My latest book, Running with the Mind of Meditation, is a personal journey about how I have integrated meditation with running. I believe these activities are natural: one is a training of the mind, and one is a training of the body.
In meditation, we use mindfulness and awareness. Mindfulness is the mind caring about what it does. Awareness is regarding what we are doing as important. The union of these elements strengthens the inherent power of our mind. Thus, through meditation, the mind increases in strength, flexibility, and joy. Meditating brings perspective and appreciation, and it allows us to live life more fully.
Running is a natural activity that brings health and vitality to our body. As well, it teaches us exertion, discipline, and motivation. When we apply the principles of meditation—being focused and relaxed—to running, we are more embodied. Our experience is holistic, dynamic, and profound.
In our busy world, the mind and body can become tired and stressed. Therefore, all of us must attend to these mental and physical needs. We all need a period of engagement, as in exercise, and we all need a period of self-reflection, as in meditation. Including these two periods in our daily routine synchronizes our mind and body and clarifies our purpose in life.
Ultimately, life is to be lived. Meditation and exercise help us in this journey. Through meditation, we discover how to handle the mind. Through exercise, we discover how to handle the body. Our well-being is our responsibility, and managing mind and body has the power to deepen our personal journey. Anyone can unify these elements, and it does not have to lead to self-centeredness. In fact, through exerting ourselves in this way, we can develop gentleness, strength, compassion, and empathy—inherent human qualities that benefit others. That’s how balancing mind and body puts us in touch with our own humanity. In this way, we connect with the world.
Learn more about Running with the Mind of Meditation.