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Record Type: Review   ID: 590

The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei

Stevens, John

 Part One of this work is an introduction to Tendai Buddhism in the context of traditional Japanese culture with a historical emphasis. The second part is about "The Marathon Monks," their training, their teachings, and their feats. Their conviction is: "If mind and body are unified, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished" (p. viii). The author is a professor of Buddhist Studies and an Aikido Instructor in Japan. He calls the marathon monks "the greatest athletes in the world today," albeit they are spiritual athletes. The monks train to run for 100 days, with 7 1/2 days without food, water, rest, or sleep. In the seventh and final year the 100 daily runs each consist of 52 1/2 miles! Their training is described in detail and biographies are provided of some of the monks. The bibliography is divided into works in English and in Japanese.
Publisher Information:Boston: Shambhala, 1988. Bibl; Chap.notes; Glos; 49 illus; Index
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