Friday, June 14, 2013

nothing is permanent

Excerpt from the book The Wayfinders by Wade Davis

In the mountains of Japan, outside of Kyoto, Tendai monks sleep for two hours a day and, with only a bowl of noodles and a rice ball for food, run through the sacred cryptomeria forests seventeen hours at a stretch for seven years, covering at one point in their Kaihigyo initiation 80 kilometers a day for one hundred days. As a final ordeal they must go without food, water and sleep for nine days, even as they sit in silent meditation, their bodies exposed to the roaring heat of a bonfire. Tradition dictates that those who fail to complete the training must end their lives. Beneath their white robes they carry a knife and a rope. Slung from their back are rope sandals. They wear out five pairs in a day. In the last four centuries only forty-six men have completed the ordeal, a ritual path of enlightenment that brings the initiate closer to the realm of dead, all with the goal of revealing to the living that everyone and everything are equal, that human beings are not exceptional, that nothing in this world is permanent. 


I am speechless. Wonder if we take our lives this seriously (and train ourselves for what?)

Guess there is a lot more to reflect upon.


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