“Who says that all paths are difficult? Try sincerely the path of the heart. To your wide surprise you will see that the heart's road is extremely easy.” – Sri Chinmoy
Just who was Sri Chinmoy? Let me tell you all about him. Sri Chinmoy, whose original name was Chinmoy Kumar Ghose, was an Indian spiritual master who taught meditation in the West after moving to New York in 1964. He established a meditation center in Queens and has thousands of students in numerous countries around the world.
These days, there's a Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team and annual races held in his honor to celebrate his teachings.
In addition to being a meditation master, Chinmoy was an athlete. These two positions were not mutually exclusive. They went hand in hand really. He was an advocate for athleticism for achieving spiritual enlightenment - hence the running.
He advocated primarily for endurance sports to aid in accelerating spiritual enlightenment, such as distance running and swimming. He himself was an active runner, competing in sprints all the way up to ultra marathons, and also was an avid tennis player. In his later years transitioned from running to weightlifting.
Meditation can also go a long way in helping with things like post traumatic stress disorder and other health issues and more and more doctors are encouraging their patients to augment their medical treatment with meditation.
Meditation has become very popular, and Chinmoy is a huge part of that. Many are starting to see the benefits of meditation in all aspects of their lives. According to Chinmoy, the heart is actually the center of one's being and is the key to successful meditation.
Chinmoy suggested meditation during the quiet atmosphere of the early morning before starting daily activities. Specifically, 6:00 AM is a good time to do it according to his teachings. This is for those in the West whose lifestyles don't necessarily accommodate the traditional time of meditation of 3-4:00am!
Ultimately, he thought running and physical fitness were keys to helping the inner spiritual life as well as the outer life. He encouraged his followers to run every day, ideally at least 2 miles, to maintain good health and help settle the restlessness that often becomes an obstacle in meditation.
The nineteenth annual Self-transcendence 3100 Mile Race, which is the longest certified road race in the world just completed in Queens, New York. Both the men’s and women’s winners set world records, finishing in 40 days and 49 days respectively. Ashprihanal Aalto, 44, from Helsinki Finland won averaging 76.7 miles per day (123.5 km). He dedicated his
run to Sri Chinmoy, who encouraged him to always set new goals, believe in himself, and have faith. Seems like it certainly did the trick!
“When the serenity of the mind and the purity of the heart work together, nothing can stand against their immediate success.” – Sri Chinmoy