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The New York City Marathon, Work and Thanksgiving Published: Sunday, November 27, 2005 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel Morales

Last Sunday, November 6, Emilio Piñero Ferrer and myself did the New York Marathon, with almost 40,000 other people. Under the intense strain of the route and the bridges, and the huge physical pain, I can recall the many peculiar moments of friendship support, solidarity, extraordinary clarity of thought and perception we shared. We both felt that these moments were vital to our experience as human beings and as professionals, who wanted to do something different and make a positive statement, very similar to what we try to do at work in our respective organizations.

Three weeks have passed by and I have been thinking deeply about the possibility that behind this strenuous adventure exist a coherent body of insight that corresponds with the psychological and spiritual experiences of all of us as participants. The desire to make this journey, at least for Emilio Piñero Ferrer and myself, proliferated out of our drive to realize more and more of our bodies, minds and souls possibilities. One of our most fundamental drives, at a time that we are both reaching 60, is to know and dramatize the still richness of our life potentials. This test required heavy concentration, freedom distraction, and sustained alertness. It also demanded that we show ability to focus unbroken attention on the spaces, objects, routes, distance and other people involved, and on our capacity to listen to our bodies, manage our minds and bet on our spiritual capability. A wandering mind diminishes ability, and success depends in us being totally in the action. The greatness of athletes, as well as of workers, professionals and students is in their power of concentration.

One fundamental thing that I experimented through this difficult and enriching adventure is the central perception that there was a kind of core reality, or a ground of existence that transcends the ordinary world, yet exist in it. However separated in appearance they may be, the individual, the universe, and the transcendent divinity are essentially one.

The first 4 to 6 miles we went fast, we were excited and felt initially tired. By mile number 9 we were full with the accomplishment of being able to achieve such a distance, but at the same time became aware that we have not yet come to the half of the cycle. We struggled with courage, tenacity and stamina with the next 11 miles. The public and the crowds were lovable, fantastic and encouraging. On mile 20, we hit the wall and started to feel the load and using the psychic tool that this heavy pain was temporary, but the pride and the happiness of finishing the test was lasting forever. The remaining 6.2 miles course was undertaken with our spiritual fountain as a main source of our consciousness, and prayer was more than necessary, because we were quietly joined with this important dimension.

In spite of the profound pain we kept going, experimenting with the funny feeling that we were moving and moving not, that the remaining distance was still far and was also near, that we were within all this and the same time we were also outside. And we finished, and we cried.

At the end of this trial we had a grateful heart. We also acknowledged that Thanksgiving is fundamental to our life, because it is a conscious response that comes beyond looking at our blessing, and this week we thank and worship the One who has given us everything to work hard, and to do the NYC Marathon.

 


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