Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mile-By-Mile Journal of the 15 Mile Run

Just in case anyone wants to read my internal dialogue from my 15 mile run, here are my thoughts:

1 - I'm stiff. Maybe I shouldn't do this.
2 -  Okay, I feel much better.
3 - Three miles already. I totally got this.
4 - Here come the hills.
5 - I'm way too tired for this early in the run. Obviously I need to get better at hills.
6 - Woohoo, I got a sub-60 minute 10K!
7 - This is about half way. Time for some celebratory GU.
8 - Did that bank sign say it was 68 degrees already? Now I feel hot. Dang sign.
9 - I have to pee. Really bad. Where is the next public restroom?
10 - Double digits! Feelin' happy.
11 - Double digits. What have I gotten myself into?
12 - Almost a half marathon. Gotta keep going.
13 - Just two miles left. Can't stop now.
14 - My joints and ligaments hurt. I really hope I don't get injured again. Running sucks.
15 - One. Foot. In. Front. Of. The. Other.

I did it! It's definitely time for a shower. Plus Advil and ice. This is the good kind of pain, right?! Running rocks!

Friday, June 24, 2016

What Is Life And Death?

What is "life"? What is "death"? Seriously, it seems like the basic questions are the most challenging. And everyone probably has slightly different responses to these questions. In reality, we probably don't know the one correct answer. But those simple questions bring up many other questions.

Are we our living cells? What happens when a cell (or all of our cells) stop living?

Are we our thoughts? Do our thoughts ever stop or remain stagnate?

Are we our "consciousness"? If so, what kind of consciousness? Subjective, objective, introspective, spiritual, phenomenal, access, etc.?

Are we the influence we have on others? If so, don't the ripples we make in the pond just continue to spread?

Are we our energy? Does our energy ever stop being transferred or converted?

Is there a "Heaven"? Where/what are the boundaries of Heaven and non-Heaven? What aspects of "us" goes "there"?

Is there "reincarnation"? If so, doesn't that mean we're going to be "here" longer? What aspects of "us" go "there"/"here"?

There are no right answers or easy responses. And these may even be the wrong questions! Until we penetrate "reality" more deeply, we are left with these grasps at the truth. So until further explanation, it seems that Thich Nhat Hanh has a good description of life and death that goes beyond life and death:

Sometimes people ask you: "When is your birthday?" But you might ask yourself a more interesting question: "Before that day which is called my birthday, where was I?"   
Ask a cloud: "What is your date of birth? Before you were born, where were you?"  
If you ask the cloud, "How old are you? Can you give me your date of birth?" you can listen deeply and you may hear a reply. You can imagine the cloud being born. Before being born it was the water on the ocean's surface. Or it was in the river and then it became vapor. It was also the sun because the sun makes the vapor. The wind is there too, helping the water to become a cloud. The cloud does not come from nothing; there has been only a change in form. It is not a birth of something out of nothing.  
Sooner or later, the cloud will change into rain or snow or ice. If you look deeply into the rain, you can see the cloud. The cloud is not lost; it is transformed into rain, and the rain is transformed into grass and the grass into cows and then to milk and then into the ice cream you eat. Today if you eat an ice cream, give yourself time to look at the ice cream and say: "Hello, cloud! I recognize you." 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Running As Meditation

Running can be meditation. And meditation can be running. It requires mindfulness and effort. But it's worth a try. It can transform running - and life! Here are some great places to explore more information on running as meditation:

Meditation In Action

Transcendental Steps

Running with the Mind of Meditation

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Top Ten Movies for Dads to See with Their Kids

1. Indiana Jones
2. Back to the Future
3. Star Wars
4. Jurassic Park
5. The Goonies
6. Ghostbusters
7. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
8. The Karate Kid
9. Finding Nemo
10. Gremlins

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lord's (LGBT) Prayer

Our Drag Queen/King,
who art dancing in heaven and on earth,
holy is your Name, and holy are the names every LGBT person.
May your vision of inclusion come to every city in the world.
May your justice-seeking will be done through our feet, hands, and words, 
as it’s done in Heaven.
Give us this day the food, strength, and healing we need
to make our communities more safe, supportive, and loving.
Forgive us for our own moments of prejudice
as we forgive those who have shown bigotry to us.
Lead us not into the temptation of embracing the status quo.
And deliver us from the evil of indifference,
so we can build a world where it truly does get better.
May the power and glory be Yours, now and forever,
as Your love spreads through our streets, homes, and hearts.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Homosexuality Is Not a Sin

Homosexuality is not a sin because love is not a sin. There's nothing to forgive. Nothing to tolerate. Nothing to accept. There's only something to celebrate. Love is a sacred gift.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Prayer for the Tragedy in Orlando

Loving God, darkness has fallen upon the United States, and thick darkness has descended upon the LGBT community. Tragedy clouded out the light as shots were fired inside Club Pulse in Orlando, Florida. 50 people were killed. Many others were injured. And an uncountable number of people bear psychological scars. In this time of darkness may your resilient light shine forth.

May your light shine on the people who were in or near Club Pulse during the shooting. After 15 years of the club being a hub for solidarity, support, and fun, this shooting has filled the LGBT community with a cloudy midnight of immense grief and righteous anger. They need your light, Loving God. Please pour it forth.

May your light shine on the family and friends of all of those who were wounded or murdered in this act of terrorism. This tragedy has sent ripples of grief and anger through all of these people, as they ask the questions anyone would ask. Why? Why her? Why him? Why now? Why like this? Why? This is a moment where there is a “dark night of the soul” for many people. So, we pray that you hold them in your light. Please bless all those around them, not with platitudes, but with comforting words and healing acts. And in the weeks and months ahead, bless them with a passion for seeking justice and building a better world.

May your light shine on all of us who are saddened and sickened by the news of this act of violence. We suffer from afar as we hear about this on our TVs, and read about it on our computers and in our newspapers. In our own work of processing this event, Holy God, bless us with enough hope to work for a better world, enough grace to respect diversity, and enough frustration to reject acts of violence and homophobia in our world.

May your light shine on the murderer, Omar Mateen, whose darkness overcame his light. Perhaps he had a long history of perverse decision making. Perhaps his family history was painful. Perhaps his social life was conflictual. Perhaps his mental health was compromised. Perhaps his community of support was of little support. Perhaps he was impacted by a twisted form of radical religion. Whatever darkness overtook this man, may there be a way for light to peek through so nobody has to experience this level of darkness again.

May your light shine on the friends and family of the murderer – who may be asking questions for which there are no easy answers. May their sadness, anger, guilt, and shame be accepted by those around them, as they process this situation. And someday, may they be able to see and know that light does shine in the darkness - and the darkness will not overcome it.

And may your light shine on the politicians, clergypersons, political pundits, and shock jocks who fill the culture with prejudice, division, and incivility. There’s no such thing as a lone gunman – and sometimes polemic, prejudiced words are enough to tip the balance of an already imbalanced person. Yet the people who fill our society with this kind of darkness need light, too. So, Loving God, through your light, may they see the damage that their words do to the civil discourse in our world. And may their hearts be softened, their words be tempered, and their styles of engagement be changed, so that their leadership positions can be used in the service of fostering a more civil, compassionate, and peaceful world.

Even in the midst of this tragedy, may we hold onto the hope that your light will continue to shine forth in the darkness until we are able to boldly proclaim, with the author of Isaiah, “Arise, shine; for our light has come, and the glory of God has risen within us.” And may that light show us the way to work for a better world for all people. Amen.

This prayer is based on Isaiah 60:1-2.