《Guru’s Talks》(238冊《對著月亮說話》Intimate Talk with the Moon)
Admiring the Beautiful Clouds
by Sheng-yen Lu
When we look at the elegant moon, we also see clouds.
The moon is behind the clouds.
The moon is between the clouds.
The moon is at the edge of the clouds.
The moon is aligned with the clouds.
It is also an enjoyment to watch the colorful clouds of white, black, orange, red, & gray….
The shapes of the clouds are not fixed. The various shapes can be both strange and familiar such as dragons, phoenixes, palm prints, footprints, and change from moment to moment.
It can sometimes change into your face. I can visualize your eyebrows, eyes, nose, lips, etc….
I remember a poem like this:
With a colorful display of grandeur, the phoenix spreads its wings.
Freely spreading beauty, it travels through heaven.
A caravan’s return, signifies a glorious journey.
Birds killed for their plumage, as orchids plucked for their fragrance.
You know, this poem originally was not about the clouds but I took it to be about the clouds.
Zhi Wei’s poem:
I am formless and empty, but born from affinities of desirable conditions.
When desirables pacify, it is time to return to the origin,
The emptiness of space.
Now, this is “clouds”!
True self is empty without form.
Do others and I really exist?
So desires need not be hindered.
Promptly board the Prajna boat.
Now, this is “Zen”!
Same as the age old thought:
Where did you come from?
Where are your going?
What are you doing in this world?
“What are the reasons for our encounter?
There is a song titled “Chance.” The verse goes like this:
I am a cloud in the sky. By chance, we met.
From then on—
You are my only one!
You are my everything!
We are no longer lonely clouds. You include me and I include you thus connected as one.
I spend my whole life in pursuing freedom. Pursuing no limitations and no hindrances. Pursuing peace and equanimity. Pursuing the absolute wisdom and clarity.
I hope for, hope for—
“Love,” “purity,” “gentleness,” “clarity.”
Let me present you a poem:
In the coolness of the autumn sky
Sat a bright moon
Around it, the clouds continuously float by.
There is a perpetual feeling
Unrelenting that cannot lie dormant
What is the heart’s keepsake?
Like a raft
In the vastness without boundary
Learned from the poet a word, “melancholy.”