Encounter With A Deaf Man
A big blue Cadillac stopped and a gentle, well-dressed man in his early fifties came over and quietly watched us bow. Suddenly he became very happy and excited. He ran over to me extending his hands to shake. He gestured that he was deaf and dumb. I hesitated, showing him I was covered with mud and rain. A big smile came up right from his heart and spread all over his face. "Oh, what's a little mud at a time like this," he seemed to say. So we shook--muddy monk and he in a blue suit with a flower in his lapel.
He knew Heng Sure didn't talk and I think felt an affinity that went beyond words. He came up to my face like a little child and extended his hand. There wasn't the slightest trace of fear of phoniness about him. As we shook, he pointed with his other hand in the direction we were bowing as if to say, "I'm with you all the way, keep going."
I felt humbled and deeply happy that someone could be so real and open without a second thought. He made an offering and then gave a look that went straight to the real and true place inside of me. When he knew we had touched in that place, he smiled as if to say, "Wonderful!" And then he left. Not a word was spoken.
-- Heng Ch'au, Christmas Eve 1977
With Heng Sure, he took a bowing pilgrimage of 800 miles (LA to SF), bowing every three steps to wish compassion in the world. [ more ...]
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