SCA 1148-1166. An interview conducted by Robert Swan, the editor of Simply Living Magazine, on 14 September 1984 in Canberra, Australia.
Question: You have said that your philosophy is a merging of the inner and the outer. Most people would interpret meditation as being an inner process and I wonder if you could explain for us how you feel marathon running has a place in spiritual development.
Sri Chinmoy: The inner running and the outer running complement each other. 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. The inner running, we know, is the longest distance, eternal distance. We do not know when it started and we have no idea when we are going to end it. Whereas, if it is a marathon, we know that after covering 26 miles and 385 yards, we come to an end.
For outer running, we need a life of discipline, endurance and patience — so many things which are good! In the spiritual life also we need many things — we have to conquer our fear, doubt, jealousy, insecurity and so on. So we feel that one is helping the other.
Early in the morning, if I have freshness in my mind and if I have sound health, then I will be inspired to pray and meditate. If I do not have good health, then I am not going to get up and pray and meditate. So it is my good health that is helping me to become a good seeker.
Again, if I am a true seeker, then I will try to do something for mankind on the physical plane. If I love God the Creator, I must also love God the Creation, otherwise what kind of love is it? If I love God, who has created this world, I must also love the Creation itself. So while we run outwardly, it is the Creation that we see and when we pray and meditate, we are trying to have a conscious awareness of the Creator.