Saturdays Special Events in New York
- This past Saturday, March 6, was a very inspiring and eventful day in Jamaica, New York. At around 7:00 a.m. about 40 people gathered by Jamaica High School to run all or part of a 26.2 mile (42 km) marathon race. This was held in honor of Sri Chinmoy's first marathon running race completion which took place on March 3, 1979 in Chico, California. Today there were 17 starters and 16 finishers of the full marathon distance (8 women and 8 men finished).
There were also over 20 other runner/walkers who came to celebrate by covering part of the distance on their own or as part of a team trying to total the marathon distance. We also had some enthusiastic helpers and friends who cheered us on and encouraged us, as they too felt the enthusiasm and spirit of this auspicious occasion.
Utpal is making a video about the event which I am sure we will be able to access here soon. You can also see some photos at the SCMT website: http://us.srichinmoyraces.org/node/5003
In the evening we had a special function which began with an outstanding performance of musicians, singers and poetry recitations organized by Satyajit. In honor of his birthday, which was the day before, this special one hour performance was offered by Satyajit and friends, called: `Earth-Bondage Liberation-Dream', which is the name Sri Chinmoy gave to Satyajit's performance group many years ago.
We sang about sixteen songs with instrumental accompaniments interspersed with recital of Guru's poetry and prayers, mostly by Satyajit.
A recording of this performance may be accessible online soon.
Friends of disciples and seekers were also cordially welcome to attend this special function. All those who came, disciples or not, seemed to really enjoy the performance as well as the events that followed.
Following that immortal performance was a video of Sri Chinmoy running in various marathon races. There were short clips of him running in his first marathon in Chico, California which was so heartwarming to watch. The impact of that effort alone has affected runners all over the world in so many positive ways.
We also saw a short clip from a video of Sri Chinmoy running a marathon in Toledo, Ohio only three weeks after his first marathon. He ran the second one much faster, taking 35 minutes off of his previous time. Most people need at least that much time to recover from a marathon, not to speak of getting in better shape to run over a minute per mile faster! Real self-transcendence in the running world was never so evident.
We then sang some of Sri Chinmoy's songs about running the marathon. He has written quite a few running songs including marathon running songs, and we sang these three: `I Am Running A Marathon', `Twenty-Six Miles', and `My Supreme, Marathon I Run'. All of these songs about running capture the dynamic spirit of racing and of challenging the body by covering many long miles on foot in ways that no other form of expression could.
Along with our special Prasad and T-shirts made especially for the marathon occasion, this day and night were truly special as a tribute to Sri Chinmoy's long distance running efforts. And with Satyajit's Group's immortal musical and poetic performance, this Saturday was a memorable day from beginning to end.
The weather in New York is now warming up quite a bit as the large accumulations of snow from last month is almost all gone. Spring is in the air as the birds are starting to sing early in the morning and the first buds of flowers are now popping up. One could only look forward to April Celebrations as we prepare for some wonderful events next month.
Meanwhile, we are also getting ready this month for a week of meditation festivities for the public including a concert, a Buddha play production, art workshops, videos and lectures as well as the usual meditation classes in Manhattan.
Along with our own New York activities I know that there are other Centres around the world that also have much to share from the multifarious activities that are now happening, including the World Harmony Run which was launched in Ireland recently.
I am sure this energy and enthusiasm will last throughout the year as see more and more people who are seeking a healthy and spiritual lifestyle. Many people are finding the joy and delight that comes from our own Guru's manifestations and his decades of hard work and constant selfless service and offerings to humanity.
- Thank you Arpan for all the reports from New York, that are really inspiring.
Last Sunday in Belgrad on the sunny, but very cold day, about 10 people gathered and ran to celebrate Guru's First Marathon. Three of us (girls) ran half marathon, and the others did shorter distances.
It was beautiful and enthusiastic energy and we are grateful for all the opportunities we have on our Path to improve ourselves.
Thank to all for sharing your experiences.