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Spiritual Running

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Post Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:11 am

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The experiences of a competitive runner on a spiritual path.
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Those who talk without doing the walk do not know. Those who tell you “this is the path, follow me”, have not found theirs yet. Many times we ask ourselves if the path which we are following is the right one; perhaps this analogy of running with spirituality could bring some light. While in college, I was a ‘race horse.’ That talent paid my tuition. However, the real benefit of that training I can only see now.

The spiritual path is very similar to being an athlete. The path is yours alone. You are running with others but the real race is against time. Anybody can run. Anyone could become spiritual. However, not everyone is willing to run. Spirituality is the path to become a better person. A runner becomes ….a better runner. It is about training. As a competitive runner, you know that “interval training” will kill you. It will leave you gasping for air… your legs will cramp up, but it is your will power the one that will take you to the next lap...again and again. Likewise, “there are blows in life, so powerful… I don’t know!” (Cesar Vallejo, 1919- poet) .The “ups and downs” in life will train you. If you survive the turmoil, you will be stronger; You will have greater “stamina,” your running times will improve. You will be faster!

The caveat though, is to learn to “listen to your body.” To be gentle with yourself. After a storm of life, you should come out of it with gentleness and with a loving heart. Otherwise, you have not learned the lesson. The “up-hill workout” will repeat again, until we master it.

Many of your training runs will be with other runners. In the spiritual path, you train yourself by being with others. Although, you are with them, you join them, you share with them, yet truth is, you are alone. You need to be able to race by yourself. In the ‘big’ race of life, others will be running with you but the “clock,” the time, is the real competitor. You are measured by your ‘time.’ In spirituality, you have a limited amount of time to be all you can be.
The best runner is not the one who starts the race quickly and fades away, but consistency is the key. “The morning star” may win a race; but consistency will give you longevity, name and fame. In spirituality, consistency of any practice to improve yourself will bring benefits. Be consistent. “Every day, rain or sunshine…I will train!” ( Commitment )

“No pain, No gain” is a huge lie if you have been an athlete. Training implies, doing something gently, letting the body get acquainted with new stresses. One step at the time with patience and determination. The ‘big race” is the goal and you need to be fit to do your best. When you follow a spiritual path, if it hurts, it is not for you. Try it, see its benefits. If you have been training with gentleness you will find out that you will be ready for the next step forward, naturally.

In my running career I had many coaches. However, the one who I feel most grateful is the one who knew how to listen to me and the one who taught me values in life without saying a word. He was there everyday. I was there too. I never paid him for his coaching. He never asked for money. (Best things in life are free!) He simply loved Coaching. I simply loved to run. He was friendly with me. He became my best friend. We remain friends despite time and distance...Just like the relationship that we can have with the "spiritual coach" from "up above."

In Spiritual training... you will find many “coaches,” or perhaps just "the One." Destiny will give you what you need at a particular time. However, you need to recognize when the time to move on has arrived. Nothing remains the same.

As a runner, your body will become lean and your muscles will be a work of carved art, a living sculpture made of sweat and many miles. Legs and abs show your fitness, but the most important change is inside. Your heart will become bigger and will be able to pump more blood through your lean body with less exertion. Your pulse will be slower.

In Spiritual Training, you know you found your path when your heart becomes “bigger.” A big hearted person is a loving person, tolerant, respectful and easy. Your “spiritual” pulse is your happiness. It is all about happiness.

May you run the race of life with a big heart and a smile in your face.
Run the Talk and Talk your own spiritual experience.

That is being consistent...consistency wins the race in the spiritual life.

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