June 20…Happiness At Every Moment

Yesterday 54 year old Volodymyr Hlushchuk on his first day in the Self Transcendence 3100 mile ran 74 miles.  He has been waiting for this opportunity for more than a decade and he is grateful and glad that it has at last arrived.

“For many years I have been looking forward to taking part in this race.”  It was back in 2004 that he had first applied but was turned down.  “After that I submitted my application many many more times.”

Volodymyr gradually realized that as much as he thought he was ready each time he applied he wasn’t. “I needed to grow a little more.”

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This year he says he simply surrendered and didn’t even apply.  However it was not unnoticed that he did a personal best in the 10 day race just 6 weeks earlier with 643 miles.  After which he was taking it easy and simply preparing himself for next years 10 day race.  “Then all of a sudden they invited me to the race.”

To his surprise he suddenly felt, ” I am not ready.”

The race director told him though that he thought that he was ready.  Volodymyr took this very seriously, as if his late spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy was requesting this of him in and through the race director.  “I realized then that I must run.”

Still he was surrendered and inwardly asked for help from his late teacher asking for him to please run in and through him.

He laughs as he describes this experience now on his 2nd day.  “Basically Guru is running in and through me.”  Beaming with joy he adds, “I don’t know how this is happening.”

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When asked what his goals might be he says that he is only trying to find happiness at every moment.  “To see Guru in front of me.”

So far he feels as though he is being guided along very directly.  Knowing spontaneously when to run and when to rest. “Through my soul he is showing me how to orchestrate all this.

“With this approach no matter how far Guru wants me to run I am happy.  I feel good and everything is good.  Therefore I have no plans in the mileage or in what place I may get.”

Translation courtesy of Lyalya

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The heart needs happiness
At every moment
So it can move forward,
Dive inward
And fly upward.

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June 19th… To See That Ordinary People Can Do Extraordinary Things

At 6 a.m. this morning the 3100 mile race started for the 20th year in a row.

For Ashprihanal his appearance here for the 14th time is something truly historic and significant.  This 45 year old runner from Finland set the record here last year and could so easily have left it at that, but he did not.  Last year as well he equaled Suprabha’s incredible record of running the race 13 times.

Something spoke within him.  The champion enters the ring once more.  His joy and delight writ large across him.

This morning he is sharing this special moment but as well with a Joy Day taking place in Austria.  You can hear them cheering in the background.

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Stutisheel is running the race for the 12th time.  “Every day is new.  Every breath is new.  Every 3100 is new even if you have done it before.  It is a new challenge, it is something big and I am looking forward to it.”

Stutisheel feels calm in these few minutes before the race.  He says what worries he might have had all came and past earlier in the week. “But now I am pretty good.  I am at peace.  I am focused.”

He wears a headband that Sri Chinmoy gave to him in 2006.

Link to his website:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stutisheel-your-ultra-running-coach/

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Sahishnu said before the race started, “The real reason for the race is to inspire other people in other walks of life.  To get them out of their comfort zone and to try and achieve a little bit more, and to also discover other capacities inside themselves.  That is the ultimate goal.”

“To see that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.  You can say this about a lot of other ultra races they are a long test, but this is a long long long test.  It is like running from Los Angeles to New York with a also a side trip to Trenton New Jersey.”

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Why start?
Just start and see.

How to start?
Just start and feel.

When to start?
Just start and reach.

Sri Chinmoy, The Wings of Light, part 5, Agni Press, 1974

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Photo by Jowan 2007

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June 18th… You Will Be Changed For The Better

It is a warm Saturday afternoon in New York.  A group of 12 runners has gathered to have some Pizza, get further instructions, and to enjoy the last few precious moments of relaxation before they embark on the hardest task imaginable, run 3100 miles.

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It is a pleasant and almost tranquil hour as all the discussions and nibbling takes place.  No one is rushing and no one hurries, all that will come soon enough.  Also what will come soon enough is the torment of a hot and humid New York summer.  Which is actually just one of the devilish ingredients that make the epic journey in front of them all that much harder, if not impossible.

Yet they all will try as hard as humanly possible and even when they have done as many laps as they think they can they will somehow do more.  Find strength and courage and determination that is not at all about muscle or of mind.

Instead it comes from an inner place within themselves.  A source that continues to surprise all who search there.  Because what can continuously be revealed is that what we all have, what we all can do, and what we all can become is so much more.

Ashprihanal running for the 14th time.

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Shoes off

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A smile

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The girls

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