December 31, 2015, 6:57 pm ~ by Shodo Harada in news
Reaching for the moon in the water
It can never be grasped
This is a parable from the Buddhist sutras. There was a lake in the deep mountains completely filled with water. A monkey saw the moon in the water and said: Oh, this is terrible, the moon has fallen into the water. We need to get the moon out of the water and put it back into the sky or else it will get dark at night. The monkeys gathered, and the boss monkey held onto a branch hanging over the lake. The held onto each other´s hands until the just about reached the surface of the water, when from the weight of the many monkeys the branch they were holding on, broke, and all monkeys fell into the water and died.
Reaching for the moon in the water, it is only a reflection of the moon in the sky. The moon is likened to our true mind. All things in the world are just reflections in our mind, if we can realize this, we do not get pulled along by extreme desires and anger, and we can have a settled state of mind. A huge and quiet state of mind is the base for a peaceful society. As it is said:
“This very place is the place of lotuses and this very body is the body of the Buddha.”