For 25 years the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team has been organizing one of the most popular ultra races, the 12 + 24 Hour Self-Transcendence Races in Basel, Switzerland. This short summary brings you the highlights of these unique sports events that live from the beautiful and soulful atmosphere as well as from the perfection of its organizing team. Enjoy the “*Spirit of Basel”. Length: 7:15 min. – The next edition of the 12 + 24 Hour Race in Basel will be held on May 4/5, 2013, for more information and inscription see the official website.
On a Sunday afternoon in September I got a call from the World Harmony Run office in New York. They told me that one of our members had vanished in the Swiss Alps. They told me that Nabik Dan Hunt, 35, and two friends paraglided down from a high mountain called the Jungrau. The two friends landed safely but Nabik failed to arrive at the agreed landing site. The Jungfrau is one of the highest mountains in the Alps, with a dramatic drop in altitude of 3,000 m from the summit to the Lauterbrunnen Valley below. Later, I contacted Nabik’s mother who sent me an SMS that her son had flown down the Jungfrau using a “speed wing.” I realized immediately that this could be quite serious, and I started looking around for capable people to search in that high Alpine region.
I was a rock climber when I was in my teens, but stopped years ago. So I didn’t have any friends I could ask to join me in my search. But Ueli Steck came to mind. He is the top climber in that region of Switzerland. I sent him an SMS and he called me in the morning. As I was confused about “speed-wing” and “wing-suit” he told me, Nabik must have been speed-gliding or paragliding. He was speed flying using a fabric wing to descend from the Jungfrau Joch (11,333 feet ) at speeds of up to 75mph. Steck, who knows the weather and the thermals in that valley very well, said that at the time Nabik started his descent, on Saturday 15th September around 4 PM, conditions were less than ideal. Ueli said that the chances were slim that we would find him alive, but he advised us to search the glacier, as he might have fallen down a crevice right after he started. He said the second possiblity would be the lower part of a glaciated valley.
I left Zurich that morning, arriving at the Lauterbrunnen Police station, at the foot of the Jungfrau and closest to the area where Nabik went missing. Officer Nils Anderegg asked me to register the people coming to help with the search. He said, “We don’t want any more casualties. We have to know who is going where.” Tim Good, who was flying with Nabik, was the first of the helpers. He had already been searching for him for two nights and one day. He accompanied the Swiss rescue team (REGA) and the Swiss Army on helicopters that flew over the glacier until 2:30 am. Tim still looked very energetic. He used the energy of his despair to act very quickly, getting maps and constantly making phone calls to all of Nabik’s friends in the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland.
By noon a group of eight people had gathered outside of the police station. We decided to have three teams of two each to go and scale the glacier. Team “1” left first followed by Team “2” with Tim Good and Simon Egger. Team “3,” comprised of Nadeen Al-Khafaji and Tom Foote left later. In addition there were the four paragliders Valerie, Barry, Lisel and Rich. I quickly realized that among Nabik’s friends were some of the toughest and brightest people you could imagine. I was very touched by the story of Nadeen Al-Khafaji’s grandmother: At 11 pm the night before Nadeen called her and asked her to drive him to Lauterbrunnen, so he could join the search his friend. The night before I had heard from the police that after two days of helicopter flying Nabik’s insurance was exhausted. There was no more money for helicopter searches. On the way to Lauterbrunnen I contacted my boss, who agreed to fund an on going search and rescue operation. So by noon two helicopters were in the air, one was putting a team down with three dogs below the glacier. The other helicopter had been flying for two and a half hours along the glacier using an antenna for detecting mobile devises. Both teams had failed to pick up any sign of him.
When the helicopters came back at 4 PM, eight speed-flyers and paragliders left Jungfrau Joch from the Sphinx (3,571 Meters (11,716 ft) to re-fly the line where Nabik might have gone down. Benny Kälin, who runs “Chill Out Paragliding” in Interlaken, Switzerland, organised a flight from the Jungfrau down to Lauterbrunnen. He called me and said that the team checked the glacier and the crevasses in the high-alpine area. He suggested continuing searching further down in the valley, in the Trimmleten forest. Team “3” came back early from the glacier. Nadeem and Tom, who were supposed to go to the Guggi SAC Hut (2791 m), searching the glacier as they went, were too late to make it back to the return train. But this turned out to be good, as they had a chance to walk in the direction of the Trimmeleten forest and make some observations near the area where Nabik was eventually found.
My friend Felix had already spent 4 hours observing the forested area at the entrance of the Trümmeleten gorge. At 8 PM all the searchers met at the Chalet Rosa, where we were spending the night. We had a very intense 3 ½ hour meeting. After many calls to people who knew the Trimmleten forest that Simon and others made, we all agreed where to search next day: in the Trimmleten Gorge! I had to work the next day, so I was leaving Lauterbrunnen at 11:30 that night. On the way I was talking to Nabik’s father in England and also to his best friend Pedro. When I got back to Zurich at 3 am, I was repeating my parting words to the team: “Day four is a day of hope.”
It has been now three weeks since Nabik was found, and the whole thing is still confusing to me. Why? The same day they found Nabik, I had spent hours preparing myself for the call to his mother telling her he was dead. Although I was still hopeful, I had a lot more time to think since I wasn’t involved in the search any more. And realistically the possibility of finding him alive was reduced each hour he wasn’t found. The number of missing adventure sports enthusiasts still alive after three days of searching is very small. The odds were against him. I couldn’t stop thinking how unimaginably difficult and painful it would be to have to tell a mother that her child has died.
As I was discussing with a friend of the family how to transfer more money for helicopter searches when he got the news. I almost couldn’t believe it, although at the same moment I got an SMS from Nabik’s father: “Found alive, he is waving to them.” This news was so incredible that I first couldn’t believe it. This must be a miracle! Nabik was stranded in inaccessible gorge and was there during the three nights near sub-zero temperatures. And although he saw rescue helicopters that passed over him at least 15 times there was no way they could see him in that narrow and 250 feet deep gorge. Nils Anderegg, the Swiss policemen in Lauterbrunnen couldn’t believe it: “Nabik is very lucky. He is safe. He is healthy – he only hurt his foot.” Nabik was spotted by his friend Nadeem Al-Khafaji and was pulled up with a long-line by a helicopter from Air Glaciers. This was the last puzzle that started almost 70 hours early when Tim Good gave the alarm when Nabik didn’t land in the valley.
Being an athlete myself, I don’t criticise people who take risks. From the time I was ten until age seventeen I spent almost all of all my weekends and all my vacations in the Alps hiking, climbing or skiing. Just two weeks before Nabik got lost, I wanted to do a bike race over three Alpine passes. Even though it was raining heavily in the valley and there was snow on the passes, I wanted to go. I took it very hard, when the organisers cancelled it due to the cold, snow and danger. But on the other hand there are people who love you, and whom you love. So all these people who love Nabik – and there must be many – were suffering an “unimaginable nightmare” for almost 70 hours.
Now it is over! But still I can’t really understand what has happened. How could Dan survive for so many hours in that cold and humid gorge? What was it that drew some of the greatest people I have ever seen to Switzerland to search for him? When it comes to the successful rescue – how much was personal effort and how much was luck or grace? I can just speak for myself. It was the most intense day in my life. But I feel that the fact that Nabik was found has nothing to do with me. I gave what I had, but there must have been a greater force at work. And those who know Nabik better, realize that his spiritual master Sri Chinmoy, whose disciple he is for many years, might have had a say from the other world. Today it is exactly 5 years since Sri Chinmoy passed away.
On August 8th 2010 the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team organized the 23rd Self – Transcendence Marathon Swim on Lake Zurich. A challenging weather from sunshine to thunderstorm surrounded this most popular swimming competition in Switzerland. Overall winner was Norbert Wild, Germany, in the Neopren category with a time of 6:34:07 h, fastest woman was Julie Ann Galloway, USA, now living in Dublin, with a time of 6:35:41 h. Enjoy the great atmosphere in this very special ultra sports event! More info, photos and the full result list you will find here: www.ch.srichinmoyraces.org
Yesterday my Swiss friend Pushkar Müllauer, a student of Sri Chinmoy, finished the world largest race, the 3100-miler in Queens, New York, in a time of 50 days 9:34:24 h. New York journalist Utpal Marshall wrote this in his Blog:
Ever since humanity was able to recognize a divine existence within themselves they have been trying to seek it out, and bringit forth from within. It is never easy to establish a constant inner oneness with this divinity, as so much of our outer nature tries to deny and negate even the very existence of this part of us that lies within. The very nature of our bodies and minds is to only to accept physical lethargy and try and ride the mental merry go round that really leads us nowhere. Sometimes most powerfully, the inner in us breaks through and shows us the way for our entire being to be transformed and made one. In practically all religions the call to pilgrimage is part and parcel of this transformation process. The journey will take you to sacred spot in which a spark of consciousness can be lit and we will feel our connection to our soul’s reality on all planes.Pushkar one day during the race had a powerful experience in which he no longer saw himself running around and around a block but instead on a sacred pilgrimage in with he was always moving forward. “Something entered into me. It was much easier to accept. Every step I do brings me closer. On that day I did my best. I could not do more.” Today that journey will come to a close, at least for this year. “I am able to complete this unimaginable distance only because of God’s boundless compassion, affection, and concern.” He is wearing a special shirt that he has only worn once before. The only other time he wore it was when he finished the race last year. The previous year when he did not complete the race he did not wear it. On the back it says, “Joy Guru…27) He will be slower by more than a day from last year but he is not disappointed by this at all. He does not believe that the heat bothered him as much as some of the others but suspects that it may have indirectly affected his digestive problems. As a whole he has learned a lot from being here the 2 previous summers and feels more disciplined and independent. He spoke recently about how happy he was to be able to continue to run after Asprihanal finished 2 days ago. He felt that his own finish would likely be a mixture of sadness and joy. “A smiling eye will definitely come forward.” He confesses that already this morning the crying eye was present when he was filled with overwhelming gratitude that he was able to be here and complete the journey.“I would love to go for ever and ever but this is just a part of it. Another part says, “let us reach the finish line and take a little rest,” and he laughs. I suggest that if he wants to run for ever and ever he just needs to come back every year and run. “If the outer circumstances allow it, I will definitely be here. It is the most beautiful thing I can do on earth. What ever you do is the right thing here. If you come you move, move, move. Everything you do is in God’s own way done.”
In a spectacular launch of the 2010 World Harmony Run, runners in Guatemala carried the World Harmony Torch to the Pacaya Volcano for the 2010 torch lighting ceremony. The torch was lit from the molten lava at the Volcano. The World Harmony Run is a global torch relay that promotes harmony between people of different cultures, nationalities and beliefs. In 2010 over 100 nations on six continents will participate in the international relay, and will cover over 56,000 kilometres. In Guatemala runners include representatives from Ukraine, Switzerland, China, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Iceland and Mongolia as well as Guatemala. The World Harmony Run, an initiative of life-long athlete and universal man of peace Sri Chinmoy, was first staged in 1987 and now involves more than 100 countries, uniting thousands of communities and millions of people. Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) was an athlete, philosopher and humanitarian who saw sport as a powerful instrument for promoting global harmony. In recognition of his lifelong efforts to foster friendship between peoples and nations, he received the highest national award from more than 10 countries. Sri Chinmoy envisioned: “May each and every individual each day have a new dream of world harmony.” Many world leaders have participated in past World Harmony Runs, including Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, South African President Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa. National Patron of the Australian World Harmony Run, running legend Ron Clarke, said, “The Run will bridge cultural and social barriers, and all the boundaries that separate nation from nation. It shows that athletics can be a powerful force for good.” For more information go to www.worldharmonyrun.org.
