Running as a meditation – both in reality and in imagination

Running is a wonderful exercise for many reasons. Apart from the pleasure of being outdoors, according to Osho…

“If you can run there is no need for any other meditation. Any action in which you can be total becomes meditation, and running is so beautiful; you can be totally lost in it. When you are running your breathing naturally goes very deep and it starts massaging the Hara – which is in fact the center from where meditative energy is released.

“When you are running you are throwing all carbon dioxide out of your lungs. Carbon dioxide makes people dull, dead, frozen, and blocked. When you are running, your lungs are full of oxygen and they purify the blood, they purify the whole system….

“While running you cannot think; if you are thinking you are not running rightly. When you are running totally, thinking stops. You become so earth-bound, the head no longer functions. The body is in such an activity that there is no energy left for the head to go on and on; thinking stops. And in those moments of non-thinking, your existence is pure, you simply are – you don’t know who. All is forgotten, you are unburdened of the head; you are again an animal! In that moment – when you are an animal again – there is a possibility to contact the divine.”

If you’re unwell and this meditation is out of the question, you can always do the following, apparently reaping all the benefits of the real thing! Osho suggests the following….

“Lie on your bed and imagine that you are running. Imagine the whole scene: the trees and the wind, the sun, the whole beach, the salty air…. Imagine everything: visualize it and make it as colourful as possible. Recall any morning that you liked the most – running on the beach, in a forest – and start running in imagination. You will find that your breathing is changing. Go on running, you can do this for miles, for hours.

“You will be surprised that even doing this on the bed, you will attain to those moments again when suddenly meditation is there”.

(Osho: This is it!)

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