New life

The cherries are here again… shiny pink, clusters of new life. They are hanging happily from the trees in the garden of Teide restaurant where Anadi and I have shared many cafe con leche’s since we started visiting Spain three years ago.

Last summer, these beautiful trees became well acquainted with my Zen runners; we met at midday each day to sit silently in Vipassana meditation, under their leafy fruit laden boughs.

Today after my Spanish lección, Anadi and I enjoyed breakfast there with our friend Maggie. We sat appreciating their shade, wondering at the swiftness of spring turning into summer… Last week temperate promising blossoming climes, and now hot days of Spanish summer have raced in.

So hot; I am writing outside at a table under a shady canopy, and the heat is intense…

Today is global running day and as yet, not one actual step has not been run…

However, the energy of running – going for a run – is so much more than the physical act of the run.

I can remember a time twenty years ago, when I was having a lot of trouble with my troublesome left side… I felt the issues were needing some deeper work into my unconscious, so I approached a wonderful hypnotherapist called Paul Hide… He and I set off, on what turned out to be, a long and expansive journey together; until he moved away from the area some years ago now.

From the very beginning, he emphasised the importance of skull practise, and how the unconscious doesn’t know the difference between a real or imagined experience… Therefore much ‘running practice’ can be done in the unconscious…

I knew this to be true… I was already familiar with practicing ‘visualisation’ in my running to very powerful effect. I used it with greater attention one time… I hadn’t run a marathon for five years following very debilitating chronic fatigue/strange virus/ blood disorder thingy which had felled me in my late twenties…

By the time I was thirty one years old, I was ready to train for a marathon again… As the months unfolded, I found myself engaged in a night time practice, every night for many nights…!

I would lie in bed imagining myself running along the embankment; the last few miles of the London marathon, smoothly strongly, feeling good, hearing the roar of the crowd, the sun on my body, the road under my feet, running running running…

And when I was actually running the race, my body remembered… I was racing strongly smoothly down the embankment, running well, hearing the music of a roaring crowd, running fast, the sun on my body, the road beneath my feet….

So when I met Paul six years later, our work together deepened, healing the stress in my body, which had a tendency to reveal itself to me on the running road…

Once again, I recognised the value of ‘running within’; imagining the feelings of running, being on a run whilst lying down. And with Paul’s input, I went deeper into my unconscious to unravel the blocks inside me, which revealed themselves under pressure to succeed!

This work we did mirrored too my Zen orientation, of the actual running step being a meditation on the move… The step holding the space for the meditation, for the release of tension. Running itself becoming the place of healing to release. So that rather than running being a place where pressure to perform, could create tension; instead running held the possibility to allow for relaxation deepening

At a deeper meditative level Osho said the same thing… When asked if running was a meditation he answered thus:

‘Yes – use it as much as you can. If you can run then there is no need for any other meditation – it is enough’!

He also said this of lying down running….

‘Sometimes try one technique…. Just lying down on the bed, imagine that you are running. Just imagine the whole scene: the trees and the wind and the sun and the whole beach and the salty air. Imagine everything, visualise it, make it as colourful as possible….

Anything that you have liked very much, let it be there as if it is almost real; then start running in imagination – you will find that your breathing is changing. Go on running… and you can do this for miles. There is no end to it, you can do it for hours. And you will be surprised that even doing this on the bed, you will attain to those moments again when suddenly the meditation is there….’

Yesterday I shared a virtual run with Denny of Diz runs radio; he believes that the best conversations take place while running with others. And it was this belief that inspired him to create Diz Runs Radio…

On his show, he talks with other runners from every corner of the running world in exactly the same way he would talk to any new running partner during an easy few miles….!
Denny sent me a message last week, having discovered my blogs and vlogs, he asked me if I would like to ‘go for a run with him’…

I said ‘Yes’ that I would love to do that… And so we ran, last night… Me in Spain and him in Florida! It was great fun, chatting on the run with Denny and next Monday our conversation as we covered the miles will be broadcast on his show for all to join in the run with us…!

And as for today…

I have a plan, as the sun starts to make its way behind the hills I have suggested to Anadi we run again to our newly discovered ‘naked beach’, and stop there awhile, whip off our kit and immerse ourselves in the cool blue balm, swim some of our run before heading for home!

And thank you again Nick Miles for the use of your pics of me running here 🙂

 

 

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