Part #2 -
- "Three Steps, One Bow" journals
One Heart, Bowing to the City of 10,000 Buddhas
Records of Heng Sure & Heng Ch’au Bowing
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- For the first time I'm feeling a build•up of concentration
like an engine that slowly warms up during the first morning
hour of bowing and then maintains its heat through lunch (This
is new! Halleluiah!) and then continues to run strong
in the afternoon. I look forward to when Heng Ch’au and
I have our routine down so we can maintain a pure, silent cultivation
are into wealthy neighborhoods: each house is a fantasy of elegant
noble living memorialized in stone. Each arched•top carriage
house a picture, the Mercedes parked lust so, the expansive
lawns green despite the water•rationed drought. The slate
roofs and marble porticos frame the baronial splendor of the
gardens and walks. Everything is perfect••all drawn
from "House and Garden.” But the residents are not
so finely built, especially the children. Two young boys owning
the street we audaciously crept along••one on a
20•speed bike and one on a $30 skate board move languidly
out of the way to allow our van enough room to pass. Young boys
12•14 years old, their play clothes bought at Bullock’s••from
tousled hair to racing shoes all the finest••but
their faces? Ghost•like, pale and puffy. Their eyes have
no spark, no wonder, no interest. They represent a dull challenge
to authority. They are children off the edge. They do not seek
knowledge of the world. They have been swamped in materiality••been
given every possible toy and game and food and tool. They are
overstuffed with protective concern but undernourished on love
and learning. Dull, yin, passive, and angry, the boys had no
masculinity, no Mars, no humor: only the blank mouth•open
sniffle of a child. They need a father, a grandfather, older
brothers, a neighborhood, a day and night without color TV,
pajamas, the kitchen, interviews with parents, etc. They need
love and life. If they grow up without it, the world will suffer
when they come into power.
I am aware of the weight of the vow is bring the Sutra home
to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. The work ahead is easy
if you go straight, and hard if you slip off.
are adrift in Los Angeles, Dharma fugitives in a sea of Saha
job for us is to learn to be left•home people all the
time. We must learn to behave as models of deportment for left•home
people and for lay people.
have to face our own situations, apply correct principles, and
set up the proper dharma.
May 22, 1977 - Last night I was
set and sat upon by two something or others. In my sleep, a
"dream", two beings were holding me down, smothering
me. I could not get free. I was trapped••overweighted••almost
caught in a heavy sticky spider web, only it was these two people.
Suddenly I became aware that they were after my essence. Involuntarily,
without pleasure, and despite my wild struggling, I could feel
myself losing. I yelled, "Shih Fu, Shih Fu." Just
as I had no more strength to fight it, Shin In appeared. "You
can't do that. Stop! This is not allowed," he commanded
the two beings. They split. I was free and still intact.
need to be more careful about false thinking, about leaving
cracks or holes for outflows. It is very difficult and subtle••so
fine can be an outflow.
two pairs of shoes, four pairs of socks, lunch, alarm clock,
and Cultivation. On weekends especially the lay people inundate
us with food and goodies. It's real easy to blame others for
your own greed. For awhile there were lots of donuts and pastries
showing up. We gobbled them. They kept coming. At first we looked
outside and said, "Now this is no good. This sugar is messing
up our bowing and desires. How can we tell them. They wouldn't
really understand and might feel insulted." etc. But if
we had taken one donut, split it and said no thank you to the
rest, there would have been no problem. Because we ate them,
they concluded, "They like sweets." So we turned the
eyes within and stopped eating the sugar treats and what? Haven't
seen even a cookie since. We are in part what we do and people
see and trust this more clearly than what we say.
cheese for lunch and in first bow after I couldn't concentrate
for diddle. Felt like my head was coming off. Scratch cheese.
My temples were bursting.
general, the lay people here are really excited about giving;
creating blessings and merit through giving and supporting the
Sangha. The amount and intensity of this sincere giving far
exceeds what Heng Sure and I need and at some point obstructs
our cultivation, because we let it. It was time to say something
but not something that would stop the flow. Rather we wanted
to do it in a way that would enlarge and expand it to where
it was needed. Don't cut it off, channel it. A delicate issue
for sure. We put together some ideas and waited for the right
time to say it. Sunday was the birthday of Shakyamuni Buddha
and everybody came ready to hear some dharma after lunch. Here's
how it went:
Shakyamuni Buddha's birthday I felt it would be appropriate
to say a few words to all of you. Being a good Dharma Protector
is very much like being a good gardener. The most important
jobs are keeping out pests and predators and caring for and
nourishing the plants and flowers to insure their continual
people have made this trip possible through your good care of
us in Los Angeles. Most likely we could not have come
this far if it were not for your generosity and concern. But
we can not settle for the small and forget the bigger picture.
In this regard I am reminded of a story about the time my grandfather
asked me to water the flowers. I went out to the garden with
the water and found the flowers, big white mums, and I gave
each blooming flower a dose of the water. I returned and grandfather
said, "Did you water the flowers?"
I did," I replied.
weeks passed and I became the regular gardener. Before long
I noticed that the flowers looked sad and droopy. I asked grandfather
what was wrong and he watched my method just once and said,
"Look here, you can't just water the blooms; you've got
to water the whole plant, especially the roots. If you water
the roots, the blooms will grow lust fine. But if you water
just the blooms then the whole thing will soon die."
was the principle of good gardening that I learned from my grandfather:
water the roots and the whole plant flourishes. And we
can apply this same principle to the work of spreading the Dharma
Sure and I are like two flower blooms. We are the visible part
of Gold Mountain Monastery. Our needs are very few. We are out
here doing this work so as to endure suffering. It is said that
"to endure suffering is to end suffering, but to receive
your blessings is to exhaust your blessings." We must take
this chance to cultivate and really endure some bitterness so
that there will be more merit to transfer to the City of Ten
Thousand Buddhas. That is our work.
your work of Dharma protection is also very important. Of all
the perfections, giving is foremost. Here in the frontier of
the Proper Dharma in the West there is an unexcelled chance
to create great blessings and to make measureless amounts of
like a good gardener we must not just water the blossoms and
forget the roots which are the Venerable Abbot and the entire
Sangha of Gold Mountain Monastery. We must expand our compassion
and giving and work in a garden of larger scope.
settle for the small and just use energy to give to these two
flowers when there is a whole plant to nourish and protect and
help grow. When the plant of the Dharma grows into a healthy,
broad Bodhi tree, then all living beings can enjoy its fruit
and take refuge in its shade. Find the big plant and nourish
its roots and in this way be a Dharma Realm gardener.
the Buddha Shakyamuni, the Tathagata, was known as the "doubly
complete one," complete in blessings and complete in wisdom,
his blessings came from his perfection of giving and making
others happy. His wisdom came from cultivation and as we are
all going to be Buddhas in the future, we should recognize the
importance of working hard right now on our own cultivation.
