圖 / 教育院編繹室文 / 文獻中心
Our Heart is like the Bright Moon
Looking at the bright moon at night always evokes deep feelings in us – its soft and quiet inner quality together with its bright, pure and shining light. The fact that we try to describe the moon in so many ways tells us about the special feelings it brings up in us. The moon is often taken to symbolize compassion and motherly love. Sometimes when we walk alone at the night, the moon is our best companion, helping us to pass a lonesome night which is difficult to bear.
Let your heart be like the moon – quiet and soft, luminous and pure. Like the shining moon let it be full of motherly love, compassion, altruistic joy and detachment. Let your whole practice be like the moon in its constant transformation – dark and bright, waxing and waning – guiding you towards an ever more beautiful life. Practicing Buddhism and deepening our understanding is to enlighten our own heart and mind, but at the same time, to enlighten others as well, just like the moon. What we call “clear illumination” is wisdom. Wisdom clearly illuminates everything with purity and transparency.
During the day, the warm rays of the sun shine on everything, and at night, the cool freshness of the moon generates sweet dew which saturates and nourishes all life on Earth. In the same way, let your heart of compassion saturate and nourish all living beings like sweet dew; let it bring forth wisdom and blessings. If you can motivate the people around you to learn from Buddhism, to walk towards the bright path of wisdom, towards the path of dedicating their lives to others, of using their whole lives to enlighten others, then you shine as brightly as the moon, just as full of the same love, compassion, altruistic joy and detachment.
The true nature of our heart and mind is like the moon – it is just as bright, pure and beautiful. It is reflected everywhere, illuminates everything - which is just as bright and shining. There is no place upon which the light of our true nature does not shed its light; there is no place where it does not appear. Shedding light is called “contemplation”. There is no such thing as practice without contemplation, and without practice there is no way for us to attain liberation.
In our daily lives, let us contemplate the fact that all phenomena are short-lived and impermanent; that they are not unchanging and forever. If your heart is at home with impermanence, your life will not be troubled by so much gain and loss. At peace with impermanence, your heart will shine like the moon, without dwelling on anything. Not dwelling on anything means to freely give without holding on to anything. It is just like with the moon, which freely sheds its light on all without dwelling on anything in particular, equally illuminating everything with its brightness.
Let the light of your heart shine just like that. There is in reality nothing worth getting attached to or rejecting. It is only because of our discriminating consciousness that we start developing likes and dislikes, distinguishing between good and bad, yes and no, creating a lot of troubles in our lives. If our heart becomes like the moon, we will be able to let our enlightened nature shed light on everything. So when you look at the moon, remember that its light is reflected in the bright moon of your own enlightened nature.
Dharma Master Hsin Tao
(Translated by Maria Reis Habito)