There are a few “two moons” stories in Zen – this is one of them, a very short one! (These stories are meant to illustrate the co-existence/no separation of Zen, or just taking care of life day by day, moment to moment …. )
Zen Master Ungan was hard at work, sweeping the temple yard. Zen master Dogo came to him and said; “You’re working hard.”
“There’s a name for people who don’t work hard,” said Ungan.
“If so,” said Dogo, “there are two moons.”
“Two moons” refers to our dualistic notions of how we understand people and the world. If we think like that, there are two types of people – those who work hard and those who don’t.
But sweeping the temple yard doesn’t take place in that kind of thinking space. All is still in Reality – there is no movement.
So Ungan sweeps in movement that is no movement.
If you stand in a temple yard where there is no movement anyway, you are in the wisdom mind of knowing how the world goes from moment to moment. Then your sweeping is only manifesting wisdom.
Well, happy new year – or … no year …. If you like Zen Stories and would like the versions for kids, you can get books and comics at: http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/
Susan Ni Rahilly is founder of http://www.suzenyoga.com: spirituality, understanding, zen, energy and nutrition thro dedication to Yoga practice (or not, depending how much movement is in the moment!)