August 13, 2012 § 45 Comments
The first mile of my run is always the hardest. Before I find my rhythm, before my mind clears. Painful, labored, difficult.
But soon I’m just running. I am aware of my surroundings- I hear the birds, feel my foot strike the ground- but I’ve shed the dualistic and busy way of thinking of the first mile. No me and the birds, or me and the ground- just me, running. Feeling strong and sure.
I am drawn to simple, elemental sports. Running is the paradigm. But also snowboarding- a board, the mountain, and gravity. And surfing- a board, the ocean, and waves. To be just running, just boarding, just surfing is to be in that transcendent place where you are fully engaged physically but somehow utterly at peace.
You do not have to be on a wooded trail or a mountain to find this feeling. It does not come from the place or the nature of the activity. It is available to each of us in each moment, wherever we are, whatever we are doing.
When we lose the dualistic way of thinking, our mind clears and we settle into whatever we are doing. Just reading, just cooking, just being with the other person. The peace comes upon us.
So wherever you are, whatever you are doing, just be there.
Tom — this reminds me of exactly why I miss running. It is horrendous sometimes, to get back into it – and my first mile always SUCKS…but then by mile 3 and 4, I am solving all of the worlds problems (or at least my own). I’ll never forget calling my mom, who has been an avid runner for decades, from my apartment in grad school and saying “I became a runner today”….she wept. I’ll always be a runner inside, because I’ve lived those moments. I think I’ll go running really SOON! xo Heather
Yes, it is still amazing to me the way you can slip into that smooth rhythm of running and then feel somehow peaceful even though your body is in motion and your cardio is going.
Maybe I’ll get to Philly sometime and we’ll take a run, although you’d probably kick my butt.
Good to hear from you.
This reminds me of:
of your consciousness.
of your awareness.
29th December 2009
Wonderful reading, just somehow got stuck on duality – as in, dualistic thinking is the only type of thinking one must overcome to be wholly present now.
An amazing thing- that loss of duality- like a magic wand that changes everything in a moment.
Love your passage from 2009.
I found my way here via a link at Christine’s (dadirri dreaming). I’m so glad she shared this post and your blog with us. I experience that feeling during my morning walks in my backyard. It’s a wonderful thing, to be here now. 🙂
So happy that Christine sent you my way- lucky me.
Thanks so much for your kind words.
Tom, you absolutely serve to all of us as a reminder of the simple beauty and miraculousness of the present moment. Thank you for taking me back to the present … again. You have a gift for doing so with such gracefulness of words. You inspire me as a writer and person! Anitra
I also get inspiration from your beautiful and soulful writing.
It means so much to me to feel your regard for my work.
Thomas, I’ve nominated you for The One Lovely Blog Award. See award @ http://davidkanigan.com/2012/08/15/610am-and-inspired/. I love your work. Congratulations. Dave
I enjoy so much your blog. So, first, congratulations to you on the well-deserved award.
And thanks for passing the honor along to me. Very generous and kind.
I’m going to post (soon) the same idea of, “whatever you’re doing, just be there”.
But mine will be geared to those with disabilities. I have Spondylolisthesis which can really impinge on everyday activities and I want to encourage others to work around that disability. I subscribe to the belief that whatever you can do movement-wise is important to overall health and happiness.
Reading your blog confirms my belief that being patient and accepting of ones self is more important than “pushing” in a unrealistic way.
Thanks for the inspiration.
I encourage you to write about living with disability. You’re a culinary artiste and a great writer-doing some amazing stuff. You can be a great inspiration to others- without a doubt.
Thanks for your kind words.
agreed tom. you don’t have to be on a board (although it is fantastic). you can be present even while commenting on a blog. great post.
David, yes, it can be anywhere- but like you- being in the water, or even on the beach, helps.
[…] with negative thinking, and the bliss he also experiences … you might like to read his latest post on running … he says how when we are totally absorbed in our actions “peace comes upon […]
Thank you for your kind comments on your blog- excerpted here.
You are a generous and thoughtful reader.
I have been settling into the ease of being in the moment lately and just soaking it up!!!! There is so much more to experience when we are able to simply be!
Yes, isn’t there? I’m trying to live out my own words- but often hard.
Well said. And deep.
Stan, thanks for the read and the good words.
I love that feeling you describe Tom, of running and just being, and I get that same sense when I am in that zone of being strong and free – almost like I could fly at any moment.
A lovely post again, a great reminder to me to just be.
That’s a great zone- strong and free. I hope you spend many moments right there.
It’s such a joy to me when you come by and leave your reply.
So simple, so peaceful, so present. Everything is so simple when we are in the present. Thank you for sharing your Blog Tom, you bring me into the present each time I read it! Thanks……
Your support for my writing is a great, great blessing to me.
So true — and ‘be there’ without resistance (the hard part) but so very worth the work…. Much Love Tom ~RL
You are a kind and supportive reader- and a beautiful writer and a great photographic artist as well. Your support is a source of strength for me.
Tom – much gratitude for your loving words. I always appreciate and enjoy your blog immensely — always affirmation and wisdom here ~ xo
non-dual awareness is growing tom, your words are swelling the river 🙂
Christine, that’s the loveliest metaphor that anyone has ever left for me.
You are an angel.
I walk most everyday. It takes a while but when I get there it is a beautiful place and wonderful feeling. 🙂
Susan, yes, isn’t it? It really doesn’t matter whether it’s walking or running. When you are there, it’s blissful.
Good to hear from you.
[…] Thomas Ross wrote a beautiful post that speaks to this idea on his blog Only Here Only Now titled “Be There”, a wonderful reminder that as long as we are present we canreach that transcendent place at any […]
Thanks so much for the generous mention of my writing on your great post today. I tried to express my gratitude for your support at your joint, http://www.thesimplesalt.com. So, here, I’ll just say thank you.
But, practising this can be quite difficult!
It’s a ceaseless struggle for me. I just keep trying- falling down- then starting again. But I’ll never give up.
Thank you for your kind attention to the writing.
she reads….she smiles….she agrees……;-)
he is happy…
Yes! It is so true. I think we often seek activities or even drugs to find this feeling. Yet, with practice, we can achieve it in whatever we are doing. This is quite profound.
A great reminder to be present. It is the only way to be. ♥
It really is, isn’t it? The only way.
Thanks again, Muse, for your kind words and thoughtful attention to my work.
Yes, 20 minutes, 3 weeks – these are only two points of reference. I am imagining that your run is about 20 minutes in before the feeling of running is replaced by the peacefulness you describe sets in.
great reminder to keep on keeping on.
“Keep on.” A simple and good thought.
Thank you for the read and the reply.
Such a simple but profound truth that greatly enriches life if we let it.
Cassie, always good to hear from you. You are a kind and empathetic reader.
Right ON!……………… 😀