05 November 2005

NFTC: Lincoln Heights Baddies

Note: I was told of an online version of this book. If you have the time you should go and read the entire book.

May 14, 1977
"We bowed through a tough neighborhood called Lincoln Heights. We reached the front of Lincoln High School just as classes finished. We were immediately surrounded by forty or fifty jeering, shouting, swearing rowdies. When they saw their words couldn't move us, they began to bow along behind us, until we had fourteen bows in line bowing to the Avatamsaka Sutra. They all grew more respectful after about six bows - the toughest ones couldn't keep it up - and they went away, silent and sober. No more trouble that day."


"Friday morning as we neared the end of Lincoln Heights at 10:15 I sensed something up ahead, but I have taken my glasses off and have glued my eyes to my nose for the rest of the journey, so I don't see many details on the road. Heng Ch'au told me later what he saw. A gang of five older men gathered at a taco stand on the corner. One of them was a real demon - ugly, with a misshapen body like a pear. He was jumping around and pointing at us and in his hand he carried a five-foot, sharpened, twisted metal whip. He moved a trash can in front of our path to block the walk and he began to beat it with his whip, making a great noise and denting the sides of the can, all the time pointing at us and trying to provoke his buddies into a similar rage. Heng Ch'au says he was a genuine, big-league baddie, beyond the reach of reason or words. As I bowed along I didn't see any of this, but suddenly I had the strong feeling of invisible aid, a wonderfully good, powerful presence. I had a great feeling of calmness and light.

Heng Ch'au says that as I bowed right into the middle of the group at the taco stand, the leader suddenly went out like a light. He lost his anger and he grew very obedient, like a small child. The others sat motionless at their tables as I bowed around the garbage can below their feet and walked on across the street to bow on the other side. A young, clean man stepped out of his doorway and asked politely, "Can you tell me about your religion, please? I'm very impressed by what you are doing…" and Heng Ch'au told him briefly what the trip was for. He explained quite well. "

Disciple Heng Sure,
bows in respect.

No comments: