Once lung-gom-pa runners attined the proper level of moving meditation, they could fly like the wind, vitully gliding along in the air in a state of deepest contempation. The marathon monks of Mount Hiei achiev similar results with theur training methods, but the secret of their success lies in their spiritual rather than their physical strenght. The spiritual strenght – derived from the desire to realize Budhahood, for the sake of oneself and the sake of others, in this very mind and body – is the key to the question “what makes the marathon monks run?”
Buddhism can never be understood purely through the intellect; it must be experienced. “learn through the eyes, practice with the feet” (…) he gyja have said that as soon as they don the robe of a marathon onk, all other concerns vanish; they gravitate toward the mountain paths, compelled by a powerfull that suffuses them with energy (…) it as pilrimage carried out in the immense silence of the Absoute on a remote, majestic and misterious mountain where gods and Buddhas dwell. Leaving behnd the cacophony of the restless, relentless world, the monk isoates himself to live every day as if it were the last.
At the end, the marathon monk has become one with the mountain, flying along a path that is free of obstruction. The joy of practice has been discovered and all things are made new each day. The stars and sky, the stones, the plants, and the tres, have become the monk’s trustd companions
The marathon monks of Mount hiei, John Stevens