News from the Dharma Realm

      Bhiksu Heng Ju never thought that a piece of berry pie eaten silently under the stars one night several years ago would turn out to be so momentous, but for the group of Buddhists from the Bay Area and around the country which gathered at Gold Mountain Monastery on September 15th, it was the source of great intellectual and gustatory delight. The Dharma Assembly on the 15th was convened to welcome Bhiksus Heng Ju and Heng Yo on their return to San Francisco and to congratulate them upon completing their vast vows for the sake of world peace. Hailed as holy men and sages in newspapers around the world, they traveled 1,150 miles last year. On their journey, Bhiksu Heng Ju made some two million prostrations as he bowed once every three steps for the sake of world peace. Bhiksu Heng Yo carried their supplies and joined in the bowing along the route that took them from San Francisco to Marblemount, Washington. They have completed one of the most remarkable feats undertaken in modern times, and their sincerity and unmistakable determination have touched thousands upon thousands of people with a message of peace. They returned to San Francisco and, before the Buddhas, transferred the merit derived from their practice to all the world's living beings.

Ceremonies, festivities, a vegetarian feast with a great quantity of pie, and a handful of talks in both the morning and afternoon during which a lot of good Dharma was spoken and several entertaining stories were told, gave great pleasure to all who attended. The causes and conditions resulting in such a feast of pies reach too far into the past to begin to explain here, but a discussion of this piece of esoteric lore can be found in a book called World Peace Gathering. Suffice it to say that the lines written by the Venerable Abbot nearly a year earlier had come true:

Your work complete, the result full,

Return midst songs of triumph.

Then I'll give my disciple

A piece of berry pie!

During the Dharma Assembly for World Peace, all present unanimously agreed to set aside September 15th every year as World Peace Day in commemoration of their journey, and to devote the day to festivities and prayers for peace.

Shown below, the Venerable Abbot presents Bhiksu Heng Ju with a piece of pie. In the second photo are shown, from left to right, Bhiksu Heng Yo, the Elder Dharma Master Wei Sung, The Venerable Abbot, and Bhiksu Heng Ju.