A Strategy for Self Transcendence
I recently was helping out a good friend search through an online dating site that he joined, reading profiles of his potential perfect match. It was very interesting to see that most of the woman on there would write on their profiles, “Spiritual, but not religious”. Yet when you read their profiles nothing that they were doing or being seemed spiritual to us.
So many of you have heard the catch phrase of mind, body and spirit. Yet I feel that so many people don’t truly understand these elements in their entirety.
What is this mystical domain of the human spirit? I’m not sure I have the answer for you, but I do know what it means to me. I have been an athlete since I was a young child and I love pushing my physical body to the extreme limits. In fact, I truly have my entire life.
Over the past several years I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could transform my physical body from an explosive anaerobic machine to an aerobic ultra-endurance athlete. It’s been a pretty amazing experiment and has lead me to something that I never knew was available… Self Transcendence!
What is Self Transcendence?
Self Transcendence is going beyond our present limitations. It’s really cool because it can apply to any aspect of your life and being. It can be the self transcendence of running faster; or the mental self transcendence of moving beyond an egotistical state of being.
By pushing my extreme physical, mental and emotional limits I’ve been experiencing self transcendence on a daily basis over the past several years. What I know is that at the heart of self transcendence is a fundamental spiritual concept that we’re growing into a more illuminating nature and gaining a wider perspective of our true self.
Self Transcendence is not competing
I have ran and raced 100’s of marathon distances of 26.2 miles. I’ve also raced 30 milers, 50 milers, 100 km’s, Ironman and even 100 mile foot races lasting close to 24 hours of straight running with my longest break being less than 2 minutes. Whenever I race the first thing people ask is how I did??? In my mind I laugh because I understand that they are truly missing the boat of why I do these races.
When I race I NEVER compete against others. Because training and racing for me is about self transcendence, my personal journey of self discovery. I know one of the best ways for me to achieve this is to push my physical limits to the extreme. It just so happens that when I do this I usually have ended up with podium finishes that do nothing more than massage my ego… : )
This pic below is me at the finish line of a 100 mile race that took me 21.5 hours, gave me an egotistical podium finish, and self transcendent lessons that will last a lifetime.
To practice self transcendence we need extreme personal effort with unwavering commitment and a willingness to change. Yet self transcendence also needs to involve an awareness that our process, journey and successes involve so much more than the “little I” that lives inside us and moves to the vast “universal self” (or bigger I) that involves all people, places and things in the universe.
As a dedicated spiritual seeker for the past 20 years I’ve expereinced self transcendence as a state that allows me to be aware of an infinite consciousness of inner peace, joy and delight. This is going beyond the limitations of the finite ego and into the realm of a higher source. When I train and race even my wife, Kate, who knows me better than anybody else in this world can see when I step into that self transcendent state. She tells me that I just look different.
The deeper and further I step into this self transcendent state the better human being I become as I live my daily life. Every time one steps into a self transcendent state they will always bring a deeper, more authentic and pure part of themselves back into their everyday life. As a result I’m a better husband, friend, teacher, healer… plainly, a better human being!
The Self Transcendence Race
A spiritual teacher from India named, Sri Chinmoy said “sports is a powerful means to unlock the true potential of the human spirit”. I couldn’t agree with him more. This was the basis and foundation of all his teachings. Chinmoy also found running to be a useful way of confronting–and ultimately surmounting–the physical boundaries of the body and the psychic limits of the mind. As a result the Self-Transcendence race was born as an outgrowth of this philosophy.
The self transcendence race began 15 years ago and is the longest footrace in the world. It’s a staggering 3100 miles and is completed in 52 consecutive days. WOW! What makes this race even more amazing is that it’s done on 1 city block around a high-school in Queens, New York. So each runner will complete 5649 laps. To put this in perspective, each runner will run from 6am to midnight, running 60 miles everyday, for 52 days straight.
Now most people would think why on earth would anyone want to do this? This is the Self Transcendence race and is the ultimate journey to achieve exactly that. No I’m not nuts and if you truly take in what I have written here you will “get” me on a much more authentic level. All I’m trying to figure out now is when I’m going to take 2 months out of my life to complete this race… : )
Enjoy this short Video on the Self Transcendence race!
To Your Mastery,
I would truly love to know your thoughts about self transcendence and what your journey has been. Post your comments below and be sure to share this with your friends. The more people who are willing to get on this train of self transcendence the more amazing they and this world becomes.