June 20 Best Place to Be

pranab bikescore boardHis arrival this morning is both equal parts, a surprise and to be expected.  Pranab has not recorded any miles or covered any laps for 2 days prior to yesterday.  One cannot say that, either he is cured of his rash or, that it is getting any worse.

Yesterday he ran a very respectable 57 miles.  As the day begins he is 200 miles behind Ashprihanal and more than 70 behind the next to last runner.





pranab rupantarpranab tableRupantar inspects his condition and gives him the go ahead to go on for another day.  Many might not understand why he perseveres, when clearly no one would blame him for just giving up.  He has, in every respect, just begun his journey, and has 2860 miles to go.  Yet to surrender to defeat is not in the heart of these champions.  Their journey here is so much more than the sum of the miles run.  The intensity of the experience here is like no other just as there is no other race even remotely like it.  To be on the course with them is to feel just a fragment of the powerful, and the divine forces, which push and call them onward.  What will happen to Pranab in the next few days and miles is anyone’s guess.  Just as it is impossible to ponder the experiences that will arrive, and both bless and challenge all the others.  For all of them there is no surrender to failure.  Only surrender to the light that burns most powerfully within them all.

start

My morning begins

And I give God

My smiling heart of newness,

While God gives me

His dancing Breath of Fullness.

Excerpt from My Morning Begins by Sri Chinmoy.

June 19 As It Is

bannerAsprihanal …………….66…367

Puhkar………………….64…351

Petr……………………..63…337

Grahak…………………62…324

Ananda-Lahar………..50…323

Pranjal…………………58…323

Diganta………………..56…319

Vladmir………………..56…308

Suprabha……………..54…293

Purna-Samarpan……47…271

Stutisheel…………….50…262

Pranab…………………0…183

ashprhanal yawnrupantar laugh

 

The long day of rain is at last over, and though the day does not dawn bright it is dry and there are bright hints in the sky that the sun will come.  The totals on the board today show what power the rain really has over the mileage.  On average, most of the runners totals are 3 to 4 miles less than the day before.  For the first time in 5 days Asprhanal ran less than 70 miles, and yes he is tired.  Rupantar finds humor perhaps easier than he can find counters for the entire day.

 

 

rupantar and haripranab chairThe hard and unavoidable truth about the race is that injuries will inevitably come to most all who attempt the 3100.  Both Pranab and Ananda Lahari have run the race 4 times.  Today Ananda Lahari is having some problems and Pranab’s future in the this years race is unclear.  He has not run for 2 days because of his allergies.  He has swelling and a rash that was getting worse every day.  Today he will walk a little.  Rupantar tells him explicitly no running or race walking.  Another Doctor is coming in a few hours.

 

 

 

 


My morning begins

start

And I hear my Lord telling my heart

That He wants to entrust my heart

With His birthless and deathless

Cosmic Duties.

Excerpt from My Morning Begins by Sri Chinmoy. Read the rest of this entry »

June 18 Living 100%

boarddiganta bikeStrange unreal shapes splash their way down the dim streets of a wet, and getting much wetter, Queens neighborhood.  You can feel that the rain, heavy and ominous, is soon going to sweep with even more relentless power across the city.   For many this imminent deluge would squash flat all sparks of brightness with its soggy gloom.  Yet the rain will never succeed in its quest.  Just as the cauldron summer days, which will surely soon come, succeed,in defeating the 3100 mile runners.





purna bikepetrPetr exemplifies this morning the indominatable spirit of those who run.  He ran 64 miles yesterday and is doing well. All the little jobs the runners attend to are much harder to accomplish in this weather. Purna-Samarpan is just 2 days away from completing more miles than he has ever run before.  He has just performed a very elegant laundry handoff to Rupantar without slowing down.pranjal shavingstart

My morning begins

And I see that my poor God

Is amazed at the endless confusion

Of my mind,

And my proud God

Is amazed at the endless supplication

Of my heart.

