And so that was the essence of my challenge to run across Spain in my bare feet – to deal with everything as it arose… Ultimately, it was a pilgrimage.
It was an inner journey and it was a deep recognition of the truth that there’s nothing ‘out there’.
If we look outside ourselves for the spiritual path, we can’t find it, because it’s within us… It has been interesting for me, that my running path has always been a spiritual journey, and yet it’s very active thing. I run somewhere…
It is an action of moving the body, it’s an active discipline and practice and it’s an active journey… This can therefore give the impression of being outside… Because I go for a run on and cover mileage or kilometerage!
And so during my life, it has often been a big challenge to stay in the step and to have running as the meditation.
It’s been a recognition of the practise, that we need to deeply explore everything, every single aspect of being human – to fully dive into it – so that we can go deeper into ourselves.
This is how we are then able to let go off the human experience and go beyond it… Go beyond this paradigm of duality to the space of silence…
But to experience this, it is important to clear in every moment, and we do this must truly honestly live and feel everything fully in every moment… Until we are completely silent in the experience of being here.
It is the ultimate vipassana meditation, to see things as they really are, by living a life of self observation, and going deeply into things to let them go and so experience self transformation.
By being fully aware of all the sensations in our body and the inter connectedness with our minds, we can keep moving to the place of silence that exists in the still point in the breath…
The running path has been a very powerful teacher for me, and challenges me to stay with all that arises – and relationship too – running and relationship being my two watchwords, because those are both the areas where I ‘wanted’ something – I ‘wanted’ through my running to somehow get something. I wanted to ‘get’ fast times that somehow I thought would give me something.
Although in truth, I never really thought that… I always knew deep inside that they wouldn’t…
But that didn’t stop me wanting to go into them, trying to find that ‘something’ through running fast times and the same with relationship…Even within a mental understanding of the truth that everything is within us, I continued to look for running and relationship experiences outside myself to find what I wanted…!
But through fully experiencing every moment within all of these ultimately fruitless searches, I did fully feel a lot… Of course, much of it very painful…
I knew that I couldn’t find my answers in the arms of another, and yet I kept going into the arms of another to look for it. And, of course if we know what we are looking for, then the paradox is that we’re never going to find it.
We have to let go of attachment to any desires, any goals and have nothing at all. But we often can’t let go of that, until we’ve deeply gone into a goal or the desire, to discover where the attachments are.
So the cycle continues. We can’t stop looking or not look for anything, until we’re not looking.
So in reality for me, training to go across Spain helped me within this paradigm, to set a kilometerage to complete each week, because within that structure, I was able to just do it…
It has always been in the practice of deeply exploring my running path, that I found spiritual understanding and experience.
Training my body, was the meditation in that I was answering the calling of the pilgrimage, because I knew that it was leading me somewhere.
It was simply about taking a step and staying in it, and seeing what occurred in the next.
I was making my way to the start line to go across Spain.
And I still love investigating how to run fast… But without any expectation that running fast will give me anything, other than the experience in the moment.
And I love being in relationship – in the arms of Anadi – but I can see myself reflected there.
I learnt through all of the relationships, that I would reveal myself to me, and that paradoxically I did find what I was looking for in the arms of the others… I saw myself, and all areas of myself that I had lost or hidden or that I denied. I found them all
So life becomes more and more of a puzzle as we go round and round, going into things to experience them…. To then let them go.
If we try to ‘let something go’ without having gone fully into it, then we can be left barren without the experience of it… But with the experience of it, we know it’s not real…
But this journey can take a lifetime – lifetimes….
Of course our experiences can also become a trap that can feel so real, that we believe them to be real… And so we keep chasing after the feeling, again and again.
An actress or a comedian, might keep chasing after the laughs and the applause… An athlete or sportsperson – the medals, the success. A runner might keep chasing the times… Or a business person the money… Or we might chase all of those things!
Where in fact, if we stay just responding and letting go of the desires and goals, by going right into the desires and goals, and following where they lead us… If we live them fully and consciously, then the riddle unravels itself and the experience of meditation on the move becomes a reality.
And we find there is no reality.
Life a meditation…