July 25 Life is a Spiritual Experience

as and sup1For something that takes so long and is so hard, it is difficult to remember sometimes that precious moments can happen at the 3100 in an instant.

They can be so ephemeral, that your mind’s eye may not barely notice that something heart felt has taken place at all.   Yet a gift from the heart, which is freely offered, can be a treasure that not only lifts the spirit, but can also make each step a little lighter along the way.

The oneness of this little family here has only grown closer over the many miles and weeks.  When one runner experiences pain all will identify, in one way or another, with the others suffering.  When there is an abundance of joy in someones heart, than that all too can share in this and be enriched by it.

Here Suprabha is asking Asprihanal about his finish.  He is telling her approximately when it will take place on Monday.  She seems to be showing him all admiration for what he has done here in this his 9th race.  When she finishes he will be there for her as well.  Offering his pride and admiration to her who will have run 13.

ut3Utthal tells me that he has been coming daily and walking on the course of the 3100 for the past 5 days.  He says, “it inspires me.  It is definitely the place to be.”  When asked why he came out here now when the race has been on so long, he jokes, “I wanted to make sure they were serious, that they wouldn’t quit on me.”

ut4He tells me, “the runners really encourage me.  They ask me how many laps am I doing.  They keep right up on top of me.” Utthal will walk two laps this morning, not much compared to the runners but for him a real feat.  You can hear the laboured effort he puts into completing each step he takes.  Each day that he comes back here and repeats his 2 lap walk, will be another small victory on his life’s journey.  Many more could come and find their own sweet victory here in this place teeming with inspiration.  Utthal says, “life in its entirety is a spiritual experience.  I am in my heart most of the time, so I figure when you are in your heart life is a spiritual experience.”  Utthal interview

Picture by Bhashwar September 81

Picture by Bhashwar September 81

Once you enter into

The spiritual life,

You have to take each incident

In your life

As a God-given experience.

Excerpt from Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 16 by Sri Chinmoy.


Diganta is the youngest of all the runners and yet is experienced well beyond his years. He is 29, an age when many would be only dreaming of attempting something like this and yet he is here now for the 4th time.  Little seems to bother him or preoccupy his thoughts and yet he moves with a quiet confidence and determination.

diganta.****JPGThere is something child like about this young Austrian who loves Harry Potter and the world of fantasy and yet he surmounts a very real epic challenge here that would seem impossible to be whisked away by any secret incantation or the most vigorous twirl of a magic wand.  What fiction writer could concoct a plot more rigorous or foreboding than spending 2 months running 3100 miles.

A year ago he was hurrying for a while to finish the race in order to catch his flight back to Europe.  It was speculated that he would have to rush back to his place just to find the time to pack.  In the end he simply changed his ticket.  When it comes to this event he says, “the plane ticket is the least pressure.” This year he has a return flight on September 2nd.  He laughs, “I think there should be enough time to finish by September 2nd.

diganta stretchHe will do better than last year but according to his current schedule it will be his third best.  He is philosophical about this and says, “you can’t force anything.” He tells me his goal each day is to get 111 laps but for a long time it seemed that it just wasn’t happening.  Then he says he had a day when he was able to complete 115.  “For me it was something significant.” He had almost given up on being able to do it and then it just happened.  “The next day I did 113 and yesterday I did 110 which is almost.  My running became much better again.  You go through ups and downs.  There are many things going on.  Just look at every day and try and reach your daily goal, and see what the next day will bring.”   Diganta Interview pt1

digantaHe says one of his new experiences this year is to no longer be overly concerned about the sun.  He says that he regularly used sun block and says this created in him an attitude he says, “that the sun is my enemy.”  This he tells me created him a bad feeling for the sun.  This year before the race he was living in Italy and was regularly training there and s0 had a very dark tan even before he came to New York.  The weather of course has been cool this year so he discovered he was using less and less sun block. Sometimes just putting it on tender areas like his nose.  Now he digantadoesn’t use any at all and found he was having no problem whatsoever.  He says because of this, “My feeling towards the sun has totally changed.  I like the feeling of the sun on my skin now even if it is hot.” He says because of this transformation it has changed his whole attitude towards the race as well.Diganta interview pt2

“I am feeling more and more like this race is like a dynamic meditation.  It changes every day.”  He says that when he finished the race last year that whenever he would meditate at home he realized there was a similarity between his meditations and the experience he had just being here and running.  He can imagine he says that, “Every step we take is like chanting a mantra.”  He adds to this by adding,  every step you take forward is also like taking a step deeper inside.  You are covering the distance around the block and going deeper inside as well.”  Diganta interview pt3

josh1joshJosh cannot remember how many summers he has come and helped at the race.  He teaches school in Germany and his new year starts soon so will leave on Monday.  He says that what draws him back every year is that he feels that the race is, “a great opportunity.  I feel a lot of energy here.  From the runners I learn that you should be happy, always.  I try to practice this in my daily life.”

Josh will spend hours every day playing music for the runners.  For him it is an opportunity to make progress as a musician while at the same time his music inspires those who inspire him.  Josh interview

jerry shaberpierre and ananOne of the races biggest fans showed up this afternoon.  Jerry Shaber has at last found the time to come and just soak up the race.  He is getting caught up reading some stories.

Pierre will come this morning for the 2 mile race and help afterwards.  He says, “it is a very special moment when you get a chance to be in their company, even if it is only for a few steps.  There is something genuine that is shared.”

Pierre Guitar

parvatiparvati poem

2006 song

2007 song


You know what your dream-life is,

But you know not what your reality-life is.

Your dream-life is an assuring life

of promise,

A life of joy.

Your reality-life is a God-life

of love-perfection

And oneness-satisfaction on earth.

Therefore, stay not always in the dream-life.

Come out.

Embrace the reality-life.

Excerpt from When God-Love Descends by Sri Chinmoy.

No Comments.

Leave a Reply