June 27: Everything Is New

Sometime late this morning Yuri Trostenyuk will run past the  731 mile mark.  It is possible that he might not even be aware when this special moment takes place.  Certainly the counter who is carefully writing down all his lap times may not understand its significance.  Yet whether it is celebrated, or recognized, or simply sweeps by in the great cavalcade of attained mileage, today a 49 year old Ukrainian runner will have past one of the great milestones of his running career.

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In the great scheme of things it has been his dream just to be here.  He has undertaken a great pilgrimage in his life just to make it to the starting line.  He has trained long and hard to be fit and ready.  He has competed at similar but shorter events to understand just how to focus, how to pace, and how to tolerate pain and fatigue like few mortals ever have to endure.

In a 10 day race more than a year ago he ran 731 miles and then got to sit beside the track and marvel at what he had accomplished.  Today, when he passes 731 miles, his journey will in some ways have just begun, for still before him now are many more thousands of miles yet to go.

When I ask him what it means to him to transcend his previous best distance.  “It seems like I will go beyond.  It is newness.  Newness of feelings.  Newness of life.  Everything is new.  Newness of joy.”

At the start of the race in 2007 Sri Chinmoy spontaneously composed a poem about his beloved 3100 mile race.  The runners were standing in front of him. At first he was meditating silently and powerfully and then began to speak these words.

Photo by Jowan 2007

Photo by Jowan 2007

Longest self giving journey

Heaven’s brightest smile

Earth’s proudest embrace

God’s Newest Victory Discovery

Listen to Audio:

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This 3100 mile Self Transcendence race, like many, if not all the spiritually significant and illumining things that Sri Chinmoy created in his lifetime, are difficult if not impossible to fully comprehend.  We can never precisely know why he did these things and then again,  what their impact will be on this world of ours, long into the future.  You can look at these precious words and for a moment and then get quickly tangled up trying to understand exactly what he meant by them.  But the nature and workings of a great spiritual master like Sri Chinmoy are not easily deciphered. Our hearts however can more easily embrace and accept their significance.

Analysis can take you some distance forward, but then you can stumble when you simply realize just how far beyond limited humanity Sri Chinmoy’s vision, his tireless service, and all his incredible manifestations really were. What actually becomes clearer, as we try and crack the significance of his life, is that we then actually discover just how limited we can see our own lives to be.  How little we seem to be able to accomplish at changing our own fates, particularly when we identify ourselves too closely with the confined dimensions of the materiel world. It is at this point that we can then choose the path that will realize and fulfill our heart’s inner cry.

photo by Jowan 2007

photo by Jowan 2007

Sri Chinmoy however was not bound up by this world or by anything other than the will of the Supreme.   His divine vision was always pointing out and guiding us to the unhorizoned reality of the golden shore from where we all came from.  Also the place that continually beckons us and eagerly awaits our return.

For me the easiest way to understand anything about this race is to simply to run beside Yuri this morning and listen to his words.  Allow myself to be swept up by his boundless enthusiasm for this difficult task that he is gladly and willingly doing here.  A man who is so enthralled and excited about what he has set out accomplish, right here on this little loop in Queens.

A runner, like all the others in this race,  who are all bravely pressing back the boundaries of the impossible.  12 who are accomplishing so much with their commitment and self sacrifice.   How with each mile run they draw ever closer to the glowing reality of their own self transcendence.  Accomplishing a task  which Sri Chinmoy revealed to them in their own hearts, and who is now showing them how to reach and rise up towards their own perfection

So many mundane but important things have to be done each morning

pre-camp

Pranjal the first to arrive

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Ashprihanal attending to his feet

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Vasu dealing with an unfortunate acquaintance he has met before.

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Something a little prettier to see

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Start

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“Everything surprises me.”  Yuri is now into his 12th day here.  “This race is very deep inside me.  The main thing is how it is inside me and not outwardly.”

I say that there are many times when he looks like a little boy.  “In the depths of our heart there is a little child, and when we feel him inside our heart than everybody can see us look like a child.”

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At other times I tell him he looks like a warrior.  “Deep inside we feel peace and light and many other divine qualities.  But in this race I sometimes feel almost as though I am like one of the 300 Spartans.  Just 300 soldiers stopped the entire Persian army at Thermopylae.  Very often I feel that the 12 runners here are stopping a sea of ignorance and they are going forward to stop it.  An army which has no chance.”

wide-yuri

He feels, “that the ignorance is not just inside me but also in the world as well.  These bad qualities, jealousy, aggressiveness, pride.  But we have divine qualities.  Kindness and goodness, oneness and joy.  We know that Sri Chinmoy’s realization, his dream about peace and harmony will one day take place all over the world.”

