August 6: Straight To My Heart

“Thank you everybody for being here.  This race wasn’t easy at all for me.  I had some really difficult times.  The Doctors didn’t know what to do with me and they were deciding at one time if I could even continue the race or not.  But then Aparajita appears and he started to sing Sri Chinmoy’s songs to me.  And they went straight into my heart.  And from there a feeling of devotion, joy, and happiness started to come from within me, and it flooded my entire being completely.  It was then that I understood that everything in my life was going to be really good.”

yuri-good

Now here I am happy and joyful.  Standing right in front of you.  Thank you Sri Chinmoy, thank you Supreme.”

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finish

51 days and a few hours ago,  Yuri Trostenyuk started off on a long difficult quest to reach this little spot of concrete upon which he now stands.  The fact that it is exactly the same spot he started from long ago is one of life’s great cosmic ironies.  That you endure and suffer through so much to end up right back where you started from.

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Yet for Yuri and also for Nidhruvi, who will arrive here in just a few hours more, there is no sense of futility or meaninglessness.  It is true that nothing outwardly has changed around them at all.  But all who do this race do not come here for what they see but only for what they will become.  For their true goal exists only in heartfelt depths of their own beings.  This is why they have taken their lives on the 3100 mile, great and impossible journey.

It is an epic trek, one that has changed and transformed them in ways they have yet to completely to be aware of and understand.  Their self transcendence will gradually reveal itself, to both of these first time runners, just as it has for all who have been here also this and year and all those who have made this race the center of their lives for the past 17 summers.

For these chosen few, have not only taken part in what has to be the most difficult sport of all time, but as well been simultaneously part of a divine inner pilgrimage. One in which there is never failure.  The accurate measurements of time and distance are not ultimately at all what this race is all about.  The suffering, the pain, the fatigue, the mental conflicts, and all the other  foibles and failures of humanity are all here but are also irrelevant.  Self Transcendence is to reveal only who and what we are within.  To bring us back the unmeasurable distance to our own glowing divinity within.

 

yuri-nicolay

“In his first finish I would have to say that this man smiled more times and waved more hands of joy than any runner in the history of this race.  He is a quiet and unassuming man.  He is a plumber with 2 kids and a wife back in Vinnitsa Ukraine.  But this was his dream to be here.”  Sahishnu

Dedication to Stutisheel

stutisheel

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yuri2

My Lord Supreme wants me
     To run
Straight towards Him.

August 5: Something Good

“I also don’t know what happened.  I had no wings.  I was not flying.  It was running, really running.” On her last full day on the course yesterday Surasa ran an incredible 120 laps.  An amount she has not done since way back on the 2nd day of the race.  “I realized it when I heard 92 laps and I was looking at the clock and I thought, O My God.  I am one hour ahead.  It was so easy.  It didn’t kill me.  The only thing I did differently was I didn’t take so long of breaks.  I took shorter breaks.  2 breaks of 25 minutes.”

Surasa-sun

On her most recent big day, when she ran 117 laps, she took 2 long breaks.  Yesterday when she ran 120, “I thought, I am not tired.  So I can make shorter ones.  This is such a difference.  Most of the time I realized I took too long of breaks.”

When asked if for some reason the race distance was extended, could she just keep going? “The feeling yesterday was yes.  I could keep on going on.”  She has a problem with blisters she says, but otherwise her energy and her body could easily continue.  “I am looking forward to just to sit down, and observe the race.  It has been such a long time since I sat down.”  For the past 50 days she has never also been able to eat at a table, or all of the dozens of little conveniences and habits that we have all taken for granted over the past 50 days.  Something her, and all the other runner’s hyper mobile lives simply cannot allow.

surasa-singers

In just a few hours from now she will finish her final 20 miles.  A distance that for most runners is still a pretty serious task.  Yet when you look at her smooth rhythmic style she makes the this extreme sport somehow look effortless.  As if she were somehow specially designed from the inside out just to do this.  True she got into multi day running almost by accident and yet in her lengthy career she has managed to accomplish a record of achievements that is just a little bit beyond extraordinary.

surasa2

This humble soft spoken lady from Vienna has world records in distances from 1000km up to 1300 miles.  What also should be noted as well about this is perhaps even more amazing.  She  has never once been beaten in any multi day race she has run.  A fact that she would not likely tell you, but you don’t have to search too hard to uncover her long list of achievements.  Then to add to all this incredible catalog of facts, is that she is also 55 years old.  In a few hours she will not only set her own personal best here she will also be the oldest runner to ever finish the race.

