12 & 24 Hour Race Rockland State Park June 12 -13 2021

Start of the 2nd 12 hour race at 8pm

Magdalena

Arpan DeAngelo

Barbara Graf

Board

Bob Oberkher and Emmy Stoker

 

Cam Chamberlain

Counters

Daniel Wiszniewski

Dietmar Stork

 

Dylan Maher

Emmy Stocker and Kathryn Stoker

Eric Friedland and Peter Shiue

Francisco Balagtas

Sahishnu

Grzegorz Klepadio

James Gawie

Jason Silva

Jeffry Spera

Jennifer Case

John  McCleary

JP Milot

Kathryn Stoker

Kelly Gilleni

Kim Hooper-Stanley

Lake

Kodanda

Grzegorz and Magdalena

Marc Vengrove

Sahishnu interview

 

Mario

Mark Dorion

Newton Baker

Palash Bosgang

Peter Shiue

Pradhan

Rob Leder

Robert Spilotras

Ryan Pelletier

Sean Babcock

Steve Bracero

Trishul Cherns

Troy Krum

Upasana Young

Vasudha Deming

Vikram Singh

William Brod

Jun Lin

We get boundless joy
When we try to journey
Towards the Unknowable.

Tribute to Sundar

The gates to Perfection in the Head World have been shuttered now for some weeks. The proprietor, Sundar Dalton who managed the business for many years was unable to keep his barbershop open recently due to a long struggle with illness. Last night he succumbed to his ever mounting burden and slipped free of his earthly suffering.

For those of us who were aware of just how much he was increasingly forced to endure there is now a clear sense of relief, that his pain is at last no more

What is also certain is that he is now embarking on just the next phase of his life’s journey. One that he, like us all, started lifetimes ago and with each new challenge we hopefully move and progress ever forward.

Sundar, who was a devoted student of Indian Spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy was confident that his journey was being shaped and guided by his teacher. A way, that recently was certainly not easy, but now most certainly free of any and all earthly woes.

My description of Sundar cannot come close to describing the dimensions of his intellect or the warmth he cheerfully provided as the hangout spot for his many friends who relished in his companionship and tea more often than they needed a trim. The door was always open and the tea steeping in the pot.

In later years the neighborhood also used the store to receive their packages, that at times by sheer volume interfered with the cutting of hair and the drinking of tea.

Among other things Sundar did was spend most mornings helping at the lunch counter next door when they opened up each morning. As well he was responsible for selling Sri Chinmoy’s books, helping out at the weekly 2 mile race and at most other marathon team events.

One could add in here as well his dedication to his personal fitness through swimming and running but more importantly was the devotional routine he followed on a rigorous daily basis right up until the end.

When the sign was designed for the shop many years ago he was asked what decoration he wanted. I remember that the use of the wise owl was a given. It fit perfectly with a barber who knew so much about so many things and was always so willing to share the wisdom of his knowledge. Though to be clear, along with tea, and unambiguous facts, there could also be conversation that drifted into the realm of gossip and opinion. He was a true barber at heart after all.

His absence from behind these now shuttered gates will be sorely missed by many. His extraordinary capacities and tireless generosity will create a vacuum on the strip of little blue stores that cannot be filled. His presence and personality slipped effortlessly into the gaps and crevasses of so many people who like him hungered for truth and yearned for fulfillment.

His name, Sundar was given to him many years ago by Sri Chinmoy. In Bengali it means beautiful. There is no more fitting description of him both inwardly and outwardly than that.

The following is a quote from a story written by Sri Chinmoy after a half marathon race was held in June of 1983

“At the finish line I was sitting in the car. Sundar came up and told me of his deplorable performance with such sincerity and soulfulness. There was no false modesty — only sincerity and soulfulness. I was so proud of him. How I wish all the disciples, when they don’t do well, would maintain this kind of cheerful and soulful consciousness!”

Sri Chinmoy, Run and become, become and run, part 14, Agni Press, 1985

Sundare Basi BhaloSundare basi bhalo
Sundaratama antare mamo sundare dip jwalo
Sundar aj akash batas sundar mana pran
Jibane marane mileche amar sundar sandhan

Translation

O beautiful One,
Do kindle beauty’s lamp
In this aspiration-heart of mine.
Today everything is beautiful.
The sky, the air, my body, vital and mind,
All are beautiful.
The birth and death of my life
Have discovered Eternity’s Beauty today.

