Sri Chinmoy's blend of sport and spirituality is starting to appear in some interesting places!
We here at the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team definitely believe that sport is something beyond mere competition and beating the other guy into the dust - it can actually be a key part of one's self-discovery and finding true meaning in life. It is something our race founder and spiritual Teacher, Sri Chinmoy, advocated for many years, and we must admit we do find it kind of nice when we see people appreciating that philosophy in various places! Here are some such instances in recent months:
1. Rise of the Ultrarunners
Dean Karnazes called this book the the definitive book on ultra running today, and it made quite a few sports-books-of-the-year shortlists in 2019. The author, Adharanand Finn, previously wrote a nice article in the Guardian about our 24 hour race in London, and then as part of his research into this book came back the next year to do the race himself.
“This race holds a bizarre fascination for me. I love the way it merges the mundane with the epic, people attempting mind-boggling feats not out in the Himalayas or the depths of the jungle, but on a running track in Tooting in south London. It shows that you don’t have to go to the far corners of the Earth to find adventure, enlightenment, craziness, or whatever it is we’re all seeking, but that it exists everywhere if you just open your eyes.” (quote from the book)
His story of the race takes up a whole chapter (chapter 11, if you're interested) and is not only an amazing story of his own reaching the point where he considers quitting, but then breaks through into a whole other level of experience, but is also an extremely touching tribute to the many ordinary extraordinary people who also did the race with him, some of them in their seventies. The book tracks his running journey through many other ultradistance races, and at the same time opens a window for the uninitiated into the whole weird and wonderful world of ultrarunning itself. The book can be purchased on Amazon here...
2. Runner's tribe
In his January 10, 2020 column in Runnerstribe.com, Matt Fitzgerald (author of books such as The Endurance Diet and 80/20 Running) explores famous marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge's philosophy on running:
"There’s nothing unique about Kipchoge in this regard. Endurance racing is a spiritual experience for many athletes. Indeed, it’s almost impossible for a spiritually sensitive person to experience endurance racing non-spiritually, which is why spiritual leaders including Sri Chinmoy, an Indian-born advocate of meditation and running influential in the U.S. in the late 20th century, have promoted it even to nonathletes. “The inner running and the outer running complement each other,” Chinmoy wrote. “For outer running, we need discipline. Without a life of discipline, we cannot succeed in any walk of life. So when we do outer running, it reminds us of the inner running.” For the complete article...