There is nothing greater than the feeling than that of standing at a fork in the road and looking back at your journey. Every time we accomplish a grand adventure (whether that adventure be a personal journey, or a professional success) we transcend to a place where there is an end, and irrevocably a new beginning. Some call this “limbo” and it can be a very exciting time for some, and yet, for others very fearful.
As we stand there and look back, we take time to accept, appreciate and mentally process how far we have come, and when we look forward we are asked…”what next?”
I have come to a fork in the road, and like many other solo runners, ultra distance runners – it is a time of great pondering, reflection and epiphany seeking grandeur. Running, quite frankly, is my meditation.
Meditation is the oldest technique available to human beings, we call it “self help,” but this term is merely a Western’s label and I have never really been a fan of the term “self-help.” It is in my opinion that it gives the idea structure that we only use meditation when we feel (dis)ease in the body or mind, that we “need help,” and thus giving this preconception that it is a treatment for ailment, and to an extent yes it can be – but it is not what meditation “is.” Meditation is not a “thing” it’s a state, an everlasting flow of energy and awareness that we are consciously performing all the time, it is personal and unique to each of us. Some people set time aside to meditate, and that could include sitting quietly, going to a guided class, taking a bath, reading a book… and for people like me it’s running and yoga. I feel the same “state” throughout the day when I feel balanced with the energy around me, but this continued space of running and the repetitive movement gives me the time and space to contemplate, process and sit with my thoughts to constructively filter and ponder everything from marshmallows to quantum mechanics, to where did I put that other sock?
Running, my meditation offers us a subconscious blueprint that acts as a detailed plan for mental and physical observation and control which can lead to harmony and dynamic health. The discipline of mediation has been around for over 5000 years, and running (endurance) for that matter, has been traced back since the dawn of time; which for those of you who saw the movie “The Perfect Runner,” is called persistence running.
There is a certain state that the conscious mind and body falls into when we perform an activity long enough; which athletes usually call “the zone” and it is a powerful tool for balanced growth, personal improvement, and spiritual enlightenment. It paves the way for a deep inner perception of unity with oneself and the environment, through a holistic mind-body connection; where we are able to commune within at a deeper level of consciousness and experience the ultimate reality around and inside us.
The solo runner is a very unique creature, most find running alone somewhat boring, but I adore it. Perhaps, it’s because I do not feel alone in the universe, and therefore, feel content when I am solo, and I would even go as far as to say that running solo allows me to commune more effectively with nature and the energy around me. While that may sound idealistic and “new age,” it’s a reality. We are all energy, and we all give and receive energy. Therefore, does it not make sense to use that time and experience for transformation.
A term I have been hearing a lot recently, is “Quantum Meditation.” QM is merely taking the principles of quantum mechanics and quantum physics and merging them with the traditional art of meditation and well being. The current paradigm of living organisms, including human organism, is that they are nonlinear and holistic, and interact with their environments in a way that involves the entire being, and that requires continuing appropriate adjustments in all interconnected areas. As a health practitioner and a mind body coach, we know that there is a relationship with this concept and interconnection. As a corrective coach, I continually coach my clients on the concept; “when we create change or better movement in one area of the body, it will result in better movement throughout the body, as well as improved functioning in other systems in the body structure.” Same goes for an ailment affecting any of our numerous functional organs simultaneously influences even the remotest areas as well… it’s all connected. It may be noted that the whirlpools in the living system are, in fact, composed of chemical flow (rather than mechanical flow) from the repetitive catalytic cycles in cells that form the basis of all metabolic processes. The mind keeps this vortex-body running by energizing it with food, numerous thoughts, desires, and will power. Running (i find) achieves all of this – it creates a space and offers me the opportunity to maintain balance between my intellectual, emotional and physical faculties and to experience reality as it truly exists, not according to habit driven desires or preconceived ideas (which the mind plays over and over again).
A company called Central Yoga in Arizona coins this style of meditation as thus: “In fact this entire universe, according to the latest model in Quantum Mechanics, is a huge conglomerate of numerous whirlpools of matter, energy and information having various shapes, sizes, colors and smells, expressed as vortices within other vortices, in decreasing dimensions, and ultimately ending in a cocktail of quantum energy and information, where spontaneous creation and dissolution of matter are taking place continuously.
Thus, the organism consists of numerous vortexes of thought (information) and metabolic energy in diminishing sizes working in concert with desire and will power. Hatha Yoga and Meditation helps to create harmonious stability among these constituent vortices (known scientifically as the “dissipative structures”, far away from equilibrium) within us through the development of appropriate mind-body unity. Then energy and information can flow effortlessly and efficiently through the entire mind-body system, generating bliss and holistic health.
Scientifically, both matter and mind are nothing but different forms of the same universal creative energy (Sanskrit: Prana) vibrating at different frequencies. The former, expressed as the gross physical body, typically has an extremely low frequency, and hence has much less power, than the mind. However, at or near the quantum interface of matter and energy, where matter and energy are directly related in nature, they have appropriate frequencies for interaction with one another.
This is a unique area where mental energy has considerable power, and will direct the ultimate nature of the matter that appears in the mind-matter (mind-body) network. The entire structure is the coded information of mind (both conscious and subconscious) itself arising out of an intimate interaction of myriads of thought energy forms with the emerging subatomic particles within the vast ocean of the universal creative energy.
Here we see the unique character of Meditation and Yoga culture, where the mind and the body are consciously brought together with a deep feeling of wellbeing, ensuring harmonious functioning in a coordinated fashion. In the culture of Yoga and Meditation, the perception of the mind-body unity of the practicing individual becomes critically significant, becoming a rate limiting factor in the positive outcome of that practice.”
I would agree that Yoga, as well as running gives me just this. It is clear that the maintenance of mind-body unity is the key to health and harmony. The mind and body have been designed by nature to act spontaneously together. The lack of appropriate unity and balance is the root cause of most of our stress and distress in our lives. Moreover, it is what holds us back from choosing the path or even contemplating the multiple options that we have to continue moving forward towards our next adventure.
Therefore, if you are at a cross roads, or you are contemplating the grandeur of life – take some time to “meditate” on the quantum level, for me….. I will be hitting the trails with mindful meditation.