Body-Mind-Spirit - Part 6

Illumining insights into the body-mind-spirit connection

OUR INNER RUNNING definitely helps us in our outer running. Through prayer and meditation, we can develop intense will power, and this will power can help us do extremely well in our outer running.

Meditation is stillness, calmness, quietness, while the running consciousness is all dynamism. Again, the runner's outer speed has a special kind of poise or stillness at its very heart. An airplane travels very fast, yet inside the plane we feel no movement at all. It is all tranquility, all peace; and this inner tranquility we can bring to our outer life. In fact, the outer life, the outer movement, can be successful only when it comes from the inner poise. If there is no poise, then there can be no successful outer movement. Poise is an unseen power, and this unseen power is always ready to come to the aid of the outer runner.

Sri Chinmoy practices his sprint start

THE PRESENCE OF ALL the great athletes at the Olympics represents a great opportunity. When an athlete has to compete with the rest of the world, there is every opportunity and possibility that he will transcend his own capacities. This is what is of paramount importance, and not whether he defeats others or not.

The Olympic Games

God, the Author of all good, will be extremely pleased with the athlete only when he transcends his own capacities. We are all God's children, God's creation. If one of His children transcends himself, then the Father will be the happiest person. But if one member of the family defeats another member and gets joy while the other person becomes miserable, then where is the Father's joy? If we are one with the rest of the world, then we feel joy in others' joy and their sorrow is also our sorrow. But most of us have not yet attained that consciousness. So it is always advisable for the athlete to keep in mind that he is competing with his own previous record.

If he can transcend his own achievement, then it will be a true gain and a true achievement for the whole world. What is of paramount importance is the individual's attitude. The athlete has to feel that he is establishing a new record not for his own glory but in order to increase the capacity and improve the standard of the world.

The winning athlete has to feel that he is representing all of humanity. Then, with a devoted and soulful heart, if he can soulfully offer his achievement to the Supreme Athlete, his Source, at that time he is doing absolutely the right thing. The Olympic athlete should feel that he is a member of the world-family, and his goal should be his own continuous progress. If he can continually transcend his own achievements, he is bound to achieve satisfaction, for progress is nothing short of satisfaction. The two go always together.

Olympic Torch

If he cares only for success, then even if he succeeds he will not get abiding joy. For in the twinkling of an eye he will look around and see his achievements being shattered here or elsewhere. But his own progress is like a seed that eventually becomes a sapling and then a giant banyan tree which will give him a continuous sense of satisfaction. When he is progressing, at that time he is growing, he is glowing and, like a river, he is constantly flowing to his Vastness-Source, the Sea of Oneness.

WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU need to bring forward from your inner life while you are running? The first one is enthusiasm. Who embodies enthusiasm? A little child. Who can be more enthusiastic than a child? He enters into a garden and runs here and there, here and there, appreciating everything that he sees. Then, in addition to enthusiasm, you need eagerness. Again, who has more eagerness than a little child? If he plays with a toy, he is so eager, his whole world is the toy. If you can feel that you are a five-year-old or six-year-old child, tiredness will not come into your mind. A child does not know what tiredness is. He knows only enthusiasm and eagerness.

Child running

EVERY DAY when you run, you have to feel that it is a golden opportunity to appreciate the One who is inspiring you. Always you have to feel that the Supreme is inspiring you to run this longer than the longest distance. Somebody is begging you, urging you, to do the right thing. Again, when you agree and say, "Yes, I will do it," then that Somebody Himself runs in and through you. When you run, if you offer the prayer, "God, please make me a good runner. I want to make progress this time in my running," then this is a good prayer. At that time God Himself will become a good runner inside you. When you think of the long distance, try to imagine that it is something to play with. Do not think of distance as something you will cover. Do not think that you will be tired, you will be exhausted or you will die. You have to take running as a game you like to play.

Sri Chinmoy sprinting

AN ATHLETE IS already an artist. An artist is he who has disciplined his life to discover the one Truth that manifests itself in various ways. With this discipline he expresses the beauty of life, reveals the duty of life and brings to the fore the Will of God. So, from the beginning, the artist must have a sense of discipline. The athlete already has a sense of discipline – the discipline of the body. The discipline of the physical consciousness is of paramount importance, for the physical discipline takes a very long time to achieve. Through prayer and meditation we can easily discipline the psychic consciousness, the mental consciousness and the vital consciousness. But it takes a very long time to discipline the physical consciousness, because the physical in us is like a mischievous monkey. It takes a very long time to establish a disciplined peace in our physical consciousness. So the athlete who has achieved this discipline in his outer life is undoubtedly an artist from the spiritual point of view.

Sri Chinmoy doing hill work

THE BEST QUALITY in the spiritual life is not to hesitate once you know your goal. But even if you do not know your goal, it is good to run. God's Compassion will dawn just because you are running, because you are on the move. Once you feel that your goal is not where you are, that your goal is somewhere ahead of you, then you have to run. And if you run, eventually you are bound to reach your goal. YOU GET MORE satisfaction from your training than from your racing because when you train, you have more oneness with your inner life, which embodies infinite satisfaction. When you race, you are competing with others because you want to defeat them. The challenging spirit that comes in competition quite often suffers from anxiety, worry, doubt, hesitation and despair. When you are just practising, however, you are performing before the most intimate members of your family – your body, vital, mind, heart and soul. In fact, these intimate members of your own being are practising and performing with you, in you and for you. It is totally a family entertainment. While practising, you are consciously working to transcend your capacities.

At that time, you are listening to the message of the ever-transcending Beyond, and this message itself is complete satisfaction. But when you compete against others, you are more concerned with victory than with self-transcendence. Naturally, at that time hesitation, anxiety and doubt have a free access to your heart and mind, and you do not and cannot have satisfaction.


Body-Mind-Spirit - Part 5

Body-Mind-Spirit - Part 7


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