Archive for October, 2006

Dharma Walks: The predawn hike to Twin Peaks

October 18, 2006

Knowing that you’re about to be hit by an onrushing train can lead to a strangely relaxed resignation. My own (inalterable?) fate is in such a state since I have returned to the Medicine Buddha, committing to the Morning Walk. This is a half-hour hike up to Twin Peaks in San Francisco beginning at 4:50 AM (from Douglas & 27th) every morning, lead by shaolin monks. Some of the walkers come from as far as the Medicine Buddha temple, located at 2 Shotwell St @ 14th St (between Van Ness & Folsom .. around the corner from Rainbow Grocery..), while others drive up. We all congregate at the home of Master Wang, the foundation and corner-stone of this healing space, and carry lots of hot water to the top for all to drink.

Four litres (1 Gallon) is the recommended dosage, and that term is applicable since this (HOT) water is the strongest, not to mention the oldest, medicine known to man. I find myself in a strange place, since I know the processes I will be going through, yet that does not help in observing its effects on my own body. This is hard work, waking up in the cold and walking fast at the most Godly hour known to this man. It is said that we are closest to our true divinity at this time, especially those fortunate ones who can contemplate in silence without distraction. The climb is necessarily a solitary affair, and the Qi Gung or Tai Chi on the top of the mountain doesn’t need too many words of description to those who are familiar to the disciplines. Those who aren’t, won’t be learning anything new in reading this post – they are more than welcome to meet us between Diamond and Douglas (1.5 blocks up from Castro on 27th..) We stayed up there until sunrise in the summer, (now until the hot water is gone.. which happens much earlier,) hearing the teachings arise from within. Whether it arises from the teacher’s soul or the student’s mind, conversation up there is never short of facinating, and the hot water flows. Those who cannot finish their’s will enable the more experienced ones to be better hydrated for the day. By the time we descend, we’re satiated for yet another day of anything that life might throw at us.

Such is my state at present. Six months before my return I was drinking my 4 litres and was so completely hydrated that I never needed to drink water after sunset. Now I am hard-pressed to drink half that, because I had been forced to give up the way. So now I meditate -standing or walking- in direct observation of the processes I know my body and psyche will face, trying not to let them ( i.e., the environment of my self,) influence my mind.

Crazier things have happened.. lets see how this one fares.