Stillness is what creates love. Movement is what creates life. To be still and still moving-this is everything.
-Do Hyun Choe
From "Running the Spiritual Path," by Roger D. Joslin:
Why run? To the casual observer the reasons might seem obvious-an increase in cardiovascular conditioning, a chance to be out in the fresh air and sunshine, improved concentration, a positive effect on physical appearance, or stress release. I was always aware of the benefits of running, but, in truth, for many years I ran simply because it felt good. Running offered an effective physical release from the day's mental activity. When I ran, I felt liberated, free from the burden of obligations, expectations, and ambitions.
This might seem reason enough. The apparent benefits of running provided sufficient reason to keep on going, and those reasons would probably still be enough to keep me running even if I hadn't realized that running had become much more than putting one foot in front of the other. To state it simply.running became prayer. I don't mean, merely, that I began to run in a prayerful fashion. It is not that I engage in verbal prayer while I run. (Although, on occasion, I might.) It is not enough to say that I pray while I run. It is, quite literally, that running has become prayer.
Running and prayer may seem an unlikely combination when first considered. Yet for those who are familiar with the practice of meditation, it is not such a foreign concept. The focus on breathing, the attention to rhythm and cadence, and the heightened sense of awareness are among the many common features of both a sitting and a running meditation. To a large degree, learning the art of prayerful running is a matter of applying many of the principles of a sitting meditation. The application is relatively straightforward, with only a few twists and nuances that make the adaptation of the practice an interesting challenge to the already committed runner. Prayerful running is an attainable goal. If you already meditate and run, you are almost there.