Day 37: Transcend Myself

Wei Ming officially joined the long distance club in 2005 when he participated in his first 100 km race.  It was something he says he didn’t expect after first running a marathon.  “I ran more than 4 hours.  I didn’t expect it would be so hard.  I didn’t realize that pacing was so important for a marathon.” He felt he did not do well.

“I enjoy now the slow pace of ultramarathons.  I enjoy the slowness and being relaxed.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

Wei Ming’s strategy he says is to limit his daily distance to 100km.  A number which he feels is his physical limit.  “It makes sense to me to run this way for 3100 miles. I know what my limitations are.”

“For 32 days I ran more than 100 km.  I have never done this before. I was surprised I could do it but at the same time I started missing home and my family so it gave me mixed feelings. I feel sad at the same time.”

“I feel so much wisdom from Sri Chinmoy.  I feel I am transcending myself here. I appreciate the opportunity to be here.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

Wei Ming first ran a Sri Chinmoy marathon team race in 2014. He says he is not a follower but feels he identifies and is inspired by many of the beliefs and philosophy of Sri Chinmoy.

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

A few days ago he felt like he was hitting the wall, “but in spite of that I am learning a lot about myself and just how important running is to me.  I really appreciate the opportunity to be here.”

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Day 36: We Help Each Other

“Every day to some degree it feels like the job is being done for me.  And on the better days it really feels like the job is being done for me.”

“On the not so good days it feels like ……either you can say I need to put in more effort.   But that real effort is like praying more for the receptivity to have faith that the job is being done for me.”

“In one sense physically this is a small world.  We are going around and around a small block in Jamaica Queens.  In one sense its small because you don’t have to worry about all the worldly things you normally have to think about or focusing on.  Your main focus is just to keep going forward.”

“That is small in one way, but at the same time it is completely representative of life on earth.  The circular nature of the race is like the whole universe.   The planets go around the sun.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“Everything about this race is representative of our own life, and of the whole world, and the reality that we all face every day.  The challenges and obstacles as well as the opportunities for us to make progress.  To become more spiritual.  To have more faith in the cosmic flow, in God, and the divinity within ourselves, and to connect more with each other.”

“To really feel the universe inside us and to really feel how we can help each other.”

“I am just one of the people running, but there are so many people making this happen.   There could be hundreds if not thousands of people making this happen in so many different ways. I am just a small part of it.”

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Day 35: A Higher Source

“What I see, is that quite often people learn theoretical aspects of praying and meditating. But here (3100 mile race ) it is all practical implementation.”

“You test all your knowledge all your capacities.  Without meditation, without involving higher power, without relying on a higher source, it is just impossible to run so long.”

Stutisheel describes his early life as a time when he was looking for a teacher.  “I was looking for somebody wise.  To guide me.  To teach me how to live without making mistakes.”

“So I was happy to find this guidance in Sri Chinmoy.  I found that he was most reliable, my closest friend.  He knows not only what is good for me but also what is best for you at every moment. ”

“None of us can fathom the significance of this race.  Even though I have run here 13 times I still can’t answer what this race is really about.   Because it is so deep.”  He went on to suggest it could have a possible affect on the global stage and of course significantly affect his own personal development.

“Still it is a mystery but it works.”

Stutisheel went on to describe the significance of the upcoming anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s passing.  “Of course it is a sad day.”

“Of course I realize that he only passed physically.  But whenever I am looking for his help, his guidance, I can still find the same response as when he was still in the physical.”

“He is always here.”

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Day 34: Impossible Becomes Inevitable

Over the past few days Andrea’s mileage has spiked.  Consistently in the 70 – 71 mile range it has gone up to two days in a row of 76 miles.

“Yes it is a big jump.  I guess I am losing quite a bit of weight.  So I am getting lighter and lighter.  I feel it helps somehow.”

“I try to eat as clean as possible, no junk food. I try to have a good sleep at night.  So I am always trying to improve small details.  In the end they make a big difference.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

When asked if he is motivated to transcend his previous time in the race.  “I see the possibility, so I have it in mind.  But the race is so long you never know what is going to happen.”

“I have a daily goal and I have a final goal as well.  So for me the race is something that evolves day by day, and I try to do my best.”

“Yesterday what seems to be impossible.  Today it will be possible.  Tomorrow it will be inevitable.”

“Somehow I knew I could do the job.  I try not to push too much.”

“Somehow it is true I did a big jump.  70 to 76 somehow it is a big jump.  I am happy I can kind of hold it.”

“My opinion is that probably 70 to 80% of the race is mental power.  You have to be focused.  You must have determination, and will power.  You cannot give an inch to relaxation.  You cannot slow down or let things slide even a little bit.  Otherwise you collapse.”  Andrea suggests that if he were to slacken his focus things could tumble around him like dominoes.

“So I try to be super focused and super concentrated. I don’t even smile sometimes.” (Which then made  us both laugh out loud.)

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Day 33: Always Do My Best

“The first time I came to the race was 2005,  but I came to the 700 mile race in 1999 or 2000.”

Ananda-Lahari describes his immersion in multi day running not unlike diving into the deep end of a pool when you have barely learned how to swim.

He was used to running on wooded trails while orienteering and distances never longer than 20 km.  “This was a giant step for me to run 700 miles.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“When I did the 700 mile race I was not thinking of any more. I loved the experience.”  Because of complications with his visa he could not come to the US for the next 4 years.  Instead he says he sought out the longest races possible that were accessible to him there. “I was not trained at all.  I used the races for training.”

“Somehow the idea came that I would like to run this race.  But I was still not brave enough.  I applied but because I did not have a visa they did not take my application seriously.”

“In 2005 I was accepted and I was really happy.  I was literally jumping with joy.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“Always I want to do my best.  It is not as though I came to have fun or amuse myself. I always want to do my best in terms of speed and mileage.”

“I always do my best according to my understanding.  Sometimes I may not be able to be focused very well.  There is always 100 percent performance every day.”

“This surprises me.  No matter If I do 40 miles or if I do 80 miles. I always go Wow, good job.”

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Day 32: To Have Peace

“Running has been important to me my whole life.  But when I became a student of Sri Chinmoy it seemed running was very important to follow this path.”

“Running became even more important when I started running long distance.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“You can find peace and tranquility while running  We can develop these inner qualities while running as well.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“I think that when the hard times come while I am running this race.  Meditation reveals more to me and manifests more to me. It is during the hard times that are the best for developing these inner qualities.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra aphoto

“I think we can have peace all the time but we have to invoke this peace and focus on it so that it comes to us.  It can be spontaneous but sometimes you must work and aspire to have this peace.”

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Day 31: New Goal In My Life

” When I look at it from the stand point of that it took 26 days to complete half way It feels that it has passed so quickly.  But when I look closely at each day, the day feels like a whole month or even a year.”

“Back in my university days my aim was to be selected to be a member of a team which competes in the Hakone Ekiden.( very popular relay marathon competition.) “But I was not selected.  I was so beaten by that fact that I stopped running altogether.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“But then I wanted to have a new goal in my life and that is when I first started thinking of ultra distance running.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“Now finally to see myself here in the ultimate race in ultra running has become my goal in my life.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“It is very difficult to say right now at this point whether or not what I will gain when I cross the finish line.  Then maybe even when I cross the finish line I still may not know what I have gained.  Maybe it is something that I will only realize after some months or even years.  At this point I don’t know anything.”

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Day 30: Live In The Moment

“I feel so much warmth here and the people are so nice.”

“I qualified for the race and was invited.”

“When I first arrived I thought that I would compete but now I no longer feel like a competitor.  Now I just want to be part of it.”

When asked if the course felt like a new home, “Taiwan is home of course, but many people are coming to meet me here.  Strangers are coming to cheer me up, and right now my condition is very good.  I don’t have any injuries. I am very happy here.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

” Before I came I thought that breaking records was very important.  But now I realize that doing my best is just part of the process.  I just want to cherish the experience of being here.”

As for returning and running the race again Wei Ming responds humbly that he would like to but since there are so few places he doesn’t want to take away an opportunity from some other runner who also would like to run.

