Enlightenment is like the moon reflected in the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the
water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an
inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even
in one drop of water. Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the
water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in
the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short
its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moon-
light in the sky.
When dharma does not fill your whole body and mind, you think it is already sufficient. When
dharma fills your body and mind, you understand that something is missing. For example, when
you sail out in a boat to the middle of an ocean where no land is in sight, and view the four
directions, the ocean looks square; its features are infinite in variety. It is like a palace. It is like
a jewel. Though there are many features in the dusty world and the world beyond conditions, you
see and understand only what your eye of practice can reach. In order to learn the nature of the
myriad things, you must know that although they may look round or square, the other features of
oceans and mountains are infinite in variety; whole worlds are there. It is so not only around you,
but also directly beneath your feet, or in a drop of water.
A fish swims in the ocean, and no matter how far it swims there is no end to the water. A bird flies
in the sky, and no matter how far it flies there is no end to the air. However, the fish and the bird have
left their elements. When their activity is large their field is large. When their need is small their
field is small. Thus, each of them totally covers its full range, and each of them totally experiences
its realm. If the bird leaves the air it will die at once. If the fish leaves the water it will die at once.
Know that water is life and air is life. The bird is life and the fish is life. Life must be the bird and life
must be the fish. It is possible to illustrate this with more analogies. Practice, enlightenment, and
people are like this.
Now if a bird or a fish tries to reach the end of its element before moving in it, this bird or this fish will
not find its way or its place. When you find your place where you are, practice occurs, actualizing the
fundamental point. When you find your way at this moment, practice occurs, actualizing the fundamental
point; for the place, the way, is neither large nor small, neither yours nor others'. The place, the way, has
not carried over from the past, and it is not merely arising now. Accordingly, in the practice-enlightenment
of the buddha way, meeting one thing is mastering it - doing one practice is practicing completely.
Here is the place; here the way unfolds. The boundary of realization is not distinct, for the realization
comes forth simultaneously with the mastery of buddha-dharma. Do not suppose that what you realize
becomes your knowledge and is grasped by your consciousness. Although actualized immediately, the
inconceivable may not be apparent. Its appearance is beyond your knowledge.
Zen Master Baoche of Mount Mayu was fanning himself. A monk approached and said, "Master, the
nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. Why, then, do you fan yourself?"
"Although you understand that the nature of wind is permanent," Baoche replied, "you do not understand
the meaning of its reaching everywhere." "What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?" asked the
monk again. The master just kept fanning himself. The monk bowed deeply. The actualization of the
of the buddha-dharma, the vital path of its correct transmission, is like this. If you say that you do not need
to fan yourself because the nature of wind is permanent and you can have wind without fanning, you will
understand neither permanence nor the nature of wind. The nature of wind is permanent; because of that,
the wind of the buddha's house brings forth gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river.