 

3100 Mile Race….Impressions 2019

With a great deal of creativity, time, and effort Sandro Zincarini has condensed this Years 3100 mile race into this great video.

A Soulful Offering….Susan & Dipali 47 Mile Race 2019

“I feel it was a soulful offering to my Guru.”

Susan Interview:

Susan had a terrific performance in this years 47 mile race.  Her time of 6:54:06 placed her first in the girls category and was fast enough for 2nd overall. She won the race as well last year with a time 7:09:45 which means she transcended herself by almost 15 minutes.

I spoke with her moments after she had finished the race and she expressed how she was looking forward to being receptive for the rest of Sri Chinmoy’s birthday celebration. “What I love about Sri Chinmoy’s birthday is that I feel that I have done something to honor him.  Now I can really enjoy the day without my mind getting in the way.”

Looking back over the previous hours she says her experience was a bit of a blur.  “I try as much as possible not to have any mind.  I had hard laps and I had good laps.  I try not to have any mind and that for me is the best way to do these races.  So that I can be most receptive to our inner capacity, and most importantly why we are doing this.  Which is to offer something to God.  Our mind is not our friend here.”

Susan has done a personal best and so has transcended herself at this years 47 mile race.  She feels it will take a day or so for it all to become clearer to her.  “I know things happen on the spiritual level so I am happy with that.”

“I have lost count.”  You can’t really blame Dipali for not remembering just how many times she has run the 47 miles race.   Scanning back over the records one thing is clear and that is she has won the race 26 times since 1986 and her time this year of 7:44 (3rd place )is only 34 minutes slower than her winning time that year which was 7:09.

Dipali Interview:

“I came out here with no training.  I just wanted to finish.”

Dipali as fate would have it shares the same birthday, August 27th as Sri Chinmoy.  So the 47 mile race has always played a unique role in her running calendar and more importantly in her spiritual life.  Turning 61 it can be expected that she might run slower but she has a tremendous running base and her motivation to do her best is unparalleled.

“I have had some health issues.  I wanted to come back and run it just for the fun.  But during the night I felt so strong.  At the halfway point there was so much power.  I wasn’t training for it but it was just there.”

“From 20 to 30 laps I had a nice experience.  I got really tired and my stomach was bothering me.”  Dipali says that in order to conquer the fatigue she imagined herself instead in a multi day race.  One in which she was on the verge of completing.  “With that little bit to go.  Like I had already done hundreds of miles.  With that in my mind and in my heart.  It made it so much easier.”

“It was a beautiful night.  It was so cool, and I reminisced about multi day running, because I had been taken away from it for a while.  I had tears near the end because I felt like I had done it.”

“I didn’t care about the place on the board.  It just came.  I just wanted to finish.  I have missed running for the past 4 years.  I get emotional because I haven’t been able to run the way I once did.”

“Just sharing the same birthday with Sri Chinmoy…..what a blessing. I feel so honored that this race exists.  It is such a beautiful atmosphere.  No matter what the board says we are all family.  We encourage each other and we support each other.”

“If I don’t run this race on my birthday then it just doesn’t set the day right for me.  I am going to be wobbling and sore all day but it makes me feel good.  I know I gave my all on my birthday.  Sri Chinmoy once told me that I don’t run with my feet, that I run with my soul.”

“So I feel that my soul is to the fore on this day.  I feel that I am running with my soul all night and that is what I experienced last night.”

When my body runs,
My soul jumps,
And my Lord Supreme sings and dances
With enormous Delight.

A Race Unlike Any Other…Abhinabha Wins 47 Mile Race 2019

Even before completing the first loop of the track Abhinabha had taken a commanding lead in this years 47 mile race.

Interview:

Susan who was in 2nd place overall would eventually finish more than an hour behind his time of 5:35:49

“This is the 3rd time I have run the 47 mile race, and it is a race unlike any other.  It celebrates Sri Chinmoy’s birthday, and it is on a night which is a very special for us.”

