|The Tibetan LUNG-Horse|
I ended last week's post claiming that I had found my Wind Horse on that cold, rainy half-marathon. What exactly did that mean? Sakyong Mipham, an esteemed marathoning monk, has applied the five Shambala animal practices of meditation to running, helping the runner achieve full awareness of themselves (tiger), their surroundings (lion), the challenges and adventures they face (garuda), the compassion and altruism their running represents (dragon), and the freedom, peacefulness, and full embodiment possible as these four animals all go to work simultaneously and we let go of attachments, all while remaining fully aware, mindful, and present in the here and now (wind horse). It sounds a little complex, and it might be one of those experiences you need to have on your own.
But the reason I'm so interested in exploring the concept and trying to explain it, is because the experience of Wind Horse is the answer to the questions,"why do you love running so much?" And "how the heck do you enjoy running so many miles?" I've been running for less than a year and half, but this form of movement, these long slow distances, have significantly changed my life and helped me to find a deeper appreciation for places and moments and people. For instance . . .
|Sunrise in Hawaii|
|Napili Kai Beach (by dvanvliet)|
As I'd emerge from the refreshing Pacific waves, the awe and wonder of it all became quite clear. Sure, there were many other ways to enjoy this dawn, this aquamarine ocean, this sunrise . . . but for me, I find my Wind Horse through the rhythms of running. And what matters most is that you find yours through your very own stride.
|Sea Turtle (by dbaist5)|
|Green Sea Turtle of Hawaii|