It Is A Big Lesson

I am really happy

When I take this

World as mine.

– Sri Chinmoy

Poem of the day July 18 2007

It seems this morning as if I have never been away.  That pulling myself out of bed on these hot mornings is all that I have ever done all summer long.  Waking up slowly as I jogged over to the start and been continually inspired by all the bright faces of the runners who would seem physically, to have no possible reason to be so enthused at all.

It is a routine that has become impossibly easy to adapt to and also I am continually surprised at how much I am energized by it.  I sometimes wonder, that if it were possible, could I continue to go on and repeat this schedule for a much longer period than 52 days.  That is, if the runners just never stopped at all.  My little ritual is infinitesimal in comparison to what the runners have to put up with.

There are occasionally some long hours for me but it is a comfortable fit, feeling as though I am in some small way part of this great event.   The race is its own world and it has been easy for me to enter it from the doorway that has opened in front of me.

There are many of you as well I know who have found yourself dropping in from afar and feeling a unique oneness to it as well.  Not that you have come physically close, and showed up with ice cream and new shoes, but that in some way your hearts have opened up to this world of Self-Transcendence and you have felt a oneness that defies your physical proximity.

If any of you are inspired, I would be happy to see your comments added to this post, about how the race has touched and inspired you.  Made even some small difference in your lives or in how you look at the world.

“For me I seem to feel that this world is quite often ruled by mind instead of heart.  The mind has a tendency to take things, and gymnastically move things about and separate them.  Each in its own compartmental space. But when you live in the heart, that is a whole another story.  When you look at your brother and you look at your sister, and you just feel, heh.  He is part of me I am part of him.  And the whole world is like that.  When you have unity, there is happiness.  There is joy.  Everyone seems to feel and be in the same one family.”

Vajra reads and comments on the Poem of the Day

Vajra Comments

Start Day 36

“They are 2 of my wings.”  Atmavir is describing his brother and sister and how much he feels their love and support for him here.  It is impossible to put a value on how significant the runners connection to family and friends is to their performance and well being.  We who watch the miracles they perform each day are obviously inspired by how they defy impossibility.  Atmavir is one who gathers strength from many sources as well as most significantly his late spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy.

He says of his family, that it is his repeated attempts here, that have gradually convinced them more and more the importance of what he is doing and the significance it has for them in their own lives as well.

When we last spoke more than a week ago he had just seemed to be on the road to full recovery after suffering through some poor days on some earlier hot days.  His visit to a local Dr.  had given him it seemed the confidence to do better.  Yesterday however he was able to run only 46 miles.  He tells me that he mostly only walked all day yesterday.

“Yeah, it is the heat.  It is the 3rd time it has happened.  It is exactly the same situation.  I cannot fight weather.  It is impossible.” The problem with the double whammy of heat and humidity are opponents he seems unequipped to combat.

“I feel strong in the morning, then when the sun appears.  I am just useless.”  As we run this morning it is still a long time before 7am will come and it is already frightfully hot.  “So I have to start walking on those especially hot days.  At 9 or 10 I start walking.  My body is not able to continue.  I don’t know why, but the heat really makes troubles for me this year.”

He really hopes that he can break through this down period and his positive mood and determination seem all to be working in his favor.  He would really like to be able to get his standard back up for at least the final 2 weeks, and be able to run 60 miles a day.  He feels that despite his difficulties he wants to be able to surrender and accept his circumstances.  These are forces that seem to be challenging him on many levels.  “It is a big lesson.”

“Actually when I had very hard times.  I did really the fastest progress ever.  When I am running I am not so conscious of the inner path.  If you slow down you must go really deep inside, than you are really facing many things.”

Inspiration appears in many ways and forms for those here who can sometimes find themselves bogged down.  He tells me that he was listening yesterday to a recording of the Bhagavad  Gita.  In a conversation between Krishna and Arjuna he got tremendous inspiration.   “I am not fighting the sun or the weather any more.  I challenged the sun and lost.”

“I accept the weather at the race and everything.  I can say that I am satisfied even now.   When I am walking it is much harder, much more painful.”  He feels that the difficulties he is now facing compare with the first time he ran here in 2007.  This year he says may even be harder.  At the same time he is certain that on an inner level he is making tremendous progress.

Atmavir Interview

The world here moves at many different speeds.  It is just not for those who circle around and around the loop all day every day.  Some meander through the fast orbit of the block and find their way to the other side and seem to have not seen or felt much of anything.  Other times it is necessary to just stop and tie your shoes.

Daulot and his wife Stota have been here visiting for more than a week.  It is birthday season in the Fountain household and they have been inspired to come to New York and also be part of the race.

This morning he is equipped with multiple finger puppets to entertain the runners.  He also hopes that after they leave later today the runners themselves might find some joy in their offering.

On a more serious note I ask him to describe what he believes is happening here at the race.  “It is something new.  It is awe inspiring that is all I can say.  It is hard to describe what they are doing except to say that it is a new creation.  Transforming themselves and the onlookers as well.

It is such perseverance and dedication and love every day for what they are doing, and we like to be part of it.  Because it feels like there is hope in the world.  What ever that needs to be done that is good, can be done with just a lot of ‘sticking with it.’  No mater what the weather or how you are feeling.  To just go for it and always put your best foot forward every day.  That’s the way I feel about it.  It’s wild.”

When I ask him how somebody from Seattle, or from anywhere else in the world for that matter, can possibly connect to this from afar.  “When I go home after being here a while.  If I come across a hard moment in my own life.  Work is tough, I am having a hard time getting up in the morning and I am tired and grumpy.  I just reflect for a millisecond on what they are doing here.  And I say, what ever I got is nothing.”

Daulot Interview

A fitness body and a oneness-heart

I need.

My Supreme Lord’s dire hunger

cries to feed.

Song composed by Sri Chinmoy

Performed by Enthusiasm Awakeners

A Fitness Body and a Oneness Heart

If you have not studied the first lesson,
How will you succeed in learning
The last lesson?
The first lesson is
Your sleepless love of God.
The last lesson is
Your unconditional surrender
To God’s Will.

Excerpt from Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 3 by Sri Chinmoy

4 Comments to “It Is A Big Lesson”

  1. Doris says:

    Without your so well written reports and the short interviews with the runners I wouldn’t feel much conntected with the race although Arpan’s and Nandana’s photos are quite entertaining, although I am very grateful for the short blog entrees plus the updated timetable . To make it short: Your reports are priceless. Utpal! Thank you so much!

  2. Utpal

    I read your reports daily and have learnt a lot from them as well as of the race, the Self Transcendence and the infinity of it all. It makes the days ten miles or a “short race” of 100 miles so much easier if one takes part of the 3100 (through the Net).

    Please keep up the good work (words).

    Change – I have changed my view of what is long distance …

    Kindest regards/Stefan, Sweden (

  3. Belinda says:

    First and foremost biggest hurrays’ and smiles’ and thank yous’ and long live Utpals’ to you Utpal for posting all these beautiful lines…

    To me, this Race takes away all my past disappointments, failures and doubts.
    It does clearifie my mind and vital throughout these days and reveals my deepest Gratitude to my Master for offering me this very special incarnation and for being able to go along this spiritual journey with such a strong and wonderful family. This Race makes me smile at a person in anger, it reminds me of my inner, burning, urge to give and to love more and more, more selflessly and more constantly.

    I simply feel like its my best friend coming to visit me from another country specially for her birthday and every day I am trying to show her my daily life in the brightest possible light…

    GRA-TI-TUDE to the runners and the counters and the cooks and the blog and milage updaters and the photoshooters and the race organisationers and the….

  4. nirmala says:

    thank you Vajra, we are finally entering in a new world of Unity. Unity is on its way. Here a story, one man represents Unity and the other duality: Two men wanted to test who of them is the greater. They put some burning coals on their tights. One man was burned badly the other was not. Who was the greater? The one who was burned. Because he was in such an high state that he did not feel it. The other wore it off with his will and was not burned at all.”

    I am really happy
    When I take this
    World as mine.
    – Sri Chinmoy

    Poem of the day July 18 2007

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