Use Shambhala Meditation to Improve Running

Shambhala meditation is a simple meditation practice that can easily be used as a mental strength training method while running. It is a simplified version among the many Buddhist meditation techniques. This meditation technique in its basic practice consists of simply:  relaxing, noticing the breath, letting go of thoughts, and just quietly being present to yourself.  Learn how to tame your wild horse (quieten your mind) with this simple practice that you can use during running to develop mental strength. 

Shambhala International is a large global organization with many centers around the world.  It was founded by a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, and it is currently directed by his son, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, who is an avid runner and has completed numerous marathons!

Amazon Outlet

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche believes that it is important to build strength in both the mind and the body. When he first began to run, he discovered that he needed to apply similar principles to running that he did while practicing Shambhala Meditation. This seemed very natural to him as meditating is training the mind and running is training the body. To fully embrace the experience of running, it was necessary for him to bring the mind and body together as one.

In Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche's book, Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind, he shares basic meditation instruction and principles he has developed to help him train for and complete over nine marathons. The lessons included help  integrate the internal practice of meditation with the physical movement of running for the purpose of enhancing both. These lessons help train the mind and body to live a more enhanced way of life with more energy, focus, patience, peace and contentment. 

The following quote from his book helps us understand why we feel so good immediately after running and how meditation can help us continue to feel increasing better long after the run is finished. 

"So the clarity and peace of mind we feel after running is mostly because the wild horse is tired, not necessarily because it has been tamed. The mental clarity brought about by physical exercise is temporary. When the horse has more energy, it resumes running around. Then we have to go for another run, exhausting the mind again. Using running as a way to train the mind is incidental, whereas the peace and clarity that come from meditation are cumulative."

~ Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Become a Better Runner with Shambhala Meditation

Shambhala is a Sanskrit word meaning “the place of tranquility.” In general terms, Shambhala can be interpreted as a kingdom of the mind and a meditation practice for which a human being can live a normal life and practice spirituality. It is the notion that one can have a family, a job, do all these things, including running, and can still deepen and meditate and understand. Shambhala meditation and its teachings were inspired by the ancient, legendary society of the Kingdom of Shambhala.  

Shambhala Meditation for Running

With a meditative practice, our mind becomes stronger and helps us overcome obstacles more easily. It can help us get through the physically challenging parts of running. We become more aware of what we are thinking about while running and how it affects our running. Meditative running helps us enjoy running more as we strengthen our mind and our awareness.

A breathing meditation is the most common technique of all meditation practices including Shambhala Meditation. Because our breath is more rapid while running, it is easier to focus on. This gives us a easy opportunity to practice a breathing meditation.

“Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. It is all we ever have so we might as well work with it rather than struggling against it. We might as well make it our friend and teacher rather than our enemy.”

~ Pema Chödrön, Shambhala Teacher

Why not try meditative running on your next run? You can begin by setting an intention to let go of all thoughts and distractions. Keep your awareness on your immediate physical experience. Focus on your breath, each foot strike you make, or the path in front of you. Acknowledge any thoughts and return your focus to your breath. Become aware of all sensations, thoughts and the environment that is all around you.

If you feel pain, allow the sensation. Accept pain and breathe. Practice non-resistance and acceptance of what is. Go easy on yourself. As you develop more control of your thoughts, you be able to notice each thought and let it go. You will not become attached to what is not real. A stronger mind makes a better runner and a happier person.


Shambhala Meditation

Related links:

Deal with Running Pain

Guided Running Meditation

Dealing with Chronic Pain Through Meditation

Mindful Running 

Inner Body Awareness

Vipassana Meditation

Benefits of Meditation

Back to top of Shambhala Meditation

Return to Running and Meditation

FTC Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying  purchases.
Learn more.


Be the first to comment.
Login using Facebook, Twitter, Google or Disqus.

Loading Comments
#disqus_thread { min-height: 200px; }

Recent Articles

  1. Mindfulness Prevents Running Injuries

    May 29, 24 07:05 AM

    Female runner running upstairs

    Integrating mindfulness into your running routine can significantly reduce the risk of injuries and enhance your overall running experience.

    Read More

  2. Are you tired of bulky and uncomfortable phone carriers while running?

    May 04, 24 01:41 PM

    Best Phone Carrier for Running

    The #PRPocket is the solution you've been seeking. It’s the most comfortable, discreet and secure way to carry your phone while running.

    Read More

  3. Our Cells are Listening to Our Thoughts

    Apr 30, 24 07:11 AM

    Our cells have ears

    This concept isn't far-fetched; it is indeed based on science. Research has proven that our nervous system takes cues from our thoughts, emotions, and mental states, which impacts our physiological c…

    Read More

  4. How to Prevent Black Toenails from Running

    Apr 09, 24 01:41 PM

    How to Prevent Black Toenails

    What causes black toenails while running? Learn how to prevent them and treat them when they are painful.

    Read More

  5. 9 Tips to Prevent Running Injuries

    Mar 28, 24 02:07 PM

    9 Tips to Prevent Running Injuries

    Use these 9 tips to maintain injury-free running, and make it to the finish line every time!

    Read More

  6. Make Running Easier with this Simple Trick

    Mar 20, 24 01:35 PM

    Make Running Easier with this Simple Trick

    Make running easier with this simple trick! It will make you feel more relaxed, happier, healthier, stress free and looking younger!

    Read More

  7. 7 Amazing Advantages of Toe Socks for Running

    Mar 06, 24 11:25 AM

    Toe Socks for Running

    When you discover all the advantages of how these unusual, but brilliant, socks benefit all runners, they may become the only socks you'll ever wear while running.

    Read More

  8. Running in Beautiful Thailand

    Feb 02, 24 05:45 AM

    Running in Beautiful Thailand

    I loved running in Koh Tao, Hua Hin and Cha-Am and each place offered its own unique running experience. I enjoyed having the opportunity to experience tasty food, beautiful scenery and the warm clim…

    Read More

  9. Josh Kerr's World Champion Success Secrets

    Dec 20, 23 11:48 AM

    Josh Kerr World Champion Success

    Josh Kerr was considered the underdog going into the 2023 World Athletics Championship, so after his win, millions were left wondering how he did it. What is the secret to his success?

    Read More

  10. Stunning Running in Dubai

    Dec 04, 23 01:55 PM

    Running in Dubai

    Despite its dry climate, there are unique, spectacular places to run in Dubai! Whenever travelling to this exciting place, whether for business or pleasure, be sure to pack your running shoes.

    Read More