Whether you recite the Buddha's name or Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's
name, or whether you recite a mantra or read sutras or hold
the five precepts: no killing, no stealing, no lying, no sexual
misconduct, and no taking intoxicants, all of these are excellent
ways to cultivate wisdom. Precepts come first, then concentration
comes from regular practice and then wisdom is produced. It
appears from your own Buddha•nature.
we should put these principles into practice and resolve to
cultivate a big Buddha•garden and grow ten thousand doubly•perfect
ones and not rest until the work is complete and all living
beings end their suffering!
P.M. Just finished bowing. There was a lot of anger and
hostility in these last 6 or 7 blocks. People have got to be
sitting on some kind of huge powder keg to be that stirred up
by a couple of bowing monks.
know how it hurts to be touched when you have a really bad fever?
I think it's something like that. But how can you get better
until you're sick of being sick?
up you fools, you sick or something?" and a squeal of rubber.
money for drinking water end to use a toilet and air raid sirens
every four blocks, now that makes sense, but bowing and seeking
to reduce hostility and disasters, now that's just stupid and
boys, "Do you believe in God?"
"Sure. All of them."
"Do you believe in Jesus?"
"That he was the Savior."
"Did he save you?"
"Yes, he did."
"Then he must be, right?"
"What do you believe in?"
boy: "Do you believe in the devil?"
"Yep. I believe in everything: you, me, the ants, the air,
Jesus, Allah, the grass, your parents... 1 believe all gods
and devils are inside of you, too."
"When you're really good and peaceful isn't that
"And when you're full of hate and anger, who's that?"
boy: "The devil!"
boy: "No, no, no! God is all forgiving."
it's important to be peaceful.”
"I can dig that••see ya mister."
"See ya boys.'
thing happened while bowing. A group of hays gathered across
the street building up for some amusing assault. Just
then a police car passed, slowed and stopped••waiting.
It was clear they were watching to see that we were not molested.
Far out! Bit different from our first run•in at that upasika's
garage! With the L.A.P.D. protecting Three Steps, One Bow••well,
Sure: I think I passed that test okay today.
Ch'au: Which test?
Sure: What test was there today besides the demon soprano?
Ch'au: Well there was the morning recitation test, the
t'ai chi test, the orange juice test, the
test, the getting dressed test, the bowing test, the neighbor
lady test, and others, too.
Sure: Hmmm. I see what you mean.
- After a humorous, mad, crazy, chaotic dream 1 am feeling incredible.
I keep understanding "seeing"••it's like
I’ve got eyes all over my body••they smell
and feel, see through walls and for miles and the tip of my
nose. I feel such a sense of freedom, ease••light
of heart and spirit. Nothing matters, it's all ok. Just fine.
The harder I work, the more difficult it is, the happier and
more free I am and the more “seeing” occurs.
The funniest and most empty of all is “me,” my “self.”
The humor begins there and then expands. Where are the
words to describe this-- can’t find them. It’s
too large, too mobile and fluid to be held and looked at.
Just then it’s gone. Try to catch it, it’s
truth is no self and it flees my mad grasping mind. And
yet it’s right here now all of us, awake or sleeping,
thus. Very funny, deadly serious.
so hard I step into dog excrement. I’ve got to be
careful not to float away. Humus (ground), humor, humility.
Cadillac dealership on the corner has an armed guard by the
front door loaded and deadly 45 cal., waiting. Now what’s
that about? Nobody’s going to shoplift a 3-ton car.
Is it part of the exclusive mystique? To protect what?
How many times have we been killed by angry eyes? What
would happen if when all this repressed hate and anger spilled
forth there were guns with it? Who could you kill?
Most murders in the U.S. are between relatives. But who
isn’t a relative--part of the family? If you would
kill for a Cadillac then what would you do if your spouse or
favorite T.V. shows were killed? If you stubbed your toe
or were ridiculed by a bunch of kids?
an escalating circle, this anger and revenge, pride and fear.
It starts with a single false thought in our hearts and ends
up in a holster of a guard in a car showroom. On a larger
scale it’s floating overhead right now in huge bomber
planes and in the hills nearby in ICBM’s. It all
comes from the mind. We need to work harder on Three Steps,
One Bow: I got angry over a parking ticket and the armed
guard thinks we are positively stupid. That’s the
stuff wars are made from, and droughts.
Man” who collects coins shows up. We saw him last
week too on Wilshire and talked briefly then. Today he says,
“Somebody else did this bowing thing.”
All the way across the country.”
“Somebody’s more stupid than us?”
“Oh, no. Not stupid, just devoted.”
A big change from last week’s smirk. Don’t
take any wooden nickels.
or thirty men in various jock outfits are waiting anxiously
outside Jack La Lanne’s Health Spa this a.m. as we bow
by. In the preface to the Bodhisattva precepts it says,
“A strong body in good health is like a ragingly wild
stallion for it is impossible to retain it long. The passing
of a person’s life is as fleeting as the bounding waters
of a mountain stream. Although one may be alive and healthy,
it is impossible to guarantee even one more day of survival.”
isn’t exceptional really. It’s just a concentrate
and a few degrees more extreme than much of America and the
world. Looking outside for solutions and escapes from
the inevitable death and birth, birth and death is as timeless
as birth and death itself. In L.A. the search for outside
ways is pushing the limits. Fad food, bottled immortality,
health spas to retard and even stop decay and aging abound.
In Forest Lawn Cemetery nobody is really dead—they’re
resting, waiting, vacationing, meditation, listening to music,
etc., anything but rotting and returning to the elements.
frantic last minute clutching and seeking is what happens when
there’s no other way to investigate death and dying.
Even your new car won’t keep out King Yama when it’s
time. It was on this issue: what happens when you
die and before you’re born that my sister and I were finally
able to connect and talk truly and Buddhism and cultivation.
Ultimately that’s what it’s about. She knew
it. I knew it. The men at the health spa know it
and I suspect all the “loved ones” at Forest Lawn
know it best. There’s a lot of people looking, wondering,
and hoping to stop the wheel.
“There are a lot of Jewish people in this area.
Have you noticed any differences from the last neighborhood?”
“We don’t see many people--I mean we don’t
meet any people because we’re invisible.”
“Well, we are going s slow and everybody else is going
so fast they don’t see us. We are right there but
can’t be seen.”
monk: “We could probably sit in full lotus in the
middle of a street and nobody could see us unless we went as
fast as they were going.”
“Probably is we could slow ourselves down more we might
be able to see the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
“Eat some more.”