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“I feel as though I am living in the moment.  I really like my day to day experiences.”  Wei Ming adds that if he was unable to run here again he might like to come back and volunteer.

“I am really enjoying the moments here.  If I come again I want to make every moment meaningful.”

This morning a mysterious moment came when Wei Ming brought out a pair of sandals and wrote 3,000 km on them and then tied a balloon to them and placed them by a chair.  In a short while it was realized that he was subtly and humbly informing everyone that he was about to set a new standard for that distance and this was his method of letting all of us to know.

The board of course is set up in miles and without Sahishnu present the race statistician the mark in kilometers was not easily visible.

Sahishun was aware of the mark and recorded Wei Ming’s time ws 29 days, 1 hour, 18 minutes, 12 seconds

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Day 29: I Chose To Be Here

“It definitely works it just depends on how totally sincerely you can do it.”  A week ago Harita started having some problems with a sore Achilles and I had heard that one of her solutions was to treat the issue with normal therapies but as well focus on her happiness.

“Sri Chinmoy gave a lot of importance to the quality of happiness”  Harita adds that she grew up in a family that strongly supported optimism and happiness.”

“Sri Chinmoy said that even if you don’t feel happy.  If you smile and pretend to be happy it actually helps to make you happy. It really does.  You can be feeling kind of miserable.  You just force yourself to smile.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“Usually there is some little thing to look at.  You can look up at the sky.  It is so beautiful it looks different then it did 10 minutes ago.  There are so many beautiful things if you just look for them.  It will help you identify with something vaster, and outside your own small world.”

“Remember I chose to be here.  I chose to have this experience.  No one is forcing me to do it.  Though it may be a difficult time just now it is the difficult times that where the real blessings are more evident also.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“Physical ailments are complicated.  To a large degree they come from your state of mind.”

Harita says that when she started having achilles problems she wasn’t surprised.  “The more you can have peace and equanimity, and positivity inside your being.  I think people know that.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“It is just a case of making it happen and remembering it when things get tough.  Keep an optimistic and positive outlook.  It makes a big difference in your physical well being and state of health.”

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Day 28: Dare To Try

“There is always something to learn, but I believe people need to be interested or have a connection to what they are watching.”  Stutisheel was referring to the possibility of people who are observing this race from far and wide can learn something about themselves and be inspired.

“It is such an unfathomable race, an unfathomable inner journey.  Of endurance, of coping with challenges, and of staying positive no matter what comes.”

“When Sri Chinmoy invited me to do the race in 2004, I had only a slight idea that I could do 5,000 km after my previous longest distance of 100km.  But it somehow became possible.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“I see that many obstacles we have are just in our own minds.  That we limit ourselves. By nature we are limitless, because we are soul, we are spirit.  If we are able to connect with our own higher force I believe there is nothing we cannot do.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

Before the interview concluded Stutisheel told a story from 2006 when, his wife Atandra received her spiritual name from Sri Chinmoy. “We were so happy.”

“We were just like kids.  Walking together and smiling like we were in the 7th heaven.”  Stutisheel describes Sri Chinmoy’s unique ability to connect to and inspire people.

“I remember this moment every time I have hard times. Sri Chinmoy’s smile.  He wants us to be happy, and it’s easy actually.”

The board at the start of day 28

Camp

Clock

Soap bubbles

Stutisheel

Wei Ming

Harita

Andrea

Start Day 28

Andrea did 72 miles

His 14th day above 70 miles

He now has 1915 miles

Flower

Swamiji

Wei Ming did 63 miles

He now has 1731 miles

Running well

Flower

Guess who wants to play

Vasu did 62 miles

He now has 1670 miles

Flower

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

Medur marking a laundry bag

Harita did 60 miles

She now has 1657 miles

Doing well

With Brahmata

Flower

Counting

Jason

Takasumi did 58 miles

He now has 1609 miles

With Nina

Flower

Some of the boys after 2 mile race

Sahishnu

Ananda-Lahari did 48 miles

He now has 1534 miles

Flower

“I hope all the runners see me in my new 3100 mile race shirt.”

We are all truly unlimited, if we only dare to try and have faith.