In Zen we hear a parable: do not mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon. Meaning, do not mistake the teachings that lead to awakening, for awakening itself. At some point your eyes must leave their contact with the finger, and move across the void towards the moon. To see the luminous sphere, you must leave the realm of concepts and shift into another space. As such, this work is a bridge, a pointer to help you cross to the other side and once across, leave the bridge and explore the moonlit land that awaits you. Sometimes the finger points and you look, only you still do not experience the lunar event – are you looking for it with an active mind? Is it a new moon, hiding itself?
The first time I caught a glimpse of that elusive moon I was crossing London Fields at sunrise, after a lively and not-exactly-sober night at a house party. This was not my most ‘spiritual’ state, and I would not have planned it this way, but it was the first time I experienced delicious Being without thought. Leaving the comforting warmth of that party with all its noise and jubilation, I stepped outside where it was cool and quiet. There was a mist hugging the earth in perfect stillness. The sudden shift of atmosphere took my mind along with it. I became totally present for the first time, aware of the world all around me; the world outside my head. I heard each leaf as a roaring ocean in the many Plane Trees that line that park. This was a mini-awakening. I was aware of being aware. For all appearances, I had accidentally slipped into a parallel dimension. Continue reading