By Upasika Kuo Ling Pecaites

Sailing through the splendor of Shasta country on the magic of the full moon, enlightened to the appearance of the bottom of Lake Shasta, a lesson in geological layer cakes, because there is virtually no water in this hole, only moonlight and thirsty spirits ...carried into Oregon on the swift, soft hand of morning...Oregon, the land of sparkling green emeralds of life and dewdrops, where people call themselves "ducks", the land of the homely proverb. If you don't like the weather, just wait a minute and it will rain," ...Oregon is dry also. The farmers fear for their huge wheat crops and the rivers and streams are masquerading as summer swimming holes, decked out in gravel banks instead of wearing their usual winter torrents and raging into the homes of those foolish enough to build on a flood plain.

So it was on the journey to the Kuan Yin Recitation Session in Eugene, Oregon, on February 4th and 5th. Sponsored by Upasaka Kuo Ying and Upasika Kuo Chieh Brevoort, and Upasaka Kuo Chieh Cole and Upasika Kuo Lu Britt, the two-day session of Dharma talks and recitation of the name of the Bodhisattva Kuan Yin was held in the WOW Hall, a community performing arts cooperative.

A gathering of approximately fifty young people, some of them coming from as far as Idaho, eagerly soaked up Dharma like the thirsty plants outside would soak up the rain they were waiting for; they gave themselves to the recitation of Kuan Yin P'u Sa with full sincerity and enthusiasm.

It hadn't rained for weeks, and this was virtually unheard-of in Oregon winters, where rain is the rule and sun the exception. One of the Venerable Abbot Hua's disciples had been told by the San Francisco disciples how the book Patterns of Prophecy by Alien Vaughn credited the Venerable Master with having saved San Francisco from the earthquake predicted by both scientists and seers in 1968, and from numerous earthquakes since.

Later that evening as the sun set in the clear, cloudless sky, a long narrow cloud, which resembled a dragon, made its appearance. Lit up by the setting sun, it seemed to glow as it glided slowly across the sky. On seeing it an organic gardener whose crops were suffering from the lack of rain had the thought, "I really wish the Master would make it rain. Our gardens could sure use it."

The following Saturday morning, February 5, Bhiksuni Heng Yin, to whom the organic gardener had mentioned his desire for rain, conveyed the same to the Master. The Master commented in reply, "Oh, so he wants some rain. Wait a bit. It's going to rain."

"It was not very long after telling the Master, perhaps only twenty minutes," Bhiksuni Heng Yin later told the crowd at lunch, "that I happened to look out the window. I know I should be used to such things by now, but still it took me by surprise: it was raining."

In fact, the gentle rain was to continue all that day, and would still be coming down as the session closed that night. So, while the Master was speaking the Dharma on Saturday morning, it was raining outside on a thirsty earth; all living beings rejoiced in the "Dharma rain."

During the short session four people took refuge with the Triple Jewel.  They were David Weiss (Kuo Hsing), Tace Hensley (Kuo Ti), Richard Chamberlain (Kuo Tiao), and Rona Nager (Kuo Na). During the refuge ceremony the Master asked Kuo Tiao, "Why do you want to take refuge?" "Because I want to become a Buddha," he answered. "Why do you want to become a Buddha?" the Master rejoined. "Because there's nothing else to do," Kuo Tiao answered. This conversation lightened everyone's hearts, and on the long journey home a song that made the time fly evolved from it:

Living beings without number, I vow to bring them through;

Why become a Buddha? There’s nothing else to do.

Endless Dharma doors, I vow to study too.

A person’s gotta do something, and there’s nothing else to do.

A person’s gotta do something, before it get’s too late.

There ain’t nothing else to do, might as well cultivate.

Infinite afflictions, 84,000 just to name a few.

I vow to break right through them, cause there’s nothing else to do.

The Buddha’s Way’s supreme; the Buddha’s wisdom belongs to you.

Why don’t you reach for Buddhahood: there’s nothing else to do.

A person’s gotta do something, before it gets too late.

There ain’t nothing else to do, might as well cultivate.

THE VAJRA SUTRA, with commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. Prajna or transcendental wisdom, the subject of this Sutra, is of central importance in the Buddha’s teaching. 192 pages, $5.95.