How can we make running a spiritual practice? Can we combine these two very different activities into one and improve both aspects at the same time? Let's explore this possibility...
What is a spiritual practice and how can we use running to enjoy more peace everyday with less illness and injury? Spirituality is about discovering our true self -- who we are at our core. Who were we before we became a result of our circumstances or experiences that affect how we think and feel today.
Running can help us become aware of and let go of emotions and resentments that we are holding in our bodies. Many of these are not in our awareness. To become more peaceful, we need to let go of traumas that we hold in our mind and subsequently our bodies. Running can help us remember who we are. So how do we do this?
We already practice this with our surface emotions. When we feel frustrated with a current situation, we often say, "I need to go for a run." After running we feel so much better and we have released our anger and frustration. We may also have developed a new perspective on the situation now that we can see it more clearly.
To make running a spiritual practice, we use our running time to access old hurts at a deeper level of our consciousness. Try this technique on your next run:
1) As you start running, set your intention to release all past traumas and grievances you have experienced.
2) While your are running, notice your thoughts. You may notice that some incident comes to mind that gives you an unpleasant feeling, such as anger, guilt, resentment, etc. Allow these feelings to rise to the surface and "sit" with them a moment. Feel the emotion and then send forgiveness and love to yourself and whomever else was involved. You can release all resentments with peace.
This practice allows healing to take place on a very deep level. Repeat this process for each incident that comes to mind. Some memories may arise that you have previously forgotten about and some events may come to mind more than once. These are the ones which have probably affected you the most and will need more attention than others.
The following beautiful and relevant guidance from Pathways of Light can also help us remember who we are!
Over time you will probably realize that it is yourself who is the hardest person to forgive. When we let go of old grievances, we can experience the peace of mind that forgiveness grants us.
On the other hand if we don't release these old traumas, they will come to the surface in some form -- usually in our bodies -- such as an illness or an injury. Illness and injuries are often an unconscious form of self-punishment for unacknowledged and unreleased guilt.
A simple example would be the common cold. The next time you feel yourself coming down with a cold notice what your predominant thoughts have been recently.
Running can be very effective as a spiritual practice when we make it our intention. The physical exertion that it demands helps us to heal as emotions and traumas are more easily released from our bodies in this active state. Make running part of your spiritual practice and experience a more peaceful, healthy and injury free life.
Please feel free to add your comments or questions below.
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