If we really want to get rid of suffering, completely and totally, then clinging has to go. The spiritual path is never one of achievement; it is always one of letting go. The more we let go, the more there is empty and open space for us to see reality. Because what we let go of is no longer there, there is the possibility of just moving without clinging to the results of the movement. As long as we cling to the results of what we do, as long as we cling to the results of what we think, we are bound, we are hemmed in. Meditating on No-Self: A Dhamma Talk (Edited for Bodhi Leaves), by Sister Khema(1994)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween and Impermanence

12km mid morning.  Continuing on with the Saucony SK3.  Took out the inserts and ran with the sock liner in.  Seemed to work out a bit better also.

I've been continuing to consider why the speed of the runs has increased so dramatically in the last three/four weeks.  Today, was a new PR on the 12k course and in fact the start of the run was nice and easy with the intention of continuing on from yesterday's relaxing run.  I began with some Tonglen considering all those stuck in traffic while was going to go run.  I also considered the fact that I was going to get to go run.  But,...

There was some work with non self in that since I have no control over the run, I can't define the speed and the foot plant and whether I fall or not fall, etc., therefore, the run is not mine and I can't identify the run as mine in any way.  Thus was the start of the run.

I worked very hard again on foot plant.  Pretty much about 90% of the run.  The noticing was that ever time I moved off mindfulness to some strange topic, whatever arose, I could quickly feel how my left foot began to plant differently.  Some history, I was hit by a car in 1993 that broke my foot in five places and as a result my foot plant has been a problem for years.  It has been the cause of a variety of injuries.

However, with this mindfulness, clearly the mechanics are better (yes I know I've mentioned this before!) but this results in better speed and as a result, even when going slower it seems that I'm going faster.

All of this is of course hinging on mindfulness, and when not mindful, impermanence arises and I lose the foot plant.  As a result, the foot plant is not mine, it is mind and body and mindfulness is isn't only friend.  At some point I wonder if the foot plant will be automatic?  Well, isn't that craving?  The future is not now, now is the best teacher.

Impermanence, it is everywhere, Halloween is only 24 hours long.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Return without blame

Oh it got cold in a hurry ladies and gentlemen.  Wet and windy today for 12k.  Several different fun events today.

First, I had to abandon the new Adidas shoes.  Just not a shoe that was good for me.  A rushed purchase, it is  not a removeable sock liner for one thing.  But the shoe is too narrow for me and it just didn't feel good on my feet.  So, I switched back to the Saucony Kinvara 3's and went out the door and ran.

Worked hard on mindfulness of foot plant.  I would say I was pretty successful as foot plant definitely affects the left metatarsal.  That wasn't too bad at the end.

The run in general required a separate kind of mindfulness however.  When it is wet and mid morning, Kyiv drivers apparently decide that they should drive even more dangerously.  Had to keep my head on a swivel and be mindful of steps.

Unwholesomeness did arise.  But I caught it and sent it packing quickly.  Of course the mind only works on one thing at a time, so working on the steps and being very mindful allowed for less unwholesome thoughts to arise.

This is something that the mind needs to learn from and of course it is necessary to return to this even when I get away from it.  Return without blame.

The time, even with tired legs, was still pretty good.  Do you see what I have just written?  The time.  Isn't that grasping or craving for the time.  These are the kinds of things you have to return to mindfulness and no self, without blame.  There is suffering, it is caused by grasping/craving, it can be resolved, but only through the eightfold path.

Return without blame.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Winter is coming, winter is coming

Out the door by 9:00 a.m. today.  Trying to change my sleep patterns and experimenting with 7.5 hours of sleep instead of some days where I sleep more than any human should.  Running in the Adidas something somethings that I bought here in Kyiv.  Jury remains out, jury has asked the judge a question though, the feet came back with a request for information on where I found these shoes because the metatarsals are screaming.  There was a request from the tread wear department wondering why after 24 km the outside back edge appears to be almost touching the 4mm drop.

Hmmm.  We'll see what happens.  At this time it is the work week shoe.

Again a nice run.  Quick and faster than last Saturday.  I've about decided that the sudden increase in mph is a result of mindfulness of the foot steps.  If you step correctly you are mechanically correct and therefore there is less stress in other parts of the body and as a result mechanics make things easier.  Wow!  I should tell someone about this...  I believe this issue was long resolved.  It took reading a book written by a buddhist monk, about his running expereience, to show me personally how to work on those mechanics.

