Running in rhythm with the heart

“Running in rhythm with the heart” is a new book about one woman's dream to enter and finish the world’s longest running race – the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race.

COVER

The book written by Jayasalini explains the preparation, training and epic 52 days of running around a single block in Jamaica, Queens, New York. The book gives an insight into the physical, mental and spiritual challenges which face any runner who takes on this race, often dubbed "The Everest of distance running." For keen runners, it will be of great interest to see how the body and mind cope when pushed to the limit; and for non-runners, it will give a unique insight into a remarkable adventure and the potential of the human spirit.

The book is split into numerous chapters, which give the reader an idea of the many experiences and tribulations which the runners go through. These chapters range from - remedies for injuries - to the friendships made with locals who pass by on the course. While giving an overview of the serious challenges faced in the race, it is also a celebration of running and the ideal of self-transcendence – it is an experience of a lifetime squeezed into 52 days.

“Running is a real meditation: rhythmical breathing and repeated movements help the mind leave its endless flow of thoughts. The inner space begins to exist only for the depth of a silent ocean inside and for the heart’s joy.”

P. 136 “Running in rhythm with the heart”, (2017) Jayasalini Olga Abramovskikh

Q.A with the author - Jayasalini

How did you find the process of writing this book?

I truly enjoy writing. Having returned home after the 3100-mile race one day a beautiful image appeared.  I saw that a few years before this race was like a distant star which seemed to be the most beautiful one in the entire Universe, its beauty called me like anything else… I sat to write down this image.  The book starts with an essay depicting exactly this experience. 

Later I continued writing down some of my memories on the race.  I was doing it for myself without any idea of publishing a book. I was writing because I could experience everything again - appreciating every detail of the race.   Sometime later I felt a strong urge to share the experience with others, because it could not belong only to myself, it had to be shared.

jayasalini

Completing the book took longer than the duration of the race! To steadily move towards the goal, I committed to spend a minimum of 15 minutes a day on writing/editing the book. It worked! I missed only a couple of days and felt extremely happy to see the progress; it was like watching the birth of a new creation.

The book was first published in Russian and then translated into English.  Like the race itself  - where many volunteers participate in setting-up the event - publishing the book was a real team work. It would not have happened without many contributing to the design, editing, proof-reading and translating.  I am very grateful for the support of everyone.

What was the most memorable aspect of race / or most significant chapter in the book?

The most precious experience for me was the feeling of being guided by the unseen hand and a feeling of complete oneness with all higher forces that aided me in during the 52 days of the race, but also the time before and after the race.  Being there I had to find this oneness, to stay in a flow and be receptive to the flow. It was an amazing feeling, and since the race is the real projection of our life I feel that our entire life can become this flow. I tried to describe it in the book through different inspirational stories.

Do you have plans to do the race again in the future?

Exactly this question is answered at the very end of the book, so let me invite you to start reading from the very beginning and to enjoy the entire journey.


Jayasalini is a student of Sri Chinmoy from Moscow, Russia. She completed the 2014 edition of the 3100 Mile Race in a time of 51 days, 12 hours and 31 minutes. She was the first female Russian athlete to complete the race, and she was the youngest female to complete the race (and, at the time, only the 5th women to finish)

Video with Jayasalini talking about the race

 

Successful crossing of English Channel

Tatiana Kvasova a Russian member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team successfully completed her first crossing of the English Channel - in a time of 20hrs 13mins; it marked the 47th successful crossing of the English Channel by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team in the past 32 years.

Tatiana - Kevin MurphyTatiana became a meditation student of Sri Chinmoy in 2004, after meeting Sri Chinmoy during a visit to Russia. Inspired by Sri Chinmoy's philosophy of self-transcendence and the history of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team in attempting the 'Everest of long-distance swimming' she undertook intensive training to gain the necessary stamina and speed. Speaking of the experience of training for this epic event, she remarked:

 

"This (intense) training already made me another person, I have learned to understand myself better, my mind, my body. By working hard in the training and going forward step by step overcoming difficulties you really become a different person, more determined, more confident, and at the same time you become more patient and learn to understand others better."

With relatively little experience of open water distance swimming, Tatiana successfully managed an arduous 20 hour swim with currents her up and down the coast, with the finish insight. Tatiana completed the swim with a crew of helpers from the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team. Her pilot was the very experienced 'King of the Channel' - Kevin Murphy - Kevin has completed the English Channel crossing, 32 times and was once honoured by Sri Chinmoy in a 'Lifting Up the World With a Oneness Heart Award' for his services to long-distance swimming.

