Running and swimming as meditation

Minute Meditations

“My own observation is that a runner can more easily come close to meditation than anybody else. Jogging can be of immense help, swimming can be of immense help. All these things have to be transformed into meditations,” stated Osho.

running

You will not think of running as a meditation, but runners sometimes have felt a tremendous experience of meditation. They were surprised, because they were not looking for it — who thinks that a runner is going to experience God? — but it has happened, and now running is becoming more and more a new kind of meditation. It can happen in running. If you have ever been a runner, if you have enjoyed running in the early morning when the air is fresh and young and the whole world is coming back out of sleep, awakening, and you were running and your body was functioning beautifully, and the fresh air, and the new world again born out of the darkness of the night, and everything singing all around, and you were feeling so alive…. A moment comes when the runner disappears, there is only running. The body, mind and soul start functioning together; suddenly an inner orgasm is released.

Runners have sometimes come accidentally on the experience of the fourth, turiya, although they will miss it because they will think it was just because of running that they enjoyed the moment; that it was a beautiful day, that the body was healthy and the world was beautiful, and it was just a certain mood. They will not take note of it. But if they take note of it, my own observation is that a runner can more easily come close to meditation than anybody else. Jogging can be of immense help, swimming can be of immense help. All these things have to be transformed into meditations.
Drop old ideas of meditations, that just sitting underneath a tree with a yoga posture is meditation. That is only one of the ways, and may be suitable for a few people but is not suitable for all. For a small child it is not meditation, it is torture. For a young man who is alive, vibrant, it is repression, it is not meditation. Maybe for an old man who has lived, whose energies are declining, it may be meditation. People differ…

Osho, The Book of Wisdom, Ch 23, Q 2 (excerpt)

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