In our world where athletes dance across the playing field when ever they score, Surasa is a reminder to us all that greatness does not have to be demonstrated by fist pumps and loud screams in front of the goal.  Quietly doing your best and focusing on the true goal within is also something to celebrate and admire.  To understand why she does this so so difficult thing she says, “Sri Chinmoy inspires me most to do it.  I see it as an opportunity to finally do something good.  This is satisfying, and makes you happy when you know you are doing the right thing.”

Speaking about her friend Nidhruvi who will cross the line tomorrow.  “It is so great that we are both finishing.”

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Sri-Chinmoy_running

At every moment
God is expecting something good,
And not great,
From you.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 35, Agni Press, 2004

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August 4: Great Finnish

On Saturday morning when Ashprihanal arrived at the race he stepped up on the edge of the curb and stretched his calves, just as he has done every day here.  He was directly in front of the numbers board as he did this.  I could see that he was looking at the mileage he still had left to do.  Speaking to no one in particular, he said, “the old Ashprihanal could do that”.

What it showed was that he had 65 miles or 119 more laps to go.  A number he had not met in more than 3 weeks. In my mind, the person I was looking at was just a slightly diminished version, of one of the greatest multi day runners of all time, Ashprihanal.  One who was incredibly talented, certainly still capable of majestic flying around the course, and probably the guy who would not finish until sometime the next day.  I was wrong.

ashprihanal-good

Being by nature a little cautious I called the race late in the afternoon to see how he was doing.  It was then that I learned the shocking news that Ashprihanal was flying once again as he has always done here before.  That on this his 12th incredible race he was going to pull off one of those little miracles that seem to rise up out of nowhere.  One of those moments that show you that impossibility can be put aside when you find the strength from within to make it possible.

The caliber of this miracle is not quite like what happened to Lasse Viren at the 1972 Olympic games when he fell while running in the 10,000 meter race.  For what happened there is perhaps one of the greatest moments in all of sports.  The Finnish runner Viren got up off the track and then sprinted as fast as he could.  He not only caught up with the pack, but he also won the race.   Setting a world record in the process.

lasse-viren

“I have been having a problem with back, my hip, and my knee.  And I have not been able to do 60 miles on only a few days.  That is not my normal self.  Because normally 60 is very easy for me.  My standard is more like 70.  Today the problem is totally gone.  So today I could do 70.  I am definitely going to finish, no problem.  I would have been moving if my body had worked.”  I ask him then why is his body now working.  “Just Guru’s grace.  That is what happened.”

“I didn’t go to any Doctors or anything like that.  A lot of joy yesterday.  2 great finishers.   Today was very nice running with Suprabha.”  Someone he has shared the course with many times with over the years.  He says that Vasu who won the race the day before was very impressive.  “He was always in a good consciousness, always listening to Sri Chinmoy’s music, always inspired by asking stories about Sri Chinmoy.  Just a great guy.”  He says he told Vasu several stories from his own life.

ashprihanal-and-bell

Ashprihanal has been carrying a small bell now for almost a lap.  Sometime earlier in the evening Surasa had completed 3000 miles and he had wanted to honor her.  He rings it now over on the other side of the course.  She says, “O so nice.”  She also says that when she came by the counters she had no idea that she had reached that great number.

A few jokes are made about the old Ashprihanal vs. the new Ashprihanal.  He says, “let’s say the healthy one.  I definitely think I am going to run again.  That is my plan, but maybe I take a year off.  This race has been mentally good for me.  I have been happy.”

bell-lap

2 years ago after the race I was physically and mentally exhausted.  I really needed a year off.  This year I am not.  I am even physically okay.  Yesterday I would have said that physically I am not okay.  I am very happy that whatever the problem was it went away.  Everything is good now.”

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Your business is to begin. God’s business is to finish.

Sri Chinmoy, Flame-Goal, Agni Press, 1973

Photo by Unmesh

Photo by Unmesh

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August 3: Our Tasks

“Somewhere in the middle of the race I felt as though I had fulfilled my task here.  I am not coming back next year, but maybe in the future.  I am very grateful because I love you all here.”  35 year Atmavir Spacil said this last night after completing the Self Transcendence race for the 7th year in a row.  His has been a long and incredible journey that very few have ever accomplished before.  Taken back to back his total mileage on the course adds up to 21,700 miles.  An accumulated distance that would nearly allow him to circle the globe.

atmavir2

His battles with the elements over all those summers and all the other of the countless difficulties has shown just how courageous and determined Atmavir really is.  Just to enter this incomprehensible event is astonishing, to finish 7 times is miraculous.

