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Questions on the run

November 12, 2010

Enjoy the moment and be in the moment, instead of in your mind, somewhere in the past or future, somewhere else. Runner: me. Photo location: Argentina. Photo: Yves-Marie Quemener

It is no easy task to stop the voices in your head, “the incessant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking and the emotions that accompany it”*. The first thing you can do is to accept that you obviously have a lot on your mind. You can watch the thoughts and emotions. Listen to them! And ask yourself: which one of them is the real you – the voices in your head or the listener? When you realize that the real you is the listener, the watcher of the mind, the stream of thoughts and emotions will disappear, for the moment. They will come back when you stop listening, when you loose your presence, like rats dancing on the table when the cat is gone. So be the cat in the room. Be you, the real you, the vigilant conscience, not the silly debris of stupid thoughts and emotions. When you are present, you will have peace of mind instead of being submissive to the noise, whims and destructive thinking patterns of the egoic mind.

Simultaneously some of your attention is needed for your running, especially if you are running trails. Otherwise you will fall and hurt your self.
When your thoughts “owns” you, you’re only partly in the present moment: physically but not mentally. But by asking yourself certain questions on the run you can raise the awareness of your running experience in the Now.

Who is the thinker?

Who is the listener?

Where are you?

What are you doing?

And now?

And now?

How does it feel?

Do you hear the sounds?

Do you see the colors?

How does the surface feel?

How does your body feel?

Your arms.

Legs.

Feet.

Face.

Hands.

Shoulders.

Your hips.

Where is your smile?

Or do you run without smile?

Why in that case?

Don’t you like running?

What does this run mean to you?

Is something missing?

What? Why?

Can you feel the flow?

Or are you still struggling?

Do you feel resistance towards anything right now?

Why?

Can you let go of the resistance and run relaxed?

Can you run in a playful way?

(Obstacles will help you find a playful running technique.)

How does your body feel: light or heavy?

Even if it feels heavy, can you try to imagine you are light?

Is time important?

Why?

Is distance important?

Why?

How do you use your feet?

Are you using your nose?

Can you hear your breaths?

How do you use your knees?

Are they stiff or flexible?

And what about your chest – where is it? Open or closed?

And your shin? Open or closed?

Your shoulders and elbows? Pointing forward or backwards?

And your speed? How does it feel?

Are you getting dirty?

If not – why?

Are you afraid?

Can you feel the joy?

What do you see?

Where are you?

What are you doing?

Who is the thinker?

Who is the listener?

etc.

* quote: Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, The Core of Ego: “Most people are so completely identified with the voice in the head–the incessant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking and the emotions that accompany it–that we may describe them as possessed by their mind. As long as you are completely unaware of this, you take the thinker to be who you are. This is the egoic mind. We call it egoic because there is a sense of self, of I (ego), in every thought–every memory, every interpretation, opinion, viewpoint, reaction, emotion. This is unconsciousness spiritually speaking.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Johan Mikaelsson permalink
    November 13, 2010 15:07

    Great article, Fredrik, you are indeed a mindful runner!

    • fredrikolmqvist permalink*
      November 13, 2010 19:50

      Thnkx Johan! Let’s run soon! /Fredrik

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