Run and become, become and run, part 14
The midnight training run1I know my disciples will forgive me, but God won’t forgive me for exploiting their devoted oneness by asking them to come at such an ungodly hour — midnight — to help me in my training run in Flushing Meadow Park last January.
The day before, of all days, I decided I would run seven miles during the day, although I knew that I would try to run a training marathon at night. Who asked me to run five or six miles? I did one mile of hill work up 150th Street in the morning. Then I ran two miles. Later I did one mile of speed work and one mile at an eight-minute pace. Then how I suffered during my long training run!
Was it my mental hallucination that it was so cold? Usually I go out at five in the morning, but it is not as cold as it was that night. At times I felt as if a bullet were passing through my chest. Then I stepped in a puddle and my left foot started burning. Inwardly I was screaming because my sock and shoe were burning with the absolutely icy cold! I always wear long underwear under my trousers, but that night I wore only a nylon running suit. Right from the beginning, the muscles in my legs were so cold. I wasn’t wearing enough on my hands either, although I had on two pairs of gloves.
I said, “If I finish 20 miles, then I will be satisfied.” I had already given up the idea of doing a whole marathon.
I am so grateful to each of the disciples who was there. All those who ran with me and those who sang throughout the night, standing at different places, were so compassionate. Hundreds of songs they sang. Each one deserves my very special gratitude. When they make such sacrifices for me, I hope they feel my heart’s undying gratitude. If I have gratitude in any form, is it not for these disciples? Luckily I have them as my disciples. Had I been their disciple, I would have stayed in bed. I am speaking very sincerely. I would have said, “I am sick. I have got this to do, I have got that to do.” Next time, if I do a midnight training run again, perhaps all of my disciples will say they have fallen sick. That is why they could not come.
RB 712. 1 April 1983↩
Attack by dogs2Early in the morning, around 5:30, I went out to run four miles. As I was running back, I was in my highest meditation. Right near my house, two huge, ferocious dogs — no exaggeration — came chasing after me from the other side of the street. They were barking and jumping up at me. One was right in front of me and one was on the side. One jumped right up to my chest and one was at my elbow. They were almost touching my chest and elbow — it was a matter not of a foot but of inches. I couldn’t jog, I couldn’t walk. I had to use my occult power — I still have some left — so they wouldn’t bite me.
For four miles I had been meditating, so was it my karma? You might say that perhaps the previous day I had done a bad meditation, but I knew for the past half hour what I had done. The mind was not thinking at all; it had not yet started with Centre problems. I was doing only prayer and meditation, but the hostile forces are all around. Luckily, my prayer-power saves me always. I was praying to the Supreme, “Save me, save me!” and the Supreme did save me.
Then I went onto my porch and was sitting on the couch watching the dogs. For three or four minutes I was on my porch looking at them and they were looking at me. One was brown and one was black and white. The brown one stood right in front of my house.
I called Ashrita, and he came with Thomas, Bipin and Pulin. I told them, “Please try to solve this dog problem!” Ashrita put a hole in his pants and blood on his arm and pretended he had been bitten. Then they went to complain to the lady who allows the dogs to stay behind her house. They also went to the police.
Four months ago I had the same experience. It is not like silly barking. These dogs are really attacking! This has been happening again and again with the same two dogs. They always come chasing after me from behind this lady’s house. The lady says they are not hers, but she and her husband won’t let anyone take the dogs away.
A few months ago I was going down the street and five or six dogs came. What are you going to do? I wanted to enter into the house of the old lady who is my friend. I stood in front of her house, hiding behind a tree. I said, “O God, this is the time for me to knock on her door — at 4:30 in the morning!” I was about to knock on her door, but then the dogs went away.
This time I didn’t get a chance even to stop. If you see them five or ten metres ahead, you can pretend you are walking and maybe they won’t attack. But this time I didn’t have a chance to stop, because the dogs came from behind. The best thing is to have something in your hand. One time I looked for something and found a ball, so I pretended it was a rock.
RB 713. 2 April 1983↩
Welcoming committee3Around five o’clock when I go out to run immediately one of my dogs, Kanu, starts crying. Then, when I come sneaking back like a thief, Kanu is up waiting for me on the porch. Even if I turn off the light, the dogs know it is me.
