Book Of Serenity, Case 36: Master Ma Is Unwell
The Case: Master Ma was unwell. The monastery superintendent asked, “Master, how is your venerable state these days?”
The Great Teacher said, “Sun face buddha, Moon face buddha”
Commentary: “unwell” is a euphemism. Master Ma (Baso) was mortally ill, and died the following day.
Sun Face Buddha was said to have a lifespan of 1800 years. Moon Face Buddha lived only one day and one night. Baso is talking about two aspects of experience, once our egoic self concern has dropped away.
The Universe can only express itself through each thing. If there were no things, there would be no light.
Sometimes, we are very aware that we are expressing something universal through this fragile, transient body. The Moon illuminates itself, and everything it casts its light on becomes part of it.
Other times, we forget this body, and are simply part of this illuminated world.
The light can only shine through each thing, and each thing will break
The light will not break
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