Sunday, January 4, 2009

Run A Mile

Run A Mile
As the New Year 2009 begins and we all try to feel a sense of newness and perhaps some personal transformation, we tend to think of resolutions or promises we can make to ourselves to change for the better. Trying to become more fit or healthier through diet, exercise, meditation, and other healthy activities is a very popular way to at least start the year.
I would suggest for those who choose fitness as one of their goals to try to get into the habit of going outside every day or most days, even colder days, and walk or jog if you can, for a specified amount of time. Starting with ten minutes, if you are a beginner, then increasing it after a week or so, you will see immediate results that will be very personally satisfying.
I am not a doctor who can tell you all the physical benefits this will have on your health, but there are many. Mentally and psychologically the benefits will be evident to you as you begin to become less stressed and more relaxed in body and spirit. Spiritually there will be an opportunity to have moments of deep reflection and even a dynamic meditation as you can move in a mantric-like fashion with a steady stride and calm mind.
For those who like to think while exercising, you may find that you will have the most creative thoughts while running or walking. Problem solving may come more naturally when the body is in motion instead of statically stuck in front of a computer or television screen.
For those who like to run or even walk a mile or more for whatever personal reasons, it is also helpful to remember how much Sri Chinmoy loved running and loved to see people run, no matter what the distance. For those who are more interested in the physical health benefits of walking and running there are many books by experts on the subject. But for spiritual benefits and inspiration, Sri Chinmoy was truly a Master and expert both from the inner and outer perspective. His book, ‘The Outer Running and the Inner Running’ offers endless wisdom and extremely helpful advice and inspiration for seeker-runners who wish to make genuine progress both in their spiritual lives and in their outer lives.
In this short excerpt from the introduction one can see how success and progress both can be achieved from running:
“The outer running is a burning desire to achieve everything that we see here on earth. The inner running is a climbing aspiration to receive from Above a vast compassion-sky and to give from below a tiny gratitude-flame.
The outer running is an extraordinary success on the mountain-summit. The inner running is an exemplary progress along Eternity's sunlit Road. Success is the ready and immediate acceptance of the challenges from difficulties untold. Progress is the soulful and grateful acceptance of the blessingful joy from prosperities unfathomed.”
Sri Chinmoy also offered advice and inspiration for running through poetry and songs.
In this now famous poem which became a popular running song as well, Sri Chinmoy offers meaningful advice on running and its inevitable result:
“Run and Become,
Become and Run,
Run to succeed
In the outer world.
Become to proceed
In the inner world.”

Whether it is with poetry, music, or just running itself, we all have to be motivated to get out and transform our own lives for the better. There is no better time than the present to do so, whether it is the start of a new year or just the beginning of a new day or even a new moment.

So find yourself a good running book such as ‘The Outer Running And The Inner Running’
Then get a good pair of running shoes and go outside to enjoy the moment in motion.
Here is one more poem for those who want to cover a mile or eventually attempt to run a marathon or beyond. But no matter how long or how much you wish to move and go forward, there will always be something good waiting for you at the ‘finish line.’ Try it and see for yourself.

This short poem is for anyone who loves to run from a mile to a multiday. In a few short lines I tried to embody the essence of each distance, simply and sweetly. If anyone else get inspiration from their running to write poetry I would encourage them to share that creative urge with us. Also encouraged are any of Sri Chinmoy’s poems about running or any other author that inspires your involvement in this uniquely personal sport.
Run A Mile
Run a mile.
You will acquire a smile.
Run 26.2 miles.
You will smile for days.
Run for days.
Your smile will earn
His Heavenly Gaze.