how-to-meditate-like-a-marathon-runnerI had an insight while running 5 miles in 30 degree Maine weather last weekend.  A meditation practice is similar to training for a marathon.

I’ve been meditating for 13 years and only ran one marathon.  That one marathon took up about 6 months of training and I don’t particularly love to run.  For some reason the other day, while I was huffing and puffing on a country road in Freeport Maine, the similarities came to me between these two seemingly unrelated activities.


1. When training for a marathon, each day is a different distance than the previous day.  One thing people don’t always realize is that doing the exact same meditation every day for years on end might not be the best approach to meditation.  Meditation techniques should be changed up frequently.  By altering meditation techniques, guided meditation vs. meditation with music, time of day for meditation, using binaural beats such as hemi sync, and a host of other meditation methods, the meditation practice improves over time.

2. Marathon training builds the mileage over time.  With a meditation practice, the accumulated wisdom and insight accumulates over time.  Just as I couldn’t bust off a marathon after practicing for a week, a person shouldn’t expect to meditate like a Zen monk after trying one meditation technique for a few days.

3. Periodically while running I can experience a runner’s high.  In meditation, periodically one can experience a union with all beings.  This is usually interpreted as bliss, a massive expanded state of awareness, and/or a jaw-dropping joy and love that leaves someone giddy and appreciative of every life nuance.

4. Sometimes I would blow off my marathon running for the day.  And once in a great while, though very rare, I will blow off meditation for the day.  I always regret it.  I am able to keep consistent with practicing meditation virtually daily because I have a large toolkit of meditation techniques to fit the different moods, situations, and time I have available to meditate that day.

Meditation has an immense variety of ways to practice and apply the results in life.  It is one of the many reasons that I became fascinated with meditation to the point I now own this site.  Sometimes it can help keep a meditation practice consistent by mixing it up.  I hope this post shed some light on meditation in a new way.



1 Comment

  • KatQaNicee
    on August 14, 2011 Reply

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