Posted inArt and Poems, Other Teachings

Moon and Sky in a Dewdrop, from Gengokoan

August 1, 2016

4156393868_ddb0379391_zThe attainment of enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, and the surface of the water is not broken.

For all the breadth and vastness of its light, the moon comes to rest in a small patch of water. The whole moon and the sky in its entirety come to rest in a single dewdrop on a grass tip–a mere pin point of water.

Enlightenment does not destroy man anymore than the moon makes a hole on the surface of the water.

Man does not obstruct enlightenment any more than the drop of dew obstructs the moon or the heavens.  The depth of the one will be the measure of the other’s height.

As for the time–the quickness or slowness–of enlightenment’s coming, you must carefully scrutinize the quantity of the water, survey the extent of the moon and the sky.

From The Heart of Dogen’s Shobogenzo, Suny Press, 2002
Norman Waddell and Masao Abe, translators

Image: Crochet, by Jenny Downing, CC BY 2.0, from

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