In this episode, filmmaker Sanjay Rawal and I explore our shared experience with Sri Chimnoy (my first spiritual teacher) and discover–to our shared surprise–that we joined Sri Chimnoy’s community around the same time and attended some of the same events.
We explore the inspiring work of Sri Chimnoy and his extraordinary and hugely influential teacher, Sri Aurobindo.
Then we dive into Sanjay’s movie about the remarkable 3100 miles ultra marathon that his spiritual community hosts each year.
Sanjay’s film is a meditation on the power of running as a vehicle for self transcendence. The footage is glorious, immersive, and hypnotic.
If you’re interested in running and meditation and pushing your own limits, this is essential watching. If you’re a dedicated runner or meditator, you will get a lot out of this film since Sanjay explores the intersection of these two disciplines in our conversation and in the movie.
I enjoyed this conversation immensely. Sanjay is a fount of knowledge about all things meditation and running.
Sanjay Rawal worked in the human rights and international development sectors for 15 years in over 40 countries before focusing his love for photography and storytelling onto filmmaking.
His first feature, Food Chains (2014), premiered at the 2014 Berlinale and screened at Tribeca before securing domestic distribution from Screen Media. The film was produced by Eva Longoria and Eric Schlosser and narrated by Forest Whitaker. It went on to screen in 1,100 more theaters during its theatrical, semi-theatrical & community screening tour.
A lifelong runner, Sanjay was happy to lose the pounds he gained eating Mexican food in farmworker towns and take on a project about running. His latest film, 3100: Run and Become, opened in theaters in fall 2018.
DAILY MEDITATION FOR 27 YEARS
Sanjay Rawal walks his talk. He’s had a daily meditation practice for 27 years, was a middle-distance runner in high-school and college, and runs an average of 50 miles per week. He pulled off filming 3100 where no one else could because spiritual practitioners around the world recognized that Sanjay embodied a level of discipline akin to theirs.
He learned his meditation practice at the feet of spiritual master.
Watch the Official Trailer for 3100 here.
Visit the 3100: Run And Become homepage to learn more & find a screening in your area.
christopher pike says
Oh gosh. In the early 2000s I used to travel to a ballet studio on Van Ness and Oak in San Francisco. Sometimes I would stop at this vegetarian restaurant nearby. It seemed like a unusual restaurant. To be honest, it reminded me of the Hari Krishnas. I hope you don’t take that in too negative a way. I noticed pictures of this older guy on the wall lifting a bunch of weights. I always wanted to learn more, but never made the effort. Now I find out that it was Sri Chimnoy on the wall. Anyway, I’d like to learn more from you about your experience, the good and the bad. Thanks, Chris
ps. Where is this group and restaurant likely to go with the passing of Sri Chimnoy?
Morgan Dix says
Hi Chris, I think it’s an apt comparison and no offense taken. I think the group is still thriving. Sri Chimnoy passed a while ago and left a body of teachings. I don’t have any personal knowledge of what they’re up to now or how the structure of their community may have changed, but I infer from this film that they’re still running – pun intended! Happy to share anything you’d like to know. It was a loooong time ago :-). Hope you’re well and please feel free to shoot me an email at morgandix @ gmail.com
Suchitra Hari says
Excellent write-up, a post that would be really helpful for many. Loved the way in which you expressed your points. Would definitely recommend this blog to my family and friends.
While listening to this I just remembered the notion that our everyday practices can be turned into a contemplative act a meditative exercise and the experience just shared here lends credence to the research on flow states through physical exercise and maybe even S-ART framework proposed by researchers David R. Vago and David A. Silbersweig
Meditation is a great tool to achieve self-transcendence.