They were Midwesterners with Christian upbringing, involved in Buddhism and eastern culture at the tail end of the Beat generation. They had found their guru in San Francisco and were formally ordained as Buddhist monks.
From 1977 to 1979 Heng Sure and Heng Chao undertook the ancient ascetic practice of bowing once every three steps on a two and a half year pilgrimage up the coast of California. They took with them only their faith and a wish for world peace as the inched their way along at about a mile and a half a day. Who gave them food? Where did they sleep? How did they diffuse the anger of drunks and overcome the hostility of law enforcement? What lessons did they learn in compassion and humility? And most important, what can we learn from their journey?
Now 35th years after of the completion of their pilgrimage, the collection of letters they wrote during this time to their teacher Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua, is republished as Highway Dharma Letters, a fascinating glimpse at their external journey up the coast and their internal journey towards transformation.