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He feels glad that he is able to keep a close connection with friends and family in Vinnitsa.  “I feel a very deep connection and support with them.  When I pray I feel a connection not only with my native town.  For many years I have prayed and meditated in the morning about this track.  I felt love, peace, and joy from all the people in the USA, and New York.  Now when I feel NY and its people and I feel a very deep support from this country and its people.”

“In the inner world there is only connection and oneness.”

Yuri2

He says that he was very fortunate to have seen Sri Chinmoy in person 5 times.  The first time was in Warsaw in 1997.  Then again in St Petersburg and Moscow.  “I received prasad from his hands.”

“In 2008 I came to the 10 day race.  I went to Rupantar to Sri Chinmoy’s house with Rupantar to pick up things for the Madal circus.  A year earlier Sri Chinmoy offered his love and prasad at this place.  Now this house was empty. When we came back here to get prasad that same year there was a big photo of Sri Chinmoy and at its feet was his dog.”

yuri13

“I felt that this dog was breathless.  Suddenly I heard another dog nearby begin to bark.  Suddenly Sri Chinmoys dog reacted.  I saw Sri Chinmoy’s shoes, a towel and other things nearby.  Then I felt this powerful energy inside me that was very loving.  At this I started to cry.”

“At this moment it began to rain.  I thought this is fine, now nobody will see my tears.  Then suddenly inside my heart I heard a voice.  It said to me, ‘why do you cry?’  I felt strongly that this was Sri Chinmoy’s voice speaking to me.  I also felt his smile and his answer was, ‘I haven’t left.  I am always for you in your heart.  Stop crying and smile please.  Sri Chinmoy’s presence is always with me now in my heart, and as time passes it only increases.   So now I try and fulfill his request to smile.  I live and smile.”

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Much thanks to Vera for her translation

Yuri with the poem of the day

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Vera translating the day’s prayer into Russian

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The morning has a few sprinkles of rain

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Vasu still doing well

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The morning stays bright

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Surasa had a little bit of an off day with 107 laps but no problems

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Pranjal maintains his pace

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He know how to give looks and how to run

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The birthday girl Nidhruvi had a good day of running yesterday.

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She wants to show her birthday card signed by everybody

nidhruvi-and-b-card

Sopan and Ashprihanal having fun

sopan-and-ashprihanal

Sarvagata has a special visitor this morning who will not be here long.

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Savadhara, Sarvagata’s sister is here for only a day and a half. (laughs) This is the 3rd time that she has been able to visit the race and her brother.  She is not concerned with the mileage numbers beside his name.  “I don’t think it is very important.”

“The thing that is important is to be here.”

sarvagata-family4

For quite a few years now she has spent a great deal of time translating this blog into Russian so that it can be shared with all those in Oneness Dream Boat Shore.  “The most important thing about the translation of this is that if I want to translate it properly.  I need some time to enter into the day.  Into these pictures, because after work when I come home, and I start to read, it is just difficult to enter into the race.”

sarvagata-and-sarvadharaSo usually before I start to translate I need a half hour.  Just reading, just looking at photos, and only then can I start translating.  So for me it means that here is a totally different world.  To enter this world you need time.”

She describes that for most people it is impossible to describe what is happening here.  If you have never been here and enter into the full consciousness of the race it is impossible.

In a few hours she will be leaving and I wonder if she ever gets concerned about her brother.  “I don’t worry.  I think everything is under a special protection here.  Everything will be alright.  Everything is a life experience.”

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Sarah and few friends, a Koala and a Kiwi

sarah-and-toys

She had a good solid day of 111 laps

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Ashprhanal had another great day of 128 laps

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He had the most laps with 128

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Baladev has a fighting chance

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Atmavir has the lead still by 31 miles

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Ananda Lahari and Vasu singing

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The sun and all its glory

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Ananda Lahari radiating as always

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Helpers finding something to smile about.

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Sarvagata and Sarvakamya recite today’s poem

sarvagata-and-sarvakamya

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prayer

Enthusiasm Awakeners

parvati

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I SHALL GIVE YOU EVERYTHING

I shall give you a chance
If you will take a chance.
I shall give you a new life
If you will take a new life.
I shall give you everything you need,
But it is you who have to take it from me.
In your cheerful acceptance-light
Is your life’s perfection-manifestation.

Sri Chinmoy, Transcendence-Perfection, Agni Press, 1975

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2 Comments to “June 27: Everything Is New”

  1. Francesco says:

    300 thank you!

  2. nirmala says:

    Enthusiasm means

    striking achievements.

    Never lose enthusiasm!

    Never allow your enthusiasm to depart,

    Even when disappointment forces you

    To your life’s rock bottom.

    Excerpt from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 128 by Sri Chinmoy.

    with gratitude to all, the entries are all super.

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