Continued from issue 54

Nov. 22, 1974 - Thanksgiving. Woke up dripping wet. Upasaka Kuo Jung Epstein and his family came out with a hot meal. Kuo Tun came too. Kuo Mien and Kuo Yu have been out again also. Since we are getting out of range of the Monastery, the collapsible Chinese shopping cart, which the Master sent up after the Poison Oak Incident, is proving its usefulness. We are able to carry more supplies and gear. At night, there is the problem of finding a place to camp. Lately, we have been lucky to find a lot of abandoned shacks along the way, which we gladly share with the small animals who now inhabit them. Since just about all of the land along the highway is privately owned, we are forced to trespass at night--no one has minded so far.

      The last time Kuo Yu came by, I told him to ask the Master a question, which had been bothering me. I said, "I've always wondered about these Krishna people. They seem very diligent in their practice; they are vegetarians; and all day long they recite "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna." Is that like the Pure Land School in Buddhism? Will they receive birth in Amitabha Buddha's Land of Ultimate Bliss because of their practice? Just what exactly is the difference between the two?"  After several weeks the reply came back. "It's the same as the difference between reciting the name of Marilyn Monroe or Richard Nixon!"

Nov. 23, 1974 - Bowed with minor incidents through morning. Ate lunch under trees, stopped about 2h miles outside of Elk. Stayed in abandoned shack with no front, but with good roof overlooking Elk Creek & cliffs of Pacific Ocean. Shared house with a bird. Heng Ju and I gave each other short Dharma lectures. I spoke on cause and effect; Heng Ju spoke about the four marks of self, personality, living beings, and a lifespan and the Diamond Sutra.

Nov. 24, 1974 - Proceeded through the town of Elk. Some ladies asked Heng Ju some questions and the town seemed generally aware of what we were doing--perhaps not why, however. After lunch the Great Silver Food Cart pulled by Heng Yo sustained a major injury--one wheel had completely collapsed. Apparently the strain was too much--going up and down hills off the road, etc. So we carried her into the Elk Garage where Robert Matsen put two lawnmower wheels on by welding extensions on the axle. He also brazed the broken hand-frame, and brazed on a place to tie our handle. The cart is now lower and has a wider wheelbase and wider wheels, which means better handling on and off the road. The people at the garage were conscious of who we were and were very nice but still a bit flabbergasted. One man congratulated us heartily, while another insinuated that using kneepads was in some way cheating. I said that when he bowed a thousand miles he could do it any way he wanted. In any case, the cart will probably go a long way before any more work will be needed. Camped beside a creek outside of town.

Nov. 25, 1974 Started off. Heng Ju went up ahead and I went back to the Elk Garage to complete repairs on the cart. Just as we were leaving, Kuo Kuei and Kuo Hui drove up with lunch and offering. We were loading in the gear when the newly refuged family of Andy Klein (Kuo Kuang), Kuo Hsi (his wife) and Kuo K'uan & Kuo Jiu (his children) drove up. They had driven hundreds of miles to take refuge with the Master after a delay of several years and said the offering and ate lunch in the shack on Elk Creek, south of Elk. We stayed that night in an abandoned shack on the ocean.

It is as if the 1st 100 miles of the trip were practice--finding the right gear and operating procedures. Not much progress was made today but certainly a rest was in order, especially since Heng Ju had developed a boil on the back of his knee. It was good to see people from the Monastery and hear of the Master and things in general. The Monastery appears in a different perspective after being gone so long. We are anxious to get back there and take up the work anew. As Heng Ju said, "There is a Buddha walking around Gold Mountain..." It's inconceivable what that means.

The Daily Log kept by Bhiksu Heng Ju and Bhiksu Heng Yo on their travels will be published next year by the Sino-American Buddhist Association.