Flight From The Shadow: The Beginning of Mindful Running

2 Comments August 18, 2014 / Posted in Mindful Running, Running Form & Style, The Running Mind, Uncategorized







The Way of Chuang Tzuu
Thomas Merton
© 1965 Abbey of Gethsemani
New Directions Publishing Corp

There was a man who was so disturbed by the sight of his own shadow and so displeased with his own footsteps that he determined to get rid of both. The method he hit upon was to run away from them.

So he got up and ran. But every time he put his foot down there was another step, which his shadow kept up with him without the slightest difficulty.

He attributed his failure to the fact that he was not running fast enough. So he ran faster and faster, without stopping, until he finally dropped dead.

He failed to realize that if he merely stepped into the shade, his shadow would vanish, and if he sat down and stayed still, there would be no more footsteps. [xxxi.]

It is so easy to get caught or caught up in our doing. It helps me to remember there is always a place in the shade where my shadow disappears. There is also a spot where I can sit and my foot steps are silenced.

It’s only a matter of observing my breath and putting a smile on my face and I am back in the gift of life, the present.

The practice of mindful running begins with being a good animal and a mindful athlete. The good animal runs playfully. The mindful athlete observes what is humanly possible and participates fully in life: balance, flexibility, agility, awareness, clarity, stamina and fortitude.

Be a non-anxious presence in an anxious world.



2 Comments... What do you think? Subscribe via RSS
  1. Kevin Wood said on January 8th, 2017 at 2:44 am

    I’ve began to combine both running and meditation and both practices to help to support one another. Mindfulness truly helps during the difficult moments of a long run and tends to make trail running that much more beautiful.

  2. Ozzie Gontang said on March 8th, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Have you read Haruki Murakami’s: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running? Or Fred Rohe’s 1975 book: THE ZEN OF RUNNING.

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