One unique aspect of the meditation we practise in the Sri Chinmoy Centre is the emphasis on physical fitness. Quite a few of us are active marathoners and ultra-marathoners, and we also organise races for the public, including a 5k in August.
Every Saturday morning a few of us meet for a 2 mile run around Tjarnan (the Reykjavik city pond). The run is timed, and people are welcome to run their fastest, but at the same time we try not to have a sense of competition, and instead focus on self-transcendence – just being happy by pushing your own boundaries. We start the run with a meditative aphorism and a couple of minutes of silent meditation. Then at the end we have an impromptu ceremonies where the winner gets – a banana!
Our teacher, Sri Chinmoy, explained the connection between physical fitness and the mind:
One of our absolutely worst enemies is our lethargy. Early in the morning we do not want to get up. Then during the day we are not energetic; we are not inspired to do anything. But in the morning if we can energise ourselves with physical activities, then we can accomplish so many things during the rest of the day. That is why I say sports and physical fitness are of supreme importance. If we neglect the physical and let the body become weak, then the mind also becomes weak. At that time it does not have the strength to think of good things all the time and it starts to think of undivine things. (From the book Sri Chinmoy answers, part 29)