The Religion of Hot Water
I’ve only walked the walk twice, but let me tell you, it has been an amazing experience already! I moved to San Francisco only on Monday, and to have been able to complete this walk has been the best way I can imagine to be welcomed by the city and to the city. To view San Francisco from the Twin Peaks which sit perched above the nighttime city lights has been amazing and inspiring. I have no fear. San Francisco has welcomed me in Peace and Love. I thank Master Wang, Abbas the Temple Abbot, my Guru, and my God for this amazing blessing! I AM so blessed. I AM so grateful. The connection has been made. The seeds have been planted. I am so excited to watch myself blossom and grow here in this divine city named after the “poor one” who followed Christ so perfectly and humbly. May I too follow God, Truth, Non-Violence, and Love with as much zeal, passion, and wisdom as he.
We meet at 5 am. The best time to be meeting is at 3 am, but Master Wang understands that westerners aren’t quite ready for that initiation yet! J We don’t say much, because we don’t want to disturb the pond of silence (which is created by the dark, morning hours) with the ripples of our idle chatter. We meet in the Diamond Heights neighborhood near our Teacher’s home and the walk begins. We walk quite swiftly up the winding streets and residential roads which make up these hills. We zig and zag until we reach the bottom of our Twin Peaks entrance. We make our way up the 90 or so dirt, wood steps until we reach the zenith of our mission. Near the observational telescopes we place our hot water thermoses on the rock shelves before us and begin to pour our “medicine” into our empty cups. Hot water. Who knew that medicine could be so simple, pure, and tasty! I finish one liter of hot water and I feel good. The goal is to consume at least two liters now and more as the day goes on. Master Wang speaks about his secret elixir. “The water helps cleanse you and hydrate you. The heat helps to energize the chakras and other energy centers within the body.” The yin and yang come together in the perfect matrimony of Hot Water. Master Wang jokes that he wants to create, “not a large Buddha statue one day, but a large Hot Water statue.” We are participating in the religion of Hot Water and in the Cultivation of Spirit.
The night is dark and the street lights below look amazing. What a way to view the city. Some of us practice Tai Chi, Yoga, or Meditation. There is no form, just like water. There are no rules, just drink your hot water. There are no Teachings, only wisdom and words which flow from the heart as Truth and Enlightenment. Laughter is frequent and common. The joy of starting each morning in Purity and Innocence, Health and Exercise, is very empowering. How can one have a “bad” day when starting off in such a good way? We are making a conscious choice each morning to surrender our lives to something greater than ourselves. Its simplicity makes me giggle like a child. Hot water…who knew? Life is amazing. Life is a miracle. Life is good.
Would you like to come along for the walk sometime? We’re waiting for your presence.
In Love and Light,
Philip Evan Cowlishaw
Medicine Buddha Temple Monk