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Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,754 ratings  ·  277 reviews
A unique fitness program from a highly respected spiritual leader that blends physical and spiritual practice for everyone - regardless of age, spiritual background, or ability - to great benefits for both body and soul.
As a Tibetan lama and leader of Shambhala (an international community of 165 meditation centers), Sakyong Mipham has found physical activity to be essen
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Harmony (first published 2012)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  2,754 ratings  ·  277 reviews

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May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: General Public, runners
Recommended to Maria by: I just saw it at politics & prose
Second Reading: February 18, 2013
I plan on starting a running program. The last time I read this book it inspired me to start a running program, but I never took a step.

This time, I'm ready to take the step, I just needed a running-buddy of sorts, a teacher really. I already knew what was within the pages, so I considered this a refresher on the joys found within running.

What I realized this time is that if I live in the moment, and my goal of running is to live in the moment, then I don't have
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running-books
I do not have an Eastern mindset.

I remember going to a one-off book club meeting with a bunch of women, all acquaintances of my boss, about two months after my twins were born five years ago. Other than some "dates" with my husband, I hadn't been out much. I wasn't back at work yet, and my overachieving breasts made so much milk that being far away from the babies and the breast pump for any length of time was a recipe for misery. But I longed for adult conversation, so when I was invited to thi
Peter Clothier
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I would have been happy to have come across Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind twenty years ago, before my lower back and my hips and knees started telling me that enough was enough. Authored by Sakyong Mipham, the leader of Shambala and himself an experienced marathon runner, the book is part inspiration, part invaluable instruction manual in the parallel arts of running and meditation. Running, I have always maintained, is a mug’s game: do it often enough, ...more
Yelda Basar Moers
If you run, meditate, practice yoga or just love fitness, you should absolutely read this book.

I’ve always viewed my running practice as a moving meditation and wondered how the two disciplines converged. When I saw this book, I thought it could answer the many questions I’ve always had about the connection between running and meditation.

Running with the Mind of Meditation is a wonderful read about two very synergistic practices. Sakyong Mipham is a Tibetan lama and leader of Shambhala, a commu
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
I’ve been a runner for over ten years, and practiced yoga for over five years. I noticed an increase in my recovery time and overall health after regularly incorporating yoga sequences and stretches into everyday. Running and yoga both bring a peace of mind. I’ve never practiced meditation but I’ve always been intrigued by it.

Sakyong Mipham is a leader of meditation retreats and a 9-time marathoner. His book, Running with the Mind of Meditation, combined mindful meditation into running in order
Luke Winders
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book may have changed my life. I'll have to get back to you on that one. Running has certainly changed my life. I began to become less fat and now can't imagine life without it. As I began to increase my distances I realized I would occasionally lose chunks of miles and time and really liked the peace of mind it brought me. This all reminded me of my teenage (beat-gen inspired) interest in Buddhism and half-ass forays into meditation (never got to do the yabyum thing, though). So now I'm de ...more
Kevin Shannon
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
I am giving this 2 stars as it is bad karma to criticize Buddhists and I must admit I skipped quite a bit of the latter parts of this lightweight volume. It reminded me of a British sausage, not much meat and a lot of filling, and I think that may be because the subjects are simple; meditation is not thinking and running is putting one foot in front of the other, everything else is elaboration. I do not doubt the sincerity of the compilers, maybe my western mind is too rigid for the truths writt ...more
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
The book is well written and I enjoyed reading it.

However, it probably won't improve your running at all. I would recommend it to runners with a spiritual touch who want to read something about running. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who meditates already and who wants to start running.
Alia Makki
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most powerful messages that I got from this book was the part where he discussed a transcendental stage in running. The stage where you start thinking about purposes beyond yourself. Inno, like what the Prophet used to say, إِنَّمَا الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّةِ وَإِنَّمَا لِامْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ لِدُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوْ امْرَأَةٍ يَتَزَوَّجُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ ...more
I've been wanting to read this for a while. Meditation and running are both great for clearing the mind, and everyone needs balance and clarity in their lives.

Some simple tips to help you be more mindful and how to connect your running to your mind. Nothing life-changing but things I can apply to both. 3 stars.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's a great book drawing parallel of running and meditation. Why didn't I think of this before? It's interesting to learn about the four stages of meditation and running according to ancient Tibetian beliefs. The book also gives good suggestions on exercises you can do to improve the mind and body based on each stage. Now, I am eager to go out for a run. ...more
Rohan S.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In order to become well versed in a certain topic, one must dig deep for information that is not generally taught. Being a runner myself, I was looking to advance my skill level to the next level. A coach from a nearby town recommended this book because it allowed him to expand his knowledge about running. However, I was interested in the book to utilize the methods being taught by Sakyong Mipham, who is a high lama in Tibetan Buddhism. Teaching many strategies to improve the strength of the bod ...more
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am not aware of any other books that bring together running and meditation as clearly or at such length as this book. For this reason, the book is inherently interesting for someone who is interested in or practices both (such as myself). It is conversational in tone, dare I say 'breezy,' and trots along at a nice pace from start to finish.

The basic premise of the book is the application of Shambhala meditation principles (Tiger, Lion, Garuda, Dragon, Windhorse) to running. I'm knowledgeable a
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to-books
Unlike most running books, this is not a technical manual on how to run. Written by Sakyong Mipham, leader of Shambhala tradition, this book is a rumination of running, meditation, and the Shambhala world view. The tone is casual and approachable. Heavily utilizing animal metaphors and personal anecdotes, this book is a kind and gentle encouragement for both running and meditation in a particularly way. Here, running is to gain health and clarity of mind, not a performance in terms of time and d ...more
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
I came across this book as a recommendation from one of my running friend and the title intrigued me as both the topics 'Meditation' and 'Running' is something which is quite close to me.