Winter is coming.  This is the first day I've run in a hat and gloves.  The jacket, yes, but not the other.  Of course I will not wear the long tights until the last possible moment.  It will be colder all week, probably 2 to 5 C for every run this week.  This is accompanied by rain and wind.  I really like this stuff!!

Winter is coming...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Vote! And follow your breath....

My blog is now eligible or Google Affiliate Ads.  What exactly does that mean?  I signed up for Google ads and if I talk about teaching English, Speak up school advertises, if I talk about mindfulness, Yoga people advertise on it, I wonder who will advertise if I talk about constipation?

20k on Election Day.  Up early, out the door early in an effort to avoid my previous problems from last week on this run.  No problems this week, just my feet.  In fact, today was a new PR for this course.  Andy Jones Wilkins had a new PR on one of his courses the other day, good for him, good for me, though my run was not the pure effortless joy that he described.  Nonetheless, it was good stuff.

Ran the 20k loop the reverse way again.  Starts with more hill but the back side hill is longer, but not as steep as the Vladimyrski Spusk.  Still a fairly medium to tough course.

I'm watching this knee carefully.  I did some stretching last night and did some exercises for strengthening after today's run.  I also took a look at mindfulness instead of assuming mindfulness.  I found that there was more relaxation when I was truly mindful about the steps, instead of the assumed mindfulness I may have fallen into over the last few days.  This is probably a good wake up call.

In terms of what else is going on, I bought an ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T which is what I am typing this on.  It is a tablet that isn't Apple.  After several days of research I finally pulled the trigger.  The selling point for me was the word processing ability, and the docking keyboard.

Over the last several days I have been unable to work with anything other than the breath.  I've tried concentrating on the breath in an effort to just keep some mindfulness from day to day.  As we know last week was not the best, there was intermittent following of the breath, but there was no meditation whatsoever.  I've managed to move that back in to the frame this weekend. I've also managed to stay mindful of the object (my breath) to some extent.  Tomorrow is a new day and hope to start the day that way.

Today is election day, voting day in Ukraine.  My run was marked by militia every 100 meters throughout the section along the river.  This was about 3 km of militia just standing there at about 9:15 in the morning.  I certainly didn't see anyone out voting in that area, but maybe later.

No voting for me.  But I can still follow my breath.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

No Sugar Coating

There is not way to say it politely.  I have had a really bad 7 days.  Really bad. Have to go backward a bit to work my way to today.

Recall I had back to back 20km runs on Saturday and Sunday of last week.  Unfortunately, in my effort to stay strong and work with mindfulness, kindness, etc. and to work with getting off this medication I've been on for so long, I didn't write about the two strange events that occurred on those runs. 

On Saturday I ran and five guys spread out across the sidewalk I was running on and wouldn't let me pass and made it so I had to run around them into the traffic out on the street.  This was disconcerting enough, except for the fact that it all happened in front of a police officer, if you can call them that.  This all happened before I had run 7km that day, and is part of my angry run that I talk about before, the one where I figure out the only person listening to my angry diatribes in my head is me.

On Sunday, it was worse, the area near Poshtova Ploshscha has  street under construction and it is closed and has police at both ends, at least it did on Saturday and Sunday of last week.  Since I was running the route the normal way this is the beginning of a steep long hill that ends near Khyrshchatyk.  Well I turned right on this closed road, near the McDonald's, and started up the hill, well right behind me came two cars that went around me and then closed in a V around me and four guys got out of each car.  Each started to stay things to me and I made a decision to jump on to the hood of the car on the left and run like hell, they chased, I'm in good shape, they were not, I put 50m then 100m on them in about 30 seconds going straight up hill running like hell.  Guess what, ran right by a police officer doing absolutely nothing.

Two days in a row, both times with police watching.  Lets just say this was the beginning of a spiral that is unprecedented for me.

