Monthly Archives: October 2013

Quote

Each individual soul

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Each individual soul is a choice instrument of God. Each individual soul has to accomplish something unique here on earth before it passes behind the curtain of Eternity. Each individual soul has a message, a special gift, to offer to Mother Earth. Each soul tries to leave here something divinely inspiring and supremely fulfilling.

Sri Chinmoy (2008) Behind the Curtain of Eternity. Selected Writings by Sri Chinmoy. New York: Aum Publications.

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A Spiritual Master’s Protection

This is a short piece I wrote for myself on 11th October 2010. I find on the eve of the 6th anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s Mahasamadhi (a spiritual Master’s passing from this earthly plane onto the souls’ world) that I revisit the experience knowing how full of gratitude I am, and as I prepare for my 11 mile run tomorrow in dedication to my Guru.

This is what I wrote:

Your Master’s Voice

Is inside your heart,

For your soul and your Master

Are always together.

Sri Chinmoy

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Sometimes one has to be reminded of how grateful and special one is to be on Sri Chinmoy’s spiritual path and how his compassion and protection knows no bounds.

I had an unforgettable experience on the day of Guru’s Mahsamadhi this year. It is one that came totally out of the blue and so unexpected. On each anniversary of Guru’s passing from this earth I run 11 miles as soulful as I can. I inwardly chant Supreme and Gratitude and think of Guru. This year as I was still recovering from the 24-hour race it was not my intention to run 11 miles that afternoon, but something inside me compelled me that I should run the 11 miles. It was a glorious day – blue sky, crystal clear and a shining sun. Everywhere was bathed in a wonderful sunlight and it was unseasonably warm for the time of year.

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The miles went by quickly and the last two miles I was feeling so much gratitude and the last few miles inwardly chanted Supreme quickly. Near the end of my run as I came off Bristol’s Durdham Downs I was coming up to my 11th mile and, I had to cross a zebra crossing. I waited on the kerb as the car in the inside lane stopped and I then proceeded to run across. On the outside lane though the car never saw me and hit me full on. The force took my legs from under me and lifted me onto the bonnet. The pain of the impact was so intense. The momentum flung me onto the bonnet and my outstretched arms prevented my head from hitting the windscreen. I was then flung off and I bounced onto the ground and ended up flat on my back on the pavement. The front of his car finished a good 10 feet over the zebra crossing. At that point my mind was telling me that this was serious, and I won’t be running again for sometime. My mind was telling me with that that magnitude of force I must have broken my legs. The driver rushed out of his car and asked if I was seriously hurt and did I need an ambulance. I replied, “Just give me a moment”, as I took a few deep breaths. The driver said, “Did I hit you or did you bounce off my car?” I laughed and said as a matter of fact, “No … you hit me”. As quickly as the pain had come it quickly disappeared and it dawned on me that I was unhurt. The driver was saying “I’m really, really sorry, I didn’t see you”. I just said, “These things happen, don’t worry”.

740745_403670199719969_1455184739_o (2)Indeed these things do happen and that we do not know what their purpose is. Perhaps it was his destiny and mine and there was a purpose to why I was hit by him. Looking back on it in a way it was fortunate that he hit me and not anyone else. If he had hit a child or elderly person then the repercussions of his actions would have been catastrophic. That would have been very sad.

However, I was able to get up, felt that my legs were in good working order, and the rest of me was fine. I just had a minute scratch on my arm. He brushed the earth and leaves off me. I smiled – I think from a sense of relief and joy that I would still be able to run. The driver was astounded that I was unscathed, and I mentioned that, “Someone was watching over me”. Although all the traffic momentarily stopped, no one else got out of their cars and intervened or helped. It was as if this event happened within a bubble. It was a moment shared just between the driver and me. The driver was a really nice guy. I think he was quite bemused by the whole thing. I suppose he hadn’t anticipated this happening to him (it’s not everyday you run over a runner and you both smile about it) or my calm reactions towards him.  I couldn’t feel any sense of anger or animosity towards him. I knew Guru and the Supreme had helped me and I was full of eternal gratitude. The last part of the conversation I had with the driver was just telling him to slow down in future. He realised that it was his error. I shook his hand, smiled and wished him well.

1016977_499721470114841_1959675701_n (2)I ran the last mile back home and I knew something significant had happened.

I usually bruise very easily so I was expecting to be black and blue the next day. But you know what – nothing. I just know I was very lucky – very lucky that each day I can feel Guru’s and the Supreme’s presence and no more so than on that third anniversary of Guru’s passing behind the Curtain of Eternity.

11th October 2010.

My physical death

Is not the end of my life –

I am an eternal journey

Sri Chinmoy

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Sri Chinmoy entered into Mahasamadhi on October 11th 2007.

http://www.srichinmoy.org/

Self-Transcendence 24 Hour Race, Tooting Bec, London, 21/22 September 2013

Individual self-transcendence

Collectively inspires

Humanity at large

Sri Chinmoy

The Start

The Start

For the past 4 years I have run in this race, but due to injury (which will be a whole another post about my reflections and tribulations on this – coming up shortly) I could not run, but instead I helped out as one of the lap counters.

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In a way I have come full circle.  My fascination into ultra running started when I joined the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centres and was invited to be a lap counter during the 2004 Race.  At the time, although I was an enthusiastic runner, I just could not comprehend why anyone would want to run for 24 hours, let alone around a 400m track!

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However, through each successive year I came to fully understand the need to go beyond that which you think you are capable of.  I like to think I’m an exponent of this now, but, I’m still learning.

So, it was great to be back in the lap counting seat and I had the great pleasure of lap counting amongst one of my three runners, the legendary Geoff Oliver for the first ten hours. I was back again at the race at 5:00am to lap count another three different runners who all achieved over 100 miles.

Geoff Oliver

Geoff Oliver

Geoff covered a total of 380 laps of the track to record a final distance of 152.295kms / 94 miles 1108 yards to set a new world male over 80 record  

There were some amazing performances and the Race was full of every emotion you can think of. Full Race Report and photo gallery can be viewed here: Race Report and Photos

Marco Consani (154 miles; 248km) and Fionna Cameron (134 miles; 216km) finished first and second respectively and it was their first 24 hour race – absolutely remarkable.

Consani and Cameron power up the ultra runnings.

Marco Consani

Marco Consani

Marco kindly commented:

I am so glad that when I decided to do my first 24 hour event that I decided to run this one. This event is fantastic and so well organised. Shankara and her team looked after all of the runners before, during and after to make sure we all had good runs. No wonder people keep coming back for more.
I couldn’t recommend the Tooting 24 enough to anyone wanting a go at 24 hour racing.

Fionna Cameron

Fionna Cameron

Ann Bath (aged 65, finished with 102 miles; 164km) commented:

Ann Bath

Ann Bath

An absolute honour to be part of such an awesome race this year, my 3rd time at Tooting and the support from everyone just never ceases to amaze me.  From the lap counters, aid station helpers, officials, and the supporters of other runners cheering you on too!.  It  just gives you such strength to do achieve your absolute best possible, and it helps hugely through any bad patches.  It was my first 24 hour 3 years ago and I would encourage anyone to not be scared of attempting it, and age means nothing, it is the mind that has to be even stronger than your legs!

It was great to see my friend, Abichal complete 85 miles (136km). The photo shows him on the final minutes of the Race. Everyone tends to have the biggest smiles at the end – a mixture of bliss, happiness and relief.

Abichal

Abichal

Patrick Quinn - An Irish family occasion

Patrick Quinn – An Irish family occasion

Group happiness for Chris McCarthy completing 106 miles

Group happiness for Chris McCarthy completing 106 miles

Alex Riches celebrating with his family after reaching his goal of 100 miles

Alex Riches celebrating with his family after reaching his goal of 100 miles

It is amazing how such an arduous task such as completing a 24 hour race can bring so much joy and happiness to so many people – runners (of course, especially at the end), lap counters, helpers, supporters and family and friends. It was a privilege to be at the race again to witness this.John Turner inspiring the next generation

With God’s grace I hope I can run in the race next year.

 

It always seems impossible until it’s done. Nelson Mandela

Self-Transcendence 24 Hour Race 2013 Results

5.0.3

Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team