PHOTOS BY ISRAEL CORDEIRO DA SILVA AND PRABHAKAR STREET (above)
On her website, Swiss crystal child Lena speaks about crystal children: “Each person has 7 senses but most of them don’t know them or don’t use them. Crystal children are similar to Indigo children. The aura of Crystal children shines in all pastel colours. Their energy is clear, calme, peaceful and they radiate a lot of love. They are very sensitive and can feel the emotions of other people, feel energies and thoughts. On the other side they are very sensitive and get hurt very soon. They are peacemakers. Because they don’t like fights, they do everythin with love and respect. The Crystal children have a big knowledge. For example they know what they did in past lifes, what happens with people, why they are ill or where their way goes and so on. That’s why they are a bit bossy and don’t like teacher so much. They don’t like if other people instruct them because they know it already. The Crystal children like nature and animals very much; they are very important for them. They know about their feelings and are very clear about what happens in their body or in their life. They love everything. To the angels, ghosts and invisibly friends they have a good contact and can talk to them. Telepathy is easy for them. The eyes of Crystal children are mostly big and shiny. They can talk with their eyes.” For those of you who are interested in the subject, Lena (23) will gave a one hour LIVE interview on 2012 and beyond on December 11th 2009 which still can be seen here or at vimeo.
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Swiss Videographer writes on his new video on vimeo: A new series of timelapse movies which I recorded this summer and autumn in the Swiss Alps. Most locations are only reachable on foot, some need alpine hikes of 3-5 hours. I spent several weekends in cottages of the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC), where I shot these clips. The music is from Beethoven’s great 7th Symphony, 2nd movement. Locations are: Diavolezza (Bernina Range, Graubünden), Gleckstein, upper Grindelwald Glacier (oberer Grindelwaldgletscher), Flüelapass (between Davos and Engadin), Schwyz, Rigi, Triftgletscher, Glärnisch.
On September 11, 2005, Maestro Sri Chinmoy chose the village of Interlaken in the Swiss Alps to offer a concert performing on a record number of 170 musical instruments from around the world. This is an excerpt with a sample of 8 different flutes. It is now available on www.srichinmoy.tv
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The Glacier of Aletsch in Southern Switzerland joins hundreds of beautiful, significant and inspirational sites throughout the world that have been dedicated to the cause of peace and international friendship, organized by the International Sri Chinmoy Centres. With its silent vastness, beauty and power this Glacier conveys a sense of overwhelming peace, reminding us of the Source of Creation. Enjoy the feeling of this mountain region that also has been dedicated as a UNESCO World Heritage.
At 7 minutes past noon GMT today, at the New7Wonders headquarters in Zurich, the Matterhorn was revealed as one of the 28 Official Finalist Candidates in the global election of the Official New7Wonders of Nature. The announcement was made by Prof. Dr. Federico Mayor, President of the New7Wonders Panel of Experts, and Bernard Weber, Founder and President of New7Wonders. Bernard Weber said ”Congratulations to the supporters of the Matterhorn from around the world for their passionate, inspiring work in bringing it up from over 440 participants into this elite finalist group of just 28. This is an extraordinary achievement and the eyes of the planet will be upon the Matterhorn and Switzerland for the next 2 years. We look forward to an exciting, record-breaking final race, with the whole world coming together to choose the Official New7Wonders of Nature, 7 locations that will become part of Global Memory for ever.”
In addition to Panel President Prof. Dr. Federico Mayor, the members of the N7W Panel of Experts are: Dr. John Francis (U.S.; environmentalist, social activist, author and UN Goodwill Ambassador to the World’s Grassroots Communities), Simon King (Kenya/UK; documentary filmmaker), Ana Paula Tavares (Brazil/U.S.; senior vice president and vice president of development, the Rainforest Alliance), Bernard Weber (Canada/Switzerland; global voting campaign expert, photographer, filmmaker and author), Prof. Jan Zima (Czech Republic; biodiversity scientist) and Rex Weyler (Canada; environmental journalist, activist and founder of Greenpeace).
For the full details of the announcement and the New7Wonders Panel of Experts, as well as to vote in the final stage that will choose the Official New7Wonders of Nature, please visit the website: www.new7wonders.com.