Tatiana from Moscow joins a select list of people who have completed a solo (no wetsuit) swim; she was only the fourth Russian female to make the crossing.

“I do not have any set goal; my goal is self-transcendence. I always try to transcend myself. I do not compete with the rest of the world. I compete only with myself, and I try to become a better human being. This is my ultimate goal.”

– Sri Chinmoy

Tatiana after her 20-hour crossing of the English Channel.

Related

 

Oneness-Dream Tour in Tuscany

Earlier in 2017, Oneness-Dream performed 31 concerts during a singing tour of Tuscany in Italy. The all male choir, Oneness-Dream, is dedicated to performing the music of Sri Chinmoy, singing his songs acapella. This video includes photos of the tour with music from the concerts.

“Soulful music is the music that wants to eventually transform our consciousness. It carries us into the Universal Consciousness and makes us feel that we are in tune with the highest, with the deepest, with the farthest.”

– Sri Chinmoy [1]

Credits

  • Photos: Kedar, Dhanu, Jwalanta, Ashcharjya, Prachar, Nivedak and others
  • Video edit: Nivedak
  • Recording: Dharmik, Jigyasu

New Guinness World Record: World's largest crayon

In honour of Sri Chinmoy’s 86th birthday celebrations, Ashrita Furman and a team of volunteers set a new Guinness World Record for the world’s largest crayon. The giant crayon is 5.22 m with a diameter of 56 cm.

largest-crayon

Speaking of the inspiration for this new Guinness World record, Ashrita stated:

“Our teacher came from India to inspire joy in other people. He created thousands of soul bird drawings with crayons in various colours to convey the joy experienced in meditation to others. With tremendous gratitude we are honouring what would be Sri Chinmoy’s 86th birthday with the world's largest crayon.”

Ashrita, manager of a Health Food Store in Queens, New York, holds more than 190 Guinness World records and says the power of meditation and Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy of self-transcendence help enable this unique collection of records.

largest-crayon


Sri Chinmoy was born 27 August 1931, and many of his students from around the world come to Queens every August to partake in his birthday celebrations. Amongst other activities, Sri Chinmoy was a prolific artist drawing, in his lifetime, nearly 16 million soul bird drawings - a unique style of art which reflect the soul’s aspiration and inner freedom.

Soul Bird

Soul-Bird drawing by Sri Chinmoy.

Photo credit: Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.

New women's world record in 3100 Mile Race (2017)

48 days and 14 hours after starting the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, Kaneenika Janakova,47, of Bratislava, Slovakia set a new women’s world record for the distance. Her final time was 48 days+14:24:10, averaging over 63 miles for nearly two months of daily racing.

Kaneenika broke the previous women’s record set by Surasa Mairer by over 17 hours. Her performance was also sufficient to finish 2nd overall.

After a difficult opening few days, Kaneenika was a model of consistency averaging well over the required minimum daily distance of 60 miles. She remarked how over the course of the race she felt stronger - despite the accumulation of miles and physical fatigue.

“At the beginning of the race I actually didn’t feel so strong, the first week and maybe even 10 days.  But then all of a sudden it felt as though I was gaining the strength.  It just all started happening.   It was all coming from inside.”

vasu
The overall winner of the race was Vasu Duzhiy 51, of St Petersburg, Russia, who won the 21st Annual Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race for the second time in 46 days+17:38:22. It was Vasu’s sixth consecutive finish and his second consecutive first place. His performance was all the more remarkable for a serious back accident eight months ago, which left him unable to train and barely able to stand. Speaking after the race, Vasu expressed his joy of competing in the contest.

“I love this race.  I don’t know why I love it.  I just love it and do it.  I am happy here and I am able to do self transcendence. I hope that I can inspire some people to be better citizens of the world.  They inspire me and I inspire them.”

vasu-crowd

Over 100 spectators came to see the finish of the runners who had braved extremes of temperature, sickness, and the unremitting nature of the concrete block which had been their home and sporting pilgrimage for the past several weeks.