“There is something in the air the moment you take off.  There is a consciousness, a peacefulness, a joyfulness, that I do not find in any other race.  That accompanies you the whole way.  At first I approached this as a race.  I didn’t have any expectations.  I didn’t know if my form was good.  I did train for it.  So I didn’t have any expectations but I did want to do my best, and do a good time.”

“But when I reached the marathon distance, I saw the banner and it said 47 mile run and it didn’t say 47 mile race.  I thought that is the way to approach it.  This is a run.  It is not a race.  I have to enjoy myself and just run, and be happy, and not push myself.”

“I know that if I had pushed myself I wouldn’t have gone any faster and I probably would have burned out.  Maybe I would have been frustrated by the time.  So I totally took that all out of the window.  I didn’t care for time.  I didn’t care for anything else.  I was just trying to be in a really happy consciousness, while I was running.”

“My first time running this race was my fastest.  (5:19)  The second time I did it was 2 years ago and I had done the marathon 2 days earlier so that was 5:55 and this one is in the middle.”

Abhinabha of course inspired everyone who was part of the race this year with his powerful performance.  “That is always great.  I am really grateful that I can play that part, and inspire people.”

“I get tremendous inspiration from all the people cheering me.  Every time you come through the finishing shoot there are so many people cheering, and it just lifts you up.  And if I can inspire other people with my running then I am just so grateful for that.”

“I had a mantra.  We saw a video a couple of nights ago where Sri Chinmoy said, you need to know only one thing.  I love my Guru and my Guru loves me.  I was chanting that almost the whole way.  That was my mantra, my meditation.  I felt Sri Chinmoy very strongly.”

“It is great if you can do your very best.  I do believe that is also nice.  But what it really comes down to is that it is a run.  It is not about your time.  It is not about being the fastest.  There is something higher than that in this race.”

“It is about being in the right consciousness and doing it as a tribute to our Guru.”

Sri Chinmoy Day in New York City

On the morning of 27 August 1978, Sri Chinmoy’s 47th birthday, Queens Councilman Morton Povman came to the track at Jamaica High School to read the proclamation of Sri Chinmoy Day in Queens. Several of the 58 runners who were running 47 miles in honour of Guru’s birthday were still circling the 1 1/4 mile loop as the ceremony took place.

Proclamations were made in all 5 boroughs of New York City this year, making Sri Chinmoy’s 47th birthday the first city-wide Sri Chinmoy Day.

47 Mile Race 2019 (Pictures)

Start

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Innocent Joy… (World’s Longest Seesaw 2019)

There is only one time
To be happy,
And that time
Is now!

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 22, Agni Press, 2001

https://www.spontaneousbeauty.com/Private-galleries/Photos-for-Friends/Teetertotter-2019/n-wP8Mjw/

Having innocent joy is something that most of us never grow tired of.   We can for a time be caught up and distracted by our own problems but something within us seems to inevitably draw us back to a place where happiness can be our selfless and tireless companion as long as we don’t allow ourselves to get in the way.

https://www.spontaneousbeauty.com/Private-galleries/Photos-for-Friends/Teetertotter-2019/n-wP8Mjw/

For Ashrita, who has spent much of his life achieving and setting hundreds of Guinness world records the anniversary of his Spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy’s birthday has for decades been an occasion when the dimensions and scale of his record breaking has shattered the conventions of size in incredible and mind boggling ways.

This year with the help of a team led by Yuyudhan and Papaha the world’s longest seesaw was constructed.  It was 88 foot long to mark what would have been Sri Chinmoy’s 88th birthday.

Ashrita speech:

 

 

Yuyudhan interview:

“This is an 88 foot 2 inch seesaw or the beginnings of it.”  Like all big projects there is always a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make the construction of the world’s longest seesaw possible.

I first spoke with Yuyudhan after he had already spent 5 days working on its construction.  He says that 9 years earlier he had been part of a group constructing a 79 foot seesaw so approached Ashrita this year with the possibility of scaling up the original project by an additional 9 feet.  “I already know how to build that.  So it was not going to be a huge design issue.”

When asked just how long he had been part of constructing projects for August 27th there is some understandable head scratching.  “I think 20 years or so.”  He believes his first was taking part in assembling a 27,000 flower bouquet.

