Title: Unspeakable Action

Author: Lotus

Pairing(s): Sanzo/Other

Rating: NC17

Summary: Sanzo deals with the breaking of vows.

Warning: Language, Violence, Sexual Situations, Het

Notes: This story takes place prior to the journey west, when Sanzo becomes the overseer of the temple at Chang'an.

Disclaimer: Kazuya Minekura's beautiful boys. If they were mine, there'd be more stops at onsens, secluded woodland bathing pools, shower scenes and overall general nudity. And fewer female wait staff.


It was autumn at the Kinzan temple, and everyone was busy with preparations for the upcoming Shinto rituals. Everything had to be cleaned and blessed: the purification trough for the visitors to wash their hands, the honden and haiden, the main and offering halls, the ema where visitors wrote their wishes on wooden plates. The entire temple was bustling with activity with the older monks directing students, who were scurrying around like ants.

Kouryuu had managed to escape most of the commotion by volunteering to rake the massive amount of red and gold leaves deposited by the cluster of maple trees in the front courtyard by the main torii gate. He liked the way the orange and black gate swept upward on the two columns, like a headrest for a giant. He also liked the komainu, the two guardian dogs who sat in front of the gate. Sometimes, when he was sure no one was around, Kouryuu petted them.

Kouryuu smelled his master before he saw or heard him. Leaning on the rake, he watched Sanzo Koumyou step into view, smoke spiraling up into the crisp Autumn air from the long-stemmed pipe held between his teeth. He was carrying a straw basket. Kouryuu shook his head and walked briskly to intercept his master's ambling stride toward the steps leading down into the courtyard. Kouryuu quickly cleared the steps of the small gathering of crunchy bright leaves. The last thing he needed was his master starting a fire with dropped ashes.

"Thank you, Kouryuu," Koumyou smiled sweetly before sitting on the top step. "Would you like to join me and share your day?"

Kouryuu leaned the rake against the wall and sat next to his master. "Today is the same as any other," Kouryuu said. "I went to classes and did chores."

"Ah." Koumyou lifted the lid of the basket, and Kouryuu saw with delight it was filled with orange paper.

"Today may have been the same as yesterday," Koumyou said as he lifted out a sheet of paper, "but you are not."

Kouryuu laughed and accepted the piece of paper. "True, Master."

Kouryuu waited until Koumyou had pulled his own piece of paper out of the basket and began folding the paper in precise angles, sharpening the edges between his nails.

"Today we were taught about the vows we are to take," Kouryuu said.

"Ah, yes," Koumyou paused in paper folding to puff on his pipe. "And you know what a vow is?"

"Of course," Kouryuu looked at his master in surprise. "It's a promise not to do wrong things. Restraining from a kha-na ma-tho-ba, an unspeakable act."

"What happens when we break a vow?" Koumyou stuck the pipe back in his mouth and went back to folding.

"It depends on the kind of vow it is," Kouryuu set down his finished airplane and took another sheet of paper out of the basket. "If a Kings Vow was broken, like committing the mushams-med-Lnga, the five heinous karmas, it would be a root downfall."

"That sounds bad," Koumyou set his airplane down next to Kouryuu's and it promptly fell over on its side. Unconcerned, the monk took out another sheet.

"Yes, they told us a root downfall means the loss of our spiritual Self," Kouryuu held his second finished airplane in his lap. He always waited to fly his planes until his master flew his.

"Ohhh, that sounds very bad." Koumyou threw the airplane out and it looped up and backwards, crashing nose-down on the dirt path.

Kouryuu tossed out his plane, and it flew levelly nearly halfway to the torri gate. He waited for his master to throw his second one, but instead, Koumyou calmly put the other airplane in the basket and started to shut it.

"Wait," Kouryuu put his hand on his master's sleeve. "Aren't you going to fly the other one?"

"Why?" Koumyou smiled down at him through a wreath of smoke. "I made them the exact same way."

"But that doesn't mean they'll fly the same way," Kouryuu said.

"Why not?" Koumyou raised his eyebrows.

"Because it's different now," Kouryuu said.

"What's different?" Koumyou retrieved the airplane from the basket and looked at it with interest.

Kouryuu waved his arm to encompass the courtyard and sky. The wind rustled in the trees, blowing the long fine hair of his master's ponytail, and skittering leaves over the path. Clouds moved across the blue sky, drifting past the curved frame of the torii gate.

"Everything," Kouryuu answered.

"Ah, let's see." Koumyou threw the second airplane, and it flew out straight and true, directly between the two columns of the torii gate, landing in a pile of red leaves outside the courtyard.

"You were right," Koumyou beamed down at him.

Kouryuu looked up into his master's kind, happy face and despite the chill in the air, warmth blossomed in his chest.


Chang'an Five Years Later

"So that none will say your predecessor made a mistake."

The words of the Three Aspects tumbled in Sanzo's heart like broken glass, shooting sharp pains through his chest. He leaned heavily on his staff as he walked, the jingling rings barely audible above the pounding in his ears. Sanzo stepped slowly, head bowed and lean frame bent forward as if he were walking into the wind.

Even in death, he was failing his beloved master, to the extent that doubt was now cast on Koumyou's judgement.

What if Koumyou had made a mistake?

Sanzo's chest squeezed and he stumbled. If he was not truly meant to be the thirty-first Sanzo, then all the suffering, violence and guilt of the last four years was for naught. His master had sacrificed his life to save a worthless child who should have been left to drown in the river. Bile burned up his throat, and Sanzo choked. The rings on the staff jangled as his hand shook and he struggled to stay upright.

Perhaps Sanzo's entire life was a mistake.

"Sanzo-sama?"

Sanzo managed to lift his head and peered through his bangs at a young monk standing in front of him. Somehow, he had managed to make his way to the Keiun temple. The young monk gestured.

"This way, please, Sanzo-sama," he said, head tilted slightly down in respect.

Sanzo followed the monk along an immaculately swept path between large reflection pools and through an arch into an enclosed courtyard.

Impressive, Sanzo thought. No wonder they call the Keiun Temple the Jewel of the East.

Large, ornately carved, double red doors swung inward, creaking with their weight. Immediately, the sound of chanting floated out into the courtyard. Lining either side of the corridor were rows of monks, palms pressed in prayer, shaved heads bowed. An older priest, wearing glasses, stepped forward, prayer beads looped around his wrists.

"We have awaited a visit from a current Sanzo priest with all our hearts." He spoke with earnest excitement. "Please allow us to humbly partake of your knowledge and wisdom."

As he stepped inside the corridor, Sanzo's gaze swept up the painted walls to the curved beams overhead, and the decorated ceiling. The sunlight slanting in from the courtyard glinted off the gold gilding.

"We hope you remain here as long as possible," the older monk continued. "Even if that is only for a single day."

Sanzo passed by the monk and walked between the rows of chanting men without speaking, worn sandals making soft scuffing sounds on the polished floor.

What is this? he wondered silently.

The shaved heads remained bowed as he passed, the chanting echoing in the high-ceilinged corridor. The Jewel of the East greeting the thirty-first Sanzo with prayers of peace. Sanzo couldn't help the bitter smile that twisted his mouth.

It's nothing but a farce...


Six days later, Sanzo left Keiun Temple. He left in the dead of night, long after all the lamps had been extinguished. Instead of chanting monks, a chorus of crickets heralded his exit. For the sake of silence, he had left his staff behind, the rest of his belongings rolled into the sash looped over his shoulder.

It had been a mistake to come to the temple. He had tried to isolate himself, to contain the taint of his immorality from the others, but in the end it had proven impossible. His true nature had been revealed. He was a killer.

"Partake of my knowledge and wisdom?" Sanzo muttered to himself.

All he knew was how to survive at all costs. What wisdom could such a corrupt soul possess?

He stepped out from between the buildings, feeling exposed as he walked next to the rectangular pools reflecting the night sky. He would obey the Three Aspects and stay in Chang'an, but he could not live among people.

Sanzo slipped out through the small side gate and trudged up the hill on the east side of the temple. He would camp in the forest and wait for the Three Aspects to find the Seiten Sutra. Then he would leave this place and resume his journey.

He found a small clearing just inside the tree line at the crest of the hill. He could even see the temple from here. Sanzo methodically stomped in a circle to drive away the insects and small things living under the fallen leaves, then sat down. He wasn't afraid of animal predators... not since the bear had broken into the compound at Kinzen Temple. He could handle animals. They acted according to predictable behavior patterns, unless they were sick.

Humans and youkai were more dangerous to him. Nothing was more unpredictable than the two-legged beasts in this world.

Sanzo settled his back against the trunk of a sakura tree, letting his heavy lids close. He had long ago learned the useful ability of sleeping sitting upright. It kept things from crawling into ears and hair, and was also a less vulnerable position if someone should happen upon his camp site.

Even though he doubted there was anyone in Heaven willing to heed him, Sanzo sent up a short prayer for a dreamless sleep.


One moment there was oblivion, the next, warmth on his closed eyelids and the sound of birds chirping. Sanzo cracked his eyes open. It was late morning. Apparently some greater power had taken pity on him after all, because he had been granted a night free from nightmares. Perhaps just being outside the temple, away from all the familiar sounds and smells of childhood, lessened the impact of painful memories on his unconscious self.

Sanzo stretched out his legs, then folded them into the full lotus position. He meant to do morning meditation, but a soft rustling sound stopped him. He reached into the front of his sash and withdrew the pack of cigarettes the head priest Jikaku had given him.

"Bearing the burden of taking life," Jikaku's raspy voice echoed in his head. "It's like inhaling the smoke into your lungs. You keep doing that, and your lungs turn black. That's your karma."

Sanzo opened the top of the pack. It was nearly full. Cautiously, he lifted it to his face and sniffed. Instantly, the scent of the tobacco brought images of Koumyou: leaning against a tree, smoking dangerously close to a pile of freshly raked leaves; sitting on the steps outside their rooms, having his final smoke of the evening before turning in, the moonlight catching his upturned face; smiling sweetly at him through the drifting tendrils of smoke. Koumyou's gentle eyes, the hand that was always open, reaching, offering unconditional love and acceptance.

"Father," Sanzo whispered.

Hot sorrow choked his throat and blurred his vision as he dropped the pack of cigarettes. Koumyou was gone, the only love and warmth in this world cold and dead and there was only this endless, crushing solitude.

River Rat! Your predecessor made a mistake. Why on earth would a priest of the highest ranking have a tool for killing? What defilement!

Sanzo had taken life. He had committed an unspeakable act, broken one of the Kings Vows. And now he was forever lost. Looking down into his lap through his tears, Sanzo realized he was holding the gun in his right hand. He didn't even recall pulling it from his sleeve. How many times during the past four years had he pressed that muzzle, still warm from killing, against his own temple?

Slowly, Sanzo raised the gun, the metal glinting as it passed through the leaf-filtered light. He found himself silently praying again.

In my next incarnation, he thought, please let me return as something without a heart.

Just as he was closing his eyes, gun raised to his head, a breeze ruffled gently through his hair, pushing it forward and drying his tears. Something bright fluttered past his cheek and Sanzo automatically caught it left-handed. He lowered the gun in his other hand as he stared wide-eyed at the object trapped between his fingers. It was a small strip of orange paper.

"Ah!" a woman's voice called out behind him. "You caught my prayer!"

Shoving the gun back in his sleeve, Sanzo twisted around. Walking towards him was a slender woman in a work kimono, carrying a basket on her hip. Her long, black braid swayed behind her in time to her brisk step. When she stopped beside him, Sanzo stared up at her, not entirely certain she was real.

Up close, Sanzo could see the woman was older than her youthfully slim figure suggested at a distance. There was a streak of silver in the glossy black hair at her right temple, and fine laugh lines around her almond eyes. He estimated her age to be in the early thirties. Overall, her looks were average. The type of woman most would pass on the street without a second glance.

"Good afternoon, master monk," she said.

She touched her right hand to her forehead in half of the pressed palm gesture, bowing from the waist, and the contents of the basket tumbled out onto the ground at Sanzo's feet. Straightening, she laughed, and her plain face was transformed. Sanzo had to admit then that she was beautiful. She squatted on her heels, setting the basket down beside her and started gathering up the items. She held up a small bundle of orange papers tied together with twine.

"I was on my way to the temple to post prayers and make offerings," she said. "I carry the prayers for the people who can't make the journey themselves."

Sanzo glanced down at the orange strip of paper in his fingers and realized there was indeed a prayer written on one side of it. He offered it to the woman, who took it with a smile and tucked it into the bundle. Her hands were red and chaffed, as if she often worked in water. A laundress, perhaps?

"Thank you, master monk," she said.

To Sanzo's horror, the woman sat down next to him and instead of putting the spilled packages away, began opening them. There was a bamboo steamer with dumplings, a skin of water, and a bundle of oranges.

"I suppose that was the gods way of telling me to share a meal with you," she said, glancing at him sideways.

Sanzo's throat was still constricted with unshed tears, and the last thing he wanted was company. He shook his head, but she either didn't see or chose to ignore him as she began peeling an orange.

"I-" his voice came out thick, and he cleared his throat. "I was meditating."

"Were you?" the woman asked softly.

The brown, almond eyes met his, and he saw compassion there. She had seen. She knew. Self-disgust twisted his gut. He was so weak, such a failure; even a layperson could see it. Sanzo started to turn his head, but she reached out and gripped his chin. Shocked, Sanzo met her eyes again.

"Such beautiful eyes," she said thoughtfully. "Like the sky at dusk. I thought you were much older from behind, hunched in those worn traveling robes. How old are you?"

Sanzo should have knocked away her hand. A woman's touch upon a monk's person was strictly forbidden. They should not even be alone together. He should demand that she leave, or leave himself.

"Sixteen," he found himself answering.

"Ah, so young," she said. The smile crinkled up around her eyes and she released his chin. "My name is Meihui. What are you called?"

Hesitating, Sanzo looked down into her face, honest and open, with no condemnation or expectation of him beyond mild curiosity.

"Kouryuu," he said. It had been so long since he had said his own name, it felt almost alien on his tongue.

"Well, Kouryuu-san," she said, returning to her task of peeling the orange. "Allow me to share this meal with you, then you can return to your... meditation."

Instead of leaving, he sat and watched her efficiently peel two oranges. She turned over the dumpling lid and put the orange slices inside. Despite himself, Sanzo's stomach pinched with hunger. He couldn't remember the last time he had eaten properly. In the Keiun temple, all the food had tasted like ash, and he had basically been subsisting on tea.

"I'm afraid we'll have to eat with our fingers," she smiled at him.

Sanzo leaned forward, reaching out toward the lid of oranges, and the pack of cigarettes fell out of his lap. He froze. What was he doing? What was the point of sustaining his body? His hand shook.

"Oh, are your hands dirty?" Meihui asked.

Quickly bunching up the cloth the oranges had been bundled in, she unstoppered the water and wetted it. Before Sanzo could move away, she grasped his hand in hers and started wiping his fingers. More forbidden contact, but again Sanzo could not bring himself to pull away as Meihui washed his hands as if he were a child. It looked odd, because his hands were bigger than hers. He could remember when he was very young, sitting in Koumyou's lap while the monk cupped his larger hands around his small ones over the washing basin on the tatami mat, humming softly in his ear. Feeling the greater heartbeat pressed against his back, surrounded by the smell of soap, incense, and the underlying scent of tobacco, he had felt so safe. Protected. It was as if the two of them had lived in a smaller world inside the temple, a place far more sacred.

The shaking in Sanzo's hands moved up his arms, into his body. His eyes burned and blurred, and before he could stop it, a tear fell from his cheek onto the top of Meihui's hand. Her fingers stopped moving, and he sensed the lifting of her head, but he kept his face averted. One of her hands tightened on his wrist with a surprisingly strong grip, and the other grasped the back of his neck and pulled his head down onto her shoulder.

The shaking intensified into bone-deep tremors. Sanzo felt like his body was a cricket cage, battered by a windstorm, and his heart was the small, helpless creature about to be ripped out of its demolished shelter and thrown into the savage sky. Meihui's kindness had destroyed his resistance, and Sanzo wept against her neck. One hand cradled his head and her other arm went around his shoulders, pulling him close to her. It was the first time he had been held by a woman, and her softness felt strange, but it was shelter.

Sanzo didn't know how long they sat in that position, but eventually the storm passed. He became aware of Meihui's fingers sifting through his hair, and the hand smoothing up and down his back. It had been so long since he had been touched in gentleness, his body ached for it. As a child, he had taken such simple gestures of tenderness like hugs for granted, never realizing there would be a time when he would be deprived of nearly all physical contact except in violence.

Sanzo shifted closer to Meihui. He knew this was wrong. But he had already broken so many vows. He had taken life, human, youkai and animal, to further his own existence. He had done whatever he needed to do to survive, blackening his karma to the point of utterly losing his spiritual Self. Truly, he had no farther to fall. Sanzo lifted his hands and slipped them around Meihui's slim waist, slowly, he squeezed her more tightly to himself. Inexperienced with the female body, he was afraid of hurting her, but she pressed willingly into him, and he found that beneath the softness was a different kind of strength.

Lifting his face, Sanzo pressed his cheek to Meihui's head, and the clean air dried his wet cheeks. Closing his eyes, he inhaled deeply, ignoring the small hook of pain in his chest from his prior weeping, and realized she smelled like soap and flowers. Sanzo felt himself tilt sideways, and pulled back, startled.

"It's alright, Kouryuu-san," Meihui said softly, smiling up into his eyes. "Let's just rest for a bit."

Silently, Sanzo released her and pulled his sash over his head. She helped him spread it out and they lay down on their sides, facing each other. Sanzo frowned, feeling awkward, but Meihui immediately moved into his arms, and the warm feeling of being embraced washed away everything else. Meihui tucked his head under her chin, and he could feel the gentle swell of her breasts beneath his cheek. Very softly, she began to sing. It was a song Sanzo had heard before, when he had passed through a village during Golden Week on Tango no Sekku, the Feast of Banners.

"Yane yori takai koinobori.
Ookii magoi wa otōsan.
Chiisai higoi wa kodomotachi.
Omoshiro Souni Oyoideru
."

"Carp windsocks are above the roof.

The biggest carp is the father,

The smaller carp are children,

They're enjoying swimming in the sky."

Sanzo closed his eyes. He could he could see the brightly colored carp-shaped koinobori flags flying from the eaves of every house, snapping in the wind. It was a celebration of children, of their happiness and good health. While he was walking the street, an old woman had pressed a mochi rice cake into his hands. After thanking her, Sanzo had asked why all the flags were shaped like fish. She had squinted up into the sky and explained to him that it was because a long time ago, the carp used to swim upstream to become dragons. She told him that the way the flags blew in the wind made them look like they were swimming. And they had.

Meihui's hands rubbed his back, and Sanzo mimicked the gesture, feeling the straight line of her spine beneath the the coarse fabric of the work kimono. He felt impossibly light, like the carp-shaped flags, swimming in the sky.


With a start, Sanzo's eyes snapped open. It was dark, and he was lying on the spread sash alone. He must have fallen asleep. Sitting up, he pressed his palm to the place where Meihui had lain beside him. It was cold. Turning, Sanzo saw the cloth she had used to wash his hands covering several lumps. Pulling it away revealed the steamer of dumplings, lid of orange slices and the water. A sliver of paper was under one of the slices. Picking up the wedge, Sanzo slipped it into his mouth. Jaws aching at the tart sweetness, he read the piece of paper.

"If you need a meal or a bath, visit me at the Split Sakura Onsen. - Meihui."

Sanzo remembered looking at Meihui's chaffed hands and thinking she was a laundress. So she worked at an onsen. Folding the paper, he slipped it into his sleeve. Slowly, wary of his shrunken stomach, Sanzo ate the orange slices and dumplings. As he ate, some of the lightness went away, and his senses felt sharper, his mind clearer. He looked down at Keiun temple. Perhaps he should return and speak with Jikaku. A fireball suddenly exploded against the temple wall, making Sanzo's heart thump in his chest. The faint sounds of yelling drifted up the hill.

Jumping to his feet, Sanzo ran down the hill toward the temple, dread scrambling up his spine.


In the end, Sanzo had only arrived in time to watch Master Jikaku die. The blood pooling out of the old monk's body had looked black in the moonlight. Soon enough, the immaculate courtyard of the Jewel of the East was drenched in blood as Sanzo killed the band of bandits attacking the temple. Standing in the midst of the gore, groans and cries and shaky prayers echoing between the walls, Sanzo took responsibility for their lives. Straightening his shoulders, he took in Jikaku, the slain monks, the dead bandits, inhaling their deaths like smoke. Because there was no one else to do it. Because he was the thirty-first Sanzo, and it was his responsibility.

The next morning, the Three Aspects gave Sanzo an additional responsibility. They appointed him head priest of the Keiun Temple. Head bowed, knuckles pressed to the floor, Sanzo had silently accepted the appointment. He did not ask again about his master's sutra. After a week in Chang'an, he knew the Three Aspects would do as they pleased, and it would be pointless for him to return to his wandering.

Leaving the Palace of the Setting Sun, Sanzo made his way into the village. Pulling the piece of orange paper from his sleeve, he stopped at a street vendor's booth and held it out.

"Excuse me," Sanzo said. "Can you please tell me where this is?"

The man's smile dropped off his face when he read the paper. He shook his head at Sanzo.

"You don't want to go there, master monk," the man said. "There's a full-service onsen on the north side..."

"No," Sanzo said firmly. "I wish to go to the Split Sakura."

With a sigh, the man shrugged his shoulders. "As you wish. It's southwest of here, on the very edge of the town."

"Thank you," Sanzo said as he turned away.

When the man said the edge of town, he had not been exaggerating. Sanzo had passed the last row of buildings at least half a mile back, and was about to turn around, thinking he had taken a wrong turn, when he came to the top of a rise in the road and saw it. It was a very modest onsen, appearing more like a large house from the outside. As he got closer, he saw an old sakura tree in the center of the courtyard, split in the middle, most likely by lightning. Even sundered nearly in two, the tree was living, heavy with blossom-bearing limbs. Sanzo brushed his hand over the rough bark as he passed.

"I'm glad you came, Kouryuu-san."

Looking up, Sanzo saw Meihui standing in the doorway. She smiled and held the noren open for him as he approached. At the entrance, he paused, looking down into her almond eyes, and instantly felt welcome.

"A bath and a meal?" Meihui asked.

"Yes," Sanzo said. He reached up and tugged a long strand of hair in front of his ear. "And, do you know how to cut hair?"

Meihui laughed. "I do."

A short time later, the efficient Meihui had Sanzo sitting on a stool in the araiba, a small modesty towel draped over his lap. Not quite able to trust anyone that far, Sanzo had removed his gun and sutra while disrobing and they were placed safely within arm's distance on a low shelf. Despite his protests that he could wash himself, she insisted on attending him. She had tied up the sleeves of her work kimono, and was squatting on the floor, pouring shampoo into her palm from a small jar. Standing up, she held her hand under his nose.

"Plum blossom," Sanzo said, raising an eyebrow at her. He had smelled it in her hair yesterday on the hill.

Laughing, she moved to stand behind him. "I make it myself. Not very masculine, I'm afraid."

Sanzo shrugged. There were worse things to smell like than flowers. He felt the cool shampoo ooze through his hair and touch his scalp, then Meihui's palms as she spread it evenly over his head. It felt a bit strange. Sanzo had never been to an onsen before. During the past four years, he had bathed in streams and pools, or in the temples he had taken temporary shelter in along the way. He never permitted attendant monks to touch him. After the first shocked reactions to his battle-scarred body, he was careful not to undress in front of them as well. But Meihui hadn't reacted at all, just calmly bundled up his dirty clothes for the laundry, and handed him a towel.

Meihui started massaging his scalp, and Sanzo's mental tangent reined in abruptly. The pads of her fingers moved in gentle circles, working from the crown, around the sides, to the nape, then back again. Goosebumps rose up along his arms at the pleasant sensation, and he unconsciously tilted his head back, pushing into the touch. Meihui increased the pressure, and Sanzo's neck relaxed, his shoulders dropping as tension melted out of his muscles.

"Tell me if I push too hard," Meihui murmured.

"Mmm," Sanzo managed.

It felt so good. Too good. Sanzo's penis stirred between his legs, and he straightened, pulling back from Meihui's touch. He folded his hands in his lap, wondering if she had noticed, but she merely stooped to retrieve the ladle from the bucket.

"Tilt back, please," she said.

Sanzo obeyed. Shielding his eyes with the blade of her hand, Meihui poured the warm water over his hair. She repeated it several times, thoroughly rinsing out the shampoo. When she was done, she slicked back his hair with both palms, squeezing out the excess water.

"I'll scrub your back for you now," Meihui said.

Sanzo grunted, not trusting himself to speak, and she squatted behind him. He watched out of the corner of his eye as she dunked the washcloth in the bucket and lathered it up with the cake of soap. He managed not to jump when the warm, wet cloth touched the back of his right shoulder, but had no such control over another part of his anatomy. As she washed his back, scrubbing firmly up and down, he got harder and harder. Sanzo gritted his teeth.

Taking a deep breath through his nose, Sanzo let it out slowly. He imagined the blood flowing back into his body, his erection softening. Nothing happened. Meihui scrubbed his lower back, making his buttocks tingle and his balls started to feel heavy. He was going to have to do something.

Keeping one hand in his lap, Sanzo twisted around and pulled the washcloth out of Meihui's hands. Startled almond eyes met his.

"That's good enough," Sanzo said roughly. "I can do the rest myself."

"As you wish, Kouryuu-san," Meihui said politely, rising.

Sanzo briskly began scrubbing his arms as Meihui walked out of the araiba on silent, bare feet. When she was out of sight, he rubbed his face with his hand. Damn. The only person to show him true, unselfish kindness in four years of hell, and his body takes it as a sexual invitation.

During classes when he was a boy, he and his fellow students had been taught that attachment to impermanent things was one of the major causes of suffering. Sex was considered one of the strongest attachments to impermanent things which human beings have. Therefore, celibacy was regarded as essential to obtaining liberation from suffering. So, they were taught meditation techniques to control their hormonal bodies.

There was also the tool shed in the garden, where the less disciplined boys met clandestinely.

When Sanzo finally screwed up the courage to ask his master about it, Koumyou had smiled gently at him. The tip of his cigarette made a glowing arc in the evening air as Koumyou smoked, leaning against the open door frame to their quarters.

"It's a bodily function like any other," Koumyou had said. "Selfishly, I would be very sad if everyone abstained."

"Why?" Sanzo had asked, surprised by his master's answer.

"Because then how would you have been born?" Koumyou tried to pout, but failed completely. "I would be so lonely without my Kouryuu."

It wasn't long afterwards that Sanzo started visiting the shed in the garden. Most of what went on was mutual masturbation, or sometimes it was simply a private place, outside the communal sleeping and bathing quarters, in which to masturbate alone.

Sanzo finished scrubbing his body and poured the bucket of water over himself. At sixteen, he had never lain with another person, male or female. Deciding to forego soaking in the bath, Sanzo grabbed the gun and sutra, strode back into the changing room and briskly dried himself off, slipping into a guest robe. Perhaps it would be best if he did not linger at the Split Sakura.

After a bit of searching, Sanzo found Meihui in a small enclosed courtyard, hanging his traveling robes on a line to dry. He frowned. As far as he could tell, he was the only guest at the onsen, which wasn't surprising considering how far from the center of town it was. But neither had he seen any other staff. Surely Meihui wasn't running the entire onsen alone?

Finished hanging his clothes, Meihui bent to retrieve the basket, then straightened and turned. She seemed unsurprised to see him standing there. He thought he might have to apologize for his abrupt tone with her in the washroom, but she smiled warmly as she walked over.

"Shall we cut your hair while your clothes dry?" she asked.

Looking down into Meihui's face, Sanzo found himself nodding. Her smile widened, and she led him down the hall, pausing to set the empty basket on a table. Sanzo followed her into the common room, crossing to a short hallway with five doors. She opened the first door on the left and stepped inside. Sanzo glanced around. It was one of the guest bedrooms. There was a small round window, a chest of drawers with a box mirror, a chair, and a futon against the wall. His white Sanzo robes were laid out neatly on the futon, along with the contents of the sleeves and traveling sash.

Meihui pulled the chair around and gestured for Sanzo to sit. Hesitating only a moment, he set the gun and sutra on top of his robes on the bed. Careful to keep the edges of the robe closed, he sat in the proffered chair. Meihui produced a comb and a pair of scissors from her pocket. The combing of his hair had nearly the same effect as the washing of it had, and Sanzo's erection quickly returned. He folded his hands in his lap and concentrated on breathing.

Humming, Meihui began trimming his hair, the scissors snipping quietly. The back of his neck tickled as a lock of hair fell, and Meihui brushed it away with her fingertips, sending a shiver down his spine. She moved around to the side, and her breast brushed against his shoulder. Sanzo swallowed. His balls were so heavy, they were beginning to ache. As discretely as possible, he shifted his legs to give himself more room.

Meihui stood in front of him, and combed his bangs straight. Bending down, she held a section between her fore and middle fingers, cutting straight across. The front of her kimono gaped open, and Sanzo could see the round curves of her breasts. He closed his eyes. With his eyes closed, he became acutely aware of how close she was to him. While she combed and cut, he could feel her breath on his face, the heat from her body, smell the soap and plum blossom.

More tickling from cut hair, and the light touch of her fingertips as she brushed it away. Meihui's fingers moved across his brow, over his eyelids, his cheeks, his chin, down his neck... Something warm and soft pressed against his cheek, and Sanzo's eyes snapped open. Meihui straightened, and turned away, setting the scissors and comb on the dresser.

Had she... kissed him?

"All done, Kouryuu-san," Meihui said brightly. She turned back towards him, holding the box mirror. "See?"

Sanzo's image trembled in the mirror from Meihui's shaking hands. He looked up and saw her face was flushed. Taking the mirror, he reached around her to set it back on the dresser. Sanzo grasped the ends of the sash holding her kimono together, then hesitated. He looked up into her almond eyes.

"Are you married?" he asked. There were levels of sin.

Meihui shook her head. "Widowed."

With a nod, Sanzo undid the sash, letting it drop to the floor, then parted her kimono. Meihui shrugged it off her shoulders, and the garment fell away, pooling around her feet. Sanzo looked upon the first nude woman he had ever seen. Her skin was pale and smooth, unmarked by scars, her privates covered by a small triangle of curly black hair. Her breasts were small and round, like white apples, the nipples a dark pink. As he watched, the pink circles crinkled and the nubs grew hard and erect. Sanzo's erection throbbed in response. Leaning forward, Sanzo took a nipple in his mouth and sucked.

Meihui cried out and stumbled forward, her hands clasping his head. Spreading his knees, Sanzo wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her closer, so she was standing between his thighs. Sanzo's free hand slid up her side to cup her other breast, which fit perfectly in the palm of his hand. Uncertain how hard he should squeeze, he just held it, brushing his thumb over the erect nipple. One of Meihui's hands lifted from his head and cupped over his fingers on her breast. She squeezed a little, giving him the right amount of pressure to use.

Sanzo had always been a quick study. He squeezed and massaged her breasts, alternating sucking them until Meihui's legs started to shake.

Lifting his head, Sanzo moved Meihui so she was sitting on his left thigh, her shoulder against his chest. She wrapped her arm around his neck, and he held her steady with an arm around her tiny waist. He noticed she was pressing her thighs together, and laid his hand on top of one. Sanzo pulled gently, but Meihui didn't budge.

"Spread your legs," Sanzo said quietly.

Pressing her face into his neck, Meihui obeyed. Reaching down, Sanzo cupped her mound in his right hand. The short, curly hairs were coarser than the silky braid on her head, just like his own public hair. He pushed down with his fingers, and felt the warm wetness as they slipped between her swollen folds.

"Ah," Meihui cried out, panting against his neck.

In completely uncharted territory, Sanzo traced his fingers along the silky slickness, found the fluttering hole, but didn't go inside yet. He touched a soft bundle of flesh near the top of her slit, and Meihui cried out again, her body jerking in his arms. Sanzo's penis twitched in response. Using the same amount of pressure he would use on the head of his member, Sanzo rubbed the fleshy part, feeling a small hardness inside, like a pea.

Meihui's hand clutched his knee, the other gripping his shoulder, and she whined softly, thighs flexing in a rhythm Sanzo recognized. His own breath grew ragged as she writhed beneath his hand. He rubbed her faster, and Meihui's movements matched him.

"Ha... ha... ha..." Meihui's breaths came in short gasps.

Suddenly, she pressed hard against him, her body stiffening. Sanzo felt a hot gush of liquid in his hand, and he knew she had reached release. Leaving the fleshy bundle, his slid his middle finger down the slit. He pressed the tip of the finger against the hole, and when Meihui didn't protest, slid his finger inside her.

"Ah!"

Meihui shivered, and Sanzo felt the warm, wet walls tighten around his finger. So tight. How could his penis possibly fit inside? Perhaps he needed to stretch her. Pulling his middle finger nearly all the way out, he added his index finger and pushed back inside. Meihui cried out, but in pleasure, not pain. Sanzo remembered when the less limber disciples had to do hours of stretching exercises for martial arts training, it helped to have a distraction from the burning pull of the muscles. Sanzo reached with his left hand from her waist and squeezed Meihui's breast. Moaning, she arched into the touch, and he twisted his fingers inside her.

She responded very favorably, and he felt more wetness. Sanzo pumped his fingers in and out, rolling her nipple between his thumb and forefinger, and her thighs started flexing rhythmically again. Sanzo was so hard it was edging into pain.

"Meihui," he said softly.

She moaned against his neck. "K-Kouryuu-san."

"I want to be inside you now," Sanzo said, lust making his voice rough.

"Yes," she said.

Sanzo pulled his fingers out and slipped his right arm under Meihui's knees. In one smooth movement, he stood with her and turned to the futon. Gently, he lay her down and pushed aside his things at the foot of the futon, quickly undoing his robe and dropping it on the floor. Sanzo may have been a virgin, but he had seen plenty of farm animals in the fields copulating, so he had a basic understanding of the mechanics.

Hoping she didn't feel the shaking in his hands, Sanzo turned Meihui over onto her stomach. Gripping her hips, he pulled her up and back so she was on her hands and knees. Pushing her knees apart wide enough to kneel between them, Sanzo spread her bottom, and his weeping penis bobbed in anticipation. An unexpected thrill of power swept through him at seeing her most private places so exposed to him. Her small, dusky pucker, then the glistening folds underneath.

Keeping her spread with his left hand, Sanzo gripped his penis with his right, biting back a moan at the contact with his achingly swollen member. Scooting forward, he rubbed the head of his penis along the wet slit. Meihui sighed, and Sanzo's eyes fluttered closed at the wonderful sensation of the slippery flesh, so unbelievably soft. He found her hole, and pushed.

"Nn," Sanzo grunted.

Only the head inside, and it was amazing. He wanted to shove forward and bury all of himself inside that incredible wet heat. Taking a deep breath, Sanzo let it out while counting to three. Then, gripping Meihui's hips firmly, Sanzo slowly pushed his penis all the way in, until his balls were brushing her bottom.

"Gods," he muttered.

Her passage gripped his length like a tight, damp velvet glove. It was sheer ecstasy. He suddenly understood why this act was forbidden. Such incredible pleasure was more than a minor distraction; surely it was one of the most difficult attachments to impermanent things to forsake.

Pulling halfway out, he pushed back in, and Meihui groaned, hips rocking back to meet him. After a few easy pumps, Sanzo began thrusting in and out, his body finding a natural rhythm. It didn't take long for his balls to tighten up, and Sanzo felt the tingling at the base of his penis that signaled the point of no return. One more deep thrust into the depths of promised rapture, then Sanzo pulled out and grasped himself. Three quick pumps, and his penis was pulsing in his hand, shooting glistening lines across Meihui's raised bottom.

Sanzo sat back on his heels, chest heaving. He looked down at his seed, marking another person, and felt a flicker of that odd sense of empowerment from before. He briefly wondered how long Meihui would prostrate herself in that position, body warm and flushed and pliant, waiting for him to enter her again.

Shaking his head, Sanzo leaned over to retrieve his bathrobe from the floor. Yet another reason to promote celibacy among the monks, he thought as he wiped his seed from Meihui's soft skin. More than just the act itself, sex was full of dangerous temptations. He cleaned off his penis and tossed the robe back onto the floor, laying on his back next to Meihui. She immediately went into his arms, resting her head on his chest, and Sanzo felt a pang of guilt for his violating thoughts.

He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and she tangled her slender legs with his. Sanzo thought perhaps he should say something, but he didn't have the words. So, instead, he just held her until they fell asleep.

Sanzo felt something settle over his body, binding his arms. Instantly, he awoke, struggling.

"Shh, Kouryuu-san," a woman's voice said near his ear.

At the sound of his given name, Sanzo calmed immediately; no enemy would call him that. He focused on Meihui's smiling face, realizing she had been covering him with a blanket. She was kneeling by the side of the futon in her work kimono. The light slanting low through the paper shutters was the dark amber of a dying day. It cast half her face in shadow, deepening her almond eyes and turning the streak of white at her temple gold. Sanzo couldn't believe he had thought Meihui plain when he first saw her.

A mark on the side of her neck, like a bruise, caught his attention. Sanzo frowned. He didn't remember seeing it earlier. He started to pull his arm out from under the covers, but Meihui tucked the blanket in snugly.

"Best to stay covered, Kouryuu-san," she said. "The air is becoming chilled." She rose gracefully. "I'm going to bring in your clothes from the drying line."

Meihui started to turn away, then suddenly bent down, kissing him on the forehead.

"I am glad we met, Kouryuu-san."

Before he could respond, Meihui turned and left the room on silent feet, long braid swinging behind her. Sanzo tried to stay awake to await her return, but he felt his lids grow heavy. The tumultuous events of the past week, combined with his first sexual experience, had wiped out all his physical resources. Sanzo soon lost the struggle to keep his eyes open.

The next time Sanzo woke, birds were chirping outside the window, and the room was flooded with the clean, bright light of early morning. He moved his arm sideways, but the space beside him was empty. Sanzo sat up, the blanket sliding down his chest. His sanzo robes were laid out neatly at the foot of the futon, his traveling clothes folded and stacked in the chair. He looked back and forth between them for a moment, then sighed. Foregoing his comfortable, worn traveling garments, he reached for the gleaming white robe at his feet. He had better look every inch the Thirty-First when he arrived at the Keiun temple this morning to take charge. If he hesitated even the slightest, he knew the older monks would try to resist him.

After he dressed, Sanzo sat on the edge of the futon, the rolled sutra in his hands.

"Do you know why sanzos wear their sutras on their shoulders?" Koumyou had asked, looking back at him. "To demonstrate their willingness to bear the burden of their responsibilities."

Slowly, Sanzo unrolled the sutra and, bending his head, slipped it around his neck, settling it over his shoulders. Rising, he gathered the stack of clothes from the chair and went in search of Meihui. Sanzo stepped into the short hallway. The other bedroom doors remained close, and there weren't any shoes set outside. His suspicion that he was currently the only guest at the onsen confirmed, Sanzo felt relief as he stepped into the empty common room. In his formal robes, he tended to be conspicuous, and the last thing he wanted was to be accosted by the faithful or curious.

"Meihui?" he called out.

His voice echoed slightly in the stillness, but there was no answer. Sanzo waited a moment, then crossed the room, retracing the way Meihui had led him before. He walked past the table with her empty laundry basket, then pushed open the back door. The little inner courtyard was empty except for a pair of sparrows on the clothes line. Sanzo stepped back inside, closing the door. He passed through a doorway on the right, and found himself in a small, tidy kitchen. Walking over to the stove, Sanzo held his hand over the surface. Stone cold.

Perhaps Meihui had left early to go to town?

A narrow doorway next to the curtained pantry caught his attention, and Sanzo slipped inside. It was a study, slightly larger than a closet. Against one wall was a low writing table, a cushion, and the basket Meihui had been carrying when he met her in the woods. Seeing paper and ink on the table, Sanzo set down the folded clothes and knelt on the cushion. He pulled a piece of paper toward him and dipped the bamboo pen in the inkwell.

And stared at the blank sheet of rice paper.

Sanzo only knew how to speak bluntly, and felt the need to speak only when it was necessary. He knew from the talk behind his back at the Kinzen temple, this mannerism had made him seem abrupt and arrogant to the other children. The four years of wandering alone had served to make him even more taciturn.

He was not unaware of the irony. He had committed thousands of prayers to memory, spent untold hours writing and chanting. As a sanzo priest, he possessed the ability to speak words of power that would bring sutras to life. Yet, small talk defeated him. Those small pleasantries, the inconsequential banter that even an idiot could spout without effort, completely eluded him.

Sanzo glared at the paper, blankly taunting him. Finally, he pressed the pen to it and wrote: "Thank you. Kouryuu."

Returning the pen to its resting block, Sanzo rose and gathered his folded clothes. He couldn't wait for Meihui to return. The longer he delayed taking the reins at the Keiun temple, the more his position would be weakened. Leaving the study, Sanzo walked briskly through the kitchen and common room to the front door. He didn't see any other staff, but Meihui had said she was widowed, and small onsens such as this one were generally run by families.

Outside, Sanzo paused by the big, split tree to lay a hand on the bark and look up through the branches. Green leaves and pink blossoms swayed against the blue sky, making a soothing shhing sound. Impulsively, he reached up and plucked a flower. Tucking the blossom into his sleeve, he began the trek back to the temple.


Sanzo had a splitting headache. The top of his head felt as if it was being squeezed by a giant clawed hand trying to crack his skull open like a nut. With the thumb and forefinger of his right hand, he squeezed hard between his left finger and thumb, past the webbing into the meat of his hand. Finding the pressure point, he took a deep breath and let it out slowly. During his four years alone, medical treatment was often inaccessible, so he had learned to patch himself up and deal with pain and hunger with meditation, pressure points and the sheer force of his own will. Another deep breath, and he felt the edges of the headache begin to loosen up, the claws retracting from his skull...

"Master Sanzo-sama?" a voice said, way too close.

"Hnn," Sanzo responded.

"We are ready to return to the temple," the voice said. It was familiar; the young monk they had assigned to him. What was his name? Chandaka.

Sanzo cracked his eyes open, and the light sent lancing pain into his brain. Chandaka's respectful face hovered in front of him, behind his shaved head was the bustling crowd of a busy Shang'an market at nearly high noon. Sanzo sat in the shade outside a teahouse while the entourage of monks accepted offerings for the temple and dispersed blessed incensed sticks for prayers. Once the former high priest's funeral rites were completed, the elders at Keiun temple had insisted Sanzo visit the town to assuage any fears the townsfolk had about the stability of the Jewel of the East. This entailed a great deal of visiting, accepting gifts, blessings, prayers, and bowing. Sanzo felt like a prize cow being led around the town, and he was sick of it.

Relieved they were leaving at last, Sanzo levered himself to his feet, then a thought struck him.

"Wait. We didn't visit the onsen at the edge of town," he said.

Chandaka frowned a moment, then the lines smoothed away as he shook his head slightly.

"There's no need, Sanzo-sama," he said.

Chandaka began leading Sanzo back toward the waiting group of monks, orange robes and bald pates bright in the sunlight. Chandaka stopped when he realized Sanzo wasn't following him, and turned with a questioning look.

"I realize it is a modest establishment," Sanzo said. "But that makes the Split Sakura no less deserving than any place we have visited in Chang'an today."

Chandaka held out a palm. "You misunderstood me, Sanzo-sama," he protested. "The Split Sakura is no longer in operation."

"Since when?" Sanzo asked, frowning. Was that why it had been empty when he was there?

Chandaka folded his hands in front of his stomach and composed his face into the sympathetic mask people wore when they were about to recite a sad tale. Sanzo felt himself tense up, the headache returning full force, causing him to squint through the pain.

"Five years ago," Chandaka began, "bandits raided the homes and businesses on the outskirts of town, including the Split Sakura. The onsen was run by a family - a man, his son and his wife. The owner and his son were killed. His wife was... dishonored. She hung herself in a tree outside the onsen. So you see, Sanzo-sama, it is an unclean place, not suitable for an exalted one such as yourself."

Sanzo hadn't realized he had started walking until he heard Chandaka calling out behind him. Somehow, Sanzo had left the teahouse and was crossing the crowded plaza.

"Wait! Sanzo-sama!"

"Return to the temple without me," Sanzo snapped back over his shoulder.

When Sanzo cleared the last line of buildings, his brisk walk turned into a jog. The houses grew farther apart, becoming farms, and the road began climbing upward. Sanzo stopped at the top of the rise, chest heaving, and there it was. As before, the onsen almost looked like another house from this distance. However, even from here, Sanzo could sense something was wrong.

The momentum from jogging down the incline quickly evolved into a full-tilt run. He stumbled to a halt in the main courtyard, nearly tripping over his robes. The large sakura tree, cleft nearly in two by lightning, was no longer laden with blossoms. Sanzo sank to his knees and looked up. The wind did not ruffle through lush leaves, it fluttered the hundreds of pieces of paper tied to the dead limbs. Prayers. Sanzo's gaze dropped to focus on the front door. The noren hung in rags, the steps were broken and choked with weeds. The entire building was decrepit, in a state of obvious disuse and neglect. Sanzo knew what he would find if he went inside. Nothing.

Closing his eyes, Sanzo's hands clenched on his knees. He felt nauseous.

"Ah!" a woman's voice called out behind him. "You caught my prayer!"

Shoving the gun back in his sleeve, Sanzo twisted around. Walking towards him was a slender woman in a work kimono, carrying a basket on her hip. Her long, black braid swayed behind her in time to her brisk step. When she stopped beside him, Sanzo stared up at her, not entirely certain she was real.

"I was on my way to the temple to post prayers and make offerings," she said. "I carry the prayers for the people who can't make the journey themselves."

"Excuse me," Sanzo said. "Can you please tell me where this is?"

The man's smile dropped off his face when he read the paper. He shook his head at Sanzo.

"You don't want to go there, master monk," the man said.

"Are you married?" he asked. There were levels of sin.

Meihui shook her head. "Widowed."

A mark on the side of her neck, like a bruise...

Meihui started to turn away, then suddenly bent down, kissing him on the forehead.

"I am glad we met, Kouryuu-san."

"His wife was... dishonored. She hung herself in a tree outside the onsen... it is an unclean place..."

How could he not have known? A simple woman who moved so soundlessly she could approach him from behind and climb over him out of bed without waking him. This, despite the fact that he could be brought out of a sound sleep by an animal foraging half dozen yards away. Her disappearance whenever he had woken from being with her. And... Sanzo remembered her holding him in the forest, then lying together in bed. Even pressed tightly together, the only heartbeat he had felt had been his own.

Opening his eyes, Sanzo reached out and pressed a palm against the tree trunk. He hadn't wanted to know. Meihui had appeared at the precise moment to save his life, in more ways than one. Her journey had ended before his had even begun, and now it was his duty to help her find her way home.

Settling into a cross-legged sitting position, Sanzo pressed his palms together. Tilting his face toward the sky, he began chanting.

"When we then approach the ends of our lives
And we know that our time has arrived
Our bodies will be beyond suffering
Our hearts will not be confused, and,
Our thoughts will not be in turmoil...
Then, in an instant of thought
One is reborn in the Land of Ultimate Joy..."

Finally, Sanzo had found the right words. Raising his voice, clear and true, he chanted them to Heaven, cleansing this place of the taint of violent and wrongful death, of sorrow and unfulfilled yearning. He chanted until the sun pulled his shadow long behind him, and his throat ached. Then, before his voice could break, he stopped.

Reaching into his sleeve, Sanzo withdrew the blossom he had plucked from the dead tree in front of him several days ago. Just as it should have been, the flower was wilted, petals flattened and creased. As Sanzo watched, the blossom grew fresh again in his hand, petals rounding out and spreading, the faded color brightening to deep pink. Holding it in the palm of his hand like the most fragile thing that might break at the tiniest touch, Sanzo lowered it to the ground and lay it in the grass next to the tree. A small offering; much less than she deserved.

Slowly, careful of limbs that had been in one position too long, Sanzo stood. He touched the tree one last time, paper prayers whispering above him.

"Good-bye, Meihui," he said softly.

As Sanzo turned away, following his shadow back to the temple, a gentle breeze stirred his hair, and he thought he smelled plum blossom.


GLOSSARY:

Committing the five heinous crimes ("Kings vow"):

The five heinous karmas (mtshams-med-Lnga) are killing one's father, killing one's mother, killing a Foe Destroyer (Arhat - a liberated being), wounding a Buddha and creating a schism in the Sangha. Doing any of these very heavy negative actions will break this root vow.

Pure Land Sutra:

With Single-mindedness, we commit our lives
To the Pure Realm of Ultimate Joy, and
Amitabha Buddha,
Vowing that by means of the Pure Illumination that shines on us
And His Compassionate Vows, which include us,
That we now correctly reflect on
And invoke this Tathagata's Name
It is because of this Path of Bodhi-Wisdom
That we pray to be reborn in this Pure Land.
In Ancient Times this Buddha took Fundamental Vows, saying,
If there exist living beings
Who desire Rebirth in my land,
and are of determined mind and joyful faith,
Let them make Ten Reflections on me, and,
If they are not so reborn,
I will not take up my own Complete Enlightenment.
It is due to the reflecting on this Buddha's Causes
We can obtain and enter this Tathagata's
Great Oath Ocean Sea
And receive this Buddha's Compassionate Power
Which completely cuts off our assembled sins
And strengthens and lengthens our Good Roots
When we then approach the ends of our lives
And we know that our time has arrived
Our bodies will be beyond suffering
Our hearts will not be confused, and,
Our Thoughts will not be ''topsy-turvy"
Thus, we will enter into the Profound Samadhi
The Buddha and the Saintly Assembly
Will hold out their hands to us forming a Precious Platform
And they will come to greet us.
Then, in an instant of thought
One is reborn in the Land of Ultimate Joy
Where one's Lotus Blossom will open at the sight of a Buddha.
And one can then hear the Buddha's Vehicle
And from this begin a Buddha's Enlightenment.
The Great Salvation of All Living Beings
Is His Vast Vow of Bodhi-Wisdom!