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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tendai monks... ( revisited)

My brother gave a quick run down on what endurance is.   Should people really endure pain to reach the 'higher pleasures' - beyond material and carnal aspects of life!    Well, worth thinking about, if not exploring.

These monks - over a period of 10 years will have to run 50+ k's for 100 consecutive days every year, wearing sandals or mostly on bare feet, on unmarked routes, with no apparent help, in tough weather and inconsistent terrains and pray in about 250 temples.  At one point, they have to go without food for 7 days, and should not swallow their spit!  Further more during the last year, they run about 84 km everyday for 100 days!   The entire regimen is time bound.

They are trained to rest parts of their body, and a 10 min rest for the monk is more than 5 hours of rest.  This article is public.   Only 46 monks have survived the 1000 day ordeal.  Very niche species indeed...

People like me are at the other end of the spectrum.   We are consumed by the chores of daily life, and do little that shall take us to the 'next level'.  Except when we put our feet on the street, especially sneak runs.

We dont have planned regimens like the Tendai monks, which take them away from materialism.  But within the limits of this material world, we try to attain some salvation through hobbies like running.   The effort slowly becomes a reason for existence ( ref  Runaholic...).

Finding a reason to run itself shows the endurance of this passion - which also looks for like minded people.   Here too, we dont have a choice of the place, weather and time we run; we do it because we want to do.   So it is still materialistic, in a sense, is it not?

For the tendai monks and the likes, running becomes a daily chore, whereas it is a passion for the otherwise mundane like us.  

So endurance to achieve something is inevitable - be it the tendai monks or mere mortals like us!

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