Monday was supposed to be the day off, but about 5 p.m. I started to get some pain in my left knee that is symptomatic of ITBS.  Uh oh.  No problem, no running consider it as not an issue, no self, impermanent, trying, trying, mindful, trying....  tuesday it hurt like hell and I began to perseverate on it terribly all day, reduced to limping down stairs, no mindfulness, this is my pain, i'm the only one with pain, struggle, struggle struggle.  No run, easy to convince myself of this. 

at the same time I was struggling with my emotions in general.  Having short quick electric shocks throughout my head, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating due to trying to come off these meds.  Then emotional swings started to come fast and hard.  By tuesday all I could think about was my knee, the attacks on my runs and my problems at work all of which were mine, owned by me, the only person with problems and were permanent, fixed and would never change.  Uh oh, this can't end well.

Wednesday was the crest of the rising and falling away and impermanence of the feeling.  I come to work and due to several things coming on top of each other in a short period of time (I endeavor never to name my co workers or their work, it isn't fair to them, and really these are my experiences not there) I ended up literally in the corner of the teachers' room crying.  For my own sake for some reason my mind and body chose to do this when  no one was around, but it was 10 minutes of emotional frailty that was heaping sadness on me.  A pervading sadness came over me that stayed on top of me for 36 hours.  I didn't run.

Wednesday night I did not fall asleep until about 3 p.m.   I woke at 7 on Thursday, I sat on the couch from about midnight to 3 just looking at the wall engulfed in an inability to be mindful of anything, I tried several different techniques but I couldn't accomplish anything.  Thursday at work was more of the same.  I didn't work. 

On Thursday at work I began to get a bit better, I began to see some daylight out and meditated several times for about 10 minutes each time.  I spoke with people in a fairly calm manner I thought about running on Friday, but I still had this inability to want to do anything but sit there.  However I was beginning to work with the mind to see what was happening and where things were wrong or right in terms of meds, no meds, mindfulness, impermanence, no self, suffering (oh was there suffering).

I also tried Tonglen for a bit, this is where you breath it all in, negative and all and make sure you embrace the whole thing to work with all of it and not avoid it. 

Friday, was much better, a curtain was lifting in meditation, impermanence was being observed everywhere, mindfulness was occurring when I moved about, the breath was being followed.

I also bought shoes this week that I intended to use during the week.  They were bought on Wednesday before the apex of the meltdown. 

i finally ran in them today.  I went faster than I have run in almost a year in a training run today.  I went 12k with the intention of doing 20k tomorrow and trying for my mileage target from this week for next week.  The shoes are okay, but the jury is still out.  The run was not mindful, the foot steps however were.  What is mindful is this writing.

Can't sugar coat it, it was a brutal 8 days.  My thanks to all those persons who helped me, you know who you are.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Is it called verification? Justification? Uncertainty?

20km again today.  Started to feel what tried was like.  Not till the end did it feel like I was really working.  Its Sunday and I didn't really intend to work hard at all.  The start was a bit slow and slippery.  I felt like I had dead legs and fully expected that to be the case and intended for teh run to be just getting back to back 20kms in and see where the fitness level is.

Turns out I ran 4 seconds faster today than I did yesterday.  So, for an unknown reason the fitness is in a strange area.  I really have no idea and in fact I am supposed to let go of every run and just do the next one if I am eve to move onward in my development.  Anywhere,  both runs under 8 minutes per mile, trying to do the same 88 km this week on 6 days of running that I did last week.  Isn't that clinging?  :)

The run had its strange moments as usual.  Mindfulness of steps was pretty good, unwholesome thoughts that did arise quickly faded with some concentration on them and some reference to yesterdays solid thinking.  All in all it was a fairly solid mind run.  I've already mentioned the physical side.

However, the weirdest thing is the horse poop.  I've seen it two days in a row.  It is on a major street, Prospekt Permohy, and it is a massive amount of horse poop.  Yesterday's horse poop is still there and today there was new horse poop, I am pretty sure that from a health and safety standpoint this can't really be good for the population.  However, I guess one must be uncomfortable with uncertainty.

A good start to the week?  Or can it all be moment to moment?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Trade offs - Trade ons

20km in the mid afternoon.  Went to bed late last night.  Woke up mid morning, read the news, had a cup of tea, went back to sleep, woke up at 2:30 went and ran about 3.  Kyiv was very busy today.  Very busy.  So was my mind.

I ran the 20km loop backward (i didn't run backward) so was on Khryshchatyk for the first part.  The street is always closed on the weekend, but today there was special fun for everyone.  A drifting competition along with a bunch of other cars.  Lots of people leaning over the rails looking at cars wasting rubber. 

