News from the Dharma Realm
Jointly sponsored by the Bodhi-Dhamma Center of Seattle and the Sino-American Buddhist Association of San Francisco, the Gathering was held to unite people's minds in a profound wish for peace.
The rains in Seattle stopped for the occasion, and the day was clear and bright, with one remarkable exception. As the afternoon speeches and ceremonies began, an unusual cloud formed over the area. The remainder of the sky remained clear. This cloud was exceedingly bright, and hung suspended over the area of the Gathering, only to disperse when the Dharma assembly was over and people began to go home.
The Gathering for World Peace coincided with the arrival in the Seattle area of the two men who have made heavy sacrifices for eleven months to attain this goal. Bhiksu Heng Ju, an American Buddhist monk from Gold Mountain Monastery and a native of Seattle, set out from San Francisco last October 16th on foot and made a full prostration every three steps, his mind concentrated on a prayer for peace, along the entire journey to Seattle. Bhiksu Heng Yo, his companion, carried their tent and supplies and joined in the bowing when he was not otherwise engaged in protecting Heng Ju's vow. They continued their journey without respite (stopping to attend five weeks of 21 hour/day meditation sessions at Gold Mountain) through the freezing rain, high winds, and flooding of one of the bitterest winters the Pacific Northwest has experienced in years, and were not stopped by the days of intense heat as summer approached.
The Gathering began at 9:30 in the morning with group chanting of powerful mantras for dispelling destructive forces. Those who participated in these ceremonies were invited to a vegetarian lunch. Afternoon festivities included speeches by dignitaries, one a monk who fasted for five weeks for world peace during the Cuban missile crisis, and group chanting. More than five hundred people joined in the activities throughout the day, and of those who attended the afternoon Dharma assembly, many said that it was one of the most meaningful events they had experienced. Throughout the day many people commented on the aura of peace and joy that seemed to surround the area of the Gathering.
When Bhiksu Heng Ju arrives in Marblement, he will have bowed more than 1,150 miles, some 2,000,000 prostrations. His sole aim: to eradicate the cause of violence and disasters in the world. Why the Gathering for World Peace? When people sincerely unite their minds in a single thought of peace, the result brings unmistakable benefit to them and to the world, for if men's minds are made peaceful, how can violence and strife continue?
Shown below are a few photos taken at the Gathering. Above, the Sangha leads the assembly in chanting mantras; below, participants join the Sangha in a tasty vegetarian meal of Arhat vegetables.
Bhiksu Heng Kuan and Sramanera Heng K'ung, two American Buddhist monks who live at Gold Mountain Monastery in San Francisco, are doing an unusual kind of work—fasting for the sake of world peace. The two young men today entered the 17th day of an open-ended fast which allows them each only one cup of water a day.
One of the monks has lost 37 pounds and the other has lost 27, but they continue to take part in the rigorous daily schedule of their monastery. Their spirits remain high, and no one knows how long their fast will continue. In fact, if it weren't for their advancing skinniness and their weakened voices, it would be difficult to tell that they haven't eaten a morsel for more than two weeks.
the power of their sacrifice for world peace, here are two men whose work helps
everyone. What do you think? Is this something important, or isn't it?
Upasaka Kuo Chou Rounds
Gold Mountain Monastery
Kuan, left, and Heng Kung fast for world peace.
During the month of June 1974, several people from different parts of the world took refuge with the Triple Jewel and became disciples of the Venerable Master Hua. The members of the Sino-American Buddhist Association would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and welcome Upasaka Kuo Chieh (Vincent) Nappalli who lives in Singapore and took refuge in absentia, Upasika Kuo Lin (Diane) Rogers of Seattle, also in absentia, Upasika Kuo Sse (Jocelyn) Dacorov of the Philippines, recently arrived in America, also in absentia, and Upasika Kuo Tse (Carol) Smith, Upasaka Kuo Pi (Ernest) Waugh, Upasaka Kuo Keng Nguyen, and Up3saka Kuo Lei (Doug) Powers, who are shown below from left to right.