Another short article torn from a long one posted last week.
A friend asked me if I run with an iPod. He wanted to know if it would help his running to use the iPod-enabled feature of his Nike shoes. He also asked if I listen to music when I run.
I don’t. I don’t judge people who do. It’s simply that my kind of running demands all my attention.
Also, an important part of the “method” I practice involves creating my own music. On the spiritual path that I follow, music plays a central role in our services and personal practice.
I use “music” to generate positive, uplifted feelings in my heart when I run. I spend nearly every minute of every run either singing internally, or chanting, humming, rhythmically repeating a short prayer, or playing brief passages of inspired music in my mind. It’s all part of my effort to open my heart and focus my mind.
That said, I’m amazed by the kinds of music runners listen to. A former ultrarunner confessed that she loved listening to killer rap while she ran the single-track trails of Mt. Tamalpais. I don’t judge her, but music does have powerful effects on consciousness, and contractive states are poisonous to training. Because I’m an old putz, I’m allowed to believe that I could get better sounds than Snoop Dogg by feeding beer cans through an Insinkerator.