Sri Chinmoy’s Training and Mental Preparation

Sri Chinmoy trained for 4 to 6 hours each day. He would begin at 2 or 3 in the morning with up to 90 minutes of stretching. He would then follow a prescribed routine with his custom-made weight machines after which he would move on to heavier dumbbell and plate weight lifts. Those dumbbell and plate lifts were far heavier in many cases than his training and warm-up weights.

Every day he tried to transcend a previous achievement.

The journalist Scott Jennings asked, “How do you mentally prepare yourself to lift a weight that is much heavier than your training weight?”

Sri Chinmoy answered, “You have to realise that the physical world is not the only world. The mental world is as real as the physical world. If you are having difficulties at a particular place, then you can go to another place. Who knows, that place may be more inspiring and encouraging. If you don’t get inspiration to practise running on the running machine, then you can go outside where there are beautiful trees and fresh air. Then, once you get inspiration and joy from the outer world, from nature’s beauty, you may be more inspired to practise on the running machine. Similarly, if you are not getting enough joy from your training on the physical plane, then you can enter into the inner world and meditate. On the mental plane first you imagine that you are lifting weights beyond your physical capacity. Then you can bring that mental capacity to the physical plane and turn your imagination into reality.”

Jim Smith, long-time Registrar of the British Amateur Weightlifting Association, remarked to Sri Chinmoy, “You’re obviously using all your previous spiritual training.”

Sri Chinmoy commented, “Previously I used to say 99 per cent, but now I give 100 per cent credit to my Inner Pilot, who is my source of inspiration and aspiration. Before each lift I concentrate, pray and meditate for at least three or four minutes. I do one heavy lift, and then again I meditate and invoke God’s Blessings and Protection. After doing one lift, they advise you to do the next lift as soon as possible—within a few seconds. They say that for a few moments the blood in your arm is still circulating rapidly. I don’t like that theory since, in my case, I depend on Grace from Above. So I wait at least three minutes or more between each lift when I am working with heavy weights. I pray and meditate and concentrate, and when I feel that I am inwardly energised, I try to lift. Before that I do not do it because I feel I owe everything to my Source, which is inner guidance. So I have to first enter into my Source for inspiration, aspiration, guidance and protection.

“Sometimes there is no logic behind my performances. But again, inner inspiration is such that it does not correspond to outer reasoning. Many, many things I have done which my physical mind cannot believe. When I look at the weight, I am frightened to death. But then again, when I concentrate, I am not afraid of it. When I am one with it, I act like a hero. When I am not one with it, when my concentration or my oneness with the weight is not there, then I am actually frightened. But when I try to go beyond the mind, then these barriers do not exist. The mind feels that you have to go from one to two. But why go from one to two if there is something called Grace? Why not go from one to ten? Fortunately, I have succeeded many times with this approach.”

Carl Lewis: Diet + Meditation

Carl Lewis, nine-time Olympic gold medalist, has been active for the last three decades in early childhood development programs, especially as they pertain to athletics.

He has been involved with dozens of charities that promote sports amongst youth and is currently planning an initiative to offer his wisdom and experience to parents and coaches.

Carl recently launched Fit Forever, an interactive website where he offers personalized instruction, diet tips and a community for like-minded athletes to congregate and share information and inspiration.

Watch this video, where Carl touches on his current initiatives for children and speaks about the importance of diet in his training. He speaks about switching to a vegan diet at age 30, after which he set all of his personal bests. Carl also touches on how he uses meditation for improving his athletic performance.

Sri Chinmoy’s Early Life

Sri Chinmoy was born in present-day India (East Bengal) in 1931. At the age of 11, his parents died within the span of 6 months of one another.

He was taken by his elder brothers and sisters to continue his education at an ashram (spiritual community) in South India led by revolutionary-turned-sage Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy, though rooted in Indian tradition, was highly dynamic and he attracted numerous followers from the West, including Margaret Wilson, the daughter of President Woodrow Wilson. In his ashram, the Cambridge-educated saint provided ample opportunity for the development of the physical.

Sri Chinmoy found at a young age an inherent talent for athletics. He reigned as the ashram 100-meter champion for 11 straight years, the decathlon champion twice and captained the soccer team.

In this video, watch Sri Chinmoy describe the connection between the meditation and physical fitness.