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Tuesday, September 26, 2017



GYM: THE NEW CHURCH : Linda Mary Montano 2017

"Love, safety, belongingness and respect from other people are almost panaceas for the situational disturbances and even for some of the mild character disturbances. " Abraham Maslow.

It's a given that community is a need, necessity and path to health. Early peoples gathered around fires to stay safe and warm, knowing they needed each other to survive, to get fed, to live another day. Conversely we think we need nothing, we need no one because we buy our GMO food, buy our disgruntled friends, we retreat to our caves with our  iPhone-family but although we think we have it all, deep down there is a biological need to Actually congregate, check in with each other and perform choreographed rituals of inclusion.

A ritual "is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence".[1] Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterized but not defined by formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, and performance.
Rituals are a feature of all known human societies. They include not only the worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but also rites of passage, atonement and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies, coronations and presidential inaugurations, marriages and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations, club meetings, sporting events, Halloween parties, veterans parades, Christmas shopping and more. Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes, such as jury trials, execution of criminals, and scientific symposia,[citation needed] are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, and thus partly ritualistic in nature. Even common actions like hand-shaking and saying hello may be termed rituals.

We might ask, "Where can we get this need for belongingness met?" In the July 6, 2017 issue of Catholic New York, it was noted that 17 Catholic Churches were "relegated" as no longer sacred sites but could be used for profane but not sordid activities. That is, they could be leased, sold or assumed by another Christian denomination. This is not the time, place or venue to ponder why so many Catholic churches are no longer in use, no longer needed. You know the answers, I'm not saying. So maybe we could divert our gaze from that conversation to the GYM: The New Church of the Millennials. 

A gym, also referred as gymnasium, is an open air or covered location for gymnastics, athletics, and gymnastic services. The word is derived from the ancient Greek gymnasium. They are commonly found in athletic and fitness centers, and as activity and learning spaces in educational institutions. "Gym" is also slang for "fitness center", which is often an indoor facility.
Gymnasia apparatus such as barbells, parallel bars, jumping board, running path, tennis-balls, cricket field, fencing area, and so forth are used as exercises. In safe weather, outdoor locations are the most conducive to health. Gyms were popular in ancient Greece. Their curricula included Gymnastica militaria or self-defense, gymnastica medica, or physical therapy to help the sick and injured, and gymnastica athletica for physical fitness and sports, from boxing to dancing.
These gymnasia also had teachers of wisdom and philosophy. Community gymnastic events were done as part of the celebrations during various village festivals. In ancient Greece there was a phrase of contempt, "He can neither swim nor write." After a while, however, Olympic athletes began training in buildings just for them. Community sports never became as popular among ancient Romans as it had among the ancient Greeks. Gyms were used more as a preparation for military service or spectator sports. During the Roman Empire, the gymnastic art was forgotten. In the Dark Ages there were sword fighting tournaments and of chivalry; and after gunpowder was invented sword fighting began to be replaced by the sport of fencing. There were schools of dagger fighting and wrestling and boxing.
Is it all Louise Hay's fault? Did her voluminous self-help tomes make pastors/priests/deacons/saints of us all?  Did she give us keys to a new way of touching the Source/The Higher Power by showing us how to reach into our own Divine Soul via looking into a mirror and worshipping the self? And what better place to do this than a GYM! That's where these newly installed goddesses/gods maintain their inexhaustible energy/courage/gusto/chi/ki/strength/divine fabulousness. Ta dahhhh, at THE CHURCH OF THE GYM!  This building of sweat-aholics provides  some 15 hours a day  access to bikes/weights/rowing machines/classes/and all this for a pittance when compared to what you might be expected to tithe at real churches. In comparison, the gym-church is a bargain.

A tithe (/ˈtð/; from Old English: teogoþa "tenth") is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products. Several European countries operate a formal process linked to the tax system allowing some churches to assess tithes.
Traditional Jewish law and practice has included various forms of tithing since ancient times. Orthodox Jews commonly practice ma'aser kesafim (tithing 10% of their income to charity). In modern Israel, Jews continue to follow the laws of agricultural tithing, e.g., ma'aser rishon, terumat ma'aser, and ma'aser sheni. In Christianity, some interpretations of Biblical teachings conclude that although tithing was practiced extensively in the Old Testament, it was never practiced or taught within the first-century Church. Instead, the New Testament scriptures are seen as teaching the concept of "freewill offerings" as a means of supporting the church.



