Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

Marathon Monks

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Tendai “Marathon Monks” « Bald Runner

There is a group of men who can claim – though they never do – to be the greatest, toughest, most committed athletes in the world. They run for no other reward than spiritual enlightenment, hoping to help themselves along the path of Buddha towards a personal awakening. They are the so-called ‘marathon monks’ of Mount Hiei, Japan.

The monks, known as Kaihigyo, are spiritual athletes from the Tendai Sect of Buddhism, based at Mount Hiei, which overlooks the ancient capital city of Kyoto.

The ultimate achievement is the completion of the 1,000-day challenge, which must surely be the most demanding physical and mental challenge in the world. Forget ultra-marathons and so-called iron-man events, this endurance challenge surpasses all others.

Only 46 men have completed the 1,000-day challenge since 1885.

One has to consider that the running does not occur on the Middle Path, but also remember not to judge the practice of others.
(Via the TriCycle Editor’s Blog)

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Author: Bill

Birder, cat-lover, pilot, poet. Former lounge lizard, pauper, pagan, lifeguard, chauffeur,cop and martial artist, turned pacifist addiction writer. Tries to be a good husband, father and brother, and makes a decent friend. Likes to take pictures. Stumbling down the Middle Path, one day at a time.

One thought on “Marathon Monks

  1. Why can’t the running occur on the middle path? It is a state of mind (or no mind), no?

    The Buddha chose neither luxury nor asceticism, but rather a path that acknowledged a need for the things of the world without attachment to them.

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