for listening, looking beyond the surface illusion, actively claiming the intuitive as I run.

4 to 5 hours of concentration inward. Each step wears down the pomposity and big talk and unrealistic day dreams. Each minute I come closer to the truth, deeper and deeper, buffeted by wind and sun, pounding it out on paved roads. Delusion and personal myth is debunked.

All I ever wanted out of life was to know: wtf is it?

Soon, as I race down the home stretch, tearing up as the crowds roar, I will feel that inner magnificence.

Marathons – A Sacred Task

Running races is not just about medals and accolades and ego glory. Finishing any challenging race can be a sign of the return to soul/Self.

Challenging races hand my guts to me on a platter. The cups strewn along the road by the aid station are symbolic of the many bits of ego which we find we cannot go on with and must dump without a care.

The marathon race itself is a result of discipline carried out over months and years. We trained, we watched how much we ate, we got out of bed instead of sleeping. All of this preparation cannot be completed by just an ego. Fulfillment of the preparation requires the assistance of some inner force, the soul/Self.

To be a finisher is to step into a new reality, shifted from the one that still had its guts foolisly stored on the inside.

Does everybody know this? Maybe not in the worldly reality; but on some non-ego level of consciousness it is truth for all.