Not quite sure where this story will rank with each of you...
inspiring or mind boggling. It took my breath away!
In light of all the ultra-running we are witnessing by here on our
path, I thought I would send this story and link to the group.
More proof that there are others in the world who see this ultra-
running activity for reasons far outside of just building great
Note, this monk did not run his miles in the top of the line Asics
running shoes, with great nutrition drinks, or medical attention
Otsu City, Japan (UW) - The 47th "marathon monk" has completed an
ancient Buddhist running ritual in the remote Japanese mountains,
taking seen years to run the equivalent of the distance around the
Genshin Fujinami returned Sept. 18 from his 24,800-mile spiritual
journey in the Hiei mountains, a range of five peaks that rise above
the ancient capital of Kyoto.
Dressed in his handmade sandals and robe, with a straw raincoat
draped over his head, Fujinami was greeted at the end of his journey
by a crowd of worshippers, who knelt to receive his blessings at
Enryakuji Hoshuin, the temple that guards the sacred tradition. "I
entrusted everything to God. I am satisfied," he was quoted by AP.
Since 1885, only 46 "marathon monks" of the Tendai sect have survived
the ritual, which dates to the eighth century and is believed to be a
path to enlightenment. The last was in 1994. A few have done it twice
but many more have not lived to finish.
Finish or die
Traditionally, any monk who can't continue to the end must take his
own live, either by hanging or disembowelment.
A rigorous regimen dictates that in each of the journey's first three
years, the pilgrim must rise at midnight for 100 consecutive days to
pray, run along an 18-mile trail around Mount Hiei -- stopping 250
times to pray along the way. He can carry only candles, a prayer book
and a sack of vegetarian food.
In the next two years, he must lengthen the regimen to 200 days.
Winters are spent at the temple, doing chores.
The single most difficult task comes in the fifth year when the monk
must sit and chant mantras for nine days without food, water or
sleep. This trial is called "doiri," or "entering the temple."
In the sixth year, the monk walks 37.5 miles every day for 100 days.
And in the seventh, he goes 52.5 miles for 100 days and then 18 miles
for another 100 days, before returning to the temple. Otsu city,
about 234 miles southwest of Tokyo.