June 29… Spiritual Experience

“Last year I was very much a part of it.”

Sopan did not come and physically run the race here last year, but in a unique way he was a big part of Ashprihanal’s tremendous world record experience back then.

“We talked a lot every day on the phone.  But then he helped me and inspired me.  I felt I was part of the race.”

The strain and effort of Ashprihanal’s pursuit of a new world record was tremendous.  The daily phone chats that went on for sometimes hours nearly every night was a great way for Ashprihanal to find a way to sometimes decompress.

This year they need no excuse to chat and find relief from the long hard days that seem to stretch out endlessly in front of them.  The two runners have a very special bond and when you see them running side by side they carry on the kind of effortless banter that is particular to those who are the closes of friends.

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Doing a skit this morning

This is Sopan’s 7th time at the race.  Not that he needed any particular excuse to come this year but certainly the long phone conversations that often took place deep in the New York night helped them both.   “It definitely inspired me.  It helped my training.  I could feel the energy of the race all the time with me.”

Sopan said that the moment the race was over then the energy was no longer there.  “I was on my own, kind of.”

“First of all, the reason I am here is because of the spiritual experience.  Last time when I did the race (2014).  Physically I did not do well.  But because of that I had a very profound spiritual experience.  Because I could focus only on the spiritual.  The physical did not matter anymore. (Sopan did not complete the distance)

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“It made me appreciate more the spiritual side of the race.”

Sopan ran for the first time in 2005 and then came back again in 2006 and ran even faster.  He had the unique opportunity to experience Sri Chinmoy directly encouraging and inspiring the runners.  I ask him how it is for him now that Sri Chinmoy is no longer with us.

“In one way it is different and in another way it is the same.  Because I often think about him and the races I have done with him.  I can almost transport myself back in my mind.  I feel like I am back then when Guru was here.  It actually helps a lot.”

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Sopan ran 59 miles yesterday and with his 10 day total of 604 mile his average is still good.  Putting the finish line square in sight, but of course there is still the issue of an additional 2500 miles in order to get there.

As for goals, Sopan says, “I just take it day by day.  Of course I want to do good, but to me it doesn’t matter.”

“Either way it is okay.  If I run good it is okay for me.  If I am not able to run good it is also okay for me.”

“Of course I would like to finish but that is not everything.”

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An inner experience is the seeker’s
conscious awareness of his Immortality.

An inner experience is the seeker’s
conscious expansion of his Infinity.

An inner experience is the seeker’s
conscious fulfillment of his Eternity.

Sri Chinmoy, Fifty Freedom-Boats to one Golden Shore, part 1, Agni Press, 1974

Dohai notices that Shamita’s total going into day 11 needs to be adjusted

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Shamita arrives with Sanjay’s camera crew

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Volodymyr is currently only walking due to his back problems.

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It is Janos’s birthday today

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The crew is busy

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Baladev drops off his laundry

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Kaneenika getting ready

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Start Day 11

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Due to an oversight Surasa was not picked up.  She arrived shortly afterwards. It did not go unnoticed.

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A beautiful morning at the race

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Once again Vasu is the only one to complete 70 miles

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He has 737 miles

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A gold star effort

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Atmavir ran 68 miles

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Sahishnu handing out emails.

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“Honestly I have been on this raw food diet for a few weeks now but all I ever think about are donuts. hmmmmm donuts.”

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Finding light

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Yuri also ran 68 miles

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He has 701 miles and is 15 miles behind Atmavir

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By the playground

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Ashprihanal ran 65 miles

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He has 682 miles

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Surasa continues to do very well.  She did 66 miles and has 648 miles

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Service road

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Kaneenika did 64 miles

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She has 631 miles

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Some leaves are down

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Shamita did 63 miles

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A different kind of shoe

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She has 620 miles

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She is doing very well

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Counting

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Ananda-Lahari did 51 miles

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He has 611 miles

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Drying shoes

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Sopan

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His inscription in concrete from 2 years ago

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By the fence

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Stutisheel did 65 miles and has 579 miles.

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168st

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Cups

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Baladev did 57 miles and has 576 miles

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It is still damp this morning

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Quite a few come and circle the block

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volodymyr did 38 miles and has 559 miles

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This morning Parvati, Tajini, and Patricia started planting flowers

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Colors

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“When I saw the runners for the first time (2 nights ago), I was really humbled by their dedication.  Their absolute single mindedness.  Their ability to stay on course knowing that had been staying out there so long.”

Danny says his first connection happened a few years ago when a friend of his entered the race.  “I called him up almost every day.  I felt it was like I was calling an astronaut who was on the moon.  It was such an incredible force that I was feeling when I was talking to him.  It was inspiring to me.”

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“It is hard to describe.  It is not something that I think about it is just something that is.  It just blows me away.  It is something that I can’t comprehend.”

“You just know that when you come here that it is unique.  You will never experience this any place else in the world.”

“The only way that I can attribute that is to the fact that Sri Chinmoy used to personally come to the race and inspire the runners.  He obviously still does.  The feeling is absolutely unique.  You will never feel this anywhere else.”

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Poem of the Day

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Enthusiasm Awakeners

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In the spiritual life we need experience, we need confidence, we need assurance.

Experience is the discovery of infinite Life within us.

Confidence is the supreme mastery of our soul over darkness and night.

Assurance is our inseparable oneness with the Light of the Supreme.

Night we were. Light we are. Delight we shall be.

One Comments to “June 29… Spiritual Experience”

  1. laura says:

    Sopan’s interview, and this blog today, is amazing Thanks so much!
    I am going to run 3 marathons this weekend in Oregon. I will take Sopan’s words with me.

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