Sokushinbutsu - Buddhist self-mummification For 1,000 days the priests ate only nuts and seeds. They then ate only bark and roots for another 1000 days and drank poisonous tea normally used to lacquer bowls. This caused vomiting and loss of body fluids, and made the body too poisonous to be eaten by maggots. Finally, the monk would lock himself in a small tomb, and not move from the lotus position. Each day he rang a bell to let those outside know that he was still alive.