Hi, I’m Eric Wilden, M.Div., USA Track & Field certified coach, and creator of Dharma Running! I thought you might like to know a little bit more about me, so here you go:
I have been meditating for more than 20 years, having been introduced to Buddhism while a student at Ursinus College through Beat Generation writers like Jack Kerouac, whose book The Dharma Bums was a great inspiration to me in my younger years. As my meditation practice deepened, I was led to further study at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where I was one of the first graduates of a brand new, Buddhist-based Master of Divinity program in 2003.
While in Boulder, an American fitness mecca, I started running as a way of shedding some graduate school weight. When I moved back to the Philadelphia region in 2003 I continued to run, lucky to have places like Valley Green and Kelly Drive practically in my backyard. As a New Year’s resolution in 2009, I ran every day for a year, and also ran my first marathon, Philadelphia, with a finish time of 4:00:17 (I like to call it 3:59:77).
Over the next several years, I began to focus more on the technical aspects of running (form, endurance, speed work) in order to make myself a stronger, faster runner. I also began to integrate, in a conscious way, variations of meditation practice that I found helped my focus and allowed me to train more mindfully and effectively. Using the techniques I now teach, I brought my marathon PR down to 3:21:29 and qualified for the Boston Marathon!
I believe that Dharma Running can help you achieve your goals not only by making you a better runner, but by making you a more mindful, kind, and patient person. When you combine a real training plan with mindfulness practice, you can run stronger, faster, and happier!
I hope you’ll get in touch for a free consultation and information about my rates – I would love to work with you.
P.S. Besides running, my other obsession is my wife and kids, who inspire me to be a better person every day. You can see my kids on the Dharma Running home page, celebrating my BQ with me.