On Saturday night, Nirbhasa Magee, a native of Dublin, Ireland finished second man, third overall in a personal best time of 48 days+16:47:01. It was Nirbhasa’s second attempt at the distance, managing to improve his finish time by two days plus 19 hours faster than his previous effort in 2015. For Magee, the spirit of self-transcendence is the essence of the race, remarking:

“It is nice to transcend yourself…  I am not leaving anything on the table.  It is not like I am taking it easy.  What you see from me every day is my absolute best that I can put out

3100-mile-race
The race continues for a few days with Harita Davies (NZ) and Yolanda Holder (US) within striking distance of finishing the race within the allotted time of 52 days.

Follow the race at:

Everest-Aspiration 40th Anniversary

During a one month period during the summer of 1977, Sri Chinmoy gave 100 talks on aspects of the spiritual life. After a few weeks, these talks were published in a series of four books entitled ‘Everest-Aspiration.’

The talks encompass the core of Sri Chinmoy’s spiritual philosophy - and offer seekers a practical guide to making progress on the path of yoga. These talks inspire, challenge and illumine the aspirant to dive into a real and meaningful spirituality. The book touches not just the philosophical level but also gives the receptive reader an intuitive sense of the spiritual consciousness behind the words.

“Smile, my friends, my soulful friends, smile. Let us smile. True, this world of ours is full of suffering and excruciating pangs, but that is no reason why we should not smile. We must smile in order to unburden the world’s suffering-burden. We must smile in order to diminish its untold pangs.”

- Sri Chinmoy, “Smile, love and claim” Everest-Aspiration part 1, Agni Press, 1977

Related

Finale of European Peace Run in Minsk

On 8th July, the European leg of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run finished in a ceremony in Minsk, Belarus. The uplifting international gathering marked the culmination of several months running through Europe and Asia, with five routes converging on the finish in Minsk.

five torches

Five torches representing the five different Peace Run routes converging in Minsk for the final ceremony.

peace-run

The European run began in Portugal in May. Since then an international team of runners have run across the European continent visiting many schools, local communities and people on the road to spread a message that 'Peace begins with me.'

peace run

At Minsk Victory Square. Selected runners release 'doves of peace' to symbolise humanity's aspiration for a more peaceful world.

“This world of ours has everything save and except one thing: peace. And this peace has to start from within. If I have peace of mind, then only can I be of help to you. If you have peace of mind, then only can you be of help to me.”

– Sri Chinmoy

peace runSupporters of the run, including Vice Consul from the British Embassy - Ms Jane Elton and Vice Mayor of Minsk, Mr Igor Viktorovich Yurkevic - hold the Peace Torch.

peace run minsk

Runners from over 30 countries participate in the final group photo.

Video from event

Related

International Day of Yoga 2017

In 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga.

The 2017 main events at UN Headquarters in New York, held on 20 and 21 June, were organized by the Permanent Mission of India in association with the UN Department of Public Information and the World Health Organization.

unisPhoto UNIS - International Day of Yoga, Vienna.

The theme for 2017,  “Yoga for Health”,  was highlighted in many local events worldwide this week  – recognising how yoga could help enable an integral approach to a healthy, balanced lifestyle which promotes long-term good health.

Yoga is an ancient art, combining physical, mental and spiritual practises to attain a union between man and the Ultimate Reality.

Since his arrival in the West in 1964, Sri Chinmoy has written extensively on the virtues of yoga and its capacity to expand the horizons of seekers and aspirants. In the very first edition of Aum Magazine (Sri Chinmoy’s first printed work in the West), Sri Chinmoy wrote about traditional yoga exercises.

“The traditional yogic exercises attempt to place the body in a state of receptivity in order to bring down peace and certain higher forces from above.”

Sri Chinmoy [1]

Sri Chinmoy teaches that through the practise of yoga, we can attain both peace of mind and an awareness of a more illumined consciousness.

“The very aim of practising Yoga is to have peace, peace of mind. When one acquires peace of mind, automatically one possesses indomitable inner strength.”

– Sri Chinmoy [2]

On 20 June, members of Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations celebrated the Day with a lunchtime meditation session for staff at UN Headquarters in New York. The Peace Meditation Group also offered a commemorative booklet on aspects of yoga to participants of the “Yoga Session” held that evening on the UN North Lawn, as well as the “Conversation with Yoga Masters” held the following morning in the ECOSOC Chamber.

Further links

 

References

[1] Sri Chinmoy, AUM, Vol.1, No..1, 1965

[2] Sri Chinmoy, Realisation-Soul and Manifestation-Goal, 1974.

Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race - 2017

This year sees the 21st edition of the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. Ten runners took to the start line on June 18th to embark on the epic quest to complete 3,100 miles over the course of 52 days. Each runner will need to tap into deep reserves of - stamina, fitness, and inner strength - to meet the 60 miles a day average needed to complete the race. The race was founded by Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual teacher keen to promote physical self-transcendence as a way to the inner and outer enlightenment.

3100 mile race 2017Runners and team of volunteers before the start.

The race attracts international media attention for the unique personal challenge it presents. The race promoted by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team has an international flavour with runners drawn from Europe, US and New Zealand. In addition to the ten runners, a team of volunteers look after the runners through cooking, medical team and lap counters.

3100

    “We compete not for the sake of defeating others, but in order to bring forward our own capacity. Our best capacity comes forward only when there are other people around us. They inspire us to bring forward our utmost capacity, and we inspire them to bring forward their utmost capacity”

– Sri Chinmoy [1]

Nridhuvi and Harita enjoying the start of the race.

3100 mile courseThe whole course is on a single concrete block, in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

Photos: Jowan and Utpal.


The runners this year include:

Vasu Duzhiy Age 51, St. Petersburg, Russia (5 finishes, one win)
Smarana Puntigam 46, Vienna Austria. Seven straight finishes.
Nidhruvi Zimmermann, 51, Vienna, Austria
Nirbhasa Magee, 37, Dublin Ireland
Andrey Andreev, 51, St Petersburg Russia
Sergey Kuzmin, 44, Nizhniy Novgorod Russia
Kaneenika Janakova, Age 47, Bratislava, Slovakia
Ananda-Lahari Zuskin, Age 42, Kosice, Slovakia
Yolanda Holder, 59, Corona,CA USA
Harita Davies, 42, Christchurch New Zealand

Full bios of runners

Paintings for World Peace and Harmony

In Geneva, several hundred paintings by Sri Chinmoy have been exhibited at the Palais des Nations, United Nations Office. The event was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in Geneva, with support from the Cultural Diplomacy and Outreach Section of the UN Office at Geneva, in collaboration with the Jharna-Kala Art Foundation.

The exhibit contains several distinct genre of paintings. These include a series of Peace-Bird drawings, originally exhibited at the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, in 2006. Another series of 9”x12” acrylic paintings were first shown at an exhibition at St. Petersburg State University, Russia, in 2004.

At the opening event, H.E. M. Shameem Ahsan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh in Geneva, welcomed guests from the UN community and said that in “today’s conflict-ridden world, Bangladesh remains committed to and vocal for global peace and harmony”, and thus “deeply values the teachings of Sri Chinmoy, a son of the soil.” Noting that Sri Chinmoy taught that “by sharing goodwill and inspiration with others, and by spreading love and care, the world can be transformed and peace can be achieved,” Ambassador Ahsan said that Sri Chinmoy’s “paintings and music reflect his spiritual journey for the peace and well-being of humanity.”

Kenyan long-distance running champion and peace advocate Tegla Loroupe also spoke at the opening of the exhibit in Geneva, recalling how Sri Chinmoy had inspired her to work for peace. The event was moderated by M. Francesco Pisano, Chief of the Cultural Diplomacy and Outreach Section in Geneva. As Head of the UN Library there, he accepted a gift of a newly published book, Songs of Peace, collecting a number of songs that Sri Chinmoy had composed in dedication to the United Nations, as well as selections from his writings about the world body. Several of his compositions of music for peace were performed at the Geneva event, enhancing the peaceful atmosphere.

At the time of the 2007 exhibit of Paintings for World Peace and Harmony at the UN in New York, a number of world leaders and diplomats expressed their support. Nelson Mandela commented, “Within each of us lies the power to build a world where we respect each other’s beliefs, understand each other’s culture and support each other’s values — a world where hatred, pain and suffering have no place.  This is the great cause of world peace to which my dear friend Sri Chinmoy devoted his life and to which his Paintings for World Harmony at the United Nations are dedicated.” Mikhail Gorbachev commented that “Sri Chinmoy was a zealous supporter of the United Nations. He tried to inspire people who work in this worldwide organization. Therefore, it is remarkable that this gallery is taking place especially at the UN.”

During the 10 day exhibition, members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre offered musical performances to those attending the art exhibition.

Enjoying the music.

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