A few days ago, I finished Running with the Mind of Meditation, by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. I liked it so much I’m thinking of reading it again. It’s a very quick read, but I found it very rich and widely applicable. I happen to have a strong interest in Buddhist philosophy and have been meditating regularly for a few months, so obviously something about running and meditation is going to have a lot of appeal to me. But you don’t have to be interested in Buddhism to get a lot out of this book–Sayong Mipham places a lot of emphasis on the connection between mind and body, and delves into the benefits of developing that relationship. Meditation helps to bring the mind into the present moment, and I think that’s a place all runners want to be.
Obviously, he’s much better at talking about the mind-body/meditation-running connection than I am, so I’ll let him take over:
I’ve not been running all that much lately, but when I have I’ve made an effort to be more mindful. When I’m able to do it, it feels amazing. If you’ve ever had one of those runs where you felt like you could have kept going forever, then you know the feeling.
On a somewhat related note, this evening while meditating I felt like my mind was off and running all over the place at every opportunity. When I finished my session, I couldn’t help but think that this was probably not the kind of running with the mind that Sakyong Mipham was talking about. But the experience did help me to realize how restless and antsy I’ve been (unusual because normally when I’m running inconsistently I get depressed)–this lack of movement has me in a near-frenzy. My mind is obviously trying to tell me something: lace up your shoes and go.
For more information on Running with the Mind of Meditation, check out the book’s website.