Running as Meditative Achievement


Some peops like to assume foreign positions and breathe deeply, farting out their toxins and achieving yogic feats of stretchiness. Others like to simply sit, zen focused, breath leveled and mind emptied of all but immediate attention. For I, my meditation consists in running. I think that running is oft overlooked as a potentially meditative and ecstatic and spiritually emergent activity. Most people pass it off as a rather painful, smelly, and impractical endeavor. It’s certainly not the most glamourous of past-times: I blow snot-rockets every few feet as I go along, and I probably look somewhat like a frenzied chicken, or perhaps a beleagured muskrat, as I stride along with sweat accumulating along my neck and back. Yet I love it. I love the feeling that it gives me, I love running fast, I love sweating profusely, I love going somewhere—preferably alongside of the ocean—with the sun on my skin. Because as any experienced runner can tell you, once your body has adapted to the stress and circulatory demands of running (which can admittedly take quite some time—you’ve got to be masochistic at the outset), you feel great thereafter almost every time you run. The endorphins that flow freely like a shot of sweet morphine through your veins as you hit your stride and fall into a pendulumic sway. The steady trance of breath, of footfalls on the asphalt (or dirt, or grass, or sand). The pretty girls in sportsbras who pass by you on the boardwalk. The sun glinting off of the sea. The feeling of self-control, and flight, and music, and discipline. I used to try to force myself to sit uncomfortably on the floor and empty my mind and meditate. But I’ve realized that I already do my own style of meditation; and while I would like to become better able to sit and focus my mind while doing nothing but sitting, I also think that learning to center yourself in the midst of bodily frenetic activity is the flip side of the same coin. Easier in one way, and harder in another.

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Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

3 thoughts on “Running as Meditative Achievement”

  1. I have to agree, i just did the US half marathon and loved every minute of of it, well apart from the last mile or so!! It i so nice to get out by yourself and see how hard you can push your body.

    SO the countdown is on for the trip, man i am soooo jealous, have great time.

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