Questions and answers on running

Question: I find that during races my aspiration varies a lot, sometimes going up, sometimes going down. Is there any way that I can maintain my aspiration throughout the whole race?

Sri Chinmoy: This is my simple suggestion. Before the race starts, meditate most soulfully for five minutes. Try to make yourself feel that you are not the runner, but that somebody else is running in and through you. You are only the witness, the spectator. Since somebody else is running, you are at perfect liberty to watch and enjoy. While you are running, sometimes it is very difficult to enjoy the race. At that time you feel that you are literally dying. Either the competitive spirit or frustration is killing you, or your body is not abiding by your mental will. So many problems arise.

But before you start, if you can convince yourself that you are a divine observer and that somebody else is running in you, through you and for you, then fear, doubt, frustration, anxiety and other negative forces will not be able to assail your mind. Once these thoughts occupy the mind, they try to enter into the vital, and then into the physical. Once they enter into the physical, you lose all your power of concentration. But if you feel that you are not the runner, if you feel that you are observing the race from the beginning to the end, then there will be no tension, and these forces will not attack you. It is the tension that takes away your power of concentration. So, from the very beginning be spiritually wise. Then throughout the race there will be no self-doubt, no frustration, no mental torture. This is the only way to overcome these forces. This is the only way that you can maintain the highest type of concentration from the beginning to the end.

This is what I do. As a runner I am useless, but right at the beginning I try to become an instrument and make myself feel that somebody else, my Beloved Supreme, is running in and through me. Right at the beginning of the race I offer my gratitude-heart to the Supreme, and at the end, after I finish the race, I also offer my gratitude. If I can offer my soulful gratitude to my Inner Pilot before the race and after the race also, then there can be no frustration, no decline of aspiration. At that time there will be no ascent and descent. The aspiration and power of concentration will remain the same throughout the race.