If we really want to get rid of suffering, completely and totally, then clinging has to go. The spiritual path is never one of achievement; it is always one of letting go. The more we let go, the more there is empty and open space for us to see reality. Because what we let go of is no longer there, there is the possibility of just moving without clinging to the results of the movement. As long as we cling to the results of what we do, as long as we cling to the results of what we think, we are bound, we are hemmed in. Meditating on No-Self: A Dhamma Talk (Edited for Bodhi Leaves), by Sister Khema(1994)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Babushka

Everything taken care of this week.  Mileage that I wanted to accomplish was accomplished.  Interesting aside, I've always, and most people where I come from, call it mileage, but now I track everything in kilometers, not miles.  Does that mean I should be calling it kilometerage.  (the word itself gets a squiggly read line from Bill Gates).

Since the last entry I've had some success with getting up and just going forward with the run.  I've had help though, I am currently reading "Running with the Mind of Meditation" by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.  I've been thinking that there had to be something else I could be getting from my running and meditation.  So, with this as a I guide I have stripped back expectations a bit in terms of what to meditate on for the current time.  I hope to move forward back to what I was trying in the last couple of weeks after working through this book for a bit. 

The crux is that I have focused on foot plant for the last three runs.  That is to say, every time my left foot hits the ground I am focusing on how it hits, where it hits, the position of the foot in relation to my leg, the ground, etc.  This has been very interesting.  Why?  I'm sure your just dying to know.  If I lose mindfulness on this I find that the foot seems to splay outward. 

Now for today.  I had a twinge in the back after last Sunday's 15k and wondered whether it was because I wasn't working that really big hill correctly.  I decided to change the route around and make it an amalgamation of several other routes, plus on some places I've never run before to take out that hill and now call the course a gentle rolling 15k.  Its still up for about km then down for about 6km but still. 

It was a very good run, very precise with the mindfulness of foot plant.  Rinpoche Sakyong no doubt knows what he is talking about.  But the thing about today was the Babushka.  I was about 36 minutes in and had just come off a new section of the course that I had to plot out each step where I was going next because I'd never been there, I turned headed up a hill and was turning on to a road that also is part of my 25k route when I see the intersection.  It is like a T intersection but its Kyiv so its every man woman and child for themselves to cross this road. 

And I see this Babushka (easily 85 years old) with a four legged walker that she is resting on in the middle of the intersection halfway through, I see the traffic light, she'll never make it she is only half way and there are cars whipping by this woman.  I make a decision.  Hit stop on the watch and walked to her.  She looked at me and I think she was screaming at me that the cars wouldn't stop, but I wasn't sure.  I stayed right next to her until a car finally stopped, and then the car on the other side stopped, this instantly made for a traffic jam.  She didn't want to move, so I said to her in Russian (look babushka everything is okay) it is about all the Russian I have that is grammatically correct.  So she stated.  I waited until she got past the first car and half way past the second, because the first car really wanted me out of the way, then I ran.

A good run today.  Stay mindful.

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