Excerpt from My Morning Begins by Sri Chinmoy. Read the rest of this entry »

June 17 Joy, as Much as You Can

boardpranab on bikeHe arrives looking strong and upbeat but all is not well with Pranab Vladovic.  In last years race, which was his 4th, he set a personal best.  A physical ailment however has been relentlessly shadowing him for the past year.  In 2008 he lost a full day to it and still came back and set a personal record.  His skin rash, and accompanying swelling are making demands on his physical well being that appear to compromise his chances of continuing.

A nurse is coming to see him in a short while but it is pranab and footpavelclear that the allergic reaction, which he feels is caused by the sun, is getting worse every day.  He ran only 45 miles yesterday. Nobody wants to see anything like this happen to any of the runners who have sacrificed so much to come and particpate.  It is a small family, these 13 runners.  They share the same road and the same goal.  By helping one another they proceed on, hopefully to transcend themselves on every level.  For now he is preparing to go out and run a full day.






pushkarvaldyOther runners are still arriving.  Pushkar, had his own problems last year but seems to be doing extremely well this time.  He has 218 miles and ran 68 miles yesterday putting him in second.

Vlady, who is  a first timer ran 58 miles yesterday and has 192.







bannervajra

The serious business of setting up.








start

My morning begins

And I immediately want to hear

What God is saying.

I hear Him repeating

Again and again:

“I need only one thing-

A satisfaction-world!”

Excerpt from My Morning Begins by Sri Chinmoy.

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June 16 Where Dreams Come True

boardmorning bikeIt is the beginning of day 3 and already the routine and rhythm of the 3100 mile race is beginning to feel solidly in place.

Those who come early come early and those who have a more relaxed concept of time arrive the best they can.



clock and board morning


Technology ,in the insidious guise of accurate time, keeping snuck into the race last year.  It looks like a simple clock.  Of course it is anything but simple this suprabha at tablelittle plastic box from space.  It is actually called an Atomic clock and it pulls the exact time from distance pulses that have no heart and cannot be bent or swayed.  The runners of course listen to much different signals.  That have very little to do with technology, or space, or distant worlds and distant thoughts.



garhak at tablepranab morningThere are always the mundane and routine tasks in the morning.  ashprihanal and shoeA shoe made ready, a supplement taken for a little boost, sun block applied for a day that may not be sunny but in the bright days of June, being out all day in the sun is a real concern.  And yes working on feet, protecting feet, making feet happy.


startMy morning begins

And I immediately try to see

What God is doing.

What do I see?

I see Him weaving and weaving

And enlarging and enlarging

His Heart’s Compassion-Net.

from My Morning Begins by Sri Chinmoy. Read the rest of this entry »

June 15 At Least Once in My Life

boardIvlady and biket has been a very good first day for all the runners in the 3100 mile race.  The board shows a promising start to the great race, but the weather on this, the second day is not sharing the same bright optimism.  It is cool and the rain comes and goes and comes again with unpredictable moodiness.  The faces of the arriving runners however does not reflect any  disappointment in nature’s daunting damp display. Vlady starts his second day with a very respectable 72 miles






Snapshot 2009-06-15 20-37-46A year ago, Steve Hartman, a reporter from an American television network did a story on the race.  It was near the end of the 3100 and I asked him what he thought about the race after having spent a day with the runners.  He said, “How would you even start on a journey like this.  What motivates people to take that first step?  If I was at 2900 miles I could try and finish it.  But I can’t see how they can take the first step.  That seems like the hardest.”

Of course there is not easy answer for a question such as this.  Each who have come here seem to have left any fears and doubts behind them.  They are burdens, much to cumbersome to carry in your heart for 3100 miles, much less for a life time.







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June 14 The Beginning of the Great Journey

Snapshot 2009-06-14 22-20-15In 2007 Sri Chinmoy came to his beloved Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race for the last time.  It is a unique and sacred creation of his, this, the longest race in the World.  Yet his life was all about inspiring his students and the world around us all.  It demonstrates clearly that we all can reach higher and travel further, beyond our perceived limitations.  The race is not for everyone, but in it, for everyone who identifies with its lofty message of Self-Transcendence there is a heart felt truth that we all can go beyond and beyond.