As he approaches the finish line his face reveals all the joy and gratitude he has for being so fortunate to be able to accomplish this really unbelievable feat.  But those few minutes of brief glory here now on this warm still night are such an infinitesimal fragment of the whole great journey.

What goes on in his body, mind, and heart over the many months is the real story.  Finding strength when your body says it has no more to give.   Not listening to the relentless torment of pain, heat, and fatigue.  Managing to find calm and peace when by times the world around you seems to be nothing but turbulent chaos.  He has said many times that nobody but the runners themselves really understand this remarkable transcendence adventure.  It is an elusive reality that I have chased for a long time and know he is right.  I will never capture it all or even more than a small part of it.

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No picture, no sound bite, no string of words can encapsulate something so immense and impossible as this thing that they do, and what he has done now for each of the past 7 summers.  At best we see a watery mirage floating enticingly in the sky above the vast hot desert.  We see it and imagine quenching our thirst with its elixir but we can’t.  The 12 runners are the ones who are traversing across this boundless landscape towards the impossible.  It is they alone who are arriving at a destination we ourselves can only dream of.

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After his finish he is asked by a reporter from a network station a few questions about this great thing that he has accomplished here.  He is grateful to share what he can, but there isn’t much he can say in a few words.  Something that has taken him 7 years to accomplish.  He says that if there is anything he hopes could come out of his experience is that others be inspired to transcend their own lives.  He suggests simply, if you can just get people to run that would be a great thing.

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“Finishing in 2nd place in the 3100 mile race for 2013, in a time of 47 days, 16 hours, 24 minutes.  Which is an average of 65.015 or 104.6 km a day.  This is his 7th finish in a row.  From the marathon team and all the helpers congratulations Atmavir on a job well done

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My responsibility is
The preparation of my heart.
God’s Responsibility is
The Satisfaction of His Heart in my life.
Can we not fulfil our respective tasks?

Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 50, Agni Press, 1982

Photo by Bhashwar

Photo by Bhashwar

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August 2: Our Victory

“I would like to offer my gratitude to Sri Chinmoy and to everybody.  Everybody who organizes the race.  Who serves the race.  I would like to also offer gratitude to all those who not just do something here physically,  but also those who even think about it and want to become better people.”

Vasu in about 4 hours time will complete his long journey.  It will be his second finish in the event, but to see him on the course this year was like seeing an almost completely different person.  He was not just stronger and faster he was also simply delightful to watch and occasionally run with.

His attitude was always positive, cheerful, and incredibly humble.  Never for a moment was it about him, but rather everything to Vasu was always about how to please his Guru, Sri Chinmoy.  Who he felt was solely responsible for everything that he did and also the kind of person he also wants eventually to become.  Someone for whom Transcendence is not just 3100 mile race but for an entire lifetime.

vasu-enthusiasm-awakenres

I cannot tell just how many have been following his extraordinary achievement here this year.  Certainly on websites across the Ukraine, Russia, and parts of the former Soviet Union there are many who are identifying with his incredible achievement of winning the race this year.

I notice that the time difference between here and his home in St Petersburg is 8 hours.  Yet at his finish later this morning his friends there will gather and actually be able to watch his finish in real time on skype.  Many others in the Ukraine and in other parts of Oneness Dream Boat shore will be anxious to also see and learn what wonders have happened here this day.  None will be disappointed.

To show some perspective of his distance run here.  Leaving St Petersburg Vasu would have run to just past the Mongolian border to Ulaangom.

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The event by its sheer scope and nature compels the runner’s inner self to emerge and blossom. It may be possible to finish it on pure brute force and determination but I don’t think so.  Something else has to happen.  A divine miracle has to take place where the outer being has to listen and become in sync with the inner self, or at least make some pact or even grudging compromise   When it all works in harmony than a beautiful soulful experience is expressed here at the race,  again and again mile after mile.  Vasu was just one of those cherished beings who always seemed in harmony with his heart’s cry and his outer smile.

