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Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind (Anglais) Broché – 9 avril 2013

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Running with the Mind of Meditation

We woke up early to sneak out of the monastery and get our morning run in before the ceremonies began. We drove to a nearby reservoir, got out, and began to stretch. It was only three thirty, and the early morning Indian mist and the coolness of the night still hung in the air. We were all a little nervous and excited, as we were running a new route.

We slid down an embankment, found the trailhead, and began to run, mostly at a slow jog—­with the reservoir on one side and open grasslands bordering a teak forest on the other. Even though none of us had slept very much the night before, we felt very awake. As we ran through the grassy country- side, Josh Silberstein, my assistant, said to me, “Is there anything we should be watching out for, Rinpoche?” I quickly replied, “Yeah—­cobras, leopards, wild elephants, and, oh, the occasional pack of wild dogs.” Josh laughed and asked, “No, really, what should we be watching out for?” Looking at my face, he said, “Oh, you’re not joking.” “Not about that,” I replied. At that moment, the nature of the run changed for him.

We ran through meterwide sinkholes and large mounds of dirt, which we soon realized were elephant tracks and dung piles. We came across wide-­open expanses that reminded me of the African savanna. The trail then headed into the forest, lush and thick, part of what remains of the great teak forest that used to cover most of the subcontinent. Occasionally we would see someone walking along, carrying a basket.

The rhythmic movement of our feet created ease and relaxation in our bodies, revitalized by the fresh air. We remained alert and constantly aware of our environment, which helped us to be present in the moment. Even though we weren’t saying much, there existed between us the camaraderie of an unspoken language, a deep feeling of appreciation that we were alive and healthy. We felt fortunate to be able to run. This was no ordinary run: we were training for the Boston Marathon, only two months away. Luckily we did not encounter too many wild animals while enjoying the Indian wilderness.

As the sun rose, we returned to Mysore, in southern India, to Namdroling Monastery, where I have spent much time meditating and studying Buddhist philosophy. On this stay, I was visiting my spiritual teacher, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, to receive teachings and empowerments. Rinpoche, the Tibetan honori- fic for high lamas, means “precious jewel.” In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, before engaging on a spiritual path or beginning meditation, one needs to first receive authorization and transmission from a teacher. This keeps the spiritual lineage pure. In this case, I was receiving transmissions of the Mipham lineage. I am considered to be the rebirth of Tibet’s Mipham the Great (1846–­1912), one of the most revered teachers that Tibet has produced.

I have always found a natural relationship between running and meditation. Running can be a support for meditation, and meditation can be a support for running. Running is a natural form of exercise, for it is simply an extension of walking. When we run, we strengthen our heart, remove stagnant air, revitalize our nervous system, and increase our aerobic capacity. It helps us develop a positive attitude. It creates exertion and stamina and gives us a way to deal with pain. It helps us relax. For many of us, it offers a feeling of freedom. Likewise, meditation is a natural exercise of the mind—­an opportunity to strengthen, reinvigorate, and cleanse. Through meditation we can connect with that long-­forgotten goodness we all have. It is very powerful to feel that sense of goodness: having confidence and bravery in our innermost being.

Just as in running, in meditation we leave behind our daily concerns—­the daydreaming, stress, and planning. We become very present. We enter into the now. By doing that, our mind builds strength. Our nervous system begins to relax. We develop appreciation and awareness. Our intelligence and memory become sharper. We are able to see the world from more than one perspective. We are no longer imprisoned by emotional highs and lows. Love, compassion, and other positive qualities become more easily accessible. Just as in running, when we finish meditating, we feel refreshed, and much for the same reason: meditation is a natural, healthy activity.

People sometimes say, “Running is my meditation.” Even though I know what they mean, in reality, running is running and meditation is meditation. That’s why they have different names. It would be just as inaccurate to say, “Meditation is my exercise.” I have known some advanced meditators who have been able to bring their meditative mind—­that strength and relaxation—­into their body with its channels, nervous system, and muscles. They become strong, radiant, and resilient. We even have a type of meditation in Tibet called heat meditation, in which yogis who are able to use the power of their mind to control their body heat meditate in subzero conditions for months, wearing only a cotton shawl. However, it is unlikely that they would be able to run a sub-­three-­hour marathon.