Sri Chinmoy at start of 2007 race

click to play




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June 13 Tomorrow it Begins

groupIt is Saturday afternoon in New York and a group of friends are having some pizza.  As I watch these runners sitting here so calm and relaxed I am amazed.  This is the last time they will have the opportunity to partake of even such a simple pleasure as this.  Tomorrow their lives will change so dramatically it will be almost beyond recognition.  Tomorrow there will be no time for absolutely any form of leisure, there will be only thoughts of completing the next lap, and then the one after that.  Tomorrow these 13 runners will embark upon the longest race in the world, The Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race.



purna-samarpanHe doesn’t remember when he first thought about running the 3100, but tomorrow he will really understand first hand the challenge of running the Self-Transcendence race.  Purna-Samarpan from Hamburg Germany is one of 2 first timers in this years race and up until now he has never been in a race longer than 6 days, which he did just over a year ago here in New York. Comments Pt 1

He says, “I got this feeling I should start it, but I am not really sure when.” When he first had the experience he felt that he was just too young to try.  When he looked at those who were doing the events they were all much older than him.  He instead focused at the time training for the Ironman event which he first did in 2002.Comments pt 2

In that same year he was also here in New York for the start of the 3100 mile race.  At that time he felt a strong impression that one day he would come back and participate himself.  In 2008 he felt that the urge to participate was growing stronger.  He applied but was not accepted and was happy purna-samarpan-3nonetheless.  Instead he would run the 6 day race that year and run 305 miles.  He says of it, “it was one of the best weeks of my life, I really enjoyed it a lot.”Comments pt 3

In January of 2009 he first got word that he was accepted for this years race and says, “I was kind of thrilled.”  He describes an inner experience he says that he felt came from his soul.  In preparation he has run 15 marathons just since the first of the year and 4 or 5 ultra races.

I ask him to explain how he understands the inner call, he says, “I think many people have the feeling but maybe they don’t know where it comes from or whether they should listen to it.”  About this race, “But I got a tremendous joy when I thought about doing the 3100.  Outwardly it might be a little hard but still I have the joy inside.”Comments pt 4







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The Garland of Divinity’s Love moves

p1030484p1030485Flowers are perhaps the most beautiful of all of nature’s offerings.  Beautiful and yet at the same time fragile and fleeting.  Stores that sell them however we consider in quite a different light.  Kanan’s flower store, Garland of Divinity’s Love has been at its Parsons Blvd location for longer than most people can remember.  Even Kanan himself scratches his head when asked to remember when he first opened up its location there.

p1030429p1030495For the last year that particular block of Parsons blvd has been through a lot and then some.  There were problems with a building near by, that were not going be fixed, neither simply and easily, or more importantly, anytime soon.  Scaffolding hanging overhead had made his shop look dark and gloomy for many months. It was also very hard to park.  The Health food store and the Stationary store had already moved months earlier.




p1030428On the last weekend in May a most surprising, though not unexpected, event took place.  The Garland of Divinity’s Love picked up its roots, its pots, its petals, and everything else and moved.

p1030488





p1030438Its new location is next to the Laundromat, around the corner from the Greek Deli.  When Kanan moved in on May the 25th things were a bit of a jumble, as could be expected.  The old sign overhead had yet to be taken down.  There was some wording on the glass in front however that somehow provided a little comfort and encouragement to this big change for Kanan and to the neighborhood.

p1030440Progress

 

 

 

 

 

p1030448For the students of Sri Chinmoy it would be hard to imagine the Parsons blvd. block without The Garland of Divinity’s Love.   Whether they lived in Queens, or just visited from far away, all at one time or another have come to Kanan’s shop to purchase some flowers.  And even if they were not in New York they would call and fax his shop to buy a flower, a bouquet, or an arrangement which would then be offered to Sri Chinmoy with gratitude.  For birthdays, for celebrations, for anniversaries you name it, in the spiritual life flowers always find a place to brighten and inspire people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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