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Contemporary Tendai Kaihogyo Tradition

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In contemporary Tendai Kaihogyo tradition, one can reach enlightenment by helping others. Before doing so, however, one must improve himself or herself. The thousand day kaihogyo involves improving oneself for the first seven hundred days. During this time “the practitioner dies to his old egocentric self and is reborn as a bodhisattva who works for the salvation of all beings” upon reaching the seven hundredth day (Reader 318). The practitioner has to master many meditation practices, which includes paying respect and reciting mantras to different entities along the pilgrimage path around Mt. Hiei, before helping others. The grueling marathons strengthen the practitioner’s meditation abilities and senses as he or she endures great pain. Such
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