Dick Beardsley

(USA, Winner of London Marathon 1981 with 2:11, 2nd place in Boston 1982 with 2:08:53)

Question: I ran a 2:08:53 marathon with primarily a road-racing background. Would it improve my chances of making the 1984 Olympic marathon team if I partake in training and racing the 10,000 meters on the track?

Sri Chinmoy: Definitely you will improve your marathon time if you run 10,000 meters on the track. Running is a physical subject, a mental subject, a philosophical subject and a subject of the Beyond. In the physical aspect, …

Franco Columbo

(Body-Building: Mr. World, Mr. Universe and twice Mr. Olympia)

Question: How important are yoga stretching exercises to the mind?

Sri Chinmoy: If one is practising stretching exercises thinking that he will be able to achieve peace of mind, then he is totally mistaken. No matter how many stretching exercises one takes, no matter how many hours one spends stretching, one cannot get peace of mind. Peace of mind comes only from one’s prayer-life and meditation-life. I have a few students who are extremely good at stretching exercises.

Don Kardon

(USA, President of the Association of Road Racing Athletes; 4th place in the 1976 Olympics marathon in Montreal)

Question: Why do you think runners are often able to achieve a kind of meditative state while running?

Sri Chinmoy: Concentration and meditation are members of the same family. When a runner focuses all his attention on a particular race, he is in a position to free his mind from uncomely distractions. Here one-pointed concentration is the path-finder for deeper meditative consciousness.

Craig Virgin

(American 10,000 m champion, twice World Cross-Country champion, 2:10 marathoner)

Question: How do I cope with the pressure of winning or, on the other hand, the disappointment of losing, in a sports competition?

Sri Chinmoy: You can cope with the pressure of winning if, a few days before the race or even just before the start, you can imagine the pleasure of rejoicing in your victory. Imagination is not wishful thinking; it is not a baseless reality. Imagination is reality itself in another world. We bring it down to this world the way we bring down fruits from a tree.