RB 714. 2 April 1983↩
Puddles4This morning I went out running in shorts. It was so bad outside — raining cats and dogs! On the sidewalk there were so many puddles! But when I descended to the street I came across even more puddles. Then I would go back up onto the sidewalk again. Everywhere there were puddles. The rain was falling like arrows, but I still ran two miles.
RB 715. 3 April 1983↩
Looking at my picture5During our 12-hour walk, some of the walkers were looking at my picture. I thought they were reading. At 3:30 in the morning, when I saw Agraha go by holding something in his hand, I thought he was learning songs. I knew he was not a singer, so I wondered why he was learning songs. No, he was looking at my picture for inspiration.
For some people to do something on the physical plane is such a difficult task! I am the pioneer. I walked 19 miles today. I am extremely proud of myself. The first time I stopped after eight laps. The next time I did five laps, and then I did six. So it came to 19. If I could have continued from the beginning to the end, I could have done 30 miles.
RB 716. 13 April 1983↩
You have to drink!6In the Boston Marathon I ran for a while and then walked slower than the slowest. An old man grabbed me by the shoulder and said, “Your heart is working very hard. You have to drink!”
I said, “No, thank you.”
But he said, “You have to!” and he forced me to drink.
Because I was tired, he sympathised with me.
RB 717. 20 April 1983↩
Can I shake hands with you?7While I was practising before the start of the Long Island Marathon, someone came up to me and asked, “Are you Master Sri Chinmoy?”
I said, “Yes.”
He said, “Can I shake hands with you?”
So I shook hands with him. He was saying to his wife, “He is such a kind man.”
At the start of the marathon, one lady ran with me for three or four miles. She was wearing all yellow. Then she asked Lucy if I was Sri Chinmoy.
RB 718. 1 May 1983↩
Nature is so cruel!8Nature is so cruel to us! To run 26 miles is not enough. It also has to be so windy and cold! Is it a joke? We say nature is kind. We are all the time trying to be as natural as possible and become one with nature’s beauty. But nature has been so hostile to us — both in the Jersey Shore and the Long Island Marathons.
RB 719. 1 May 1983↩
Under three hours9At least three times Janani has been kind enough to remind me of the promise that the soul of Japan made to me — that I would do the marathon in under three hours. I said to her, “All right, I will ask your husband to do it on my behalf, since he and I are one.”
RB 720. 3 May 1983↩
Oneness with the soul10Last night I ran four miles and walked two miles. Then we drove six miles in the car.
Databir’s calculations were going wrong because his mind was not functioning. Indian kindergarten students could have done better arithmetic. Mentally I knew he was wrong. I was writing the figures on a paper plate and calculating mentally. His calculations were three or four seconds off.
Just as I finished writing my calculations, I saw Anugata’s soul inside the car. I smiled at the soul and blessed it. Then, not a minute later, Databir told me that he had written down a message from Anugata on the other side of the plate.
Anugata had called the previous night from California to say he had found a place on Long Island that has a belt to support my back. The place has 24-hour service, so Databir and Pulin had phoned up the place. It was 2:30 in the morning. Today they will go to get the belt.
Last night Anugata’s soul had also come to me for special blessings and love. Perhaps the soul had come to me right after he had finished talking with them. And this morning, when they were about to tell me that he had called, his soul came a second time. So this is our oneness with the soul.
RB 721. 3 May 1983↩
The screaming man11I was walking and running around 6:15 this morning. Some people who had crossed to the other side of the street came back when they saw me to say, “Good morning!”
Then I saw a black man on a bicycle. He was so excited to see me that he started screaming, “Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy!”
How do these people know me? I was wearing a hat that practically covered my head, and it was early in the morning. Databir was following me in his car, and he was wondering why the man was screaming.
RB 722. 7 May 1983↩
The dispute12Yesterday, when we were running four miles at a little over a 7:30 pace, Databir had no trouble running with me. But when we started race-walking, he fell behind me. Ashrita said he was 400 metres behind, but Databir said it was only 200 metres!
RB 723. 7 May 1983↩
Some unique running styles13This year, after the Long Island Marathon, I couldn’t believe the way Pulak surrendered to one of the helpers at the finish line. It was absolutely unconditional surrender! After finishing he was so helpless.