Annurakta

The point of doing them is simple.  He says that the projects built to celebrate August 27th are all about joy. Yuyudhan says that he was happy from the moment the lumber was delivered by a large forklift for this one.  “I have been working here for 5 days now and it is just fun.”

Dohai

“With Sri Chinmoy’s birthday you get to see a gigantic thing being made.  It is just part of you transcending your own self.  When you are building something bigger than the last thing you made…. this is just so cool.  I enjoyed making it last time, this time is giving me even more joy.  I know that it is going to work.”

Bishwas

Yuyudhan vividly recalls that when people of all ages rode the seesaw 9 years earlier they all got joy and could feel themselves reviving their childlike enthusiasm. “You could see them as kids.  They enjoyed it, it was fun.  We had a waiting line of people trying to get on it.  I foresee the same thing here.  People really wanting to get on it.”

Jowan

“This is one of the few records that Ashrita has done that everybody gets to participate in, because they get to ride it.”

Mahasatya

Mark

Papaha interview:

Papaha tells me that he has had previous experience on Mega teeter tooter work.  He was part of the team that worked on the 79 foot seesaw 9 years earlier.  “Everyone loved working on it.”

“I think when you got on it you went up 12 feet into the sky.”  As we are talking most of the main body of the seesaw have been constructed.  “I get the easy job.  I get to pick out the fun colors.  We always go with bright birthday cake type colors.  So we will prime this up and paint this up and tomorrow, once it is all dry.  We will put the vinyl lettering on it.”

“We celebrate Sri Chinmoy’s birthday.  Ashrita, who has the most Guinness records likes to get a bunch of us together and work as a team.”  It is by working collectively Papaha says that they are able to achieve so much more.  The result is that many many more are able to receive innocent joy from their efforts to celebrate Sri Chinmoy’s birthday.

“We are going to do a bluish green along the side, blue along the top.  The fulcrum will be a bright yellow.  The lettering will be a magenta.”

“For me it is fun.”  He then points towards Yuyudhan and says it may be just a little less fun as he has to take care of most of the construction.  Papaha says that there are difficult times but overall, “it is always a joy.”

https://www.spontaneousbeauty.com/Private-galleries/Photos-for-Friends/Teetertotter-2019/n-wP8Mjw/

“I do look forward to my maiden voyage.”

Measuring:

The crew

https://www.spontaneousbeauty.com/Private-galleries/Photos-for-Friends/Teetertotter-2019/n-wP8Mjw/

We must accept life’s
Up and down waves
Smilingly and bravely.

 

Todor’s Finish

Todor’s Finish

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Day 52…To Achieve the Goal of Goals (August 6)

With 6 days left in the race Todor was in a place no runner wants to be in at the 3100.  He was off the pace by 32 miles and the finish line and his dream were quickly slipping away.

I have talked to Sahishnu and in the past there are runners who have fallen back and managed to struggle miraculously to the finish line.  But he says not so late and with not so many miles.

Pick a sport and picture the miraculous goal, stepping to the plate in the 9th inning with 2 outs, or whatever nearly impossible scenario and that is exactly what Todor pulled off here over the past few days.

“It is a pretty good morning.  Day 52 and I am in the mood to finish.”

Todor suggests that the hole he had been in was created purely by outer circumstances.  A combination of digestion problems and other things.  “It caused me trouble and reduced my speed.  That is why I said to myself that no way is this going to stop me.  I just have to proceed.”

What has happened has happened but he says, “what is in front of me is still the goal.  So I should proceed.”

He says his solution was to change his diet to simpler foods. “The helped me to recover and have more energy.  If you have good legs and good mood but do not have energy then it is not possible.  It is difficult to run.”

Gradually his condition improved and he started to run faster.  “Today I feel good and I hope I will finish.”

“I have had tremendous support from my friends in Bulgaria, and even from many people that I don’t know, from all over the world.”  He even heard from a school teacher in Japan who was teaching the fundamentals of not giving up by using Todor as an example.

“Very interesting and very touching and that support also helped with my recovery.  Just to proceed and not give up.”

“When I finish I hope I will realize all that has happened.”  He feels that he has gone through a whole spectrum of life experiences.

“Now I just want to go over to the corner and do 100 more laps and we will see what will happen tonight.  Keep your fingers crossed.”

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Harita’s Finish

Harita’s Finish

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