Tonight after arriving home and exiting my car I looked up. The night sky was clear and glistened with stars, a quarter moon and at least one aircraft moving slowly with blinky lights from south to north. Tonight is one of those nights that invites us to be still and look not just at the lights but at the space between them. Without those dark spots there would be no contrast for the lovely stars. Even today as I lamented an imagined transgression I failed to be grateful for the dark spots in my life. Without the dark there is no light. Without the dark there is no moon. I’m thankful then that there is this moon that also invites me to a prayerful moment of quiet and in that quiet there is a moment of gratitude for this starlit night in the month of June 2011.
Tonight I am reminded of a Zen story from antiquity and this is but one version of that story.
“The truth and the words are unrelated. The truth can be compared the to the moon. And words can be compared to a finger. I can use my finger to point out the moon, but my finger is not the moon, and you don’t need my finger to see the moon, do you?”
Language is merely a tool for pointing out the truth, a means to help us attain enlightenment. To mistake words for the truth is almost as ridiculous as mistaking a finger for the moon!”