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“I tried to do my best last year and I tried to do my best this year.  Last year I needed more patience and this year I had more happiness.  It helped me so much.  Last year and this year both very good for me. ”

vasu-nicolay

I ask him about his helper Nicolay.  “He was the big difference between last year and this year.  He helped me so much.  He did many things for me from the morning until the evening.”  Nicolay would even go home with Vasu and give him a massage every night and then would leave and go on to his own place. “I am very grateful to Nicolay for his help.  I do not think that this is my victory but our victory.  This is our victory and Guru’s victory.”

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It was God’s Plan
Right from the beginning of time
To give our soulful faith
A splendid victory.

Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 33, Agni Press, 1982

sports-day-76

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August 1: Faster Than The Fastest

“I was inspired to run faster.”  Yesterday Vasu did something here at the race, that when you see it on the result sheets, you have to wonder just how it was possible.  To watch Vasu in real time you really couldn’t tell.  For all outer appearances he appeared to be doing exactly what he has done now since the beginning.  But in fact he did something astonishing that only the clipboards can show.  He ran 133 laps yesterday or 72 plus miles.   A number that is only surpassed by his first day on the course 45 days earlier.

vasu

Obviously his appreciation of the finish line is no longer just imaginary.  Not just an ethereal concept floating in some distant realm of his imagination.  Instead it is very real and very close.  He started the day yesterday with just 170 more miles to go.  He is going to finish on Friday.  Yet somehow after already running 3000 miles he found a new gear, a new strength, or most definitely simply more inspiration.

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I try and ask him about this using some traditional metaphors.  If you have ever competed in any race than you have no doubt heard the expressions, “leave nothing in the tank,” leave it all on the track.” Expressions that suggest that we as athletes can make a conscious decision to commit more of ourselves to the last few miles or meters of a race.

But no matter how I try and explain them to Vasu he doesn’t understand.  Then it becomes my turn to comprehend.  He doesn’t grasp these words, these hypothetical concepts, because within his vision and within his experience he has already surrendered himself entirely.  It is not for him to decide anything.  He is so immersed within the great flow of the race that he need do nothing more than what he has been doing since the beginning.  By doing his best every day and every moment he will simply arrive, at just the right time, at the finish line.

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He says, “Your goal and Guru come to you.  You just have to be happy and be grateful, for everything.”

“I don’t feel as though I am pushing harder.  I am just trying to be happy.”

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The ticking of the life-clock
Encourages and inspires
     The brave souls
To run faster than the fastest
Towards their destined Goal.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 18, Agni Press, 2000

Photo by Bhashwar

Photo by Bhashwar

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July 31: Your Soul History

This morning Sopan set off on the course just as he has now for the past 45 days.  Yet without fail, at least for the last few weeks, watching his first few laps is without question one of the most painful sites you can imagine.  He is by far the slowest, at that time of day at least, and what he does in those early laps is not what most of us would call running or even walking.  Probably there is an more accurate physiological term but to me it could best be described as a  hobble.

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His shoes scrapping along the sidewalk you can hear him shuffling along from some distance off.  There are lots of reasons for his current condition.  He has blisters and he has unbearable pain and fatigue.  But just about the easiest way of understanding just why he looks the way he does in the mornings is to just look up at the score board.  When you see all those numbers, 2562 miles they are the reason for both his suffering and his joy.

It hasn’t always been like this.  There have been days on the course when every little bit of Sopan was working smoothly rhythmically and superbly.  The first 2 weeks he regularly put in 113 lap days,  accumulating those all so important laps in case problems should arise, and then they did with a vengeance.  The hole he found himself in kept getting a little bigger and deeper each day until eventually there was not going to be any way to just grab back those all important lap numbers.  Not when time was hurtling along at its relentless pace as it does not just here but with all of life.

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Yet lest we forget, the most important thing of all is that he is happy to be here.  Also as the morning progresses he becomes more limber and does move along well. He would love of course to finish all those 3100 miles, but even now he is looking at those last precious 7 days ahead and is looking at another number.  It just might be 3000 miles, still a great achievement, or it might be something else.  Even he doesn’t really know just yet.  He will stay out here as long as he can doing his best and simply see where all that effort and sacrifice takes him.

For Sopan this year’s race is far from being a failure.  Instead he feels that this year is instead one in which he has made a truly significant breakthrough.    Found an answer to a long standing muscular and skeletal problem that has kept him out of the race for a few years.  Not too many days ago he said, “Every time I have a good day I thank God and try to stay humble next day I do my best.”

