Running Seems To Be The Way

If one day you were offered the opportunity to experience genuine all encompassing life fulfillment and inner satisfaction, would you hesitate for even a second?  As a an added bonus you would also be able to gradually release the nearly constant nagging chatter and clutter of your own mind.  In accepting this offer you would then be set down on a path that led directly to your own self perfection.  Where you would not be distracted or obstructed by any responsibilities or obligations to the world at large.

Instead you could commit your entire being to its transformation.  Removing all the barriers and obstructions we so often hold in place and allow   the pure divinity that grows and glows within us all to come to the fore. In the process perhaps expediting years of slow spiritual growth in a matter of weeks.

As all hands rise up to accept this incredible, and unbelievable offer, the ‘BUT’ falls heavy and hard in front of you.  In order to accept this opportunity you would have to experience almost daily physical agony and aching levels of fatigue that  most of humanity has never experienced unless you were imprisoned in some slave labor camp run by some inhuman despot.  The terms of this offer too are not negotiable.

The Self Transcendence 3100 does not have some iron clad contract that is scrutinized by lawyers nor does it either provide any certain guarantees of any kind.  Those who come to it are not conscripted, instead they come readily and voluntarily.  Most, if not all feel a profound and unambiguous inner call to participate.  An inexplicable longing that sweetly nudges, cajoles, and even often just flat out commands those to come here and run.  Then simply, you have to stay voluntarily and accept whatever nature, your body, and your soul decides to throw at you or bless you with.

In return you would be forced to, at almost every moment, go within.  Push past the cacophony of one’s own mind and enter instead into your heart.  Then once there find the peace and tranquility that we so often neglect and do not cherish enough.   Occasionally, I have had brief glimpses of this world the 11 runners inhabit.  This morning as a bright dawn sun gradually lit the world about us I felt this intoxicating ecstasy that is the inner reality of the race.  It was for only a brief few seconds but in that fleeting moment in time it felt like a kiss from heaven itself.

A fraction of an experience in which I saw the all encompassing divinity that was possible for the 11 runners to have and to experience on a constant basis.  Where the physical world simply lost its importance and the world of the runners was composed entirely of just joy and light.  Then of course I had to depart for work and leave heaven for just them alone to enjoy.

Of course the world finds conniving ways and means to intrude upon this Utopian paradise.  For those who organize and regularly maintain the 3100 there are Himalayan problems trying their best to stymie the smooth flow of the race usually at the most inconvenient times.

The motor home for one would not start this morning which meant Rupantar had to make an abrupt shift from plan A to plan B.  The thing to note of course that there are few plans and that most times the race directors have to make up solutions on the spot.

In this case Arpan was called at 5am.  At which time he had to leap out of bed and get the carburetor adjusted which then set in motion a domino tumble of shuffling other vehicles who in turn had their own mechanical difficulties.

Regardless by close to the start this morning there were no signs of alarm  or panic.  Such is the case of the often seemingly effortless flow which happens here.

Meanwhile, and this is not race news, the water tower down the block has lost its top and will soon no longer be a visual land mark in the neighborhood.

The stubborn gap between Ashprihanal and Petr once again remains 5 miles.  Both ran the same mileage yesterday.  The Wall Street journal wrote a long article on the race which inspired NBC news to come out and do a story today.

Start Day 11

As he enters his 11th day of running,31 year old Dharbasana Lynn, from Auckland, New Zealand seems to be at last finding his legs and his rhythm in the race.  With 10 days and 564 miles under his belt, each day he is stepping farther into brand new unexplored running territory for him.  He has never run this far or long before.

Before the start of the race he was as enthusiastic and committed to the experience as one could be.  He felt the support, not just from his wife and young daughter who are with him, but also his friends and family back home in New Zealand.  His expectations of what it was going to be like seem to be coming to pass and as well he is discovering all the other pleasures and pitfalls that are part and parcel of the ultra distance experience.