To me, the reverse route is hillier, because the hills are longer.  Nonetheless I got around faster than I ever have before, some reason I am in this period of running quite quickly.  I keep thinking the next run will be the run where I pay for it.  Tune in tomorrow and see if it is.

I am also attempting to use what I write about and read about and attempt to apply to wean myself off anxiety medication that I have been on for 7 years now.  Unfortunately, it does two very separate things.  It gives you crazy dreams, but also it can make you quickly irritable.  I certainly had that today.  I was as unwholesome as they come for much of this run.  For plant was okay, but my mind was a race track of rage back and forth back and forth, opinions and views of absolute delusional quality.

After I crested the big hill at about 14 km I had a very nice analysis.  Absolutely not one person on the planet was suffering for all the crazy shit that I was spewing out in my mind.  The only person suffering was me.

Its been a good days since then.

I really am quite interested in this sudden change in speed/pace/regardless of distance. 

Let it go.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday, a loop?

12k again, mid afternoon after a very hectic morning at school.  Every intention to just run nice and easy, even worked with loving kindness on the bus back to the house and the mindful walk back from the bus stop at Ukraina Mall about how today was meant to be a nice and easy a smooth trot around the usual course.

You can cling to control in one hand and whatever in the other and see which fills up first.  The winner, if there is such a thing, will always be uncertainty.  And again, the whole thing, all of the noble truths are proven over and over.

Set out nice and easy, good mindful watch of the steps and then nothing but unwholesome crap coming back and forth, then flying down the road, adjusting, trying to slow it down, concentrating on the steps, pain in the left foot, more pain, more adjustment, more unwholesome, flying down the road, whipping around people on the sidewalks, in and out of cars and combat speed.  Done.  About as fast as yesterday.  Uncertainty i sthe winner and prevails as usual.  Somehow i will learn the lesson, one day, but isn't that part of mindfulness.

The shoes, Saucony Kinvara 3 are a no go.  I've decided to move them out of the rotation, they really cause problems on the left foot where it was broken so many years ago.  Same kind of shoe I was wearing when the back started to act up.  All in all, out they go. 

The loop of learning, there is uncertainly, trying to control it causes suffering, there is a way to end that.  Can you get it boy?

Good run for pace though.  Will pay for though. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Clinging to Idiocy

quick, peppy 12k today in the mid afternoon.  mindfulness of steps, good mind set getting out the door, ate something before i left, fastest run in awhile.

Oh the traffic mid afternoon on the 'trails' of Kyiv.  Bodies everywhere and the roads/sidewalks/dirt/crap/trash, etc. is flying around right now due to the drop in temperature combine with the pick up in the wind.  everything is muddy and dirty.  It was a smooth 6 C this morning, and raining, by the time of my run it was up to 13 C around 2:15 p.m.

The run itself was a run for today, not yesterday, not tomorrow, today.  My only real issue is my clinging to idiocy.  I always have this strange feeling when I post something on irunfar.com.  I tend to feel like an idiot no matter what I say.  It was  fairly mundane post, but still I always feel inadequate when I put something on there.  Especially, after you let it sit and come back and see people posting after you.

Clinging to ego?

all and all, the runs have been stringing along nicely for the past few weeks.

Post script around 10:30 at night:  Went back to work, walked from the flat to the bus stop, then to the office, stood for at least 90 minutes while teaching English for Lawyers.  Before that I almost fell asleep at my desk in the teachers room.  Now I have some tightness in my back. During meditation on the way home tonight I worked with that tightness.  The runner in me is analyzing how much running a lot quicker than usual is playing in this.  Also, wondering if I am carrying too much weight.  Because I am trying not to overly focus on form (bodily) I haven't weighed myself in two weeks.  But maybe yes, maybe no.   more tomorrow i'm sure.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

stepping out the door

mindful of my thoughts from yesterday, I watched my mind think about ways of not getting out the door, I watched those thoughts go away, come back, I watched time tick by, I watched my mind try again.  I returned to my breath.  I stepped out the door.

Rain, love it (clinging?)  Nice 12k in the mist and the rain.  Very mindful of foot steps and very mindful of unwholesome thoughts which for some reason were not replaced by wholesome thoughts, but were noticed and mindfulness  of steps returned quickly.  Over and over.

