June 30: The Inner and The Outer

“This race is always about finding the balance between the inner and outer world.   The outer world here is always very very hard.  The running is hard.  Inside you have to find the energy that will get you to continue.  When you start to touch the limits of your physical body, your mind starts to slow down, and it is like entering into meditation.  It is like entering into another world.  It is then that you start to realize many things about yourself.  You find many things inside you which are otherwise much harder to find.”

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40 year old Pranjal Milovnik has completed the 3100 mile race now 8 times and seems comfortably on his way to doing so an 9th time.  When he describes the grueling experience he had in his first race here it is actually hard to imagine just why he bothered to come back.  Yet in nearly every year since then he has continued to improve.  He now runs this race 12 days faster than when he first completed it and yet when you ask if it is important to continue to improve his results, he inevitably responds that he doesn’t care.

It is far from indifference, this dispassionate approach that he has to his outer achievement.  He, like really all the others definitely want to complete the journey here as swiftly as possible.  The more important thing always however for Pranjal, is simply to always do his best.  To leave nothing behind at the end of each day, and commit all that he has and is into this extraordinary adventure.

silouhette-pranjal

For Pranjal, who comes first every day and is usually the last to leave each night, there appears to be no fragment or molecule of life force that he doesn’t offer up here each day.  We can easily measure his progress each day as the numbers continuously expand beside his name.  Today the score board says he has completed 898 miles after 14 days.

But all the inner victories that he has fought and won, and all the precious jewels of discovery that he has uncovered within the secret chambers of his being are always for him alone to enjoy.

Photo by Bhashwar 1979

Photo by Bhashwar 1979

Question: What is the spiritual significance of balance?

Sri Chinmoy: In the spiritual life balance is of paramount importance. When the result of an action elevates our consciousness, we feel that we are running towards our destined Goal. When our inner mounting cry takes us to the loftiest heights, our whole being becomes a sea of delight. But when we don’t have outer success, it doesn’t mean that we are not running toward the Highest. Sometimes defeat is a blessing in disguise. Defeat can be a reality which is secretly preparing us to run the fastest. When undivine thoughts fill our mind, we have to know that they are like passing clouds which will soon disappear. Then our soul will again come to the fore. If we have perfect balance and do not become sad or depressed, at that time we make the fastest progress. We need equanimity of mind in order to make the heart receptive. We need perfect balance in order to achieve real satisfaction.

Sri Chinmoy, Flame Waves, Part 12, Agni Press, 1978

The girls discuss feet care strategies

pre-girls

Yuri arrives

pre-yuri

Start

start

Yuri starts the day strongly.   He has left his previous best distance of 731 miles far behind.  He starts the day in 4th place with 906 miles.

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He has a lot to smile about

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It continues to be hot and humid.  The first week was a luxury compared to now, but it is like this every summer in NY

water

Water of course comes in handy sizes.  Take as much as you can carry.

water-cups

Vasu had an exceptional day yesterday with 122 laps

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In the morning he takes a break to do his exercises

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Nikolay is writing down some stories in Russian that Vasu has recently heard about Sri Chinmoy

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This morning Vajra tells him about some experience that he once had with Sri Chinmoy

vasu-and-vajra3

 

A little toy on Nidhruvi’s table

toy

Teekshanam who will be helping most of the summer is interested in the interesting patterns the numbers sometimes make

teekshanam

Surasa seems to be cheerful every day and also her mileage is incredibly consistent.  Yesterday she ran 112 laps.  I am curious if she notices any or all of the many activities going on around the course, on this a very busy Sunday.  “Yes I notice it.  I like to look at this field, because it is very interesting this sport.” She is referring to the large artificial field which takes up the biggest portion within the perimeter of the course.

surasa3

Sometimes soccer is played here but on Sundays it is always baseball.  “I don’t really understand this sport.  We don’t play this in Europe.  I think it is very interesting and I think it is very hard to play this.”  There are many other sports going on most of the day around the course.  She doesn’t feel distracted by any of it and instead calls the activity dynamic.

fence

Unfortunately on this lower corner of the course arguments happen sometimes but she does pay attention to it.   Just 100 meters along is the children’s playground.  “I like these little kids, they are so nice.  The really small kids.”  At this moment a little boy who can’t be more than 5 is playing in the fountain,  with his mother watching close by.

