The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher
-Thomas Huxley

From "Running the Spiritual Path," by Roger D. Joslin:

Prepare mindfully for the run. Dress slowly, methodically, as if you were a devout priest and your running clothes were sacred vestments. Pay special attention as you put on your socks and shoes, lacing your shoes carefully. Just as a priest uses his hands to prepare the sacraments, your feet will be the contact point between your body and the sacred earth.

If you begin by stretching, focus all your attention on each muscle being stretched. Just before you begin to run, say a silent prayer, asking for God to be present on your run and to aid you in your effort to be present to the Divine.

The first quarter of the run

: Start out running slowly, focusing on breathing. When extraneous thoughts arise, acknowledge them, and then simply return to the breath.

The second quarter of the run

: Shift your attention to your feet. Be aware of the contact between the soles of your feet and the earth. Listen to the sound of your foot striking the various surfaces you encounter. Hear the differences in the sounds that gravel, sand, concrete, and asphalt make beneath your feet. Step lightly on the earth. Be aware that you are running along the surface of a spherical planet. When thought arise, let them go and return to an awareness of the interaction between your feet and the ground.

The third quarter of the run

: Practice the Mother Teresa Run. Look kindly in the eyes of every person you meet. Whether or not your gaze is returned, offer them a slight smile and a silent blessing.

The final quarter of the run

: Come home to your breath. Let go of thoughts that arise and return your attention to your breathing. If it is helpful, count each breath up to ten and then start over.

Finish the run

by stretching mindfully. Zen-walk to your door or your car. When you undress, disrobe as a priest removes his sacred garments. Shower as if you are being baptized. Extend the heightened awareness of God's presence into as much of the day as possible.

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad