A Blessed Pilgrimage

by Dr. Yutang Lin | 1990 | 18,562 words

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Part 3 - Preparation

I applied for a tourist visa to India. I received several kinds of inoculations and bought travel insurance. Besides the usual articles for traveling I prepared a one liter plastic water flask, a supply of water purification tablets, a supply of chloroquinine tablets for malaria prevention, a small first aid kit, a camera with new batteries installed, nine rolls of film, a waistband for hiding money inside my shirt, a waist pouch for carrying my passport and airline tickets, and quite a few passport photos for visa applications during the trip. Later, I also packed a woolen blanket, which I had bought in Bodhgaya (in addition, a flashlight and a lighter would have come in handy for the pilgrimage). I used the blanket as a cape outdoors and as a shawl to cover my legs during sitting meditation.

I packed ritual items for the pilgrimage which my Guru had given me: a long Chinese robe, a Chinese cap which constituted the formal wear of my Guru, Yogi Chen, and a Buddhist rosary made of 108 red sandalwood beads. For recitation, I brought my Gurus works: The Collection of Hymns, and Poems on Pilgrimage in The Short Flute Collection (both from his Works of the Bended Arm Study), and my works: A Short Hymn on Guru Chens Life (in Chinese) and Pure Land Daily Practice. One blue lace khata (presentational scarf) and one red lace khata were prepared for Shakyamuni Buddha and Guru Chen, respectively. There were six Buddhist friends who gave me small amounts of money for offering of incense and lamps on the pilgrimage. One Buddhist friend asked me to present a homemade embroidered Five Wheel Pagoda to Yogi Chen in front of his sarira stupa.

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