Makes Everybody Stronger

The little things in life, that we so often take for granted, sometimes seem not so little when your life revolves entirely around a half mile block.  There is no privacy, there are no luxuries, there is little if any rest, and the schedule itself is a cruel master.  There is no dropping by the local shopping mall, no slow lunches, no diversions of any kind.  A niggling pain can gather itself, step by step, into a torment of unimaginable proportions.  You are probably always going to be tired, and you are always going to feel pain somewhere in your body, and yet you always have to keep moving, no matter what.

Yesterday I noticed that Pushkar was wearing his special shirt.  Some of his friends in Switzerland had sent to him the year before.  At the time when he received it, it was a tremendous boost to his spirits.  He felt the love, support, and oneness of his friends back home and it made a difference.  He has been running now for 40 straight days.  He has averaged 61 miles a day in that time.  The only people he has seen in all this time are his fellow runners and the small number of people who come by the race to help out and to cheer them on.

Sometimes the little things can go a long long way.  We all know the power of a simple sincere smile.  How much can be achieved with a kind word.  How some patience can achieve infinitely more than frustration.  Today Pushkar received a little gift from back home.  When he saw the small pile of clothes on his table he lit up like a child when his birthday cake is brought out.

Once again he receives a new shirt signed by his friends.  It seems to have suffered a little in the wash but it has all the names of his friends plus his own.  He has a pair of Swiss National football team shorts and a Swiss hat.  He smiles, he yodels, he is for now on top of the world.  This little gift has more value for him than gold.  For him, who has still 648 miles more to run and just 12 days to do it.  His steps today will be lighter and his smile brighter. The still long journey ahead, at least for now, will not seem quite so far.

The days now seem to be slipping away more quickly.  Like the final grains of sand spinning around and around in an hour glass the time is evaporating.

The day ahead turns out to be warm and muggy.  A blessed rain falls briefly in the morning, and for most of the dry North East it is welcomed.  For the runners it is an opportunity to try out rain gear, at least briefly, that has been buried away in bags most of the summer.

Dharbhasana starts the day with some frustration.  The magic fix to his hamstring injury yesterday seemed to evaporate in a puff of smoke and pain.  Just as he seemed to be putting some distance between himself and his problem, it came charging back and  snatched away his ability to run once again.  He was only able to walk the rest of the day, but still managed to complete almost 55 miles.

The board of course never lies.  It has no heart, it has no mind, it is just a piece of foam hanging on the fence with little Velcro numbers attached.  For 40 days it has gathered up all the miles the runners have completed.  The math and its message have to be interpreted by those who run here.  For some it is a lesson in joy and for others now there is a sober reality lurking just beyond day 52 that may be hard to accept.

Everyone wants everyone to finish this journey in its entirety.  It is why they have come so far and worked so hard.  In just 12 days however the cut off will come.   It is not clear just yet how this will all play out for those who remain near, and yet so far.

Start Day 41

“I kept it for a special occasion, I didn’t know for what.”  That yesterday Pushkar was wearing last years special shirt is significant.  Perhaps he knew that a new one was coming today or maybe he just wanted to identify with his friends back home.  He says that when he wears it, “I really felt the support and strength of my friends back in Zurich.”

The weather when he ran here last year was much different than it has been over the course of this long continually hot one.  He says, “Definitely last year was easier.  It was more like conditions in Europe”.  He felt that that he had more support last year but in its own way, “It is kind of nice to stand on my own feet.”  It has made him able to feel a little more independent.

When he finished last year he says he felt as though, “a higher force did everything.”  He felt a sense of gratitude that he would be able to finish the race once in his life time.  “But fortunately or unfortunately I am again back here.”  As he says this he gives a hearty chuckle at the obvious absurdity of the remark.  “Of course I am again very grateful.  It is really a big honor.  I like to have this hunger to run here.”

