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Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual teacher who founded a namesake Marathon Team, died last week.<br><br>
Has anyone done a Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team event?<br><br><a href="http://www.srichinmoyraces.org/" target="_blank">http://www.srichinmoyraces.org/</a><br><br>
I very much hope the marathon team and its events continue, for somewhat selfish reasons, I admit. The Self-Transcendence Marathon had been high on my list. Other races include the Self Transcendence 3100 mile (!) Race and the World Harmony Run.<br><br>
If you're not familiar with him, here's a little bit about a peaceful ultrarunner and athlete (among other things!).<br><b><span style="font-size:small;"><i>Sri Chinmoy, 76; quirky peace advocate blended spiritual and physical</i></span></b><br><br><i>From the Associated Press</i><br><i>October 14, 2007</i><br><br><i>As a spiritual guide to followers worldwide, Sri Chinmoy spread a message of peace through his lectures, his writings and his meetings with world leaders including Pope Paul VI and Nelson Mandela.<br><br>
The charismatic but quirky Chinmoy didn't stop there: There was weightlifting -- followers claimed the guru hoisted 7,000 pounds with one arm. And music -- he wrote more than 20,000 songs. And illustrations -- he sketched more than 1 million "peace birds."<br><br>
Chinmoy died of a heart attack Thursday at his home in Queens, N.Y., ending his odyssey from an ashram in south India to a world headquarters in New York City, according to a statement from his organization, the Sri Chinmoy Centre. He was 76.<br><br>
Chinmoy believed that the physical and spiritual were intertwined, a philosophy that led his followers to do some unconventional things. One of them rode a pogo stick up and down Japan's Mount Fuji, while another set a world record for continuous hand-clapping, with 50 straight hours of applause.<br><br>
His group sponsored 1,000-mile ultramarathons in which participants ran for two weeks, and Chinmoy reportedly finished 22 of them.<br><br>
But some considered Chinmoy's group a cult, and controversy arose in 1996 when his followers persuaded federal officials to hang a "peace blossom" plaque inside the Statue of Liberty's lobby.<br><br>
The plaque was removed three weeks after its dedication amid complaints, including one from the Chicago-based Cult Awareness Network.<br><br>
The peace blossom plaques, designed to promote world peace and "oneness," were left at other international landmarks including Alaska's Mt. McKinley, Africa's Victoria Falls and Australia's Great Barrier Reef.<br><br>
To his followers, Chinmoy was not a cult leader but a spiritual advisor and mystical figure. Musicians including guitarist Carlos Santana and saxophonist Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band were among those who found inspiration in Chinmoy.<br><br>
He met with an assortment of world leaders, and Mother Teresa once praised him for "the good work you are doing for world peace and for people in so many countries."<br><br>
The youngest of seven children, Chinmoy joined an ashram in south India after he was orphaned at age 12. He spent the next 20 years in prayer and meditation before "an inner command" sent him to New York City in 1964.<br><br>
Chinmoy established his first meditation center in Queens, and eventually claimed students in 60 countries.<br><br>
Beginning in 1970, he began holding meditation sessions at the United Nations; in 1998, his group organized a U.N. memorial for John F. Kennedy Jr.</i><br><br>
Official web site: <a href="http://www.srichinmoy.org/" target="_blank">http://www.srichinmoy.org/</a>
 

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Wow. . .wow. . .wow. I was just reading an article last night on the 3100 ultra, and I've been feeling the lure of the 6 day. He has left an amazing legacy.
 

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Now I'm thinking about the Self-Transcendence Marathon for next year.<br><br>
I'm not as knowledgeable about the ultrarunning world as most of you. How is Sri Chinmoy regarded? As a contributer, fringe character, or more of a peace activist than runner?<br><br>
Did you see his weight-lifting stuff??
 

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Just like anything else. . .there are a variety of opinions out there. From what I understand, a lot of folks almost deify him. I've tried to just look at the races for what they are. . .borderline absurd. . .which is what ultrarunning is all about!
 

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I've always been kind of turned off by anything with a guru or cultish feel, but I still think the spritual growth element would be something different to experience (probably from my yoga background). I'd love to see what the atmosphere is like at one of the races.<br><br>
Although any person can experience growth through running, whether that's their aim or not, without someone to tell them to or how to! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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I did not know he passed.<br><br>
I knew of his 1,000 mile ultra, and the Self-Trancendance races, but little about him. The feats of strength astound.<br><br>
Thanks for illuminating Sri Chinmoy. I imagine his peacefulness and humility as something to strive for.
 

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Very interesting character from what i have read. He definitely seems to have a cult like following and treated like a demigod. The races are very intriguing. And so are the people who run them.
 

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What are they like (the ones you've met)? Pink tutu Keith is the only one I've met. He was pretty much adorable.<br><br>
I get totally stuck on the whole guru-ego thing. If self-transcendence is about getting beyond your ego and into a more universal experience, it seems ironic to put another individual on a pedestal and "follow" that person to transcend. Learning from others is vital to progress in most ways; awarding a teacher god-like status is another thing.<br><br>
(That is probably a discussion for another thread, though.)<br><br>
I wonder how the 1,000 mile ultra is organized. That boggles my mind.
 
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