On New Years Day, I performed a fire sacrifice ceremony to Shakyamuni Buddha to pray for a successful pilgrimage. Earlier in the morning, I went first to Timber Cove to offer three precious vases to the Dragon King. There was a white crane standing on kelp in the ocean. We had gone there to offer the precious vases for more than a decade and we had met a white crane only four times; each time it was somehow connected with my Guru. This time it signified Guru Chens blessing for an auspicious pilgrimage to Buddhas land and to His stupa. In the San Francisco Bay area, December is the rainy season; for the first time in more than 100 years there was not even a drop of rain in the twelfth month of 1989. Hence, I also prayed to the Dragon King for rain, and on that New Years Day it poured throughout the entire day in the Bay area.