“How long did it take you to learn the Great Compassion
“It depends. If you hear it a lot and work hard
maybe three months--otherwise longer.”
“It’s really hard. I’ve been doing a
couple of lines a day--but it’s hard.”
“That’s really good. The Great Compassion
Mantra is a wonderful Dharma door. Do you know about Kuo
Kuei (Nicholson’s) father?”
“Well, Kuo Kuei’s father had cancer and was dying,
so Kuo Kuei made a vow that his father wouldn’t die of
cancer and recited the Great Compassion Mantra everyday many
“Did he die of cancer?”
“No. If you are really sincere, the mantra is very
“Hmmm.” (obviously moved.)
- Just as the absence of sexual desire has helped my cultivation
immeasurably (less moody, more vigor, concentration, ch’i
(energy), “seeing” light, ease, etc.) so the loss
of essence hinders it. This a.m. more aware of that than
ever. Feel cold, yin-dejected, hard to ignite, very much
not “seeing”--a loss of lightness and vigor.
can’t overemphasize how important this is. It is
the key and sine qua non of my cultivation. The “reverse
turning” being here--in getting rid of sexual outflow.
Unable to get rid of the, there is nothing. With it?
Well, I’ve only tasted a little so far but it’s
truly wonderful. The real freedom and joy lies in transcending
and transmuting sexual desire.
no place in the world like Wilshire Blvd. Real live Ben
and Barbi dolls, all manner of endless things to buy and forget
with. It’s very every street in America grown wild,
colossal. People drop with heart attacks on the sidewalk
while shopping or after lunch. An ambulance picks them
off the street and they’re gone, just like the broken-down
cars towed away by a tow truck. Impermanence everywhere.
pigeons and shoppers hustle and jump about--endless hunting,
endless needs. I used to think I could never avoid this
when I was a kid—that this was the world one had to grow
into and take over, to inherit. But there’s another
heritage waiting for anyone who wants some truth--cynicism ain’t
it. When you play all these dharmas through and through,
over and over, some day or other, some morning half awake after
the alarm rings or just before you fall asleep, it hits hard--this
is nowhere! But what else is there? Well, I’ve
done all these trips and games and thought they were it and
watched them all deflate into this void. Take refuge within,
in the Triple Jewel. It’s here that the answer lies.
Alive in America, how rare!
Two letters to Shih Fu follow -
Tuesday, May 24
are just about to pass through Beverly Hills. We
are making slow but steady progress.
we could not be with the Master on Buddha’s birthday,
Heng Chau and I wish to bow nine times to the Master on this
occasion and to be mindful again of how grateful we are to have
met the proper Dharma here in the West.
to the Master’s great compassion we have this chance to
use our effort to bring good medicine to this ailing land; our
lives have a useful purpose and a positive direction to travel.
This is a priceless treasure!
we bow we recite the repentance verse and hope to take on to
ourselves and then purge out via the repentance, some of the
negative energy and hateful vibes that we encounter as we crawl
from block to block. When we are sincere, the results
are immediately visible--anger disappears from faces--the tension
dissolves from street-corner groups that gather to stare at
us, and even the heat in the air seems to cool slightly.
If we are false thinking or have any anger or fear in our own
minds, then nothing happens as we bow into a crowded area or
worse, the tension builds up and people get hot or uptight,
anger and fear from the crowd. The pressure makes a rare
chance to cultivate.
Dharma Protectors make it possible and the pressure makes it
real, good, hard work. There is a lot of magic on this
trip and the Master’s presence is always close by.
experience is rich in learning, tests, and exposure to all kinds
of people and situations. Heng Chau and I talk about the
states we encounter and apply the principles we have learned
to solve our problems. Each time we trace a problem back
to a flaw in our own perception of reality, to a hang-up, an
affliction, or an attachment, we know we have found the source
of the problem and then the state almost immediately resolves
mindfulness of a cultivator is not easy to maintain all the
time--especially these three: patience with all states,
compassion for all beings, even the demons who come to provoke
us, and also a sense of shame--keeping my faults and short-comings
in front of me at all times, in all places.
these three mindfulness stations are before my mind, a kind
of vajra resolve takes over and people look right past me and
see the Avatamsaka and the Triple Jewel. This is what
I’m working for and I have to make it clean and pure like
this all the time. It’s time to learn how to behave
properly as a Bhikshu. This trip will be not wasted!
Heng Sure - Bows in Respect
do not worry about us--Heng Chau and I are doing okay--we’ve
hit a regular pace--and bow about 5-1/2-6 hours each day.
We start bowing at 7:00 A.M., take one hour off at 10:30 to
write and repair our gear or meditate--start again at 1:00 P.M.
and bow until 6:00, taking twenty minutes stillness breaks each
hour. At 6:00 we find spot to park the van for the night,
wash up, meditate and prepare for woan keh. We listen
to the Avatamsaka each night--I recite and translate from Chapter
One--we haven’t got a tape recorder yet so we haven’t
been able to listen to the Master’s tapes--and then we
say the Leng Yen Mantra 49 times (the short version) and then
rest, as tired as young boys after a full day outdoors.
I forgot to add that we get up at 4:00, do zao keh and exercise
and get ready to start by 7:00 A.M. As we leave the city
behind we will be able to add more bowing hours each day.
bodies have adjusted to the work slowly. We are exhausted
each night and ready to go again each morning. We took
off our gloves last week because it looked insincere to others--these
sidewalks are pretty smooth and we don’t need gloves until
we get into glass and gavel on the highway shoulders.
We took off our sunglasses too because people thought we were
Muslem and Arab hijackers. I started using kneepads several
days ago after I developed a deep aching bruise on my left knee
from so much bowing. With the kneepads I can bow all day--we
did 6 hours and 20 minutes yesterday. As soon as the bruise
heals I’ll take the pads off. Heng Chau is still
wearing his hat to cover his leaving-home burn scars but they
will be all healed in a week. We have stopped all useless
talking--plugged that leak.
two of us are really looking forward to the master’s visit
to L.A. next week. We need to hear the proper Dharma-wheel
turned the way young babies need their mother: out thoughts
turn to the Venerable Abbot and to the Avatamsaka Assembly the
way bees turn to honey.
have bowed through Beverly Hills and we are nearing U.C.L.A.
in Westwood. By next weekend we should be out of Santa
Monica and on Highway 1, ready to trade our van for a cart and
ready to start the long road North to the City of Ten Thousand
Buddhas. Each time I think of Wan Fwo Cheng I visualize
a bright torch in the gloom. The Master’s vision
of a Buddhist city based on true, wholesome principle is the
very best medicine for our sick nation. Sometimes while
bowing along through L.A., which is surely the center of the
cancer, I feel myself on the point of tears--happy tears at
the hope and the goodness in store for the West--we can turn
our lives around and go towards the good and we now have a road
to travel on, a road that will carry us, our parents, our friends,
young and old, back to a place of purity and light and balance
and harmony. I wouldn’t care if the road from L.A.
to Wan Fwo Cheng was 70,000 miles instead of 700. I’d
still feel it to be my sacred trust to bow and pace every step
of the Way to make it come about.
