I have always felt a deep gratitude for my enduring love of running and those long ago first encounters with that great inspirer of running, Sri Chinmoy. One of the simple truths about our lives is that most of us might never have laced up our sports shoes and become runners at all had it not been for him. He introduced us to the dormant athlete in each of us, inspired us to challenge great distances, and created a modern spiritual path that encouraged physical excellence along with the practice of meditation in a most successful, dynamic way.
An excellent sports achiever and marathoner himself, Sri Chinmoy always saw in us our deeper undiscovered capacities, something better and larger than what we saw in ourselves. He inspired us, encouraged us to tackle great challenges, gave us self-belief and a sense of wonderful possibility. We became runners and musicians and channel swimmers and mountaineers, we dared to attempt great things. Our fitness gave us strength and confidence, a foundation of wellbeing – we walked and ran through long nights of heat or rain, toed the start line at marathons, ran multi-day epics that banished the word ‘impossibility’ from our thoughts. All those possible selves that we might never have discovered, the unlived lives, the dormant possibilities he awoke! Sri Chinmoy hugely changed our lives!
His comments and profound insights about the spiritual significance of running, the many benefits conferred, are illumining for anyone interested in happiness — and who among us has not felt a growing mastery over mind and body, a more intense aspiration, an elation that is the soul’s joy, a widening world of personal possibility? Perhaps most importantly for us, running has opened up an inner doorway, a portal through which we can sometimes glimpse and feel the boundless potential that all the wisdom teachings speak of, and that we are truly unlimited if we only dare to try and have faith.
August 2017 marked the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, and some of the following memories and stories gather together a few tribute stories and treasures from our worldwide family of runners. May the next 40 years of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team bring the beautiful sport of running to countless people, inspire the many awakening truth-seekers of the world, and bring Sri Chinmoy’s message of self-transcendence to an ever-widening audience of receptive hearts.
“We run. We become. At every moment we are running to become something great, divine, sublime and supreme. While we are becoming, we feel that we are in the process of reaching our ultimate Goal. But today’s Goal is only the starting point for tomorrow’s new dawn.”
— Sri Chinmoy