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A Monk’s Character and Commitment

If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was 1,000 miles away, I’d still swim. And I’d despise the one who gave up.

—ABRAHAM MASLOW

The greatest endurance athletes in the world are not even athletes—they’re Buddhist monks living on Mount Hiei in Japan.

For them, there is no competition to win, no competitor to beat, no trophy to hoist, and no lucrative contract to sign. The 1,000 marathons they complete over seven years are viewed as a meditation, not a competition. The goal is personal transformation and enlightenment—not just for themselves but for others as well.

What they ...

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