首位行三步一拜的前美國比丘恆具，法名果逾（Timothy J．Testu），於1998年12月15日，5 4歲往生，他生於 1944年 11月 14日。
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First American Three-Steps-One-Bow Monk Dies. Timothy J. Testu, November 14, 1944 — December 15, 1998, 54 years.
Timothy J. Testu, formerly Bhikshu Heng Ju, died on December15, 1998, of an ear infection after his immune system was weakened by treatment for leukemia. He is most remembered for a pilgrimage he took as a Buddhist monk from San Francisco, California, to Marblemount, Washington, from October 1973 to August 1974, bowing every third step. His journals from that journey and those of his companion Heng Yo are chronicled in the Buddhist Text Translation Society publication, Three Steps, One Bow. His autobiographical introduction and other excerpts from that book appear below.
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The pilgrimage made Buddhism an American experience in a unique way. Starting in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Bridge (which, at a bridge official's insistence, the two monks walked across "like normal human beings"), Heng Ju and Heng Yo bowed through the city of Sausalito and then followed the coast for a thousand miles along the edge of the Pacific Northwest. Heng Yo did some bowing, but also took care of their few supplies-sleeping bags, tent, journals, some food--while Heng Ju bowed, enduring severe wind, rain, and cold, as well as a wrenched back, sore knees, and the consequences of using poison oak for toilet paper. The monks stayed in their rain-soaked tent, in abandoned buildings with mice or dead animals, and in a hayloft with goats below. Police, truckers, drunks, and Christians harassed them; and police, truckers, drunks, and Christians supported and encouraged them. The town of Tomales Bay, California, held up their homecoming parade for half an hour as the gathered crowd watched the two monks pass by. Many newfound friends offered food, money, shelter, and toilet paper. Children sought kung-fu lessons. News reporters often interviewed them; teachers brought them into their classrooms to give talks and answer students' questions; and thoughtful people explored the meaning of life with them. Buddhist laypeople, and sometimes Master Hua himself, brought supplies, checked on the monks' progress, and occasionally joined in the bowing. Heng Ju continued to bow for peace for the world and peace within.
He later left the monastic life and returned to his home state of Washington, but Tim became a frequent visitor and a generous supporter of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association centers. His resolve for Bodhi was further strengthened when illness confronted him with his own mortality. At the time of his death, he had been making arrangements to live at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and to share again in the work and cultivation of the community.
Excerpts from Three Steps, One Bow
Heng Ju's Introduction
In late 1973, a series of circumstances led me to decide to make a religious pilgrimage. Previously, I had heard the story of an elder Chinese Buddhist Meditation Master, the Venerable Hsu Yun, who at the turn of the century made a walking pilgrimage across China. As he walked, he bowed his head to the ground after every third step. In six years, he bowed a total of three thousand miles, or what amounts to the entire breadth of China. During his trip, he encountered incredible hardships, suffering from hunger, thirst, and the cold, but he never gave up. Eventually, he was able to attain a state of mind that can only be described as "single-mindedness." That is, he was able to halt all of his thinking processes, and he experienced a radiant clarity of mind that he had never been able to attain before. His pilgrimage also had a very profound effect on the people he encountered.
Master Yun's trip had given me an idea that began to grow and develop. I had always thrived on adventure, and after so many years as a layman and then a monk inside a Buddhist monastery I was ready for a little change. I began to entertain the thought of making a bowing pilgrimage across America.
In the history of the world there have been many religious pilgrimages. Most of these came about as a response to the fighting and moral decadence of the times. People always need ways to express themselves: ways to display their religious feelings. As people gradually attain peace and understanding, they need ways to share them with humanity. Consequently, there have been countless pilgrimages: pilgrimages on horseback, on foot, in buses; pilgrimages all over the world, by large groups, by individuals. I felt that the conditions had become ripe for me to contribute this way to a great cause: the cause of world peace.
This would also be an excellent opportunity to improve my own cultivation of the Dharma. While I bowed along the road praying for world peace with the actions of my body, I would also be praying in my mind and simultaneously striving to master the six perfections of an enlightened being (a Bodhisattva): giving, morality, patience, vigor, concentration, and wisdom. The more that I thought about it, the more I became resolved on doing it.
To be continued