- End of Letters to Shih Fu -
When pending down to bow I feel like a full pitcher emptying--pouring
out all the junk and afflictions. All day pouring, flushing,
filling, emptying. At the end, I am squeaking clean inside
until the first false thought.
near Beverly Hills today I looked up and saw mountains in the
Northwest ahead. They were exactly like a dream of thee
or four years ago. In fact, the temperature, strong wind,
sky cover--everything was the same. The direction of the
route and the feeling also identical. In the dream another
person and I were on a journey to a city called 10,000 Buddhas,
high in the mountain plateaus to the north. The city we
were in and going through was dying, falling. Nobody there
knew anything beyond the craziness of the city--quick pleasure,
wealth, parties, drugs, etc.-- a kind of spiritual despair hiding
behind a gay front. The road was in need of repair and
not used for a long time, but walkable. The city of 10,000
Buddhas was like a ruin, old and dormant. At one time
it had flourished and thrived, but for some reason through neglect
or catastrophe had been uninhabited and not visited for years
and years. A noxious gas or something had covered it and
the surrounding country. But now it was ok--in fact cleaner
and more pure than anywhere on the globe. Waiting to be
discovered and rekindled.
like this happen just about every day. I don’t know
dream from real, past from present, here from where anymore.
vues and similar-type non-ordinary experiences are happening
with such frequency I can’t keep track of them.
More and more the dimensions break down--time, space, etc.--merging,
turning inside out and upside down. I just reached to
grab the door of the van and looked on the ground outside standing
next to Heng Sure and had an incredible déjà vu.
Before or in the future, in a dream or is this a dream?
I don’t know. I don’t really care. At
first I used to take interest in occurrences, but they’re
only some kind of state and happening so often that I hardly
notice anymore. Every once in a while a particularly strong
one hits and it freezes me to halt for a few seconds--like if
I continued or kept going I would walk right into another universe
been ready old Vajra Bodhi Sea commentaries on the Prajna Paramita
Sutra by the Master. They’re better than lunch.
chi this morning was really strong. I can feel a new strength,
power in the tan t’ien, lower back, and along the spine--really
like electric water; light and potent. Having left home
and Three steps, One Bow are making unbelievable difference
inside with my ch’i and my “seeing.”
Really hard to explain, I am so grateful and happy for a chance
to cultivate the true--it’s so obviously the Way.
Each day I realize how rare and inconceivable it is to be this
close to the ultimate.
the Way grows an inch,
demons grow a foot.
the Way grows a foot,
demons are really on top.”
a.m. Heng Sure started bowing alone. I meditated and had
some writing to finish. When I caught up he was bowing
on a traffic island below a sign “Welcome to Beverly Hills.”
I couldn’t find a parking space so I circled and came
back. I noticed a woman on her knees next to and in front
of him. “That’s neat,” I thought, “she’s
being moved to bow along.” A closer look, however,
exposed that dream. The woman was hassling and mocking
Heng Sure, blocking his way and screeching. I was going
to put on my robe but my alarm bells were ringing so I just
grabbed my sash and ran (quick walk) over. As I approached,
I “saw” and felt a lot more. It was heavy.
About 50 years old, the woman was singing opera and pulling
up her skirt while kneeling in front of Heng Sure, trying to
break his recitation and concentration. He advanced, she
made way and came again. As he was prostrated, she turned,
pulled her dress above her waist (getting more and more agitated)
doing obscene gestures over his head, trying to move him.
She danced around, dressing and undressing, mocking, defiling,
getting louder and more outrageous. A couple nearby watched
what I felt and saw was: the woman was crazy i.e. not
to be moved by reason or feeling--unpredictable and possessed,
out of control. She wasn’t what she seemed and wasn’t
alone. I could feel the bad vibes and sickness she emanated.
Her colors were black, grey, off-blue. Her face was grotesque,
contorted, asymmetrical, splotchy make-up and rouge. Her
hair matted, wig-like. Her eyes were gone--no contact,
glazed. I’ve seen these faces, felt these vibes
many times working in mental hospitals. But this was different
even than that. It’s hard to explain; it was really
demonic. On the other hand, she was just a confused lady
doing her thing. Still I felt more to it than that.
had been reciting the Great Compassion Mantra since getting
out of the van. Walking between her and Heng Sure, I threw
my sash over my shoulders and took my regular position right
behind him. She walked away, crossed the street and was
gone. The Great Compassion Mantra, I’m sure, subdued
other day when Heng Sure was bowing in front of the Cadillac
dealership his awesome demeanor and sincerity struck me and
also the salesmen inside. Together and upright, he looked
like a perfectly aligned stack of coins. Today he still
looked pretty good considering, but I saw a few coins out of
or three months ago Heng Sure had a vision of a demon woman
lying down in front of him on the road. He moved left,
she moved left; he moved right, she moved right-block and mocking.
Today this vision came to him on the traffic island. “My
only regrets are that I wasn’t totally clear; I moved
a little. I didn’t have compassion. That would
have been the way to deal with it. Instead I thought,
“this is one I have to wait out--inconvenient.”
to Beverly Hills,” just like the sign said.
old lady with sparkling eyes came up wondering what we were
doing. I explained briefly. She was impressed, “Golly
you sure do have a big work. Good luck you, now.”
she returned and I gave her a release. “Are there
thousands of you?” she asked.
I said, “Just two here, but many more at the monasteries.”
I could have said, “yes, thousands, tens of thousands
in fact,” but as usual I missed.
she asked, “Do you not get married.”
don’t marry but we have a huge family—countless
relatives, parents, brothers and sisters. And Buddhists
don’t stop working until the whole family is happy and
together again.” Too late, Heng Ch’au!
Only seconds instead of minutes though--getting closer to being
“right on time.”
she started to leave she began to say, “But you are so
young not to marry…” instead she saw how happy we
were and concluded, “Well, you are so happy, lots of luck
was waiting for the delivery man with bottled water to ask,
“What are you doing?”
to put you out of a job.”
really, but kind of. The reason you’re delivering
bottled water is because of pollution. And water pollution
begins with mind pollution. Clean up the mind, clean the
upasaka stopped by to have us sign a form so we could use his
BankAmericard. We politely refused saying that would be
too easy. “To endure suffering is to end suffering.
To enjoy blessings is to end blessings.” Besides
if we ran into trouble and had the card there would be no chance
for other people to meet the Dharma and plant in the field of
blessings. The card like the car insulates us from people.
