The Mystery Runner

The other morning, as I was sitting outside meditating on my front lawn, eyes close, a vigorous sounding runner ran by.

I like to run. Sometimes I run sprints, sometimes I jog, sometimes I run hard for longer distances, such as the mile or 2-mile, testing myself for my best time.

Who was it? Was is a man, or a woman? How hard were they running? Were they as fit as me? Perhaps even fitter?

I mean, I’m not the strongest of fittest guy in my town, but I’ve been living on my block for ten years, and, I’m pretty sure that I’ve never seen anyone run by who’s in better shape than me.

Who could it be?

I stuck to my breathing, with eyes still closed, resisting the temptation to open them and look.

I’m not going to look. I don’t need to look. I’m just going to keep meditating.

But, aren’t I also the guy who smiles and says ‘good morning’ to every neighbor? Maybe I should just do that … but no, it’s OK. They’ll understand that I’m not being rude if I am sitting.

By now the mystery runner was past my position on the lawn, and so only a few seconds remained while they would be in my close view.

I couldn’t resist any longer. I peeked.

The moment I saw them, I experienced a revelation. I might also call it a ‘meditative insight’, or a ‘moment of clarity’.

Not about them; about me.

Of course I saw the runner and their physical body, how old they were, how strong and fit they were, and how hard they were running. All of my minds’ previous questions were answered, immediately.

And they meant nothing.

I saw nothing.

By opening my eyes, I saw that that the only thing my eyes were being used for in that moment was judgment. Meaningless judgment that told me absolutely nothing about the mystery runner’s life and who they really were.

No matter how they looked and ran, I knew nothing more about them than I did with my eyes closed.

With my eyes closed, however, I could actually see more about them.

I could see that they were there, running, working to be in good shape.

I could see that they were a beautiful, loving human, despite any ridiculous fears or jealousies that my mind might impose upon them.

My eyes were much more widely open after that experience as I passed through the rest of the weekend.

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