Monday, June 11, 2012

Book: Running with the Mind of Meditation

For those dedicated to their fitness, you may already feel that working out is more that just caring for your body, it is somehow a part of your spirituality.  Almost everyone has experienced the peace, discipline, balance and joy that can come with consistently training your body in a healthy way as we do.  When we workout there is often a lift in energy, positive orientation and relaxation into the present moment that allows us to “clear our head”, if only for a short time.  For some, we see our workout time as sacred, a period when we can just be in the world without all the mental and physical racing around doing this and planning that.  Well what if you could harness more of those mental benefits by adding a bit more intention and mindfulness training to your workouts so you can improve your everyday life?

For those that dread exercising, what if you were given some simple mental training that could help shift your perspective and find a whole new spiritual motivation to work out? 

The NEW book Running with the Mind of Meditation was written to inspire everyone to combine mindfulness practice with exercise and reap all the heart, muscle and mind benefits it provides.  Regardless of your background in meditation, running or health this book will inspire you to run and meditate more with his simple yet profound lessons on living well with more patience, focus, and energy. 

Sakyong Mipham is an accomplished marathon runner and leader of the Shambhala meditation community that has training centers all over the world.  I am happily a member and recently spent a fantastic 5-day retreat in Vermont with Sakyong and his family.  While on retreat I read this book and immediately wanted to share it with our community as it reflects our integrated philosophy of taking care of all elements of your body and mind with smart, balanced, challenging training. 

While simple and subtle, practicing the five running contemplations Sakyong provides in this book is no easy feat. Sakyong reveals the many parallels between training your mind and training your body.  While running you will work on improving your running technique using the very technique as the focal point for training your mind. He describes how you can use physical sensations, mental fatigue, injuries and races as the perfect material to train your mind and achieve higher levels of physical performance and mental understanding.  The end result of all this training is greater strength and unwavering confidence, a goal we all appreciate.

For me I am so excited about the release of this book because it is so well timed to help introduce fitness people who might not otherwise be exposed to the power of mindfulness and meditation training. I have always said it is the mental break through that delivers the physical break through. By extending mindfulness training into a repetitive endurance sport like running, I hope it makes the amazing lessons underneath the training accessible to millions of more people and inspires them to look differently at working out, meditation and their inner spiritual path.  For me, Shambhala meditation training has made all the difference.  I feel confident that I can handle anything in a healthier way and enjoy more of life without taking it for granted or always wanting more.  For more information on Shambhala training and upcoming Philadelphia events, CLICK HERE.

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