I began to run simply as a way to get some exercise. Soon enough, however, I found myself applying certain principles I have learned in a lifetime of meditating. I’ve incorporated these into my book,Running With the Mind of Meditation.
To me, the relationship between meditation and running is natural, for one is a training of the mind and one is a training of the body. In the ancient world, it was understood that people are happier when their minds are flexible and their bodies are strong. In the modern world, we are faced with conditions that challenge this mental and physical balance.
To handle the load, we need to attend to our well-being. Because the mind and the body are intimately connected, relieving the stress of the body through exercise has an immediate effect on the mind: the mind is no longer dealing with the discomfort of the body. If the body is relaxed and flexible, that is one less thing for the mind to think about. Physical exercise thus provides some mental relief. Conversely, training the mind helps us be focused in our physical activity.