• Racing Your Mind: Sport as Meditation

    Very often we hear people say that running is their meditation, or biking, or golf, or some other sport. By moving the body, the mind seems to still. And when we “lose” ourselves in activities like this it can feel very restful and relaxing afterwards. We even incorporate activity in a few of the meditative techniques we practice at IMU, such as Total Dancing and our monthly Hiking Meditations. But is there a limitation to this type of practice? Is it really meditation? Is it enough to help us achieve a true awakening? We ask IMU initiator, and spiritual mystic, Bhashkar Perinchery his thoughts on this:

    Bhashkar: Ordinarily, people try to find relaxation, people try to make a quality of peace and tranquility and silence through friction, through different efforts. But most of the time the experience of silence is just a state of contrast. After someone has been very active, there is then a little space of peace, rest, silence when they finish the activity, but this peace is very much connected with the effort and the tiredness around it.

    That is why many people are into sports, many people are into different activities. The energy is exhausted, the energy is used up and there is a certain period of quietness; the mind is not so much engaged and active. But that also cannot go very deep; it is only for a short period. Still it has a certain value in life, because a least in these moments there is a certain feeling of restfulness. But the real silence is not something created by any kind of biological or psychological efforts.

    There are also tranquilizers, which are given just to suppress the sensibility of the mechanism, to affect the brain and then you feel a little quietness. Some people take drugs, because that is affecting their chemistry and gives a certain gap of a certain kind, which is giving release compared to the whole tension and heaviness which they are otherwise experiencing. But all that is managed through the outside cannot be the real silence.

    In order to attain the real silence you have to encounter the source of noise, the source of conflict in yourself. That is why, as long as you are going on identifying with the mind, which is in its very nature dualistic, which is in its very nature caught in agreeing and disagreeing, holding and loosening, which is always divided in its very approach, then you cannot find silence.

    It is not something which you manage by friction, which you manage by struggle, which is just caused by something as a cause and effect. It is going beyond this cause and effect process. That is where you orientation has to be.

    So techniques exist that can be in different ways supportive, to enable a certain energetic process which makes it lighter, easier to be with the silence.

    But these are preparatory techniques. Some other examples include ‘Flowering of the Heart,’ using the process of breath. Another one is called ‘Inner Letting Go,’ which is inner questioning, asking oneself what is the idea of 'me,' or 'I,' then noticing the answer and letting it go. If people are using techniques with the right intention and guidance—then fine. However, it is not just to remain on the level of technique.

    It is not that sitting alone is the meditative process. Sitting can be for some people the starting point, but for some, activities of a different kind will be the starting point. In the process of the meditative development there will be stages where we stop interfering with the process of nature and remember to be a non-interfering observer. And this is one of the key factors, because in being a non-interfering observer, we are not taking sides with one part or the other part, we are not going into believing and holding to conditioned identifications, instead we are allowing a deeper way of being with reality, where we connect to that which is more like a mirror, which is simply mirroring all that is in front of it without choosing one against the other.

    Normally what is called an objective way of looking is not so objective, because unless you become aware of the workings of the mind within, you cannot really be objective in a deeper sense. But such a quality of mirroring the reality is very, very valuable and a great bridge towards becoming aware of the mystery, that is in oneself and all around oneself.

    This is the direction. It is not limited to one particular approach, it is multiple kinds of approaches which are possible and made available and that is what is decisive. Only when this awareness of the deeper dimension becomes possible and when it gets felt and realized, a new understanding of what we are, who we are, what life is, becomes possible.


    Consciousness, Compassion, Creativity—For a Life of Fulfillment (the three C’s)

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