Photo by Jowan

Photo by Jowan

Today is special for him in a lot of ways, for it was on this day 7 years earlier in 2006 that he finished the race in 50 days and 13 hours.  It was a glorious achievement for this young man from Bulgaria.  In what was also a great surprise to him, Sri Chinmoy himself, the founder of the marathon team was there for his finish.  Just a couple of hours earlier another runner finished as well.  So on that very special occasion Sri Chinmoy not only gave them their spiritual names but also composed songs in their honor.  His name Sopan, means stairway to the highest.

As we near that same spot where it all happened he says, “there is a lot of history here.”

Photo by Jowan

Photo by Jowan

Your body-history
You do not know.

Your vital history
You have forgotten.

Your mind-history
Disheartens you.

Your heart-history
Inspires you.

Your soul-history
Satisfies you.

Sri Chinmoy, Europe-Blossoms, Agni Press, 1974

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July 30: A Changed Man

I remember once hearing my Dad say that he was too old to change.  If there was something in particular troubling him, or whether it was simply life in general vexing him, in the way it exhausts most of us mortals, I cannot remember now.  At the time I thought he was incorrect but I was not going to be the one to tell him so.  For certainly when our troubles mount up around us finding another way of dealing with them often looks just like adding another problem to the already considerable pile.

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Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy has everything to do with change and transformation.  The very word self transcendence cannot ever be removed from the very core meaning of what everyone is trying to accomplish here at the 3100.  Admittedly as someone who is now getting closer to the age when my Father said those words I know how easy it is to resist the great divine forces that really want to lift us up to our own perfection.  The first step surely has to be just to release and let go of the things that do not illumine and inspire us.  Not always easy.

At the 3100 though nothing is ever static.  Now as the race is drawing quickly to its conclusion you can sense a gathering surge of even more energy and movement.  Like a great tide that is carrying all who part of the race to some new destination.  Bodies which over the course of 40 plus days and thousands of miles have found amazing ways of adapting to this physically impossible task.   Not to speak of the mental and emotional burdens as well.  But despite all this you can see clearly how each runner is now being pushed to their absolute limits and then some.  Still they are adapting and changing to deal with the problems even when there seems like there is no solution.

But the Supreme did not bring us into this world to be stopped dead in our tracks.  Change only appears to be painful and impossible if we don’t honestly and soulfully try.

If you sleeplessly aspire,
You will not remain a prisoner
Of the failure-past.

Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 130, Agni Press, 1990

vasu-gold

This morning Vasu starts the day just 4 miles behind Atmavir who did not have a good day yesterday.  I ask him what this new situation means to him.  “Many people have inspired me to run faster.  But I think I can do only what I can do.  Yesterday I got a letter from home and they told me that they were inspired to see that I was in the top 3.  They were very happy.  But I think I need to only do my best.  It is only God’s will who will be first and second and who will finish.”

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Some changes are happening at one of the Enterprises on Parsons Blvd for those who know it.  The Smile of the Beyond is being renovated.

smile

A changed man
Is a changed world.

A changed world
Is a changed God.

A changed God
Is a changed Dream.

A changed Dream
Is a changed Silence.

Sri Chinmoy, The Dance Of Life, Part 13, Agni Press, 1973

Photo by Bhashwar 1977

Photo by Bhashwar 1977

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July 29: The Divine Journey Never Ends

“Today I am feeling a little bit tired.  But it is okay.”  If you ever want to take a real look at somebody with a calm and steady mood and temperament than try and spend sometime with Surasa.  And yes add to those qualities as well her extraordinary ability to remain cheerful and positive when confronting a monumental physical, mental, and emotional challenge.  One that most of us would never even consider little alone attempt even once in our lifetimes.  Surasa has taken on one of those mythical but very real battles not just once,  but now this 55 year old champion from Vienna is enduring it once again for the 3rd time.

“I have some blisters, yaaah, my dear friends.  But they are not so bad.  But I think I didn’t sleep enough.”

surasagood

There are some runners who when looking at the daily schedule of the race might just think that the break between midnight and 6 am would offer all the rest and comfort an exhausted body would need.  Just enough to then be able to get up and face another day.  It doesn’t.

surasa-sunThe cruel mistress Time often makes false promises of relaxation but they never come true, at least not here.  Surasa, like all the runners tried to snatch a handful of hours of sleep last night.  What she probably ended up with was something that was more like a miserly 3 grim hours.

It was also the kind of rest that was not anything like good solid hours of peace.  More on the other end of the spectrum, just miserable desperate ones.  A throbbing moment of time in which her restless aches and not so phantom pains pummeled and pinched at her relentlessly throughout a few dark hours.