Moreover, I also loved the start of this book, however, I started feeling bored when I reached the mid-section of this book. I usually read the book in one go- though I ended up putting this book twice or thrice before finishing it.

I somehow couldn't find anything quite powerful to resonate with me apart from ru
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
If you're passionate about running and meditation, you'll probably enjoy this book, but I doubt you'd get much from it. It's mostly just his thoughts on meditation, running, and some of the parallels he sees between them. He talks about some of his marathons. He uses animal analogies, the tiger, lion, garuda, dragon, and windhorse, to represent the phases of advancements, both in running and in meditation. Reminded me a little of martial arts. Some of this book inspired me somewhat in my running ...more
Benjamin Zapata
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Movement is good for the body; stillness is good for the mind." - Sakyong Mipham. "A profound guide to the integration of mind and body." -Larry Dossey,MD. Now that I'm getting ready for this year San Francisco Marathon(2014), this books has been a great help and inspiration in training my mind and body. Having ran nine marathons and one ultra himself, Sakyong Miphan brings together his wisdom about meditation and running in this wonderful guide that is sure to help you on your runs through the ...more
Bill Gathen
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A life-changer. Got me much deeper into meditation and helped my running quite a bit, too. Both activities seem dead-simple, but there are such depths to be plumbed for someone who digs deep. They are doorways into enormous worlds that can't be described, only experienced. Without the experience, the descriptions are completely misleading. Try it. ...more
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: da-do-run-run
Fuel for runners and meditators of all levels; includes lots of mantras and tips interwoven with personal anecdotes and Buddhist beliefs. Separating the information into different sections by animal metaphor made the material especially memorable. Like a good run, this book is a soothing, energizing experience.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, running
I'm not practising yoga or meditating but I do love running, so I picked up this book. I liked it, it was useful. I must say I still don't really meditate and I don't like yoga. But it was interesting. ...more
Skylar Ivey
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Lots of good points and will keep this book on hand for reference. Hope to be able to practice a lot of these methods in both running and in keeping a healthy mind. However, not a very engaging book so was hard to get through and maintain interest in reading it.
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
It was good off the start, but like most self-help books, I got bored. I need a self help book on how to read and incorporate self help books. :/
Marlo Goff
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Highly recommend for any runner.
Karl Reef
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first saw this book in the window display of a new age store in my city, and made a mental note to read it. Several years later, I'm glad I finally picked it up.

Personal context around the subject matter: I am a more seasoned runner than meditator. Like many, I find consistently practicing meditation difficult. Whenever I fall out of frequent meditation practice, it is easy for me to unconvince myself of the magnitude of its positive impacts. Yet running has always come naturally, and of cours
John Spalding
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a terrific book for beginners--whether new to running, meditation, or both. As one who started both running and meditation my junior year of college some, gulp, 31 years ago, I found it full of insight and inspiration I can take to the cushion and the trails. It's hard to think of someone more qualified to write this book than Sakyong Mipham, a Tibetan lama and head of the Shambhala lineage (he's also the son of Chogyam Trungpa), who has serious cred as a runner, which was new to me. He ...more
David Doty
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't know much about the formal practice of meditation, but this book was a great introduction to how to achieve better peace and contentment through both training of the mind and the body. Based on the author's Tibetan Shambhala tradition of warriorship, the book takes the reader through basic, and accessible, descriptions of four phases of mediation: Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon. These culminate in the a strong windhorse, or "lungta," which is "the ability to bring about long life, good ...more
Eloisa Cusi
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book fundamentally changed my life. If you want to transform how your brain associates negative thoughts about running and fitness than this book is for you.

As a runner in my formative years, I felt like I was riding endless waves of euphoria that would come to a crashing halt at the finish line of another disappointing race. My performances were inconsistent and it would etch away at my sense of self worth. I quit running for 5 years and didn’t look back until I was forced to confront the
Samantha Sprole
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This penetrating read analogizes the four-stage ancient Shambhala warrior path with personal training: meditation training for the mind and running for physical training. In the most general terms, the body benefits most from movement and the mind benefits most from stillness. Mental stillness, and its corresponding mental clarity and gentle optimism, may be achieved through concentration and awareness training but might also come about via mental exhaustion following the exertions of running. M ...more
Matt Swanson
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is certainly not a how-to training manual on running but that wasn't what I was looking for anyways. I took up running because it is easier to get away in the morning for an hour to run than to fit in a 3-4 hour bike ride, but now find myself really enjoying the challenge and seeing my slow incremental progress. Mipham's enthusiasm for running is obvious and contagious, but he is also a Tibetan lama with extensive meditation experience, and I found the parts about meditation very helpf ...more
Grant Gadomski
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was what finally got me to commit to a daily meditation practice; by framing meditation as training the mind, much like how running trains the body. Just like how enough running prepares us for dominating all 26.2 miles of a marathon, enough meditation provides the tools & mindset needed to take in stride all of the pressures from work, demands at home, and daily annoyances we encounter. The author effectively bridges the gaps between these two practices, making them out as perfectly c ...more
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Sakyong Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche, The Kongma Sakyong II Jampal Trinley Dradül (born Osel Rangdrol Mukpo in 1962), most commonly known as Sakyong Mipham, is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and Shambhala International, a worldwide network of urban Buddhist meditation centers, retreat centers, monasteries, a university, and other enterprises, founded by his father, the Buddhist teacher Chögy ...more

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33 likes · 5 comments
“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.” 25 likes
“If we do not push ourselves enough, we do not grow, but if we push ourselves too much, we regress. What is enough will change, depending on where we are and what we are doing. In that sense, the present moment is always some kind of beginning.” 14 likes
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