Enter The Dragon:On a dark Norfolk Street Kitabu Roshi is attacked by a “cold-blooded killer” and his men. Now that was a Zen moment.

October 9, 2011 by  

There is an old saying, "No good deed goes unpunished." In the month of May, I overheard two men threatening the well-being of a Christian missionary. Having heard the men cussing loudly in a Virginia Beach McDonald's, the man, who was a senior citizen approached them and began talking to them about Jesus Christ.

One of the men responded, "I don't know about Jesus Christ but I do know that you are making my food get cold. I hate for my food to get cold." He ordered the missionary to get 500 feet away from him immediately. The missionary kept talking, seemingly oblivious to the tone of the angry speaker. His voice became more threatening and he spoke slowly for emphasis. I was sitting nearby so I rose from my seat and approached the table.

"What do you want?" The belligerent man demanded."

I am standing with him," I said, pointing to the missionary.

My Spiritual Teacher, Sadguru Sant Keshavadas underscored that our path is anchored in Cosmic Love and Cosmic Peace. We do not intend to leave a single soul out of that focus.

Both of you get 500 feet away from my table," he said. At that moment, his associate who had been quiet for the most part, suddenly bolted  from his seat and lunged at me. I instantly blocked his progress with a gentle touch to his chest but my chi knocked him back into the booth.

"Do not jump at me like that," I said.

In an attempt to defuse the situation, I spoke with the men then turned to walk away but they followed me to my seat. They did not care that the restaurant was  filled with parents, children and senior citizens. They mouthed a stream of profanities as they came closer to where I was sitting . Seeing that they were not going to stop I stood up and assumed a defensive stance.

Do not come one step closer, I said.

If there is anything I dread, it is being pulled into the realm of violence. Despite my ability, I do  not want to generate negativity.

The intense scene caught the attention of the store manager and all of the customers. The manager ordered the men to leave or face the police. They gathered their things and walked into the night. - Peace was restored.

The missionary was safe but he did not acknowledge the help he received.  I sensed that even though the men were gone the danger was not over. I returned to my cup of coffee.

I was disturbed on several levels by the intensity of the scene. For many years adults and children had been safe in the establishment. McDonald's is a childhood icon.

One week later, I visited a student on Holt in Tidewater Park, a Federal Housing project. It was nearly 10 PM when I left the building and walked to my car. My student, a grandmother who lived with her adult children accompanied me to the vehicle. Three men walked toward us. One of them turned when he got near and pointed, "That's that dude from the McDonald's. It was the man who had been knocked back into the booth.

"What' re you going to do now? You're in the hood. There is no one to back you up here. We're going to teach you a lesson. We're going to beat you, and then take your money and credit cards."

The third man was not a part of the original conflict but he had no problem joining in.

They tried all manner of verbal of intimidation without success. At one point, the tan man who seemed to be the leader said, You have a choice. Get dead tonight or let us beat you and take your money.” With equal menace, the man identified as his cousin, instructed the others, "Hold him here while I go get my gun." So saying, he immediately left.

Very calmly I said, I”ve been dead before but you will never get my credit cards or money.” Unknown to them, I had $800 cash in my pocket.

At that point, I sensed that it was not an idle threat. Wisdom dictated that I not wait to find out. I went over to my car and pulled open the door but the tan man kicked the door shut with great force. The two men left took Karate stances as I turned to face them. A fist was flying toward my head and a kick caught my thigh.

As I blocked the high blow I knew this was a battle like nothing I had fought since I was attacked by the Dekalb Chaplains in Sixties New York.

These men had no intention of letting me go. I could feel it. We fought with a fury of fist and kicks. Normally, I would not respond that way. I preferred smooth throws and soft blows but the circumstance created a whole new dynamics and I followed it.

Anyone who mistakes our compassion for weakness is very misinformed. we will always chose peace first but given no choice...

The mugger who was  going for his gun, heard the battle sounds and came running back to participate in the attack. I was now fully fully engaged in an all out street fight with three men, each throwing  fierce kicks and blows. I fought quietly. I saw my student standing on the sidewalk, watching. I told her to call the police.

The moment she pulled out her phone the men turned their attention to her and demanded that she not make the call. She obeyed them.For the first time since the battle began I moved away from my car so that I could protect her.

I had kept my back close to the vehicle because a dear friend of mine, a renown Martial artist, had died from a wound received in a home invasion only a month before the attack on me. There were multible attackers but one caught him from behind with a metal pipe.

Now I was out in the open but I had something else going for me. My ability amplifies when I am protecting someone else. It was my original prayer.

It was clear that there was no help coming. The police did not get the message, not a single soul stirred in the neighborhood. My student had grown children only a few feet away but no one was aware of the drama being played outside of the door.

I teach my students, mo chi chu,go straight ahead and don't look back. I knew that if I faltered, or fell these men would kill me. There was no life in their eyes, no sense of compassion. They knew I was a minister but it meant nothing to them.

This time I had to come for real. I focused. I had no past now, no future … only this.

It is right there that a mystery... a miracle occurred. The fighting was relentless as the three cussing men threw fists and feet in a furious attempt to bring me down. I moved from one to the other blocking and striking in a silent dance. I would say later that I saw no way out of the situation short of a tragic ending.

People could see what was  happening from their windows but no one intervened. All at once, with no police or any help in sight the men suddenly turned and ran.  One of them, a tattooed, light-skinned man stooped to the earth, picked up a handful of dirt, and threw it at me before fleeing with the others.

One of the assailants had said, "This is how we make our money," referring to attacking people on the street. I felt that they meant older people. I was compelled to make a police report so that the authorities would be alerted to the modus operandi of those particular criminals. When the police officer asked her why she did not go into the house for safety, my student said, "I felt safe. They did not know who they were facing but I did." Such confidence in the teacher is humbling.

I cannot say that the perpentrators were the same men but not long after the incident with me a senior citizen was beaten into critical condition and robbed in the bathroom of a Hardee's Restaurant.

For days after my night battle in the Inner-City my body felt bombarded with strange, negative energy. I told my students I had been in a spiritual war, that what had come at me felt satanic in nature. I had to intensify my prayer and meditation to get pass it. It was not long before I learned why I felt that way.

In newspapers and on television was a picture of a man wanted for “cold blooded murder.” He had allegedly killed a man in broad daylight in an attempt to rob him. He fired multiple shots without regard for residents or children. The bloody crime had taken place in Tidewater Park, on Holt Street. The picture was a picture of the man who said, “hold him while I go get my gun.”

Psalm 144:1 Blessed be The Lord my strength who teacheth by fingers to fight and my hands to make war.

I have never harbored the desire to take a life but I have never desired to be a mere witness to violence of any kind. A Spiritual warrior must be strong enough to stand against evil. As my Spiritual teacher, Sadguru Sant Keshavadas often said, “Leave the outcome to The Lord. On that dark street I did all I could but I am certain of this, The Lord did the rest. Thank you Lord.

The following video may be a clue to what made the muggers run away in fear.


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