Pulak’s running style is unique! Then comes Saurjya’s style — he wants to touch the ceiling with his head while running.
The other day I saw Sudhir running early in the morning. His hands were stretched straight out.
Once, while race-walking, Baoul looked as if he was doing archery with his arms.
RB 724. 7 May 1983↩
The clock14One night I was in my room reading my walking book. At about 1:45 a.m. I called the San Francisco Centre. Susan and 10 or 12 people were there. Then I saw the time — 2:05. So I rested. Then I heard the clock say, “It is three a.m.” so powerfully. Every hour this clock announces the time. I said, “I am not going running yet. I want to hear it say another hour.”
Again at 4:00 it was so faithful. It said, “It is four a.m.” But I was just sitting there, praying and praying for God-realisation. Then it became 5:00. I started getting ready, doing a few stretching exercises. At exactly 5:30 I phoned up Databir. In ten minutes he found me with his car. He always catches up with me on Union Turnpike.
RB 725. 7 May 1983↩
Watching our races15Running is a serious part of our manifestation. I wish to say that the races we hold or participate in have a very special place in our manifestation. And this manifestation is nothing short of our aspiration. So even those who do not or cannot run in the races should have a considerable interest in our efforts, which are our self-giving to the Supreme. This is especially true of the races in which the disciples and I run; they are absolutely necessary in our life of dedication.
RB 726. 8 May 1983↩
So happy to get prizes16In our ten-mile race today two ladies over fifty were so happy and excited to get prizes! They never expected in this lifetime to win anything. They never imagined that they would come in first and second in their age category and they were so thrilled. They were in tears because they had won. One of the ladies was very spiritual.
RB 727. 8 May 1983↩
Bits and pieces17In our ten-mile race today Kalatit surrendered to Pahar. But last Sunday, in the Long Island Marathon, it was a different story.
After running five miles, Prakash was telling us that he was not the body, he was not the body.
RB 728. 8 May 1983↩
My running was all walking18I had wanted to run ten miles before our ten-mile race began. But my problem was knee pain. After 20 metres I started walking. So my running was all walking.
RB 729. 8 May 1983↩
Running mantra19Every day, as soon as I start running, I have the same mantra: “Today let me go slowly.”
But “today” becomes “every day,” and then relaxation starts. Never does the mantra come: “Today let me go fast!”
RB 730. 12 May 1983↩
A sense of satisfaction20With tennis, I get such joy while playing, but then afterwards, nothing. But with running or walking, no matter how badly I do, afterwards I get such satisfaction. I am relaxed and I get such a sense of accomplishment.
RB 731. 12 May 1983↩
Losing weight21Whenever I want to lose weight, I start walking. Walking is my salvation. When I run, I don’t lose as much weight. In seven or eight days I have lost thirteen and a half pounds from walking. My body doesn’t register it, but my scale does.
RB 732. 12 May 1983↩
False alarm22I was walking in front of my house. Two dogs were barking like anything. One of them — a big dog — came running towards me. They came up ten or fifteen metres and then went away.
RB 733. 12 May 1983↩
Mistaken identity23This morning when I was in front of my house walking, a funny thing happened with the neighbour who is on our right side. He is a young man whom I do not know very well. It is not like the neighbour across the street, whom I know so well.
I thought my right-side neighbour was in his car, so I said, “Good morning, good morning!” Then he said to me, “Good morning!”
Five minutes later the actual neighbour came out of his house and said “Good morning!” to me. Then he entered into the same car. So I said, “Good morning.” The first one was my neighbour’s brother perhaps, but I thought it was him.
His older daughter always looks at me with such respect. When little children are cycling on the street, bothering me like anything, she is always very nice to me.
RB 734. 12 May 1983↩
Everything is contradictory!24Everything is contradictory! In the morning I decide to be a sprinter. Then in the afternoon I decide to be a marathon walker — even though I know that sprinters are never supposed to walk because they will develop certain muscles that are not good for sprinting.
RB 735. 12 May 1983↩
I know your name!25On our street we have a Filipino family. There are two brothers. As I was walking yesterday, one of them said to me, “I know your name! Your name is Sri Chinmoy.”
Then his brother said, “Shut up, shut up!”
The first one was so happy to tell me my name.