He says that his mileage has not been as good as last year.  But recognizes the conditions have been so adverse he is not surprised.  “I am not the kind of type who overstretches the whole thing.  Not one who pushes and pulls.”  He seems to be one who likes to go with the flow as it were.  As for the heat he believes he has had less problems with the heat this year as compared to the few hot days last year.  He also mentions that he had a problem with parasites, “that weakened me quite a lot.”

“Actually I feel not so bothered by the heat some how.  I am slower, but somehow I feel not so uncomfortable with it somehow.  I am surprised a little bit I have to say.  I am definitely not a big sweater.”

He says that one of his techniques he has developed this summer when the heat and stress have become profound is to consciously breathe very slowly.  “Almost like in a meditation.  I think this very slow breathing also helps me save energy.  It is not just a running style.  I felt very comfortable.”

He tells me about a day when another runner came up behind him and remarked about how hot it was.  He said, “O is it really 37.  I don’t believe it.  I am running in a forest and I have no idea.”

“There are days in a normal spiritual life which are kind of easier, and days that are not so easy.  Not every day can you have super excellent food.  Yesterday was not so hot and it was also not so humid.  But for me I had the feeling that it was much harder.  In comparison to the day before yesterday.  From that point, it is up and down and changing, but I think this is the thing that makes me, that makes everybody stronger.  If you have it not so easy you have to intensify your inner cry.  You get more peace.”

“Yesterday I couldn’t concentrate so much on my peaceful breathing.  And I tried it and I tried it.  I have to practice and I have to practice, I have to continue.  I have to go on.  If I can keep this kind of consciousness, it would be so heavenly.”

Pushkar Interview

Vajra the foot Doctor is in session this morning once again.  Purna Samarpan wants to have his foot taped up and the good Doctor obliges. His sites are now set on making 2700 miles.  He will need to run 52 miles a day for the next 12.  He ran more than 54 yesterday.

Arpan, the birthday boy is here again this year running his ageathon.  He has to run 58 miles today and by the time the runners start has already run 25 laps.

“I am enjoying it, it is my Soul’s day.  I am not putting pressure on myself, and be happy. “

Arpan Interview

My Lord has

a special fondness for two things.

My life of simplicity

and my heart of sincerity

Poem of the day written by Sri Chinmoy

July 23, 2007

recited by Pushkar

Poem of the Day

I must wake up

and sing and dance

with the morning rainbow.

song composed by Sri Chinmoy

Performed by Enthusiasm Awakeners

I Must Wake Up

“All the progress that we make and that everybody makes is due to the Grace of the Supreme. Personal effort has no meaning here. What you call personal effort, for me is divine Grace. I have come to feel that there is no such thing as personal effort. It is the Grace that is asking me to speak to you and the Grace that is asking you to listen to me.

Perhaps we have brothers or sisters or friends who are not spiritual. Why, then, are we spiritual? We have become spiritual because the Grace of the Supreme has descended upon us. All our progress, in the sense of experience, is due to the operation of divine Grace.”

Excerpt from Illumination-Fruits by Sri Chinmoy

2 Comments to “Makes Everybody Stronger”

  1. nirmala says:

    3100 is not just a number of miles, it is a year that planet earth will reach one day, in exactly 1090 years from now and if you make the math with the approx. 77 years lifespan, it is only 14 times away.

    “When I dive deep within I breath the fresh Air of a new dawn.”

    “God Himself plies my life-boat between two shores: The known and the unknown.”

    Two aphorisms from Sri Chinmoy

  2. nirmala says:

    one more excerpt from Illumination-Fruits by Sri Chinmoy

    There is another way to view gratitude. When we are about to be totally destroyed, our hope, our pride, everything that we have is shattered and smashed. But inside our utter hopelessness, helplessness, destruction and frustration, if we see a streak of hope, a streak of light, that hope or that light is gratitude. Like a magnet, our iota of light is pulling down a higher force which is entering into us to save us. The moment we have this magnet, it pulls down more of God’s Grace and God’s Love. The magnet is our inner cry, our gratitude, bringing down more Love from Above.

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