Day 3…Follow Your Heart (June 20)

After 2 days of running Harita Davies has more than proven she belongs with this extraordinary group of distance runners attempting to complete 3100 miles.  Among the women athletes she ran the most laps on day 2 and is currently tied with Kaneenika and Nidhruvi for 2nd place (4th overall).  She starts her 3rd day here looking great and showing no obvious wear and tear from just running 128.9 miles.

“Ever since I started meditating I started running.  So since I began my spiritual life, it was always really a part of it.  I was very fortunate to have it instilled in me by Subarata who was a great runner and one of the center leaders of the Sri Chinmoy group in New Zealand.  She had done many ultra races she really really encouraged us and showed how meditation and running go really well together.”

“I grew up playing sports, my parents are really into sports so for me it was something that I was brought up with and I know that it saved my life in so many ways.  As a teenager when ever I had a hard time and went into sports it made me feel that everything was going to be okay.”

“So my running is like that in so many ways.  Whenever times are difficult or challenging I can just go out for a run.  You feel like everything is taken away.  You feel clear and you feel light.  It helps you to stay much more positive.”

“A lot of people say that I seem like such a happy person and that I am really lucky for that but I would say that is something that I have worked at very hard.  Running is a big part of what helps me to be able to do that.”

“Ever since I first saw the 3100 mile race I just had the feeling that it was inevitable that one day I would do it. But I had no idea when and I always thought maybe in 10 years time.   But last year I realized, I am 42, and 10 years more?

“Last summer I got the inner inspiration and at the time and hadn’t been thinking about doing the race at all.  I was always projecting it into the future.  So I was really surprised that I got inspired to run the race this year.”

She describes her position as one that she would never attempt the race at all unless she could be happy while doing it.  “But every time I looked at the race it just looked like torture.  I couldn’t conceive of how I could do it and be happy.”

“After I ran the marathon and the 47 mile race in August I had an experience.  Even though my body was really suffering.  On a deeper level I felt so much joy and happiness.  Then a couple a weeks after those races I was handed a book on the 3100 mile race, and I suddenly went…..O NO!  Now I can see how it is possible.”

“The more I meditated and thought about it I felt, if you have the inspiration to do something, you should follow that inspiration.  Sri Chinmoy said that inspiration is like a bird.  You should reach out and catch it and not wait for it to land.  If you really feel as though you are following your heart, which I really try and do in my life.”

“I really try and follow my inspiration.  I feel Inspiration is a most powerful blessing.  If you have an inspiration to do something you have to see it as a tremendous blessing.  I felt inspired and that is why I am here doing it.”

“Whatever experience I have doing this race is what I am meant to have and will make progress from it.”

“I am grateful so far, but it is still so early.  Everybody knows that the race is a tremendous opportunity to just live in the moment, and that is a thing that we all have to learn how to do……..and be happy.”

You follow
Your heart’s love.
Your life’s happiness
Will follow you.

Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, part 83, Agni Press, 1984

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Day 2…I Want To Have More Joy (June 19)

Smarana is running the race for the 8th time.  It is a great achievement for any runner particularly when you consider that he completed the race each of the 7 times he has run before.  What makes Smarana’s story so unique though is that it has been 9 years since he last ran.  I, like so many others was inspired to see him return after such a long absence,and yet curious why it took him so long to run again.

On his first day he had a great start with 72.4 miles.  His mileage was only bettered by Vasu.  He is running well this morning, “I am happy about that you never know.”

“The last time I ran here was 2008 but back then I had the wrong consciousness for the race.”  He points to his forehead and adds, “I really, really……really suffered.” (Laughs)

“It took me 9 years to be happy to be back here again.  Since then I have changed my attitude quite a bit.”  Smarana tells me that he had grown distant from the race both physically and mentally.  He says though, “If I had the feeling to come back and do it again I would be the first one to be there.  I hadn’t had this feeling in 8 years. Then in August it was just there.”

“It took me a day to examine it and feel whether or not it was a solid call.  Then I just made the commitment.  Then I said, if the Supreme wants me to run then he has to get me there.  Attitude wise, physically wise.   With shoes I had big issues.  There was a real journey to get me to the starting line, but it was also so rewarding.”

Smarana describes that now that he is actually running this is he says, “the icing on the cake.”

As for the race he says, “it is a privilege to have almost 2 months time to let go of my daily routine, my daily business.  Just to launch into the experience of just running and being taken care of.  Just to let go and dive deep within.”

I pursue the clarity of this call to come and run, and how all of us can listen and understand when such an inspiration comes to us as well.  “There is a voice inside of us.  Which is not like foam floating on a river, it is something solid.”  He said if it is like this then you should follow it.

“In the beginning when I was inspired by the call I was nowhere close to being able to do it.”

“I used to always have this motto, no pain no gain.  After suffering so much the last time I ran here I have learned my lesson.  I now know I can change my belief system.  Now I believe I should have joy and more joy, go to delight.”

“So this is like my new attitude.  We are the creators, if I want to suffer, then suffering will be provided.  But I want to have more joy.  So I hope I can prove this stupid theory in this race.”

When we get joy,
Let us sleeplessly continue
Doing the right thing
To receive
More joy and abundant joy.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 15, Agni Press, 1999

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Day 1… Transcendence Is Perfection (June 18)

It was a foggy warm start for the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race this morning

For Harita this will be her first race

Nirbhasa is back at the race for the 2nd time.  He ran last in 2015

Nidhruvi making a last minute call

It has been 9 years for Smarana since he last ran

Harita being appreciated by Snehashila and of course mutually

Sahishnu makes final introductions

10 runners

Turning the clock back to the start of the race in 2006

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The Day Before the Start of 3100 Mile Race 2017

At the end of the very first 3100 mile race in 1997 Sri Chinmoy the founder of the race said”

“These 3,100 miles remind us of one divine and supreme reality: we can and we must do everything at our command to transform the world of lethargy and unwillingness to be dynamic. Unwillingness we do not leave behind us. Therefore happiness remains always a far cry. Willingness to give, willingness to achieve, willingness to grow and glow should be the message of our souls. With our souls’ blessings we can and will fulfill our earthly life.”

On a cloudy Saturday afternoon the runners and their crew assembled for one last meeting before the start of the race tomorrow at 6 am

A picture of the whole group

Yolanda is running for the first time

Sandhani

Smarana has 7 finishes but it has been 9 years since he was last here

Kaneenika here for the 3rd year

Ananda-Lahari has a long streak of participating in the race

Harita is running for the first time

Andrey is running for the first time

Nidhruvi

Bahula

Nirbhasa and Sergey

Rupantar

Sahishnu with some instructions

Mario

Bipin

Vasu

Nirjharini

Veeraja with auyervedic gift bags for all the runners

Sahishnu

Sri Chinmoy in an undated photo running on Jamaica high school track

“This 3,100 miles is an unprecedented journey in our world-peace-manifestation-dream. World-peace can come into existence only when we are inundated with patience and perseverance. Infinite patience we need in our inner life and perseverance we need in our outer life.”

Sri Chinmoy, Pioneer-runners of tomorrow’s world-peace-dawn, Agni Press, 1998

The outer running
Begins on the road
And ends on the road.
The inner running begins
Inside the silence-heart,
And it continues
Along Eternity’s Road.