RB 736. 14 May 1983↩
Recognition26While I was watching the 50-mile race in Central Park, so many people who were running and riding bicycles recognised me. But when I looked at them, I couldn’t recognise them at all. Some people from our 24-hour race were so nice to me. Nathan Whiting did so well.
RB 737. 22 May 1983↩
The Chinese doctor27When I ran the Sri Chinmoy Marathon in San Francisco, for the first 13 miles hundreds of people were behind me. Even a Chinese doctor who had given a clinic before the marathon was behind me. He had given a talk on how to run a marathon, but this was his first marathon.
Then I got cramps. I was screaming, and Nirvik and Pradhan were both massaging me in the street.
RB 738. 29 May 1983↩
I need admirers!28This morning, near my 100-metre mark, I saw a man with a dog on a leash. He was an old man, fat and tall; he was totally out of shape. He was admiring my running. I said to myself, “I need admirers!”
RB 739. 1 June 1983↩
Delayed start29The 10-kilometre race in Prospect Park was supposed to start at 10:00, but it started at 11:10. When the police came, I thought they were going to disperse us and throw us out. But then they made an announcement that when the police car came a second time, the race would start.
RB 740. 4 June 1983↩
Rivals30When we started the race, I was absolutely the last person. A young girl went ahead of me and told me that she was not going to be last. What an insult! But after two or three hundred metres, she surrendered.
Then, after 600 metres, whom did I see? Vince! He was my first rival. I was watching him and watching him, following him very faithfully. After 1200 metres I saluted him and passed him.
Then I saw Sarama just before we came to a hill. The hill was my worst enemy. I said, “Perhaps those two will go ahead of me.” But fortunately they did not go ahead of me.
RB 741. 4 June 1983↩
Beat that sissy!31During the race at least 12 people recognised me. They called out, “Sri, Sri!” They said I could make it.
There was a girl from our Montreal Centre who kept going ahead of me. Sometimes I would come very close to her. Then she would get tremendous inspiration and run ahead and disappear.
When I had completed five miles, a very nice black man who was watching came up to me to give me special advice. He told me, “Inhale, exhale three times. If you do that, then you will be able to beat that sissy!” He was encouraging me, telling me to defeat her.
RB 742. 4 June 1983↩
Life is most precious32I never take water from those helping in a race, but life is most precious. Today there were two women giving out water. I was only looking to see where their fingers were — whether they were inside the water or outside on the cup. They were inside the water.
I said to myself, “Which is more precious, my life or a finger?” I decided my life was more precious, so I took the water. Afterwards, Ranjana gave me a Tab. I did not think I would feel thirsty in only 6.2 miles.
When I see children giving out water, I never look at their fingers. Children are God. But with grown-ups, I look at their fingers first before taking the water.
Runners like us, who are dying all the time, need water. But when you are at the back of the pack, you find that there is often no water left.
RB 743. 4 June 1983↩
Appreciating our races33In the race, a 16-year-old boy named Stanley could easily have gone ahead of me. But when I started walking, he also started walking. Then he started appreciating our races like anything. He said our races were much better. He said, “Here there are no split times, no mile markers. There is absolutely nothing!” He also said he liked our T-shirts, especially our half-marathon T-shirt.
RB 744. 4 June 1983↩
The quarter-mile that never ended34Towards the end of the race people were telling us, “After the turn it is only a quarter of a mile.” But that quarter of a mile never ended.
After I finished the race, I took a few steps and somebody said to me, “Are you the last guy?”
I said, “Oh no, no! There are people behind me.”
RB 745. 4 June 1983↩
Our friend the announcer35After the race while we were having prasad, our friend the announcer, Kurt Steiner, came up and I offered him some ice cream. He enjoyed it. He was saying that definitely our boys have the national team record for the 50-mile race.
RB 746. 4 June 1983↩
My excuses36Today I ran the three-mile fun run for Queens Day in Flushing Meadow Park.
After running one mile at a seven-minute pace, I drank water. I was walking very nicely for 100 metres. After two miles again I started.
At two and a half miles I said, “Go, go!” to Lucy. At first she didn’t see me, because I was so far ahead. Then she went ahead of me.
My timing was better than my best three miles, but when our boys measured the course, it was 100 metres short.
In the morning I had played 30 or 40 games of tennis. Then I took so much exercise. And I hadn’t eaten for the previous two days. These are all my excuses why Lucy finished 100 metres ahead of me.
