Thursday, May 10, 2012

Running With the Mind of Meditation Book Review

In 1994 or 1995, I was first fully exposed to the power of meditation. Though I had been intrigued for some time, I never really followed through my interest. I finally took the plunge and enrolled in a weekend retreat at The Buddhist Temple of Chicago. Two days of silence, apart from the teacher’s instruction, plus time to fully accept being in the moment was an amazing experience. Since that time, my meditation practice has been more off than on, but parts of it have stuck with me. This is especially true in running—one of my favorite exercises from that weekend was walking meditation, and many aspects of that I employ when running.

Recently I was sent a review copy of Sakyong Mipham’s book Running With the Mind of Meditation, an introductory explanation of meditation and how it can be related to running. Very simply written, understandable by anyone, it is a good primer for applying meditation principles to both everyday life as well as endurance training. “Building a base was a process of taking what I already had—my own lungs, muscles, bones, and tendons—training them to run, and gradually increasing their ability.” Mipham has a clear way of stating what is obvious, but so easily missed. Humorous passages remind us to remain in the here and now: “Obviously it is not good to keep checking your watch, as you might discover you have supernatural powers that can slow down time.” So often we forget to celebrate our accomplishments and simple ability to move our bodies--“(W)hen we exert ourselves toward positive endeavors, we should not grimace, but rather have the joy of an elephant jumping into a pool of cool water on a hot, dusty day.”

This book simply and eloquently presents simple steps to adding meditation both to your personal life as well as your endurance efforts. If you have the opportunity, I suggest you take a look at this book as a way to see how meditation can be applied to your life and your sport. If you want to win a copy, head over to Women’s Endurance Gear.

About the Author: Sakyong Mipham  is the leader of Shambhala, a worldwide network of meditation and retreat centers. He's also an avid marathon runner and golfer, he frequently retreats to study at a Tibetan monastery in India, and he writes a regular column in the Shambhala Sun. The author of the bestselling titles Ruling Your World and Turning the Mind Into an Ally, Sakyong Mipham was named one of the thirty global visionaries of our time by Planet magazine. He spends his time teaching all over the world, using his unique blend of Eastern and Western perspectives to the benefit of his students in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

(Disclaimer: I was sent this book for free to review on my blog, courtesy of Random House. I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)

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  1. Looks good. I will check it out.
    Probably a handy tool for long events.

  2. I really want to learn to meditate, but will admit to being lazy about making the effort thus far. One more thing to add to the regimen. But I know it has so much value. Maybe reading a book that ties it to running is just what I need!


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