“Long and at the same time quite short, it has definitely been quite the journey.  Quite the ride up and down and in and out of all kinds of experiences.  It actually amazes me that the human body can keep on going.  Day 11, and this is further than I have ever been before.”

He has done a 10 day race prior to the 3100 but in terms of mileage he has surpassed his previous best numbers round and about day 7 or 8 he thinks.  He had a perception of what it might be like to do this race but says, “I would say there is definitely something else happening.”  Among the unanticipated experiences he says, “My mind is becoming very blank.” He laughs as he describes this.  He is of course very clear and lucid as he talks but what he describes is that when it comes to discussing anything other than the race he has little to no interest in it.

“I am constantly confronted by struggles and my mind cannot even grasp it.  So they soon seem to diminish and you find new found energy to move forward.”  He is also clear that what motivates him each day, despite the struggles, is his own inner call for spiritual progress. “If there is any progress to be made in my life spiritual or otherwise, here it is right now.  This is the nucleus for it all.  I am constantly trying to draw upon Sri Chinmoy’s teachings, self transcendence, determination, and enthusiasm.  Pulling out all the qualities possible to keep moving forward and go beyond.”

He says that his late spiritual teacher created many avenues in which people could take to find and maintain progress in their lives.  He was multi faceted and was involved in numerous creative and athletic worlds.  There is however only one choice for Dharbasana, “for me right now running seems to be the way.”

When asked if there was any time over the past 10 days when he might have wished he was back home in New Zealand.  He laughs and says, “plenty.”  “I am carrying a bit of an injury and in the mornings when I wake up, my ankle is swollen and I can hardly step on it.  I find myself calling pretty deeply.  Prayers going up.  How am I going to get through this day and how am I going to make a lap? That happened on day 6.  I was having quite a struggle in that sense.  Questioning myself in how am I going to do it.  Then somehow grace descends.  All of a sudden you find yourself running and hear your laps ticking by.  You see everybody else running and you see that nobody is exempt from the struggles that you are going through.”

He seems surprised that time and distance has passed so rapidly.  He is not predicting any outcomes at this point.  He notes that at least he is a 5th of the way through but realistically aware that, “every day seems like an eternity.  You start stacking those things on top of each other and before you know it you have a long way to go.”

At one point on the Grand Central side of the course he starts to walk.  He describes that even though to most peoples eyes the course looks flat there are parts, that to the runners, appear to be actually hills.  He learned from the veterans, that running the entire loop all the time was impractical.  It was prudent in fact to break your stride, particularly there and start to walk.  After a time, “you can hardly pull yourself up those things.”

He has learned other precious lessons from the veterans.  “Keep on moving.  Keep going forward, and never go backwards, no matter what.  Time, even though it lasts so long is so precious, every single second counts.  And if you don’t make use of those seconds going forward you never get them back again.  That is quite significant in such a long race.”

He also has learned, “the most important thing is to just stay relaxed.  Go inside the heart.  Don’t try and analyze the run too much.  Be at peace with yourself and keep trying to find that space where you are just living in the moment and only the moment. Don’t try and get too far ahead of yourself.”

click to play complete Dharbasana interview

Dharbasana interview

“The outer runner cries and smiles.

The inner runner sees and becomes.”

Poem of the day written by Sri Chinmoy this day in 2007

Recitation by Ananda Lahari

Poem of the Day

“I sing for God soulfully

God sings for me blessingfuly

We will go on go on through eternity.”

Song composed by Sri Chinmoy this day 2007

Performed by Enthusiasm Awakeners

I Sing For God

I have started running

For Eternity.

Infinity and Immortality

Are my witnesses.

Excerpt from Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 33 by Sri Chinmoy

2 thoughts on “Running Seems To Be The Way”

  1. Hi Utpal, awesome blog as always and posting those interview, make it so much better. It’s like being there. Keep on going.

  2. I was privileged to meet Dharbasana back in New Zealand in the 24-hour Sri Chinmoy race held at Auckland a few months after this. I was able to learn about his experiences in this race at first hand.

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