Sport and Meditation

Sri Chinmoy – a super athlete in the ashram

From his youth, Sri Chinmoy was an avid athlete. So he was in the spiritual community where he grew up as one of the best decathletes. In the 70s and 80s, Sri Chinmoy also discovered the long distance run and participated in many ultramarathons, marathons and shorter runs. Sri Chinmoy also encouraged his students to participate in sports activities. In 1977 Sri Chinmoy founded the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team. What began with simple 2 miles (3.2 km) races soon continued to develop over 700, 1000, 1,300 and 2,700 miles to an incredible 3,100 miles (about 5,000 km) in 1997. Since then, the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team has been the annual home of the organizer of this longest certified road race in the world.

Sri Chinmoy was enthusiastic about a variety of sports, but especially about running. Not only because it reflects the inner course, the inner journey of the human being, but also because it offers the runner in the outer life the opportunity to grow steadily beyond himself:

Self-transcendence gives us immense pleasure. When we go beyond ourselves, we do not compete with others. We do not compete with the rest of the world, but we compete with ourselves at all times. – Sri Chinmoy

Recovery through activity

You are really flat again because you have worked too much? You can forget that now. Do not always try to do the same, but change the activities. Before you start something new and even when you finish it, you can meditate for 1 minute or watch your breath. Instead of hanging in front of the TV in the evening, come up with something new:

      • – Go for a run or do any other sport
      • – Write a spiritual diary
      • – Write or read poems
      • – Make music

Take time for yourself and do not let yourself be distracted for a while by any trivial external things. Observe your thoughts and try to concentrate as you do something, thinking only of what’s really important at the moment. Only when you rest within yourself will you have the power to accomplish all that you have set for yourself.

Sri Chinmoy running the New York City Marathon in 1980 – Photo by Bhashwar Hart