Let go.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Impermanence and Unwholesomeness

Ran today.  Yesterday I didn't get it done as a result of work issues that overran my ability to get home and run.  I thought it would happen again today.  I analysed this run start anxiety repeatedly today.  It occurred to me that the anxiety is related to physical pain of the start?

Why not start slow then?  Why not start by walking?  Why not remember that nothing is permanent and that there is no self and exactly whose pain is it?  Is it the person who ran yesterday?  The person who runs today?  Whose pain?  All very interesting phenomena to consider.  Nonetheless, the anxiety is there, needs to be considered for what it is.  A thought, that will arise, and then pass.  They are impermanent. 

So out the door I go.  In general it was warmer today than it has been in the last few days.  I was very sweaty at the end, very humid.  But the pace was fine even when I tried to just run.  The foot plant mindfulness was quite good. 

However, full of unwholesome thoughts throughout which affected and create opinions and views which arose, were cut off, arose again in another form, were cut off and mindfulness returned to foot plant.  They rise, somehow they pass, they too are impermanent. 

Not running Monday creates its own anxiety, making sure I get five more runs in for the week.  What really happens if I don't run and get my 88kms for the week?  What really happens?  Overall, nothing, personal goals are lost, but isn't that grasping and not letting go of personal goals?

All very interesting.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday in Kyiv

20km today.  Light mist and fog during the mid afternoon run.  Failry good pace, nice mindfulness, very limited unwholesome thoughts.  Some ego thought.  I thought I was running faster than I was.  But, analysis would tell anyone that the last 7k is predominantly uphill on this course and as a result, that always affects over all time.  If you can't let go of time.

But,... Kyiv was rockin' today.  The first part of the run was fairly uneventful and in and out of very relaxed running.  After running up Volodymyrski Descent I turned right on to Khryshchatek which is closed at this time of day on Saturday and Sunday.  I heard noise, I will politely refer to it as music.  As I got to the closed part of the street I saw the stage, stages on Khyrshchatek are nothing new, "music" on them is also nothing new, a bit of compassion for the bad weather but weaving in and out of a sparse crowd while running was a nice trade off.  Kept on running.  Nice box football (soccer) match right down the street with a few fans, no indication as to the score.  One of the players fell to the road (pitch) I'm sure that will leave a mark.

Turned right on the Shevchenko and up that hill, but to the left was the Lenin statue and my friends from the communist part of Ukraine, they seem to be playing music from WW II, I guess it is the music that they identify with, I'm sure it was a wonderful time to remember.  There crowd was smaller than the concert crowd but not by much.  The WWII music stayed with me for another 1/2 mile until I started to run in to the police everywhere.  I looked up the hill and saw that the road was diverted from Volodmyrska St. (not descent), but in front of me were about 100 riot police.  This can't be good.  But they were in classic riot police position, two lines, relaxed, waiting to be told what to do, they were there for the 'what if' scenario' but why?

Up the hill some more to Voldomyrska and now you have the answer, the Svoboda crowd fired up and in full rock and roll mode with screaming angry white males all over the place.    To say my pace quickened is an understatement.

Ran it on home, had some nuts, salmon and salad and considered a rainy Sunday in Kyiv.

Added the next day:  I saw the results of a wonderful accident about 14km in to the run.  a car turning right turned to the far lane, a car trying to turn left on to the road of the car turning right tried to simultaneously cut the corner by about 50 m.  Of course the two of them ran head long in to each other.  It was really ridiculous looking, the cars were in the middle of the two lanes of a four lane road and managed to hit each other head on, absolutely head on, it was like they saw each other and deliberately tried to hit each other head on.  You can't make this stuff up in Kyiv.  You just can't get Kafka out of your life.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A week of letting go? Not really.

As I write it is Saturday evening around 6:40 Kyiv time.  The week ended just fine.  Thursday was the scheduled off day, Friday I went 12k and today I went 15k.  All in all a very good week of running.  Too good?  Too much attachment to this week of good running?  Who knows, only right now is the teacher and the teacher says that is clinging to ego.

Every wonder if this might be too hard, every time I turn around there is an issue of clinging to this, attachment to that, not letting go of this, delusion, grasping of that.  My how the mind likes to play tricks, could it be that is the mind feeling its importance and the ego slipping away and taking another shot at having this be just given up so it can take over making me miserable?  I see your Mr. Mind, clearly you are a trained professional.