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“My helpers are great.  I admire Sarah very very much doing this race without a helper.  We (Nidhruvi and her) cared for so good.  Each break they are doing our feet, and everything else that we need.  If you don’t have this then you have to do it all by yourself.  These things are difficult and of course you are loosing a lot of time, so it is great to have helpers.  I am always very very grateful, that my helpers are eager and willing to do it.”

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Vasavi is her helper this morning.  “This is my 4th time.  3 times Surasa and 1 time I helped Dipali.” Of Surasa who is running very well, she says of her, “she is very easy.  No complaints.”

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Drinks are important and so is beauty

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The camp just as the weather is starting to get really hot.  Just a little bit of shade and lots and lots of comfort.

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Atmavir continues to lead and had a tremendous 129 lap day yesterday.

atmavir

Then around noon today he was the first to complete 1000 miles.

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atmavir1000

Ashprihanal will be next to make 1000 sometime tonight.

ashprihanal

Baladev enjoying some baseball

baladev-plays-ball

And then he enjoys working on his feet after a brief break.  He did 104 laps yesterday

baladev-and-van

Sarah turned a page in the story of her race here yesterday.   After having 2 not so good days she ran a very encouraging 111 laps.

sarah2

Pedro works the table

pedro

Then he joins Amayik and Antara Prabhat for a short concert

musicians

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Keeping cool

ice

Keeping moving

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Enthusiasm Awakeners arriving and helping out in other ways.

enthusiasm-awakeners

One flower which doesn’t need any help

flower

Ananda Lahari saw Eklanta yesterday who gave him some help

ananda-lahari

The course is always busy on Sundays

sarvagata

Sarvagata had a good day yesterday with 122 laps.  His best in more than a week.  At first he had a couple of bad days of shin splints and by compensating for the pain he hurt his arch of the other foot.

sarvagata-and-sarvakamya

Visitors dropping by

maral

Rupantar welcomes Petra who is visiting for 10 days

rupantar-and-petra

There is a surprising amount of shade

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Sopan having a rough patch

sopan

Nidhruvi had her hardest day so far  yesterday

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But in the mornings she always has Silvy

nidhruvi-and-silvy2

She also gets a major treatment from Eklanta

eklanta-and-silvy

Eklanta came to help at the race yesterday but has coming most years he says since it started.  “Endurance and determination and all kinds of qualities you need.  So therefore there are few people participating.”

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“The usual problems long distance runners have is mental attitude, and to go with your heart is especially needed here.”  He then lists a number of problems the runners can have here and says it depends on the runner.  “They have a chance to overcome it. They can also gain strength if they have the right attitude.  If they meditate and have the right attitude and everything goes together.  Meditation helps with this, to integrate everything.  Then the whole is working and they can get strength.  It is their opportunity.”

He is an expert in many different forms of natural medical treatment.  In each diagnose of a runner he incorporates them all.  He says that even just a homeopathic remedy can help a runners mental attitude.

eklanta-and-surasa

“Sri Chinmoy initiated this race and his consciousness remains here.”  He describes that each time it is run and with every one contributes in any way adds to this consciousness.  “The runners here now get some benefit from this, and me too. (Laughs)  It is a give and take of everybody here.  It is not only for the runners this race it is for everybody.  They all get special grace from above.  If your are open for it then you realize it.  You get new ideas on how to be more perfect also in the medical field.”

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Nidhruvi has a long and extensive treatment.  Eklanta says she came to the race with longstanding physical problems.  He is confident his treatment will get her back on track.

nidhruvi

Prayer

prayer

Recited by Nidhruvi

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Enthusiasm Awakeners

parvati

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There should be a balance
Between the inner life
     And the outer life.
If not, life fails to succeed.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 25, Agni Press, 2002

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One Comments to “June 30: The Inner and The Outer”

  1. Francesco says:

    Gratitude!

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