Kokila Chamberlain

Run and Become first opened its doors in Cardiff in March 2000. Having at that time been meditating as Sri Chinmoy’s student for about eight years, and having done a couple of short stints working at Run and Become in London, I jumped at the opportunity to be able to work full time in a local Divine Enterprise. It’s a great opportunity to put into practice your spiritual principles on a daily basis.

Most of the staff at Run and Become practice meditation and are taught by Sri Chinmoy. We have a quiet corner set aside for meditation and everyone spends a few minutes at the beginning and end of the working day in silent meditation. We also have photos of our teacher and prints of some of his paintings both in the shop and the stock room to help remind us to try to remain as conscious as possible of our inner life as well as our outer work. For me, it is very, very helpful to my spiritual life to be able to work with others who share a profound understanding of my spiritual path and goals.

Meditation brings peace, joy and harmony to the fore in our nature and we hope that this manifests outwardly in the ambiance of the shop for the benefit of all and sundry. We aim to serve our customers as cheerfully and self-givingly as possible, whilst they are serving us through their example of enthusiasm, determination and dynamism in their running life.

It’s often said (admittedly mostly in the columns of running magazines!) that runners are a special breed, and it’s commonly acknowledged that regular running develops lots of great qualities, such as confidence and determination. (Sri Chinmoy says that running is a form of meditation for the mind.) I feel very fortunate to be able to work with and for such an inspiring and widely varied cross-section of people who so often come through our door with tremendous energy and enthusiasm.

Our customers are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, abilities and geographical locations, from Cardiff to South Africa, from school children to Olympic athletes. We have customers who have run ultra-marathons, and even one who is currently running around the world. We also have customers who are just embarking on an exercise program to try to shed years of unwelcome weight accumulation and may just be starting with a bit of treadmill walking. And then there’s a whole spectrum in between.

The outer differences could not be much greater, but inwardly all these people share a great and humbling level of dauntlessness and determination, which perfectly illustrates that the inner achievement of self-transcendence is of equal stature whatever the starting point and wherever the eventual goal.

Sri Chinmoy has said that world acceptance is necessary for world transformation. I am very fortunate in my spiritual life in that the world itself walks in through the front door of my working life on a day-to-day basis.

“No matter how many hours we work, or talk, or do anything in the outer world, we will not approach the Truth. But if we meditate first, and afterward act and speak, then we are doing the practical thing.”
Sri Chinmoy from The Wings of Joy

Kokila Chamberlain
Run and Become, Cardiff