Intimate Talk with the Moon- The Roaming Water of the Moon River


《Guru’s Talks》(238冊《對著月亮說話》Intimate Talk with the Moon)

The Roaming Water of the Moon River

by Sheng-yen Lu


  I have read the poem collection of Han Shanzi. Here are two of them:

   My heart is like an autumn moon,

   Cool and clear like the green lake.

   There is no comparison,

   How can I explain?


   Green ravine gushing with clear water,

   The moon of Han Shan so elegantly white.

   Without words, heavenly beings already know,

   That observing the space can be exceedingly peaceful.

  From Han Shanzi’s poem, we can see Han Shanzi liked the moon.  He often used the moon as a symbol.

  These two poems exemplified “the heart as the autumn moon,” depicting Han Shanzi’s heart as “the snow white elegance of the moon.”

  People who study Buddhism know:

  Han Shanzi is the emanation body of Manjushri Bodhisattva.

  Shi Dezi is the emanation body of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva.

  We know because the official Yin Danqiu bumped into Zen Master Feng Gan of Tiantai Mountain and happened to ask him “Are there any good masters at Tiantai Mountain?”

  Feng Gan answered:

  “Tiantai Mountain has Han Shan and Shi De, Manjushri Bodhisattva and Samantabhadra Bodhisattva respectively, at Guoqing Temple.”

  After three days into his duty, official Yin visited the Guoqing Temple and paid homage to Han Shan and Shi De.

  The two laughed and said:

  “Feng Gan is loquacious. If you do not recognize Amitabha Buddha, then why pay homage to us?”

  After reading the two poems and their allusions, I thought of our Moon River, the place where we had been many lifetimes ago.

  Moon River has endless brilliance.

  Moon River plays gentle heavenly music.

  Moon River clarifies the dharma body.

  Moon River flows ambrosia.

  We fed on ambrosia.

  We donned heavenly clothing.

  We lived in palaces.

  We were playful.


  By transmuting the polluted four elements (earth, water, fire, and wind) in our physical bodies, we can return to our home at the Moon River, a scenic site by the River of Heaven.

  The human world is actually chaotic with entanglements. We often feel lost at sea or polluted like dark clouds.

  We cultivate “trekcho,” a contemplation method to uproot the defilements of the four elements.

  When the four elements turn from coarse to subtle, and transmute from subtle to primordial purity, we will be liberated and achieve accomplishment.

  Through the practice of “togal” light accumulates within one’s body.  As this light accumulates it gradually transforms one’s physical body into a “rainbow body.” Once this transformation into a “rainbow body” is complete, one attains the supreme state of Perfect Enlightenment.

  You are my cultivation partner. So, I must tell you about this.

  We want to return to where we came from, Moon River, a scenic site by the River of Heaven, our homeland.

  A poem for you:

  Let us not linger in the human realm

  Human games

  Are so boring

  We want to gaze at the landmark

  And not waste valuable time

  I wish to erase with you all negative karma

  Purify and melt the four elements

  And let the inner fire kindle

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