Moon, Eclipse
CITATION from COMMENTARY on DOGEN ZENJI'S
TSUKI (都機) The Moon of Our True Nature
Roar of the Tigress, Vol. II: Zen for Spiritual Adults
by Abbess Houn Jiyu-Kennett, Roshi
Photo: Akira Fujii, NASA / JPL-CalTech
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[In the Tsuki, Dogen Zenji says:] 
  The full perfecting of our Moon is not only 'three, and three before that,' and is not only 'three, and three after that,' and our fully perfected Moon is not only 'three, and three before that' and is not only "three and three after that.'
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[Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett comments:] 
  That is a little hard to understand. [Dogen] is working on several levels at once here. He is saying that both the process of perfecting our understanding of the Unborn Buddha Nature and Its full manifestation are unbounded and beyond count. At the same time, using the metaphor of the phases of the moon, he is saying that, whether you have a quarter of a moon showing or half a moon, that does not mean that you have only half or a quarter of a Buddha Nature. Buddha Nature is always full and perfected; it is just that sometimes only a quarter or a half is showing.
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 [Dogen continues:] 
 This is why Shakyamuni said,
  "The true Dharma body of the Buddha
Is unbounded like empty space.
It reveals Its form in accordance with an object,
Like the moon reflected in the water."
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[Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett comments:] 
 Now, the word, "koku," which has been translated here as "empty space," also has the meaning of non-substantial liberated essence. Therefore this poem also comes out as, "The true Dharma Body of the Buddha is non-substantial liberated essence and is as the moon reflected in the water." If you listen to that sentence, you can almost hear the brightness in your own spirit.
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(Zen Master) DOGEN ZENJI'S (道元禅師)
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Photo Credit (Top): Night sky, Akira Fujii Lunar Eclipse,
Galaxy Evolution Explorer Team for NASA / JPL-CalTech