May 6th Om Run hosted in Vasona Park offered an opportunity for over 1800 people of the Bay Area to mingle in a 5K, 10K run, and half marathon allowing for socializing and having a family fun-filled day of activities together.
Hosted by Chinmaya Mission, which was established in India in 1953 by devotees of the world-renowned Vedanta teacher, His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda. Guided by his vision, devotees all around the world formed the nucleus of a spiritual renaissance movement that now encompasses a wide range of spiritual, educational, and charitable activities, ennobling the lives of thousands in India and across its borders. Presently, headed by His Holiness Swami Swaroopananda, the Mission is administered by Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT) in Mumbai, India. Under his guidance, the Mission has continued mushrooming across the globe and stands today with over 300 centers worldwide.
Chinmaya Mission San Jose is one of them.
Swami Bodhatmananda Ji planted the OM Run seed in 2010, and since then it has germinated into a full-bloomed event year after year. Thanks to the fervor and zeal of over 200 volunteers who get an opportunity to serve in the event alongside with the Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK) our young adult members who are graduates of our Bala Vihar program.
Om Run has training sessions helping people and children train for the run prior to the big day that hosts a large outdoors “fair” (with rides, games, food stalls and other family-friendly activities). The organized event attracts Bay Area professionals from different fields. As a sponsor (depending upon the level of sponsorship), they get a booth at the event, a color advertisement in a professionally printed booklet that is handed out to each family that is registered and attends. The logo is also imprinted on the event T-shirt that is given to each registrant and of course, multiple shout-outs by the MCs of the event. This avenue allows the sponsors to market and publicize their products and services while gaining leverage in the large south Asian community.
This run not only brings the Chinmaya Mission Family together but also encourages people of all clan to become health conscious as they renew, resurrect for the year.
Funds raised from OM Run are shared by several local and international charities like CORD (Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development), St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, American Diabetes Association, PACE (Pacific Autism Center for Education), where we support children with autistic challenges and Friends of Independent Networks (FINS), a local nonprofit helping an adult program to assist developmentally disabled individuals.
Chinmaya Mission in San Jose has many programs that involve a five-year-old to a senior citizen.
- Bala Vihar — to help children bloom, grow and inculcate values through fun-filled activities. Bala Vihar enhances the overall development of the personality of a child at all levels — physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Bhagwad Gita lectures are offered at no cost while Bal Vihar is in session.
- Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK) is a global youth wing of Chinmaya Mission. It aims to empower youth with the vision, values, and dynamism for success in all fields. CHYK conducts weekly classes where young people are made aware of their potential through the study of scriptures.
- Chinmaya Study group involves five to fifteen people who meet at a mutually agreed time, place and day for about ninety minutes each week. The group studies and discusses scriptural texts according to a prescribed syllabus that offers the seeker a systematic exposure to Vedanta.
We are observing increased participation as these programs provide an excellent platform for individuals to learn and get involved wholeheartedly. By maintaining an environment of encouragement, tolerance, and humility, Chinmaya Mission enables personal and spiritual growth of an individual and families.
By turning our attention away from our differences and working for a common goal, we slowly inch our way to see the Oneness in all of us. Events such as Om Run allow a seeker and sevak (volunteer) to turn attention from individual differences and work for a common goal, slowly inching to see the Oneness in all. The beauty here is that as one gets more involved, more internal subtle transformations will be reflected and experienced by an individual and people around them.
As Swami Bodhatmananda Ji says, “We need to understand that we will not always have control over external situations but we still have the choice of controlling our mind and responding to the circumstances appropriately. So, we must learn to manage our mind. This is possible by transforming our vision and perspective of life. Every situation in life should be seen as an opportunity to evolve, and then being becomes a beautiful adventure. Challenges and frustrations are part and parcel of life. We may not be successful in every venture we undertake. The fallacy is that we define success in ￼a certain way in our mind, and we bind our happiness to that mindset. We become disappointed if we don’t achieve what we had defined as success. However, it is only through our mistakes do we learn and improve. The right thing is to keep this knowledge available and alive with us all the time as much as possible.”
Spring is the season of new beginnings. Let’s embrace this opportunity to bring a change within and around us.
For more information about Chinmaya Mission San Jose and its local activities look up: cmsj.org