Likewise, it is unlikely that we are going to attain enlightenment by running, even though some have tried. It is not a matter of choosing what is better—­exercising the mind or exercising the body. Rather, these activities go hand in hand. We need to exercise both our body and our mind. The nature of the body is form and substance. The nature of the mind is consciousness. Because the body and mind are different by nature, what benefits them is different in nature as well. The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness. When we give our mind and body what benefits them, a natural harmony and balance take place. With this unified approach, we are happy, healthy, and wise.

Even in the ancient world, it was understood that people are happier when their minds are flexible and their bodies are strong. In the modern world, we are faced with conditions that challenge this mental and physical balance. We sleep less now, so we are often tired. We end up sitting down a great deal, riding in cars or buses in order to work in ill-­designed chairs that give us back problems and bad circulation. The quality of the air in our environment may be poor, so we become even tighter and more tired.

Often we are stressed from the moment we wake up. The alarm clock goes off—­hardly a substitute for the sun gently rising. E-­mailing, texting, working on the computer, and watching television can be draining. Many of us rarely have full or complete conversations because we don’t have time. Even our food is constantly being manipulated.

Both physically and mentally, we are taking on a great load. In order to handle that load, we need to attend to our well-­being. Because the mind and the body are intimately connected, relieving the stress of the body through exercise has an immediate effect on the mind: the mind is no longer dealing with the discomfort of the body. If the body is relaxed and flexible, that is one less thing for the mind to think about. The physical act of running thus provides some mental relief, especially the greater the distance run.

In teaching my first meditation and running workshop, I was struck by the number of participants who were ultra- marathon runners. When I considered their experience, it made sense. After you run for a while, what do you find in there but your own mind? You work with that mind by meditating regularly.

Running works with the periphery or the superficial level of thoughts, concerns, and worries. Meditation not only deals with the periphery, it goes all the way down to the core. The path of meditation can be used in simple and immediate ways. It will help you recover from a stressful day or clear your mind before making an important decision. Or it can further your understanding of the nature of reality—­all the way to enlightenment.

Revue de presse

 There is much wisdom to be found in this brilliant yet simple book. The lessons offered by Sakyong Mipham are like spiritual vitamins that will nourish the runner's soul.
–Jerry Lynch, Ph.D, author with Al Huang of Spirit of the Dancing Warrior and the best-seller, Thinking Body, Dancing Mind

Running With the Mind of Meditation is a delightful and welcome addition to contemplative literature.  We often forget that movement is a natural complement to meditative practice, and helps us avoid what has been called the 'stone Buddha' syndrome. This book is a profound guide to the integration of mind and body."
 -Larry Dossey, MD, author of Healing Words: the Power of Premonitions and The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things

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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Un livre fluide qui met en lumière ce qui est commun - et ce qui est différent - entre la course et la méditation.

Une belle manière d'apprendre à courir - ou de revoir sa manière de courir et de progresser, en douceur et en conscience.
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f458f54) étoiles sur 5 138 commentaires
141 internautes sur 145 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f39add4) étoiles sur 5 Read this and lose your MP3 player 25 septembre 2012
Par Horacio E. Schwalm - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I've been running consistently (that is, more than three times per week and for at least twenty miles total) for over thirty years and have completed marathons, ultras, and Ironman triathlon distance races. Until I read this book, I wanted to have inspirational music plugged into my head and constantly searched for new play lists when the current one lost its magic to motivate. After reading this book, instead of seeking a mood created by music in order to have a good run, I now create my own mood or head out looking to see what I can find by being in the moment. There is enough on meditation in this book to quit looking for external stimulus in order to create internal motivation. You can create your own motivation and enjoy running (or any endurance event) without outside assistance beyond what you can perceive from your surroundings, whether in the woods or the city. This book is full of moments when I stopped reading to underline something and nod to myself. Very good read and excellent practical advice.