Friday's 12k was in the dark, the first in the dark of the year.  Calls for wearing my glasses and for looking down a lot to make sure I step in places that are safe.  At the same time, being mindful of the footsteps is a good thing in this situation.  But don't you know it, I was cruising pretty good at about 8k when I looked up to see what was ahead and promptly tripped over a sidewalk monster and took one of those really nice PLF's down the sidewalk.  Good for two skinned knees and palms and some skinned legs.  Right about that time I started having low blood sugar which was kind of a surprise, took a GU and continued on, feeling a bit out of sorts and figuring out what might be hurt.  That inventory turned out positive.  Finished it off.

Today I didn't run until about 4:30 p.m.   Still daylight, but cloudy around 10 C.  Very easy, mindful of the steps run.  Nonetheless unwholesome ideas, views and opinions came trotting out for their daily attempt to run me into the ground.  I'm getting better at identifying them quicker.  Still,...

Let go, every day is different than the one before.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

the Reality of what you are doing

12k.  Mid morning.  good tempo, good mindfulness of foot plant, some unwholesome thoughts but got them turned around pretty good.

Phenomena of the day.  Views and Opinions.  So I'm running along, the traffic is terrible, I note it, just note it, nothing else.  I'm running along, and I'm seeing kids and adults and families all over the place and it is about 11:00 a.m. to around 12:00 p.m. that this is all happening.

I'm running along and I'm working with being mindful of my footsteps and I keep running around families.  At one point I wonder if it is a holiday that I don't know about.  I decide that is not the case as we would know about it at work and the calendar would have had a colored mark (to say we don't work).

With about 3 km to go I whip buy a family of three, husband, wife and about a 7 year old.  the view and opinion comes to me: "why aren't these people working, why isn't he in school (the boy), why aren't the parents working, this is just terrible, all these people should be working, all these............"

Mindfulness comes to the fore, one simple question Mr. Mind "Why aren't you working?  Your running, not working." 

renounce views, renounce opinions, do not be hemmed in by clinging to views and opinions.

good run.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Back and forth, back and forth

Tuesday this week is now the Back and Forth day.  Leave the house at 7:30 to go teach an 8:00 a.m. one to one client.  Back to the house by 10:20, change clothes and go run 12k, relax a bit, then go to an in company class in the city, then take a metro ride back the school for evening classes and then back home by about 9:30 p.m.

Right now I am relaxing... Just finished up 12k opposite way as yesterday (hey that rhymes).  The tightness I spoke of yesterday is there but not really a hindrance.  More stretching I think.

Mindful of foot plant for most of the run.  I can't admit to not having unwholesome thoughts today, but I can say I was mindful of their occurrence.  Pretty innocuous piece of running except for the enjoyment and lack of any need to be anywhere for that one hour of time.

Nice to get the run in, now let go.

Back and forth now.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Yellow is the Color of my Run

Mid morning, rain, sprinkles, rain, windy, lots of wind, colder.  About 7 C today with the wind colder.  My favorite weather to run in.  Favorite, but have to let that go, it won't be that way tomorrow.  12k today on the usual route.  Really thought I would be much sore than I was.  It was a light little trip.  However, I've developed some tightness over the course of the day in some weird places, behind the right knee and up the inner right leg.  Stretching, we'll see.  Run even easier tomorrow.

With the rain and wind and wet streets you could really feel the fall/autumn closing in on Kyiv.  Everywhere were yellow leaves having fallen from the trees.  This were very vivid colors, since I was mindful of my foot plant which makes me usually look about 6 ft ahead of me to the ground I saw lots of yellow, light green and green and yellow leaves.

One leaf went for a ride.  About half way through the run a leaf came falling down from the wind and the rain, real big, about 6-8 inches in size, bright yellow.  It attached itself to my leg and ran with me for a 200 meters.  Then the wind took it away.  Nothing is permanent.

a little 3 minute loving kindness before I went out the door.  Worked with mindfulness of steps a large portion of the way.  Later I realized I had not had one unwholesome thought the entire run.  Following the mind to find out why.  Or shouldn't I just let that go and move one?  Is this the kind of day runners cling to?  Not clinging creates space.

The leaf was fun to run with for a bit.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Return and Run

So, let it go, let it be, return without blame, whatever you want to call it.  I woke up and ran 20k today.  I'm sure I will suffer from it later in the day as it did hurt in some places.  It is a hilly 20k and I am definitely feeling in it my right thigh.  However, I did eat and try to get the protein back in to my body quickly in an effort to cut down on any stiffness.

