I n the summer of 1998, I was fortunate and honored to follow the holy presence of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu Holiest Tathagata on a trip to propagate and spread the Buddha-dharma. We formed a large contingent and were driving along Highway One, the Pacific Coast Highway, toward San Francisco.
When the motorcade went into the curvy and twisty mountain roads, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III told the driver to turn off the air conditioning and opened up the windows to let the wind come in. The Buddha Master asked, “How do you like the air here compared to the air in Los Angles?”
“Of course the air here is better,” we all answered at the same time, as if in one voice.
“Why?” The Buddha Master asked.
Brother Chang, who possesses a Master’s degree in chemical engineering, hurried to answer first: “Buddha Master, this is because in any place that has dense trees or is close to the sea, the air contains a large amount of negative ions. And negative ions would...” He continued with a whole set of his knowledge in chemistry.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III patiently waited for him to finish and then asked, “What do the negative ions look like?”
“Oh, this ...” Brother Chang and the rest of us were all at a loss on what to say.
The Buddha Master smiled but did not say anything. A few minutes later, a ray of blue light suddenly penetrated into the vehicle through the front windshield and dispersed. We all smelled a very fresh and sweet scent.
We all stared at each other and did not know what happened. The Buddha Master turned back toward us and said, “Now do you know what negative ions look like? As practitioners, you can’t just stay at the level of talking about hollow theories.”
When our motorcade came to the Big Sur area, we were all intoxicated by the bright and beautiful views of scenery. Suddenly, the Buddha Master told us to drive into a small road and stop. The Buddha Master strode towards a pavilion near the edge of a cliff. His Holiness seriously stated to us, “Demons will come right away to disturb us. Let’s all calm our minds and recite the Heart Mantra of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva. Don’t chat to each other or be distracted.”
At that time, there was not a single cloud in the vast sky, and the sea surface looked smooth and calm. Where would the demons come from? The Buddha Master stared at the sky and practiced a dharma using mudras. Within five minutes, violent winds started to blow fiercely. The wind brought sand and dust into the sky and made rocks move. The tranquil sea surface that had been calm suddenly changed into roaring waves rising higher and higher. The surging tides hit the shore and splashed as high as hundreds of feet. Even rocks the size of eggs were brought up and thrown into the sky. All these combined into a very scary scene. On seeing this, we had our minds concentrated on the dharma and recited the mantra loudly. Calm eventually returned after the Buddha Master subdued the demons.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III gave us a discourse on that: “Among our group on this trip to propagate the dharma, there are rinpoches, great dharma teachers, and officers of the Institute and the publishing house. Demons are afraid that the correct Buddha-dharma will benefit living beings in the Western world, so they are going to do everything to break us down. However, you need not be worried. The demons will not be able to hurt you.”
Our motorcade continued on the journey. It was already dark, and the mountain road was rugged and rough. We decided to find a motel to stay for the night. After all our efforts, we found one motel on the mountain, but it had no vacancy. We tried to negotiate with the manager on duty to let us stay in the lobby for the night but were refused.
We walked back to the parking lot with tired and cold steps. The outside temperature was about -2 degrees Celsius (29 degrees Fahrenheit). The Buddha Master suddenly rolled down the window and told us, “Demons are coming to hurt you again. Hurry up and get in the vehicles. Concentrate on reciting the mantra.”
Before getting back onto our seats, we heard a series of sad and shrill howls from the forest. From far away they came closer and closer and were very scary. We all felt chilled to the bone, and our bodies were shaking. At that moment, hunger and cold were of no concern to our minds. We just kept doing our best to recite the mantra.
A few minutes later, we were frightened by a burst of hurried knocking on the window. I looked out. The Buddha Master was pointing at me from outside, “Boyuan1 , come out immediately.”
I rushed to get out of the vehicle and followed the Buddha Master, who was walking towards the forest. The Buddha Master was repeatedly applying a mudra towards several piles of dark shadows in the forest. “The shadows are demons. These scoundrels are constantly looking for opportunities to attack us,” he said.
It took almost half an hour before the demons were subdued.
At this time, it was already after midnight. The Buddha Master was practicing a dharma inside the vehicle without talking. The problem of finding a place to stay was still not solved. As we were at a loss on what to do, a Caucasian man walked toward us and politely said, “Are you looking for a hotel? I can let you use my mansion.”
We were all pleasantly surprised by this happy news. Finally, we arrived at the mansion after driving in the dark. Several sisters among us went into the kitchen to prepare some food. In the cabinet, there were fourteen sets of dinnerware. And the dining room also had fourteen seats. This was exactly the number of people in our contingent. What a miracle! We were amazed.
In the early morning of the next day, we all gathered on the balcony of the mansion. The fright and fatigue of the previous night had all gone away. We found that the surrounding scenes were extremely beautiful. The valley extended endlessly. Ridges and peaks of all shapes were surrounded by circling clouds and mist. From east to west, we saw the sea on the horizon, with silver light reflecting from the surface. Waves were splashing on the shore cliff. The sun also seemed to be moved by the song of the tides. Up in the sky, auspicious clouds floated by as if in various enchanting horizontal postures. It was really a superlative joy to spend the morning in such a place. As mountain winds came from time to time complimented by singing birds and bees, we all felt very relaxed and intoxicated by the scene. The joy and pleasure simply made us unaware of where we were.
After breakfast, we all mentioned that it must have been dharmaprotecting deities who helped us through the crisis the day before. H.H. Buddha Master asked, “Is that what you disciples think?”
The rest of the journey was still full of dangers and crises. Demons followed us all the way and were always looking for opportunities to attack. Fortunately, we were under the protection of H.H. Buddha Master. The demons were captured one by one, and we returned from danger to safety each time. Normally, it takes one day or less to go from Los Angles to San Francisco. This time, we spent seven days and seven nights.
I would not be able to tell of all the merit and holy deeds of H.H.Buddha Master even if I spent seven days and seven nights. I can only use the poetry I composed below to express a little bit of my feeling of gratefulness:
The Supreme Buddha Vajradhara of all sects, the honored one,
Possessing boundless merit beyond imagination;
His Holiness expounds the esoteric scriptures of the Tathagata;
With great compassion, His Holiness benefits and brings happiness to all living beings.
The roars of the Vajra Lion shake the Three Spheres,
Praised in writing by holy and virtuous dharma kings;
Coming to the earthly realm as guiding master of both humans and celestial beings,
He never shirks from saving and rescuing the suffering ones.
The Buddha Master’s kindness is as grand as Mount Sumeru,
I will never be able to return the favors by any means;
I pray for my Buddha Master to stay in this world forever;
To exhibit a holy realm in samsara!
Humble disciple, Long Zhou
Recording the truth in this article