October 15, 1973, Monday evening

122 On Vows 

Ven. Master Hua


Two of the monks at Gold Mountain Monastery [Editor’s note: in San Francisco , mid-October, 1973] want to make a strange vow to go on a pilgrimage bowing once every three steps as a prayer for world peace. They want to bow all the way to Seattle , more than a thousand miles from here. When Guo Yu wanted to make this vow, I didn’t want him to. When Guo Dao asked to go along as a Dharma protector, I didn’t grant him permission either to start with.  However, I myself have a vow which says, “Everything’s O.K.” If I didn’t allow them to go, that would not be “O.K.” And for it not to be O.K. would mean I did not fulfill my vow. Hence, the objection could be made, “You say everything’s O.K., but only the ‘K’ is left, and you’ve dropped the ‘O’.” Due to that consideration, I had to say, “O.K., O.K., go ahead. If Bhikshus want to go, that’s fine, and it’s fine for laymen to go too. Go ahead and go.” 

But Guo Zhan was very upset. Why? He’s going to lose an assistant. He had trained Guo Dao in all the various jobs connected with Vajra Bodhi Sea [Editor’s note: a monthly journal begun in 1970 and still being published to date.] including developing photographs, and now Guo Dao wants to leave the monastery to go on this pilgrimage. Well, Guo Zhan has been inventing all kinds of ways to keep Guo Dao from leaving, so today I thought of a method to retain him. I asked Guo Hui if he would go instead. But, the method didn’t work. There was no way to prevent Guo Dao from walking his Way. The Way must be walked; if it’s not walked, it’s not the Way. Therefore, there was nothing I could do.


Timely Teachings Ch. 1 Part III, page 303, following paragraph 3