I decided to share something personal that I have done for several years now to integrate exercise and meditation as one. Often times, I like to workout intensely and leave little room for calmness as I am sweating it all out in the gym. My mantra is usually exclusively self motivating and can be summed up in two words, “Keep going.”
However, when I run, I already naturally find something so meditative about it. Running liberates me, physically but even more so mentally. There is a restorative balance I feel when I am finished that is hard to duplicate with any other physical activity besides archery. I will get into that more later!
To me, the relationship between meditation and running is natural, for one is a training of the mind and one is a training of the body.”
― Sakyong Mipham,
So I decided to focus on whatever I felt I needed to reiterate into my being while running. Magically, running makes that affirmation a stain, a tattoo that gets inbedded on my soul. Running increases my comprehension of whatever phrase or prayer I need to nourish my soul and evolve my consciousness.
Little did I know, but discovered later, there is already an entire movement of people who do the same thing, run and meditate. Although my concept is more on focusing on a quote or prayer you want to encourage to flower into your life, this book explains the direct correlation between running and meditation, specifically how running is a form of meditation. A quote from the book “Running into The Mind of Meditation” really resonated with me;
Running and meditation are very personal activities. Therefore they are lonely. This loneliness is one of their best qualities because it strengthens our incentive to motivate ourselves.”
― Sakyong Mipham,
So what exactly is a running meditation? I have made it my own, for me it is a saying, a quote, a scripture, a line from a movie or a very special person that you want to incorporate into your life to vibrate higher and evolve. There is no special physical thing you need to do while running. You run as you would run normally. When you are stretching before you start running, I do propose as you stretch you focus on the meditative quote so that it starts it’s simmering in your brain.
An example would be;
Today’s running meditation; “The journey is exactly what it had to be.”
Let that quote stay with you as you stretch and begin to take off running, keep repeating it to yourself. Then work it out in your head as you run exactly what it means to you and how living with regret is not the way to live. Everything that happens in your life happened to grow you, to bring you into full bloom.
You are not a thing, you are alive and evolving. Keep running, breathe in the fresh air as your feet thump the ground, left foot, then right. Observe your breath while you take in the truth and accept your journey then slowly exhale out any regret you hold from your past, any pain you felt from people in your past and understand; “The journey is exactly what it had to be.”
When your run is complete, bow with gratitude of each and every experience that brought you to who you are today. Be thankful, not regretful for every pain you endured and every smile that has graced your face. It is all making you, definitely not breaking you!
Running meditations will be posted 3-4 times a week, please participate and add feedback, suggestions, comments! I have dedicated an entire page on my blog titled “Running Meditations,” to assist you in your running meditation journey.
By Janell Hihi