memory – Moon Gazing

August 31st was a Blue Moon because it’s the 2nd full moon in the same month. Sensei appreciated the poetry of the Full Moon symbolizing enlightenment as it does in Buddhism. Sometimes when we traveled, we’d meditate outside at night “moon-gazing”. Once in 1998, I drove him and two other students (Chintana and Judy) to some undeveloped land they owned in the wilderness of Sequoia National Forest (between Mojave and Lake Isabella). It was a 4 hour drive from the temple, half on many miles of challenging dirt roads past Jawbone Canyon, so I rented a nice 4WD. I was enjoying driving 4WD too much and he simply said, “the passengers’ comfort is the driver’s responsibility” and I’ve been a slower, safer driver ever since (thank you, Sensei). We camped in tents where we found a level spot and meditated outside for maybe an hour; beautiful moonlight filtering through the branches to the forest floor. The next day we came across this beautiful shady pool.

At the end of his autobiographical epic, When It Stops Sinking, he wrote the following where the main character (himself) was perfectly content under the full moon in the wilderness like he was for years in Hokkaido.

(end of last chapter)
Now the moon reached the zenith of the sky
Illumining by itself, dominating the space
Without any hindrances or comparison
It was brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant

There was no more shadow of the figures
The entire space was bright with golden blue
As immaculate as joyous children
As serene as blooming evening primroses

The end

(end of epilogue)
The Bhikkhu sat on the top of the hill
As long as he wanted to remain there
He came back to the lone house
He knew that it was the time to go back to his teacher

The Bhikkhu dropped in his home
After five years’ non-communication
He met his parents and Diamond and his wife
He treated his parents and Diamond

Mr. Adamant Grand Augustus was surprised;
The Bhikkhu’s entire body was illumining
He was perfectly peaceful and contented;
His treatment was better than any professional therapists’ were

The Bhikkhu went back
To the home monastery
After five years
He stood at the entrance as a newcomer

The Master, Bodhisattva Enzui Jikai
Just smiled broadly as usual without any utterance
The Bhikkhu was happy to come back home
The only home in this samsara

There were innumerable full moons in the world

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *