Thursday, June 23, 2005

bones of the master

Just finished reading George Crane's "Bones of the Master." about the Chinese monk Tsung Tsai's journey out of Inner Mongolia after his Chan Buddhist temple was destroyed during the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950's and his trip 40 years later to find and give ritual burial to the bones of his teacher, Shiuh Deng.

"Tsung Tsai said that at fifty years of age the fox can take human form. At one hundred it can become a wizard or a beautiful woman. Fox spirit has three forms, three incarnations. From one to one thousand years the fox is brown. A bad spirit. Makes only trouble for people.

After the first thousand years he becomes black; fox who still makes trouble for himself. He knows path of dharma but is filled with desire. Just desire.

In ten thousand years he can become a white fox like a god.

Fox can make you healthy but sometimes fox can kill you. There are things you can't understand. Mongolia is a differenct place. You think village people are foolish. They are not. They are simple people. Dirt people. Natural people. You think they have babies, grow food, eat food and that's it. But they are true people and they know things you cannot. They know ghosts."

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