Running / philosophy

running-japan-77
Zen and the Art of Distance Running (Running For Peace)
This post will be a partial cross-post from a YouTube channel I keep, called Voluntary Japan. I don't really want to mix blatantly articulated libertarian philosophy and principle (that channel's focus, in large part, until now) with this running blog, but the video below is focused more on the benefits of running as far as inner peace is concerned, than on anything "political" or "apolitical." As such, I'm going to give myself the green light here, and add it to this blog. Recently I've begun practicing zazen (seated zen meditation) regularly. I am by no means any kind of specialist here, or anything like that, but I'm interested for the same reason I'm interested in running. I feel free. When my feet are pounding along on the pavement outside, with the cold wind and fresh air invading my nostrils, the scenery alive, popping with fantastic angles and colors, the thoughts in my head being both exercised and exorcised, I feel a real sense of freedom. I feel like I've entered another realm, where raw emotion comes out, and where a quiet calm can be found. In much the same way, seated zen meditation takes me to a quiet space that is all mine, but unlike running, there is no physical activity to speak of save breathing. I think these two practices complement each other. For one thing, running for long distances is much like sitting down on a cushion for a long time and not moving. They may seem like total opposites, but they're not. They both take the same kind of endurance, in a way. They are like a mental reset for me. I would not want one without the other. As such, I've kind of come to think of my running style as being kind informed by zen, and, for lack of a better word, kind of "Zen-ish." Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video below. Join me on a walk through the city as I talk about running as a means to bring about peace. It's not as pretentious as it may sound! Cheers! -GS
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