Today I also used the CamelBak that I bought in the US back in June.  This is the first time I have ever used one and I tried to be very "as it happens" about the whole ting.  I've seen plenty of people use them but never talked to any of those people about using it.  I've read about them on a variety of websites and checked out the various ways to use them, the various good and bad "opinions" about them.  After I tested it in the house about how to get access to the water properly I decided to use it today for the 20k.

Turns out I needed it, or did I need it?  Or, did I use it because I had it?  Would I have needed it if I hadn't had it?  Isn't that a silly question?  If I hadn't had it, I wouldn't have been able to use it, therefore I would only be able to think about and isn't that just suffering?

Anyway I had it and I used it.  first time at about 33 minutes, next time at about 57 minutes and also took a GU at that time, then just before the first huge hill and then coming down the last big hill with about 3k to go.  It felt just fine drinking from the CamelBak, however, I didn't place the GU in the right place so ended up having to take it off to get to the GU to eat.  Lesson learned of course.

Felt like I was stumbling for the first 25 minutes or so, and it was just very weird to be running.  weird is an opinion, need to let that go.  I haven't run this route in about 8 months so it was interesting to try to be mindful of footsteps on a place I hadn't seen in a while and which has deteriorated again a good bit.

Mindfulness of foot steps was there, but also there was a some unwholesome thinking but at least I was mindful that it was there and moved on to other things.  I did loving kindness meditation before I ran today, so I'll need to work with those thoughts from the run later today.

I returned without blame, I ran.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Return without blame

What an interesting week it has been.  To the person writing the comment on my last entry, thank you.  Very kind.

What started out as a normal week, Sunday and Monday, turned in  to one long lesson on delusion, impermanence, returning without blame, right view, right understanding and ego related to non self.

Every where i turned this week my mind was able to just do what every it wanted.  There was no mindfulness, therefore there was nothing there to get me back to wholesome thoughts, it was an interesting phenomena in terms of experiential right view.  by Friday it was clear to me that what I have been experiencing over the last year is a good thing and what I was experiencing in four days was a microcosm of years of self imposed experiences based on mind or lack there of.

I have not run since Monday.  fine.  return without blame.
I have not been mindful, fine.  return without blame.
I have not done so many things that I have been doing over the last few months, fine.  return without blame.

Just let go and be.  Easier to say than to do as everyone is surely aware.  But at least being aware may be a mindful thought in itself?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

And then came nothing but views and opinions

I haven't run since Monday.  I'm sure my mind can list all kinds of reasons, I can list a variety of things that my mind tells me is the actual situation.  None of it is the actual situation.

I am unable to release certain attachment and clinging and as a result I continue to spiral over the last three days in and out of ego issues, personal self worth issues, creating this continuing line of suffering that seems to resonate with me and follow me like a cloud.

Only today can I put the words on paper/computer.  A full blown inability to let go of self, craving, attachment that leads to letting my mind wander off in to its own little world of silliness and despair which plagued me for so many years until I worked my way toward thinking in a more appropriate fashion using mindfulness, following the breath and the like. 

Maybe it is good that I am typing it out now.  That penultimate sentence has made me suddenly feel better than I have felt in 3 days.  Still, attachment/craving/ name it what you want.  It truly is suffering.  I've made myself suffer for three days now.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday, Views and Opinions

Went out for 15k today, about mid morning.  I really didn't think I would get out the door, my mind kept coming up with great ideas about how I didn't need to run, I could always run later, the whole gammit of ways to make myself think about not doing something.

I worked with mindfulness and loving friendliness and then contemplated how this was the mind doing something that the rest of the body actually didn't want.  I don't know whether it worked, I don't really have an opinion, but I do know that i ran.

This was the uphill for 5k version of the loop.  One thing of interest, there was a view of the St. Joseph's onion domes from one fo the streets.  I looked at it and said, 'that's beautiful' and then I said, if you renounce opinions and views you just see onion domes and that is all.  Interesting.

worked on foot plant mindfulness as well.  Taht was fine.  Every run of this distance has been within about 25 seconds of all the others for the last 6 or 7 runs, that is certainly consistent (isn't that a view or opinion?).