For an amazing read of what is possible in the realm of human endurance, check out The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei.
88 internautes sur 97 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f23012c) étoiles sur 5 Unexpected, deep, and practical 17 juin 2012
Par S. Piver - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I love Sakyong Mipham's other books and I bought this expecting to also like it for its insights into how our minds work. What I didn't expect was that within 15 minutes of picking it up, I would be lacing up my running shoes and heading out the door. I haven't run for over 6 months and thought, well maybe my running days are over. Now I know that they are--as a form of punishment. This book reopened the door to running as a joy. As I continue to read, the depth of the book continues to unfold. Yes, you can use it as a source of inspiration to take care of your body. You can read it as a primer on mindfulness and awareness. But you can also read it as a guide to creating happiness and peace within yourself. A surprisingly deep--but still quite pragmatic--book. Highly recommended.
68 internautes sur 77 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f39d708) étoiles sur 5 Doesn't teach running meditation 6 janvier 2014
Par jvp - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The book isn't what I expected and hoped for. I wanted to read about how to meditate while running; how to focus my mind and keep it off thoughts of fatigue during endurance events. Instead, I would describe the book as somewhat of a compare and contrast between running and meditation. He describes how the pursuit of running can be justified and helpful for meditators. The author is very good at teaching meditation concepts and has an easy writing style. I did learn a few new insights about meditation. He describes running and gives anecdotal experiences from his own journey. The book, therefore, is good if you're already a meditator who's considering getting started in running, but isn't what I was looking for.
50 internautes sur 56 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8fd01620) étoiles sur 5 Worth a second read 16 janvier 2013
Par Chuck Whetsell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Having been a runner for 50 years and a meditator for 40, I was naturally interested in this book. My reaction after a first read was the same as I had with the author's other two books: nice, but simplistic. However, my experience with his first two books was that they somehow deepened upon subsequent readings. I gave this book another try, taking it with me on a week-long meditation retreat while I was recovering from a running injury. The advice in the book on healing from injury was helpful. More to my surprise, the book provided significant guidance on my meditation during retreat. As I have continued to re-read this book I have found my running has changed from being "good for me", driven, and slightly aversive, to being a relaxed and joyful experience that leaves me refreshed and relaxed. Oddly enough, my speed has increased. I subsequently used this book as meditation for hiking on a retreat I led in the Grand Canyon. Tiger instructions were very good for staying on the trail without falling, a must in the Canyon. Ascending Bright Angel trail at the end of a week, the Lion instructions were great for touching on panoramic awareness. What I have come to realize is that the author is very good at making profound insights accessible. A casual reading of his work may leave one with the impression that it is simplistic, but my experience has been that careful and continued attention to what he writes reveals a genius for writing on many levels of understanding at once, so that many people can benefit from what he says, and that most could benefit from reading it many times.
20 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f38f018) étoiles sur 5 OK, but not what expected 30 mai 2013
Par JF - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book was a big disappointment to me in that it did not give me what I wanted and what I expected from the description and some of the positive reviews. It does have a lot of helpful information about meditation, and it helped me see for the first time the purpose behind focusing on the breath in meditation. Hence the three stars. I would probably like the author's other books more, the ones that are strictly about meditation. But I expected a book with specific and unique tips and techniques for what to do with your mind while running, and how to enjoy yourself more while running without an MP3. Granted, there is a little bit of this--a very little. The advice on that front is nothing that you haven't already thought of - focus on your breath, focus on your form, notice nature around you, run from signpost to signpost. And a great deal of general talk about mindfulness in all of life, which includes running. If you are considering buying the book for the purpose of enjoying running more without a MP3 player, don't bother.

The book does not seem to have a discernible structure, other than in part discussing various stages of meditation and running using animal metaphors, which personally left me flat and I found that aspect tedious. The author starts the book by saying that meditation and running are two separate things, and you don't meditate while you run. Then, throughout, the book jumps back and forth, randomly and pointlessly, between separately talking about meditation and talking about running, and the author's personal experiences with both.
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