Who knows how much sleep is really enough. How much is enough on an ordinary day, when the sole tasks confronting you are a few hours of work or school.  How much do you need to run 60 miles? No, excuse me, 3100 miles in 52 days.

There could be some good practical science which could predict accurately a lot of things about the race.  Calculate and then map out the optimum amount of training and experience.  Introduce a proper course of nutrition.  What should be done in preparation of the feet and how to stretch and how often you should do it as well.  Technical details that make a lot of sense on paper but are as useful to Surasa now as being invited out for a coffee and a strudel at a cafe in Vienna.

What counts only now is just the 470 miles ahead of her and that she go about making those miles as best she can.  All of her life is focused on the course right here and now for the 3rd time.  It includes everything of who and what she has and is.  Whether it is her tiredness, her pain, as well as her strength and her dedication.  All the forces and qualities she has within mixing moving and manifesting in and through what she is as a runner and who she is becoming as a spiritual seeker.

surasa-wide

Yesterday she felt her mileage was not so good, just 109 laps or 59 miles.  “It was because I spent too much time with the Dr. and couldn’t do my mileage.  I had a little problem.  (One her helper Irena considered to be quite a bit bigger)  In the late afternoon I was sometimes a little bit dizzy, I couldn’t do so many miles anymore.  But it is okay.  I am quite happy with this mileage.  If I can do this until the end than I will finish fine.  I am just trying to do what I have to do which is 109 laps.  If I could do 110 it would be wonderful.

“But I know if I also do not so many I can also finish.  My goal is slowly and steadily.  Not to overdo it, and I can run quite good until the end.”

Sri-Chinmoy-Puerto-Rico

The divine journey never ends.
Each ending is the preparation for a greater and more fulfilling beginning.

Sri Chinmoy, Colour Kingdom, Agni Press, 1974

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July 28: Live Inside Your Heart

“It is such a long race, but whey you are nearing the finish you start to savor every moment because you know it is coming to an end.”  After 42 days of running Sarah has completed 2100 miles.  Certainly not the kind of distance she had hoped for at the beginning, now so many weeks ago, and yet she has run for more days and for a longer distance than she has ever done before.

For quite a long time now the big, 3100 mile finish line just drew further and further away from her ability to reach it.(This time)  Many other athletes when faced with this discouraging scenario would have simply opted out.  Packed their bags and headed off instead to warm showers and soft beds.

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There are times when we see in others such powerful and illumining qualities that we can be surprised and also hopefully inspired by them as well.  Sarah has amply demonstrated here an incredible strength, resilience,  perseverance, and bravery.  Strong inner qualities that don’t quickly become evident when you take just a quick glance and see just her kind and gentle nature.  Her long battles here however show a much different dimension of who and what she is.  These epic experiences have placed her front and center with many unavoidable encounters with a number of significant inner adversaries.

Just finding her way around and through a long standing foot injury showed that she had an incredible grit and determination.  Yet perhaps her greatest adversary was simply dealing with what looks like a small battle, but really for most of us it is just so much more challenging.  For many our greatest adversary is simply dealing with our own doubt and disappointment. How well she has fared in this is evident simply by the fact that she is happy and still out there on the course.

I mention that now she has just 10 days more, a time she has had to confront many times in the yearly Spring races in Flushing Meadow.  “10 days is still a long time.”

sarah8

“The mind is our biggest enemy.  This place could be a playground the whole time if you chose to see it that way, in the best consciousness.  It is like our every day life.  Sometime we get down, and we think, why do we have to do this.  I think the mind has a lot to do with it.”

“I am really thinking every day at a time now.  The foot injury feels like I am managing it, for the first time, in a long time.  It is not giving me a lot of trouble so I hope to run a little better.  I really feel like I want to enjoy each lap.  I feel like there is a change right now.  People have got through the extremely hard times.  But who knows what’s ahead.”

sarah-sun

As she contemplates the final moments of the race, “really I think I am going to miss it.  I never thought I would say that, but when I go home to my regular life, I am going to remember that this is a kind of spiritual world here.  It is a mini world.  Everyone you speak to has a slightly different perspective on life.  I am really going to miss that.”

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Why do you live inside your body
To become a puppet of your foe, fear?
Why do you live inside your mind
To become a puppet of your foe, doubt?
Live inside your heart
To become an admirer of your true friend,
Your soul.

Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 48, Agni Press, 1982

Sri-Chinmoy-Puerto-Rico-2

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