The full moon of zen
I was feeling big, and rather strong
in my car and driving home.
When I saw the full moon
peeking through the tall timbered pines
above the road that twist and whined.
It made me feel small and rather meek
a spec on this earth, where I squeak
I bowed to the moon’s ancient smile
like a zen master, it taught me
I am but at the mercy of time.
The blissful state reveals itself as a shining light, as a luminescence permeating the still field of the mind. There is a sense of light from an undefined “above,” silence, a fullness of vitality, and deep rest.
In sacred poetry, particularly in Zen poetry, this is often expressed as the full moon in the night sky.
The moon is the individual consciousness that shines only by reflecting the constant light of the sun, which is unbounded awareness. Individual consciousness, like the moon, waxes and wanes, sometimes bright and clear, sometimes dark.
When the moon, consciousness, is full, it is round, whole, complete, perfectly reflecting the light of divine awareness. The full moon is enlightenment. It is Buddha-mind. It is the soft light that illumines the land below when all is at rest.
In yogic poetry, the crescent moon is often associated with the brow chakra or opened “third eye” of spiritual vision. This is why some poetry and Hindu iconography depict gods and saints with a moon on the forehead.
Some Taoist and Buddhist poetry speaks enigmatically of the sun shining within the moon. These poems are referring to the state of full enlightenment when pure awareness (the sun) shines unhindered through the enlightened individual consciousness (the moon).
The full moon reminds us of the ultimate in awareness and spiritual presence. The new moon, in its darkness, can represent the “death” of complete egolessness or encountering the unknowable nature of the Mystery…
Moon (a list of poems with the moon theme)
There is an old zen saying; The finger pointing at the moon, is not the moon.
may your smile be as bright as a full moon