When I first learned about the Sen-nichi Kaihogyo (1000 days marathon),I was speechless. Who would survive such hardship or torture.. I think the word “Torture” describes the program more appropriately.
The programme is called “The Kaihogyo.” which is practiced by part of Tendai Buddhism’s teaching. Enlightenment can be attained in the current life. Although there are many monks at the temple on Mt. Hiei, but obviously only few people have survived and completed the 1000-day kaihogyo.
The Kaihogyo is a 7-year program. (monk is said to have walked approximately 40,000 Km.
Year 1: The monk walks (or runs) 30 km per day (about 18 miles for 100 days).
Year 2: 30 km per day for 100 days.
Year 3: 30 km per day for 100 days.
Year 4: 30 km a day for 200 straight days.
Year 5: 30 km a day for 200 straight days.
Then he enters into the toughest part of the endurance test: 9 days without food, water or sleep and he isn’t even allowed to lay down.
How do we know that the monk does not actually fall asleep?
Two monks stand beside him all day for 9 days to ensure he does not fall asleep.
This explains the number of unmarked graves found in the Mountain Hirei. Quite a few monks have lost their lives trying to complete the impossible journey.
Only 2 monks have successfully accomplished the programme called “The Kaihogyo.”
Recently, the 41-year-old Kogen Kamahori successfully survived the 9 day endurance test.
The monk was chanting sutras 100,000 times. Just hearing that makes me feel nervous.
What can we learn from the monk? He is a living form of the Buddha or some kind of super power. But he is a human being after all so this tells us we have the potential to complete almost anything if we are committed to it knowing that we must complete..or die.
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