The car is unfortunately necessary. The card isn’t.
are winds (i.e. A problem) only if there are cracks for them
to blow through. Seal the cracks, the winds blow but can’t
move you, you move the winds.
free lance photographer appeared to take pictures. “I’ll
probably never see anything like this again in my life.”
If you’ve seen it once, you’ll see it again…
“Are you American or Chinese?”
“I mean I’ve seen some Chinese that tall (he indicates
“We’re Chinese, American, Swiss, Chicano, Martian,
“It must be rough--you guys have trouble finding motels
“I forget; it really doesn’t matter. It’s
all on the inside--the journey.”
“Well, I’d like to give you some money to help.”
“It will be put to good use.”
shakes hands and leaves.
are some police, another photographer and businessmen talking
and watching in a nearby doorway.
kidding. All the way to Santa Monica on their knees like
that?” And then some…
took an hour off to do the ceremony for Shakyamuni Buddha’s
Birthday in the Park.
lay disciples contacted the Beverly Hills police letting know
of the trip and our route. They were really receptive.
“Just call in for Lt. Zenter at night and let him know
where you are parked--no problem.” A number of officers
were stopping and reading our release. Later that night
as we were trying to find a phone to call in our location, we
ran right into a squad car. It was one of the officers
who had read the release. “We’ve been looking
for you,” he said. Turned out to be really friendly
and it was an interesting exchange. He and the police
woman with him were really interested in monastic life, training,
the principle and especially how they apply to social problems,
etc. “Are you related to the Krishnas?”
“What’s the difference?’
“Day and night. But simply, we don’t hit people
for money in airports.”
“Right! How do you get by?”
“We don’t need much and if people offer money or
things we accept, we don’t beg or ask. We don’t
try to convert. Basically Buddhists believe that all the
ills and problems, everything, starts with individuals--with
the mind. If you want to really end suffering, crimes,
and problems you have to clean up the source. It’s
like in families. Kids learn from the parents and these
kids pass it on to their children, etc. Now if the parents
get their act together then there’s a lot of good folks.
If they don’t you’ve got 25 or 30 people causing
problems and suffering. Basically you clean up your own
act first, not other’s first.”
“For sure.” (nodding in agreement) “What
did you do before?”
“Slept; we were dreaming. Unlike a lot of other
groups, Buddhists at Gold Mountain work hard. You don’t
bounce in off drugs or whatever without having to clean up your
act. You have to climb and use effort and actually be
able to do the work of a nun or monk.”
“What do you do when you’re done?”
“How many lifetimes will it take to be done!”
“Armed robbery at a gas station.” They brace
and stiffen. What a hard job! Constantly on the
edge. Dealing with effects, never the source. Frustrating
and dangerous. For those few minutes we all understood
and respected each other and without saying it we sensed it.
Real warm and genuine. All of us went away feeling refreshed.
“We’ll give your location to the next shift.”
“Thanks. Hope you have a quiet night.”
in Laundromat could have been me. Same build, coloring,
life-style (once). When? When I was married and
running fast and heavy the movie called “I’ll find
Nirvana with Love.” It was the thought (false) that
ultimate truth and fulfillment was to be found in a one-to-one
relationship, romantic love forever--trying to hang on and maintain
the high of “new love.” What always happened
was--birth, dwelling, decay, and emptiness. Birth was
new love. Dwelling was the living together. Decay,
the realization that the ultimate wasn’t to be found here.
Emptiness, the disappointment and void of separating.
returns to the one--even the two (couple). And the one?
Buddhas only show the way; you must talk it yourself.
man in the Laundromat and his wife were in state three (decay).
Both of them were looking out, hardly talking or glancing at
each other. Looking depressed and waiting for the show
to end. They kept stealing glances at us like maybe we
had something to say that would break their spell, crack the
bad dream. Lots of people here are looking, wondering
if maybe someday this will all seem like a bad dream “when
their ship comes in.” They don’t know, don’t
remember, that they are on their ship. Like the man frantically
looking for his head because he could see everyone else’s
but not his own.
they languidly put their laundry in their Mercedes, they both
kept looking at us, not disapproving, just expectantly; in no
hurry to go back home.
- At 2 p.m. we came swinging out to bow on a crowded shopping
street--the “Miracle Mile” thick with tension (both
the street and me) people recognize us buzzing about our pre-noon
bowing in that place. Immediately they pick up on us:
“What they doing?” “What the hell?”
“They’re prayin’.” “What
are they praying to?” “They’re praying
to themselves, not to anyone else. They don’t belong
to this world.” (Pretty profound, although he doesn’t
feet further I bow in front of a driveway. Suddenly a
fancy car slides out, stops, and a silvering templed middle-aged
executive totally uptight with himself and with me fumbles for
words to vent his anger: “Ah, ah, you’re ah,
interrupting the street, gentlemen.” (Curious:
who did he see? I was bowing along at the time).
I stood up to pace across the drive and continue to bow on the
other side but as I rounded his car he deliberately threw it
in reverse and backed up, trying to knock me down or run me
off the walk. I walked wider and quickened my pace but
he came on back, slowly or else he surely would have knocked
me down. I made it around and continued my bowing.
He revved his engine and slid out into the traffic river.
May 25 -
The street is high-charged with negative tension. We bow
through the center of it. Trying not to cause more tension;
instead of purging it through our work. Suddenly a big
wind blows up. High gusts rip at our sashes and robes,
blowing hard against our eyes and legs so even walking is difficult,
but we continue our pacing and bowing. Before long the
people ahead of us and on all sides just disappear before the
wind. All the junk in the air--all the tension--is blown away
down the street.
the street is clean, the wind dies, too, and the bowing continues
I: Real cultivation has to be a determination to do it
and nothing else. You must be mindful of your Dharma method
all the time. You can’t take a break, a vacation,
a holiday; you can’t “reward” yourself for
good work by stopping the work. This is defeat.
So once you begin you must keep on pushing. Right up and
over the edge. Anything less will not get you there.
It is difficult and unnatural.
II: Cultivation when it’s real is a gradual natural
process which should come in stages. As you breath in
and out, your cultivation should allow for effort and rest,
effort and rest, never retreating but not forcing the way either.
Excess force leads to a strong reaction, just like the circles
in t’ai chi: the faster the punch the harder the
Are No Laundromats In Beverly Hills
spent a good hour driving around Beverly Hills last night trying
to find a Laundromat. We ended up at Lou’s Speedqueen
Mat just outside the Beverly Hills boundary. We asked
the police, “Hey, where are the Laundromats?”
“There aren’t any. Everybody sends their dirty
clothes out and has them washed.”
