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Mar 01
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Running with the Mind
A new business comes into being, based on the Sakyong’s book, Running with the Mind of Meditation

by Joshua Weinstein

photo courtesy of the Kalapa Court

There are 20 million runners in the U.S. alone. How many of those would like to make mindfulness part of their running routine? And how many more people will want to build mindfulness and exercise into their daily routines? What if there were a business, a company that could help runners in achieving these goals?

In response to these questions, a new business has come into being.  About two and a half years ago, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche asked Bob Sutherland to look into building a business around the book Running with the Mind of Meditation. Bob began researching the possibilities and gathering a team; I came on board about two years ago. We had no funding in hand, only the inspiration to follow our passions: running, meditation, and manifesting the Sakyong’s vision.

At first we tried creating a weekly course in Boulder, but it was hard to get enough participation to make this mode viable. To get a better handle on what our potential customers might want and need, we sent a survey to three hundred past participants from the Running with the Mind retreat at SMC. The top three requested services were clear in the survey responses: guided running meditations, teachings from the Sakyong and other experts, and access to online education with community aspects.

runnersAround this same time the Sakyong recorded a live interview at Google in Boulder for Shambhala Mountain Center’s Awake in the World webinar. Afterwards we met with the Sakyong, and talked about how an online course for mindful runners could overcome the  drawbacks of a program limited to a single specific time and place. Online courses can often lack depth, but they clearly increase breadth of access.  Once a community is built through online access, more depth can be achieved through in-person retreats.

Bob, a bricks and mortar businessman, decided to take an advisor role. I was in the process of studying online marketing, when I ran into a new friend — Doug Pineda. Doug is a relatively new Shambhala student, who nonetheless feels a strong heart connection to the Sakyong. I came into contact with Doug through coaching my son’s lacrosse team, which also includes Doug’s son. Our conversation led to an interesting discovery: Doug’s impressive resume in business development and online business solutions. A new working relationship came into being. Over the the past year, Doug and I have been working with the Ladrang to build Running with the Mind into a global mindful running movement.

Children running on Earth Day in BoulderWe went live on December 6th, hosting a launch party at the Boulder Shambhala Center for both in-person and online audiences. This event inaugurated the public phase of the movement. Shortly after the event, we asked the Sakyong to record a message to the community, a torch to fire up our kickstarter campaign. The campaign was to fund the remaining work and marketing efforts, in order to launch the first course based on the book Running with the Mind of Meditation. After the initial eight-week course we will also launch a membership site with ongoing education and community resources to further deepen the mindful running movement. Click here to see a sample of four free videos.

Running with the Mind has the potential to help a significant number of people increase their physical and mental health. Beyond that, it has the potential to be a global movement contributing to the evolution of our collective consciousness towards greater confidence and compassion. We at Running with the Mind are honored to be part of this small piece of the Sakyong’s vision.

Joshua Weinstein is a founder of the new business Running with the Mind

Editor’s note: you can help by supporting the Kickstarter campaign for this new business. Click here to see the Kickstarter page, including a video featuring Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

Update:

A discount on the online course can be found on Sangha Announce or from local Center Directors or Group leaders.
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