Wind Men

In her discussion of Tibetan Buddhism (cf. Buddhism - A Way of Life and Thought) Nancy Wilson Ross dismisses "sensational stories of impressionable writers" concerning mystical phenomena. But she then can't resist telling the story of the "Wind Men", also called "lung-gom-pa". These are described as able to run hundreds of miles per day in a trance-like state across incredibly rough mountain terrain. Ross cites Alexandra David-Neel's account of being passed on a trail in Tibet by a Wind Man:

... I could clearly see his perfectly calm impassive face and wide-open eyes with their gaze fixed on some invisible far-distant object situated somewhere high up in space. The man did not run. He seemed to lift himself from the ground, proceeding by leaps. It looked as if he had been endowed with the elasticity of a ball and rebounded each time his feet touched the ground. His steps had the regularity of a pendulum. He wore the usual monastic robe and toga, both rather ragged. His left hand gripped a fold of the toga and was half hidden under the cloth. The right held a phurba (magic dagger). His right arm moved slightly at each step as if leaning on a stick, just as though the phurba, whose pointed extremity was far above the ground, had touched it and were actually a support. ...

Sounds like the ultimate ultramarathon elite trail runner!

(cf. TwoTowers (2002-12-29), ...) - ^z - 2008-10-14

(correlates: LatentJoy, Buddhism - A Way of Life and Thought, SonnetForMyDaughterInLaw, ...)