A Blessed Pilgrimage
by Dr. Yutang Lin | 1990 | 18,562 words
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Part 17 - Pilgrimage To Guru Chens Stupa In Taiwan
On the morning of the 24th of January, I dreamed that I received a bowl of noodles with slices of onion and meat on top. Noodles signify longevity and slices of onion and meat signify the nectar of Pleasure in Sunyata. I also saw, in a dream that Professor Pryor died. This signifies that his leading a pilgrimage group brought him many blessings from Buddha, so that his ego would gradually die away and he would be liberated.
Clint, from our group took refuge from a Lama during our pilgrimage and, subsequently, formally became a Buddhist. Members of our group quite often made donations to temples, monasteries, monks, nuns, or offered butter lamps or incense. Some among our group, although not Buddhists, still had inspirational dreams and asked me to give interpretations.
At 9 a.m. I took a taxi to the Thai Embassy to obtain my special transit permit. Then I went to the airport to join our group. Mr. Kuo Yu Ma came to see me off. I entrusted him with the 180 rupees that was left with me, and asked him to make butter lamp offerings on the Chinese New Years Day (this year it was on the 27th of January) at the Boudha Stupa, and wished him great prosperity in the coming Year of the Horse.
At 4 p.m. I arrived in Bangkok. Immediately I phoned China Airlines to confirm my reservation. Alas, I was not on the passenger list scheduled for departure the following day. My reservations were made months in advance. However, during the trip it was difficult to keep reconfirming the seats and consequently I became a victim of the airlines automatic but arbitrary cancellation system. Fortunately, there were still vacancies, so I was instantly given a seat. At the Airport Hotel the receptionist told me, with a smile, that I was just in time to get the only room left in the hotel. Thus, it was obvious that during the entire trip Buddhas Grace had taken care of even minor details for me.
On the 25th of January, I flew back to Taipei after making a short stop at the Hong Kong airport. My family enjoyed our reunion. It is most fortunate that my parents, both over 70-year old, are still living, however, they appeared older. Nephews and nieces either grew up or saw me for the first time. My old friends came to see me, and my Buddhist friends who used to write me came to meet me in person. The situation made me feel like I had just come from a 10-year retreat.
On the 29th of January, I went to Chin Shan (Gold Mountain) Cemetery on a pilgrimage to Guru Chens Sarira Stupa and the adjacent Five Wheel Pagoda. I made three full length prostrations to each stupa and offered the embroidered Five Wheel Pagoda. I offered a red lace khata to my Gurus stupa. My pilgrimage to Buddhas holy sites and my Gurus stupa was thus auspiciously completed. On the 25th of February, I departed Taipei and flew back to my residence in the United States.