RB 747. 6 June 1983↩
Meeting Fred Lebow37At the start of the Westchester Half-Marathon, I was standing in the eight-minute-pace section. Whom did I see? Fred Lebow! As soon as I saw him, I greeted him and said, “Good morning.”
He said, “I will see you next week at the hundred-miler.”
I said, “Definitely I will be there.”
Every year our team counts laps at the hundred-mile race.
RB 748. 12 June 1983↩
Seeing the front runner38During the Westchester Half-Marathon I saw the man who stood first. I was heading one way and he was coming the other way. He was taking such long strides, as if he were running on flat ground rather than on such big hills.
RB 749. 12 June 1983↩
Watching the disciples39In today’s half-marathon, Chandika defeated Lucy, Chetana and Nilima on my behalf. Deliberately I was staying seven metres behind Chandika, saying to myself, “I will defeat all of them.” After two miles I surrendered, but Chandika went ahead and defeated them.
At one point, Sarama was going ahead of me with such devotion and surrender. Great, Sarama!
When I saw Thomas, he gave me such a wonderful smile. Then I found out that it was because he had gone ahead of Pahar. To get a smile from Thomas is no joke! Mahiyan and Thomas were running together. Then, at the last moment, Thomas had to defeat Mahiyan.
As you know, I didn’t have the courage or strength or stamina to finish. From the first mile I wanted to surrender.
At the finish line I was sitting in the car. Sundar came up and told me of his deplorable performance with such sincerity and soulfulness. There was no false modesty — only sincerity and soulfulness. I was so proud of him. How I wish all the disciples, when they don’t do well, would maintain this kind of cheerful and soulful consciousness!
RB 750. 12 June 1983↩
Disobeying the sign40While I was running on my course near Jones Beach, I saw a fat woman and a fat man riding bicycles. When they came to the bridge, the wife started walking but the man kept riding, even though there was a sign saying to get off your bike and walk it over the bridge.
RB 751. 13 June 1983↩
You were going so fast!41This morning I phoned up Baoul and told him to meet me along the course going towards Flushing Meadow Park. Usually he comes when I am at the 500 or 600-metre mark. But this time, O God, even after I completed one mile, there was still no sign of him. I said to myself, “That means he is asleep!”
Then I said, “Since he is not here, let me watch the time myself. Let me run a second mile. Then perhaps he will come.”
In my second mile, when I came to 1100 metres, I got inspiration to walk a little. So I walked for ten or fifteen metres. When I finished, I couldn’t believe my time 6:51. Baoul saw me after 1100 metres and told me afterwards, “You were going so fast!”
Then I ran another 300 metres, only blessing Trishul. He is responsible for that course. There were so many branches there and Trishul had done nothing about them. Then, after two or three miles, there were the old marks.
RB 752. 17 June 1983↩
Everything can be a blessing42Today I went to Yonkers to run my hill course. Vincent and Databir were with me. After some time, Databir entered into his trance. Vincent was not feeling well. It was so hot. What an experience! Instead of running, I walked four miles.
Always you have to take advantage of the situation. If I want to run on 150th Street, I can do it again and again and again. But during the trip to Yonkers, I will write poems and do many things, whereas I may not get inspiration at that hour to write poems in my house. So I force myself to go to Yonkers to run the four-mile hill course there.
It usually takes 45 minutes to drive there. Today it took one hour and fifteen minutes. While in the car, I could have slept, played my flute or read the newspaper. But I took the opportunity to dictate poems. Everything can be a blessing! You can have a comfortable life and stay home and accomplish nothing. But each time I go to Yonkers I can dictate 40 or 50 poems.
RB 753. 17 June 1983↩
100-mile-race experiences43I was watching the 100-mile race at Shea Stadium when Cahit saw me. He walked to the sprinkler and washed his hands. Then he came over and shook hands with me and said, “Sri Chinmoy, it is so nice to see you here.” He was one of the runners, but he came to a complete stop and washed his hands so he could shake hands with me.
James and Arpan were running together. Both of them were in a very good consciousness, and they smiled at me very soulfully. Then Trishul passed by me, not even one foot away, almost dashing into me, but he did not even see me. Databir was forty metres away from me. He saw Databir and said, “Hi.” Then he saw me and stopped, smiled and folded his hands
When Nathan saw me, he said, “Sri, I have something to tell you. I am studying your books.”
RB 754. 17 June 1983↩
The 100-mile race44At the 100-mile race Arpan was so excited because he got number 27, which is the day of my birthday.
Nathan doesn’t like to talk to people when he is very exhausted. At 74 miles he said, “These people, what are they telling me? They should come and start a marathon in my state.” He had 26 miles left. But when he came near me, he smiled at me and his mood changed.
The great Stu Mittleman was hit by a bicycle at midnight. He was jolted. Of all people, he was the one who had to be attacked!
Seven women joined the race. Four finished. Many men also gave up. The runners had to have completed a 50-mile race before this.
They gave us a very big prize, a plate, because Arpan, James and Trishul won the 50-mile National Team Championship.
At six in the morning George Vallasi ran over to greet me. I was shivering. It was so cold, and Baoul didn’t have any jacket in his car. It was foggy and drizzling.
George told us that many excellent runners say that they used to dream night after night about baseball. But we have created so much interest in running that people are losing interest in baseball. Running is giving them so much joy that they are no longer interested in baseball.
RB 755. 18 June 1983↩
Poetic aside45Nathan Whiting said he has read thousands of poetry books, but he has never read anybody who writes in the English language in such a natural way as I do.
I had told him that I liked his poetry book, so he told me that.
I said, “Nathan!”
He said, “Yes, I mean it!”
RB 756. 22 June 1983↩
Watching the six-day race46During the six-day race, a runner from Colorado came up to me and said, “Sri, I always feel for you. Whenever other people misunderstand you, I say, ‘His philosophy is totally different.’ I read your books.
“My wife is so nice. She says, ‘As long as you don’t get injured, you can run.’ After eight days I am running another six-day race.”
Then, after some time, he said to me, “Sri, you have inspired me so much that I have already run three miles.”
Cahit Yeter came up to me and said, “I took a long rest, and as soon as I opened my eyes, I saw you.” I hadn’t seen him.
As soon as Stu Mittleman saw me, he started clapping. Don Choi gave me a little smile.
Kim Cavanough calls me “Guru.” She said, “Guru, this is one of your races. Your people have made it into your race. I am getting the same feeling here as at your races.”
Nathan Whiting came by and I said, “I have read the article about you.”
Nathan said, “I have not read it.”
I said, “It is excellent.”
Nathan was begging me to give a spiritual name to James. Nathan is always so nice to me. I asked him how he survives. He said, “Oh, a difficult task! I work a little and then I run.”
George Vallasi was also in a clever way trying to get me to give James a spiritual name. He was saying that James was not talking to the cameramen and that he himself wanted to speak to the camera people on James’ behalf. So he asked me what he should say — what James’ good qualities are.
RB 757. 6 July 1983↩
A visit from Indira47When I was coming back from running today, I saw Robin. He was going straight and I made a turn.
O God, Robin’s third eye is not open, so he could not see Brihaspati’s wife, Indira, standing right in the middle of the street. Her soul had come to me for blessings.
RB 758. 8 July 1983↩
Looking at my watch48As I was coming back from running, I saw Ranjana driving to practise sports. As she passed I looked at my watch. I said to myself, “Perhaps she is thinking that she is late, and that is why I am looking at my watch.” But actually, I was looking to see how long I had been out.
RB 759. 8 July 1983↩
Dying to lose weight49I feel such joy and such sorrow when I see the disciples running early in the morning on 150th Street, trying to lose weight.
The other day, first I saw Anupadi. I said, “Good!” Then I saw Anna. As soon as she saw me, she increased her speed. I said, “O God, she can run so fast!”
All are dying to lose weight!
RB 760. 14 July 1983↩
The deaf became dumb50At our West Coast triathlon, I was supposed to draw a number in a kind of lottery. It was read out over the loudspeaker — number 644.
The woman with that number could not hear; she was almost deaf. A man did something with his fingers, and then she understood. Then she came up and became speechless because she had won. So the deaf became dumb.
Then she said that she had been dying to go to Hawaii, and now she had got the round-trip ticket free. Over 700 people joined and she won the ticket!
RB 761. 2 August 1983↩