“Or throws them away and buys new ones?”
dirty laundry is just the same as our bad habits our afflictions.
Having someone else take care of your dirty clothes is climbing
on their conditions and not seeing principle. Sometime
or other in order to end suffering you have to take your own
stinking laundry, say “Yup, this is mine” and then
wash it yourself. Just that is returning the light within.
Sending your dirty clothes out is attaching to outside, not
world is full of laundry maids--people who specialize in washing
others’ clothes: police, psychologists, teachers,
doctors, nurses, gardeners, etc. If we all took care of
our own afflictions and bad habits, what need of police, shrinks,
a.m. we got pulled over by a police car, flashing lights.
I started to get out of the car but heard hard commanding instructions:
“Shut the door and don’t get out of the car.”
As soon he made the connection that we were the ones he had
read about at the station he said, “Oh, you’re the
Buddhist pilgrims.” Suddenly he smiles and relaxes.
Another good conversation follows with lots of questions and
far the people who have recognized and responded to what we
represent (the Dharma and the Sangha) have been kids, old people,
crazy ladies on the street, and the police. I think it
has something to do with doing the same work--reducing and eliminating
hostilities, disasters, and bringing some peace and harmony.
We try to work with the causes, they with the effects.
There’s a sense of both working with nitty gritty reality
out in front on the street that’s shared. But more
than that. All the years I spent working with disturbed
kids, mental patients, counseling families, kids on probation,
in hospitals--there was an incredible sense of frustration and
futility. Why? Because I was limited to putting
Band-Aids on gaping wounds. Constantly dealing with effects,
never able to work directly with the causes of all this disturbance
what the police do. Buddhist monks and nuns don’t
withdraw and hide from the world. They go to the root,
the cause of the world--inside out. Working on the mind-ground
is where it’s at and somehow the police know it.
The most dreaded call a copy has to respond to is family arguments,
domestic problems. Why? Because that’s close
to the root--it’s the most volatile and because they’re
only trained to deal with effects. You don’t ask
a hospital orderly to do surgery. But because of their
work they make the connections and see cause and effect in every
call they answer. They clearly see how kids get taught
and nurtured into criminals. And they are powerless to
stop it. They know what drugs and alcohol do to minds
and families. They see it all day long--the results of
greed, hatred and stupidity-karma. Like kids, old people
and the crazy ladies, police have an eye for the true and smell
a phony blocks away.
is common sense, direct and straight. You can’t
help but recognize it. You see it’s as plain as your own
we see we reflects
the monks, see yourself
who? Who sees?
everywhere around and round
behind the mirrors?
even empty space.
“Do you have any dirty clothes that need to be washed?”
“We’ll do them ourselves when we are bowing.”
“You won’t have time.”
“We’ll find time.”
“Oh really it’s nothing for us to do it.”
“It’s everything to do your own laundry.”
everyday, every minute, every single thought an endless outflow?
There is no attaining, just maintaining. There is no end,
no beginning, you never get “there.” No final
judgment or location, just hard work, patience until there is
just hard work and patience. We can’t relax Saturday
because Friday was good. No days, no boundaries, every
minute without thought is enlightenment; every minute with thought
is affliction. “Every day is different, not the
same. Three Steps, One Bow is outside the Hilton or in
Lincoln Heights or at Gold Wheel Temple--all is thus.
Three Steps, One Bow is just a single thought--how far?
How long? Are no questions, of no matter.
what the writing on the black spire is--a test! Only not
a single test, an endless all-the-time test.
single thought=single failure.
single pass=single thus.
so happy I cry. Heng Sure says, “That’s a
relief. That makes me feel free. Takes the pressure off
in a way.”
very old ladies leaning on each other out for a walk, stop and
patiently watch, waiting for a chance to ask. Timidly
they ask if they can disturb us.
I don’t care what religion you are, I think it’s
wonderful praying like this. We really admire you.”
“There’s too much hate in the world. If we
can change a little hate into some peace and touch others to
do the same then…”
“Well I am sure whoever sees you will find a little peace.”
hate: This angry man tried to back right over Heng Sure
a couple of days ago. I could hardly believe it.
With clear premeditation he said, “You’re interrupting
the street, gentlemen,” got in his car and came within
inches of crushing Heng Sure!
windy afternoon in Beverly Hills. Two older women circle
woman: “Bless you.”
woman: “Bless you.”
very sincere young photographer asked to take pictures and for
some information. He said he would send some to Gold Mountain
along with his card. “You know, there is something
very beautiful around. I can see and feel it.”
hyped kids buzzed up spewing questions: “What are
you doing?” “Where are you going?”
“Why are you doing it so low on the ground?”
“So we don’t get lost. If we get too high,
we get lost.”
do you sleep?”
don’t you take a car, it would be faster.”
easy. Anybody could do that.”
a long time…”
you with Krishna?”
shave their heads too.”
the only thing the same.”
are you doing it for?”
clean up our act and hopefully help get rid of all the hate
and bad vibes, disasters on the planet.”
“Don’t get lost.”
elderly businessman eager and bright asks for a release, “How
many blocks do you do?” “Thank you.”
I couldn’t get a reading on him. He liked to watch
and be near but didn’t like to talk.
girl rides hot wheels right up to Heng Sure with wide open eyes.
“What are you doing mister?”
explain. We stop for a break and she comes cruising up
again. “Why did you stop?”
you are not bowing.”
still bowing inside.”
girl with edge: “What is this” etc.
Going nowhere with this one. Finally she says, “Well,
you believe in what you do and I in what I do. You won’t
convince me and I won’t change you.”
“What do you believe in?”
“I believe in God.”
“So do I. All of them.”
emphatically: “But I believe in my one God only!”
“Does your God believe in one you only?”
tailspins. “Well, uh, uh, take are.” Mumbles
car pulls up: “Yoo, hoo, hey, hey, You guys!”
What are you doing? Are you Krishnas?”
“No, Buddhist monks.”
“Buddhists. Buddhist Monks.”
“Oh, Buddhists. Wow! Far out! Great!
I love it!”
in a fraternity. That’s part of the hazing they
have to go through to join it.”
old woman watched us with a skeptical and discerning eye for
about a block. Finally she said, “Okay. God
bless you,” and left.
passed,” added Heng Sure.
doer and the deed are both empty in nature
The response and the practice of the Way are intertwined and
hard to conceive of.
This Bodhimanda of mine is like a priceless pearl.
The Venerable Master manifests within it and I appear before
my head in obeisance to his feet, I return my life in worship.
I told you I saw them you wouldn’t believe me. I
told you I didn’t I would be lying.”
Police conversation and connecting Dharma with social problems.
Know how to speak, they help many groups integrate Dharma with
their work. Lunch. “Understand” the dark spire.
