At times of real need, this (outline of a heel) is a tangible and
very gentle reminder of where I should be going.
Recently, I have developed a minor skin condition on the skin of my right foot wherein the skin is dyed red from hemoglobin from ruptured capillaries. On the top of my foot is a distinct outline of the heel of a shoe, about the size of an Arhat shoe heel. To find out how this happened, I will take you back nineteen years to the summer of 1976 at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (“CTTB”).
It was a few days before the first ordination at CTTB, and I was working on an electrical problem at Great Compassion Quad using a ladder with a smooth metal skid on the smooth concrete sidewalk. The bottom of the ladder slipped out, causing me to fall about six feet and end up with my ankle mashed between the sidewalk, the ladder, and my body weight. I was taken to the hospital for X-rays and there was no fractures, but the ankle was swollen and hurt badly. A few days after that, I was sitting in a chair in the Buddha hall when Shrfu returned from San Francisco with a few guests. Shrfu came straight away over to me carrying his White Whisk. I put my palms together as he whisked me from head to foot, whisking everything into my right leg and foot; then he gave a gentle kick to my shin and stepped on my foot with a gentle and firm pressure; as I remember, the heel of his shoe was right where the mark is now, nineteen years later.
Shrfu told me that because of my temper, Weitou Bo-dhisattva had given me a whack, as a warning. Though the ankle was not healed (some lessons should be painful), the work that Shrfu did on me was far deeper and more profound than I have been able to understand. In the Dharani Sutra the White Whisk is used to eradicate karmic obstacles and difficulties resulting from evil killing karma.
Though I continue to dream of Shrfu occasionally, at times of real need, this is a tangible and very gentle reminder where I should be going, and a warning to always change for the better.