It took me about a week to listen to this 5-hourish book on Audible. I am always hesitant to use a book credit on a shorter read, but I am very glad I did with this one. I have experience with yoga, and I have definitely experienced the Zen-euphoria that can accompany a long distance run. But reading about meditation? Sounded like a snooze party. If there was any way I was going to get through this book, someone was going to have to read it to me :).
I have struggled with starting a meditation practice. In college I signed up for a Meditation P.E. class, but I dropped it after the first day, knowing within those 50 minutes that if I were to assume a meditation practice, I was going to need to do it in solitude.
I have even set up a meditation corner in my living room, but I have never actually meditated in it (lol). This may sound strange, but when I have the house to myself and I am cleaning and have incense or candles lit, it almost feels like meditation in the sense that I feel tranquil, safe, warm, happy, and clear minded. Especially when I look at my meditation space.
Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind is authored by Sakyong Mipham, a Tibetan lama and leader of 165 Shambhala meditation centers around the world. He is also a long distance runner.
I really enjoyed learning about the Four Dignities of Shambhala: Tiger, Lion, Garuda, Dragon, and the personification of attributes of each of these dignities as they apply to running. I also loved learning about Wind Horse (sort of a figure that possesses all of the qualities of the four dignities), because a horse is one of my main spirit animals (if not my main), and one of my visualizations that I try an emulate in my own running is a horse trotting (warming up/cooling down), cantering (tempo run), and galloping (sprinting/speedwork).
As I recall a very brief synopsis of the attributes: Tiger- calculated, careful. Lion- joyful, alert to surroundings. Garuda- free, spontaneous. Dragon- wise. Wind Horse- enlightened.
This book was a great companion read as I am slowly working through Running Within: A Guide to Mastering the Body-Mind-Spirit Connection for Ultimate Training and Racing by Jerry Lynch and Warren Scott. I’m also new to experimenting with running with no headphones, and all of this mindfulness insight is definitely helpful with that.
I found Running with the Mind of Meditation to be insightful, informative, concise, practical, useful, and interesting. I majored in Religious Studies and am very interested in Eastern philosophy, so this book is also up my ally in that regard.