Day Two: 3am - noon
Sometimes a biscuit or an apple offer more than one might expect.
Once, long ago, I used to give classes in meditation. I still recall one particular time when one of the class participants asked a question. The class had been running for several weeks and he had obviously been reading up on the subject of meditation in the book he had bought earlier – Meditation: Man Perfection in God Satisfaction. “This Samadhi state,” he asked, “do you reach it?”
While it may have been true that I had progressed some way beyond the stage where one wriggles about and thinks about how you shouldn’t be thinking about not thinking, I had to concede that in fact I was as far from the state of Samadhi as a penguin at the North Pole is from home – I had as far to go as it is possible to have.
But what was this state to which he referred?
"In samadhi we have no mind. We see the Creator, the Creation and the Observer as one Person. There the object of adoration and the person who is adoring become totally one; the Lover and the Beloved become totally one. We go beyond everything, and at the same time we see that everything is real. . . . there the mind does not function at all. When we enter into samadhi, the first thing we feel is that our heart is larger than the universe itself. Now we see the world around us, and the universe seems infinitely larger than we are . . . When we are in samadhi, we see the universe like a tiny dot inside our vast heart. In samadhi there is infinite Bliss . . . we not only feel Bliss, but we grow into that Bliss. A possessor of samadhi . . . embodies the highest transcendental Truth, Light, Peace, Bliss, Power and all divine qualities in boundless measure in his being, and he manifests these divine qualities in the easiest and most effective way in his multifarious day-to-day activities. In his outer life he acts like a divine child who has Eternity's Height and Infinity's Light at his disposal, sharing them with aspiring humanity cheerfully and unreservedly. Samadhi cannot be explained by any individual, no matter how great he is. . . . The consciousness of samadhi can never be adequately explained or expressed."
- Sri Chinmoy.
Imagine that you were this intimately entwined with the divine reality; imagine how you would interact with your fellow man; how you would express the reality that you were aware of; express the boundless vision of the divine.
By definition there are no words to say. You would hint, and no-one would understand. Then you would fall back on poetry as the best way to express the inexpressible; you would take up a flute and play the music of the universe; you would take up a brush and draw the divine love. The ancient soothsayers discerned meaning in the flight of birds. You would dance your understanding of the cosmos – expressing in movement that which could not be expressed; you would run a marathon with the same idea – could not the auspices of the world discern in your running some truth?
Sri Chinmoy running a marathon • Sri Ramakrishna in ecstatic dance
An ancient 'auspex' discerns the future in the flight of birds
In the end you might well adopt that most human way of expressing love – a cuppa tea and a batch of scones. What better way is there?
I offer food to those I love; I delight to cook dinner for my friends; I offer my guests my hospitality by means of a hot drink. The seer who has seen the Creator, the Creation and the Observer as one Person might he not too use this vehicle to communicate?
And food nourishes, it keeps us alive, it sustains us, it provides those things we need to stay alive and proceed though life. So too the food that such a seer might give – it would express love and concern, but it would also sustain, it would be imbued with the insights from the realm beyond.
Such a seer could instill in mere physical food intangible qualities to nourish not the body but the very soul of the man who ate it.
And so it is.
Every day during the race Sri Chinmoy visited us, often twice a day and for an hour at a time. It was unprecedented. When I competed in the Six-day Race in 2004 he had visited once for about ten minutes.
And this time, each time he came he gave us food – a chocolate, a biscuit, a banana, an icecream...Some of us had studied spirituality at his feet for decades; others of us were simply men and women with a love for long-distance running who had never seen the man before, but all were given with love a small offering.
Did a banana or a bag of crisps add to our daily necessary nutritional intake? No. Did the simple act of being given a little treat with affection lift our spirits? Yes. Did each item seem to offer something beyond what its base physical appearance suggested? Yes.
Once he sat in his chair and tossed to each of us a chocolate. The intimacy of it, the sweet playfulness of it, the fun - did these not teach us something of states of consciousness beyond our normal experience, give us some glimpse of that realm wherein Eternity's Height and Infinity's Light are at one's disposal?
Sri Chinmoy hands an icecream to each of the competitors
It is interesting to note that an ancient soothsayer who read meaning in the flight of birds was called an 'auspex'. The plural of 'auspex' is 'auspices'. The word derives from avis (bird) and specio (look). It is the origin of the English words 'auspices' and 'auspicious'. Interesting!
Links:The Self-Transcendence Ten Day Race was founded by Sri Chinmoy
Details of the race - results, photo galleries and such like - can be found at the race webpage - 2006 Self-Transcendence 6 & 10 Day Races
The book Meditation: Man Perfection in God Satisfaction can purchased at Amazon dot com, or extracts read online at the srichinmoycentre dot org.
The quotations about the state of Samahi are taken from Sri Chinmoy's 1974 book, The Summits of God-Life: Samadhi and Siddhi.