No Water, No Moon

As described by the Zen Koan,

When the nun Chiyono studied Zen under Bukko of Engaku she was unable to attain the fruits of meditation for a long time.

At last one moonlit night she was carrying water in an old pail bound with bamboo. The bamboo broke and the bottom fell out of the pail, and at that moment Chiyono was set free!

In commemoration, she wrote a poem:

In this way and that I tried to save the old pail

Since the bamboo strip was weakening and about

to break

Until at last the bottom fell out.

No more water in the pail!

No more moon in the water!

The vow, “dharmas are numberless, I vow to perceive them” comes to mind. At any rate, happy sitting!


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