  1. The passive-aggressive instructor who unnecessarily turns on cold air AC to blow on already raynauded/agitated and  stumbling  seniors in the class.  How to cure? Send Tonglen to the instructor and all of the shivering/suffering elders.


Tonglen (Tibetan: གཏོང་ལེན་Wylie: gtong len, or tonglen) is Tibetan for 'giving and taking' (or sending and receiving), and refers to a meditation practice found in Tibetan Buddhism.
In the practice, one visualizes taking in the suffering of oneself and of others on the in-breath, and on the out-breath giving recognition, compassion, and succor to all sentient beings. As such it is a training in altruism.
The function of the practice is to:
2. The hardly can walk-with- overdeveloped/ testesteroned/ muscled  instructor who calls the 5 elderly/kephosised/ grey haired elders in his class;  GRANNIES!
How to cure? Send Loving Kindness to him and the women-elders.


Mettā meditation, or often loving-kindness meditation, is the practice concerned with the cultivation of Mettā, i.e. benevolence, kindness and amity. The practice generally consists of silent repetitions of phrases like “may you be happy” or “may you be free from suffering”, for example directed at a person who, depending on tradition, may or may not be internally visualized.


3. The highly developed/bosomed woman instructor who narcissistically enjoys her mammary endowments via the mirrored wall in front of her. We are not there for her. Her body is. How to cure me for even caring?


The Jesus Prayer (Greek: Η Προσευχή του Ιησού, i prosefchí tou iisoú; Syriac: ܨܠܘܬܐ ܕܝܫܘܥ ‎, Amharic, Geez and Tigrinya: እግዚኦ መሐረነ ክርስቶስ,Slotho d-Yeshu' , ) or "The Prayer" (Greek: Η Ευχή, i efchí̱ – literally "The Wish") is a short formulaic prayer esteemed and advocated especially within the Eastern churches:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
The prayer has been widely taught and discussed throughout the history of the Orthodox Church. The ancient and original form did not include the words, "a sinner," which were added later. It is often repeated continually as a part of personal ascetic practice, its use being an integral part of the eremitic tradition of prayer known as Hesychasm (Ancient Greek: ἡσυχάζω, isycházo, "to keep stillness"). The prayer is particularly esteemed by the spiritual fathers of this tradition (see Philokalia) as a method of opening up the heart (kardia) and bringing about the Prayer of the Heart (Καρδιακή Προσευχή). The Prayer of The Heart is considered to be the Unceasing Prayer that the apostle Paul advocates in the New Testament. St. Theophan the Recluse regarded the Jesus' Prayer stronger than all other prayers by virtue of the power of the Holy Name of Jesus.


4. The Venus of Willendorfed/statuesque/busting out of her Yoga pants instructor who elicits gasps of unexhaled  ecstasy from both male/female/transgendered students who push/shove and sink to the level of rude in order to get their Yoga matt near her "spot" in the front of the class.  Making a purposefull mistake will bring her to you for a correction, I noticed. The cure?


The three poisons (Sanskrit: triviṣa; Tibetan: dug gsum) or the three unwholesome roots (Sanskrit: akuśala-mūla; Pāli: akusala-mūla), in Buddhism, refer to the three root kleshas of Moha (delusion, confusion), Raga (greed, sensual attachment), and Dvesha (aversion, ill will).[1][2] These three poisons are considered to be three afflictions or character flaws innate in a being, the root of Taṇhā (craving), and thus in part the cause of Dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness) and rebirths.

l5. The fictional/non-fictional list goes on:
The Zumba teacher who can't keep/step in time.
The one who once worked at an autistic institute and now loudly barks at us, "smile!"
 The shouting, militaristic/fascistic instructor.
 The one who keeps the music a decibel above causing permanent inner ear damage.
The ex-high school teacher who shouts, incessantly entertains and doesn't like to teach.
The one who can't help making lewdish innuendoes.
The instructor who sweats green under his arms onto his shirt.
The cure?


Athletic and exercise venues of all sorts - schools, colleges, YMCAs, private gyms (such as the Vic Tanny chain), and professional sports teams - acquired Universal Gym machines to supplement or replace free weights.
Zinkin wrote later, "If I'm proud of anything, it's that machine and the fact that there probably isn't one professional athlete in the world who hasn't worked out on a Universal at least once."
Universal also offered single-exercise machines, and smaller units for home use. With its strong brand recognition, Universal also made and sold other fitness equipment, including free weights, weight lifting benches, and machines for cardiovascular exercise.


We cant all have  home gyms and so The local Church of The Gym and training ground for true happiness is for some, the only option. But like all options,  all operas, all dramas, all day to day interactions, it is not only the instructors, the patriarchs in charge, that need a microscopic cleaning, it is us as well . For we, the participants are as tainted, as wrong, as irksome, as bothersome, as lost as our instructor-guides at The Church of the Gym.  We (not I, of course) are a bunch of:

profuse sweaters
in crowders
mean gossipers
off balanced elders
buffed teenagers
energy magnetizers
pushy OCD-ers
water wasting  showerers
bad breathers
stinky  underarmers
maddening mumblers
rude pushers
iPhone abusers
loud mouthers
show offers
mental sabatogers
Yoga class farters
enemy avoiders
equipment ruiners
germ spreaders
bathroom stinkers
silent unforgivers
anorexied dieters
nursing home avoiders
clumbsy seniors
lewd starers
social gabbers
annoying coughers
sloppy dressers
sweaty chair stainers
nipple starers
fierce overachievers
hysterical competitors
chidcare overusers
muscle injurers
cancer survivors
self hurters
tight pants wearers
falling inattentioners
loud gabbers
exhibitionistic winners
non talkers
earbudded listeners
TV watchers
camel toers
medical info traders
nursing home avoiders
millennial flirters
women/men trollers
assisted living preppers
sciaticaed limpers
ailment complainers
teacher butter-uppers
nose blowers
butt leerers
serial socializers
endurance pushers
sex yearners
over extenders
attention demanders
entry cheaters
performance comparers
greedy space takers
bum sweating chair stainers
reckless weight lifters
judgmental non-forgivers
dangerous  weight-bar  droppers
sweat dribblers
equipment bogarters


5. It is inevitable that you might walk into a Gym and witness one of the above displays of WRONG or be one of the above on any given day. But remember at  The Church of the Gym, there is always a cure. Don't bogart!!!!


6.  I often ask myself on my way to the gym how I can practice one of the above get out of jail prayers that I cited earlier? I know that I will see ______________ and she will drive me cray-cray today so I have to say, "Remember to do tonglen, or do metta, or send angels, or at least smile!!!  Be nice, talk nice Linda. " But then I see one of the rules being broken ( see list  above) or I see __________ and I remember, since the age of 7, having to tell my sins every Saturday in that smelly confessional box and these people have to know that I am a sin-detective and I see theirs, that's for sure. Note the list above perchance to see how much I really do see!! Why is that? I wish I could go there, do the sweating, enjoy the scene and leave in gratitude. But having been taught to pay attention to negative patterns at that early age of 7, I am over trained and certainly ready, willing and able, to correct them, not me, for anything they do in and out of the Gym-Church. How I cure my propensity for power.


The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (commonly called Penance, Reconciliation, or Confession) is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church (called sacred mysteries in the Eastern Catholic Churches), in which the faithful obtain absolution for the sins committed against God and neighbour and are reconciled with the community of the Church.[a] By this sacrament Christians are freed from sins committed after Baptism.[1] The sacrament of Penance is considered the normal way to be absolved from mortal sin, by which one would otherwise condemn oneself to Hell.
As Scriptural basis for this sacrament, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "The words bind and loose mean: whomever you exclude from your communion, will be excluded from communion with God; whomever you receive anew into your communion, God will welcome back" (1445; John 20:23).


7.  TO CONCLUDE. I leave the Church of the Gym with new eyes  having seen and confessed all of the sins enacted there. I did it so they don't have to confess or even have to know that they are disruptive and that they are bothering ME!  The coast is clear, air is decontaminated, all is well and I now:

a. KINDLY : SMILE when I smell the underarms of sweaty, teenage young men.
b. KINDLY : SMILE when I see proud mothers guiding 3 year olds, in tutus, into the daycare room.
c.  KINDLY : SMILE when I hear unbearably loud music-sounds coming from the bicycle room.
d. KINDLY : SMILE when I see Bob giving George a hug, congratulating him on the success of his brain surgery.



"All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”  Saint Julian of Norwich


Linda Mary Montano 2017..........May we all be  happy.


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