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It was a beautiful blue sky autumn morning in Hyde Park. Time for my first half marathon. Along with 12,000 others I anxiously awaited the start. After a quick warm up and a last minute dash to the bushes for a final pit stop we were off. I felt almost like cattle herded into a long line slowly heading towards the start. Pod on, I jogged away confidently, three months of solid training under my belt, running out of the park, past Buckingham Palace and towards Big Ben. Crossing Westminster Bridge I almost felt like stopping and taking a photo, golden light over the Thames. I ran at a steady pace replaying in my mind words of advice from friends not to try and compete with those around you. With so many other runners it was at times quite crowded on the track but everyone was in good cheer and respectful of other runners. As each mile came and went I checked my stopwatch sticking to my plan of 8 minutes to the mile. Finally after 12 miles exhaustion kicked in. Finish line in sight I pressed on until 200 metres from the end adrenalin took over, Trans Am came on the Pod and I made a mad dash for the line! A memorable day and I hope the first of many half marathons to come.

Conspiracy Of The Gods by Trans Am

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing to steal. Ryokan returned and caught him. “You may have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.” The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away. Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.” – Excerpt from Zen Flesh, Zen BonesĀ edited by Paul Reps.

Mukaiji-Reibo excerpt by Goro Yamaguchi