Feel refreshed, ready. No high or low, just right now
always hard work and patience. So obvious. Then
comes the first hour of bowing after lunch.
was just doing the work of bowing, real comfortable. Not excited
or down, thinking and feeling nothing, just there working.
Coming up from a bow I “see” all these beings like
the Great Compassion Mantra all around us on all sides and feel
them behind for along distance.
they are a little smaller than us, vajra-bodied, not at all
the same as our flesh bodies. Their eyes, wisdom, power
is not physical. They are weathered but graceful, straight,
slow-moving, professional, unmoved, centered, whitish, and I
am aware of their appropriate seriousness and joy. They
are tough, sinewy gentle sages. Internal. They are
timeless, of another realm, neither on air or ground.
They are not of the four elements, and have no desire or anger.
They have joy from no afflictions of anger, fear, distraction,
laziness, too much talk, jealousy--all these are absent from
their being. They have a focused steady even pace, not
too excited or lax. They were carefully checking things
out, observing, ready for anything but not tense. There
was a sense of a universal mind “discussion” about
working, territory, job assignments.
feel a large Kuan Yin Bodhisattva somewhere behind like a huge
statue--happy and calm.
is no hurry and now wasted motion about these beings.
Some have shaved heads, some not. Their clothing is old
(robes, white all). They are very quiet.
sense that certain ones specifically are coming through “me”--like
“me” of a different time and place.
I recognize them and feel affinities but also not exactly them,
not especially now. Most of them are martial-like.
Dharma protectors. They could fight but their strength
is from inside out. They had real gung fu in “heart.”
trail they were setting was a line of purity and light.
We (Heng Sure and Heng Ch’au) were like young pups--learning,
not too important, but trying. It was mostly due to the
power of what we had taken on and what it represented that they
were there--not for us personally--and also by the virtue of
our Master and our recitation.
eyes seeing this were not really flesh but not either.
There were no words. I could see why anything that gets
close to them would mellow and become peaceful.
are 25 or 30 on each side. It felt important not to have
any false thinking and no anger!!--they would leave over that.
Small errors were excusable if worked indulgence. No time
for that. They were really awesome, wise, indestructible,
patient, and professional. They had been together for
a long time.
- Said through clenched teeth, almost as if spat onto
the pavement: “What a fantastic show of devotion,
and right here on Wilshire.” Totally sarcastic in
intent. The answer might have been:
you would suggest no prayer at all is the utmost sincerity?”
every moment is a test then the pressure is all off. You
can be totally free to be your best all the time because there
is no ultimate judgment or final curtain call. There are
no judges, ultimately. Any time you are unhappy, any time
some unnecessary load is on you, it has nothing to do with anyone
else but you.
spent years worrying about a great future punishment and a great
reward banquet. Now I know they don’t exist nor
are they created. It happens in a single thought:
“One thought enlightened is the Buddha, one thought confused
is a living being.”
you got it, it’s there. If you don’t, it’s
not there. Right now, let the ext thought take care of
itself. And don’t blame your unhappiness on what
your mind sets up because it’s still all your own trip.
- A young woman, follower of Guru Maharaj Ji, stopped
to try to figure out Three Steps One Bow.
do you do such a hard, difficult practice?”
It’s great! It’s easy. I’ve never
been more peaceful or happier. You ought to try it, it’s
easy.” (To endure suffering really is to end suffering,
but I’ve got to do it.)
“Well, I know what you mean. Even though I don’t
actually physically bow, I feel it’s important to keep
that kind of devotion here in my heart.”
is like me before I left home rationalizing, “Well basically
I’m a left home person even though I haven’t actually
left home” or ”Well in my heart, you know, I’m
really enlightened even though I haven’t really cultivated
the Way yet.”)
is it the Way, if you don’t walk it?” – Master
and understanding mutually respond.” – Master Hua
“Exactly what are you looking for?”
“Ten thousand Buddhas, enlightened beings.”
“I’ve always felt close to what I read of the Buddha’s
writings and sayings. Made me feel warm. They sounded
bow, bow--all the time bow. I have so much arrogance I
don’t even see it until I start bowing. Like breathing--so
unconscious, automatic--when you stop breathing you realize
the importance of breath. When I start bowing I realize
how huge my affliction of arrogance is. The bowing lifts
that weight off my body. Lightness always follows bowing--bowing
in one magic circle.
kids it was so easy to tell the false from the true. It
was obvious which kids shared and who was greedy, who looked
for fights, and who had a chip. When you would get all
dressed up, polished, permanented, you and everybody else knew
it was an act, a play, a game. No one was deceived by
curls and new clothes especially when they were used to flaunt
for one upmanship. But it didn’t take long to get
sophisticated. We cash in our share, our section of true
nature, so easily. “Like a drunken sailor”
my father would say, “you throw away the treasure and
keep the trash.”
Sure and I are becoming real slobs, lacking taste and refinement
and Three Steps One Bow is responsible. Everything is
starting to blend into one hug conditioned dharma--perfumes,
gas fumes, beautiful women, ugly men, beautiful mean, ugly women,
rich and poor, fine food and scraps, ourselves, our fears, our
fantasies--the same, all the same. The less we move the
farther we go, the closer we get. The closer we get to
what we never left.
mirror, broken rules
and sloppy. Heng Sure and I have been getting sloppy,
careless. Rapping too much, too long. Taking too
long for lunch, starting ceremonies half an hour late at times.
An attitude also of mine--one of arrogance and distancing, lack
of compassion-crept in through the cracks. I left open
by not following the rules. It shows up when I start identifying
instead of identifying with, when I lose my mirror that allows
me to see my faults when I see others, and others to see their
faults when they see me; the same with virtues. It’s
an old habit and a hard one to break. The way to control
it is to first shut my mouth and then cultivate every move and
minute like my life depended on it-not to be lax or indulgent
or relax for a second. I can find all sorts of excuses
for letting down (the tension of Three Steps One Bow, fear,
pressure, physical fatigue) but they are just excuses covering
the truth cop outs.
feel deeply ashamed of wasting this time and opportunity as
much as I have and resolve to keep tightening up and smelting
until there is no residue of ego and affliction left.
This can be done without losing a sense of humor and joy or
blaming others (Heng Sure) for my mistakes. I know I can
do it. How can I not?
I was realizing all of this a black van roared by, hitting and
smashing the outside mirror on the van. It didn’t
stop. The incident confirmed feeling of having lost my
mirror (compassionate eye and heart). Moreover, I knew
that my sloppiness in following the rules left the hole for
the black van to enter.
want to join the ranks of the beings I saw yesterday, my teacher,
the eternally dwelling enlightened beings of the ten directions.
I better start acting like it. A single thought--Bodhi
bumper to bumper as far as the eye can see. An average
of one person per car. Sidewalks empty from person to
person as far as the eye can see. Three Steps One Bow
at a couple of points was moving faster than cards.
high school boys run across six lanes of moving traffic to find
out what we are doing. En route they almost get run over
by a hot motorist. The result: cussing, cursing,
tempers, and horns.
“Why are you doing this?”
“To reduce the hate and bad vibes in us and the world.”
“Like that car back there that almost ran you over.
Everybody blew up, got made. That’s the stuff wars
come from. We all need to cool off.”
“What happened to your arm?”
“Surgery--bone chip from sports.”
“The body just keeps breaking down. Even when you
try to take care of it.”
by the even rolling, always fuming Detroit River again near
Wilshire and Santa Monica.
I: Real cultivation has to want to do it and nothing else.
You must e mindful of your Dharma method/door at all times.
You can’t take a break, a vacation, a holiday, you can’t
“reward” yourself for good work by stopping the
work. This is defeat. So once you begin you must
keep on pushing--right up over the edge. Anything less
will not get you there. It is unnatural and difficult.
II: Cultivation when it’s real is a gradual natural
process which would come in stages. As you breath in and
out, your cultivation should allow for effort and rest, effort
and rest, never retreating but not forcing the way either.
Excess force leads to a strong reaction just like the circles
in t’ai chi: the fast the punch the harder the return
a young California blue jay, a teenage who was out to break
the rules and draw near the humans. He sat on the open
door and squawked squarked at us--not so interest in the food
we gave him, rather he seemed to want to talk and listen--so
we gave him the Three Refuges and the Four Great Bodhisattva
Vows and told him to come back and save all the other jays next
time. He ate a Ritz cracker and listened hard.
- If you shut down the T.V., radio and records; stopped
going to movies, reading newspapers, and novels; if you could
stop eating meat, taking drugs, and stimulants; lay off sex
for awhile; say nothing false or hurtful or even better not
talk; if you stoop nibbling and snacking and shopping and “going
out”--if you could do these things just for a day or a
week you would never be the same. Would it be serene and
peaceful? No! The noisiest place you’ll ever
find is your mind. But you would be checking out the mind
ground and on your way to the most exciting, fulfilling adventure
you could ever image. At first it’s pretty dark
so you need to take some light. What kind of light? Your
light. The light that’s your share, your pure natural
wisdom-light. The leas leaks you leave the more clarity
you’ll have to light your way. Reduce outflows with
precepts and regain your original magnanimity. Then you
can check out the mind-ground with minimal stumbling and getting
yeah! Find a good knowing teacher until you find the one
within you. Why! Because you’ve been away
so long you don’t even recognize your home when you see
it or the false either. With a good knowing advisor you
can get profoundly lost and then really find something within
nothing; nothing within something.
it soon because somewhere inside each of us knows we will have
to do it. If you wait until near death you won’t
have much say about who goes with you, where, for how long,
and you might not get another chance for a long, long time.
Hurry, grab the true or you’ll be late for your funeral
and miss your birthday.
bow I can see more clearly.
bow I am happier I left home.
mother used to can and pickle most of our food for the winter.
We wore fireman red underwear to save on the expense of more
coal for the furnace. Most of our clothes were made by
friends or relatives or were hand-me-downs. We didn’t
have a T.V. at first and before the radio we used to just go
for walks after dinner, wrestle in the back yard, or fight for
the bathtub. The huge McIntosh apple tree in the back
yard was for pies, cobblers, apple sauce, a tree house, swings,
shade, bird houses, watching huge black ants, wasp nests, apple
blossoms in the spring and colored leaves in the fall to take
to school, and the dirty job (cleaning up molding apples from
the yard). One car got everything done including a weekly
trip to the farm for fresh eggs, vegetables, berries, gossip,
and a chance to watch a chicken die and a calf get born.
We could walk to any store; our grandparents could hear us play
and watch us get in trouble. We went “swimming”
and watered the lawn and garden all in one shot; and ate left-overs
on Fridays and Wednesdays.
the bank bought the house for business and rezoning the apple
tree went along with the maples, the tree house, wasps, birds,
black ants, and blossoms. The house was leveled for a
parking lot and a very nice “new” one was offered
in the suburbs. A lot more had changed too. Electric appliances
and frozen foods replaced canning and trips to the farm.
Supermarkets wiped out smaller family-run shops and markets
and my father’s job too. He went to work in a factory
without a complaint but heard him cry at night and knew.
T.V. was colorchrome and soon replaced the fireplace and dining
room table as the center of the house. Joe sold almost
all his farmland to an insurance company and now bitterly watches
commuters and an office building where the sun used to set behind
a lone withered elm tree in the pasture.
last time I was home I was talking to my father about cultivating
the Way--how it’s really just getting rid of all the things
that keep you from your originally bright and pure nature.
It’s always there, the same, we just cover it over, chase
a lot of empty pleasures and forget about it. “The
false became the true and the true got lost in the shuffle.”
- Master Hua
know,” my father said, “if I had a million dollars,
do you know what I would do?”
put together piece by piece our old house on Lawrence Street--every
crayon mark and crack. I often sit here and I can still
see it so clearly. Things were much simpler and happier
then. I’m not just sentimental--something basic
know what you mean. That’s why I am studying Buddhism.”
left home to find home.
- "Three Steps, One Bow" journals
One Heart, Bowing to the City of 10,000 Buddhas
Records of Heng Sure & Heng Ch’au Bowing
Part - #1,
Three Steps, One Bow" -- Photo
Pilgrimage - Three Steps, One Bow for Peace
Pages -Text & Photos - (1.6 MB) - Free
- Rev. Heng Sure -
From True Cultivators - (eBook / Free Download) Heng Sure & Heng
letters of Heng Sure and Heng Ch'au... Three
steps and a bow. That's how they walked it. Two monks on a pilgrimage
of peace that took them through a series of wide-ranging encounters
and extraordinary experiences -- within and without. These letters
and photos are a record of their amazing journey.
American Buddhist monks on a journey of a lifetime, from downtown
Los Angeles to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Talamage,
A journey of more than 800 miles that took two years and nine
months to complete. They bowed in peace, and for peace. Touching
their foreheads to the ground, opening their hearts with one
wish for the world. Peace. For everyone, everyday, everywhere.
News From True Cultivators - (Hard
- Second Edition
$13.95 - Hard Cover - ISBN 0881394254
To Order -> http://www.bttsonline.org/product.aspx?pid=144
Letters from Bhikshus
Heng Sure and Heng Chau to Venerable Master Hua written while
on their bowing pilgrimage in 1977. During the 2-1/2 years
pilgrimage, the monks traveled from Los Angeles to the City
of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Talmage, bowing once every three