Everything Points at the Moon

“All words and speech, mountains, riv­ers, and the great earth, each come back to oneself.”

– Pai Chang

Here is a secret: there is a reality beyond words and concepts.

Well, reality is just another word, but there is something completely unthinkable out there.

This is not really debatable. A rock doesn’t exist because you think it is a rock. Similarly, you don’t exist because you think you do. Descartes was wrong, because he only worked within language.

Here is another secret: this reality – suchness might be a better choice of syllables – is all around us, all the time. It is everything: the wind in the trees, the hum of an engine, the laughter of your lover. It is also nothing, because, well, ‘thing’ is just another word, and this is beyond words.

A third hidden truth: this suchness is accessible to everyone, all the time, and wonderful to behold. Chemically speaking, it corresponds to a certain brain state, one of bliss and maximal awareness. It is a state almost everyone has experienced, when the mind goes blank gazing at an awesome vista or staring at a moving work of art.

However, it is obvious that not everyone is there all the time. People are on their phones, at their jobs, in their heads, with no time for suchness. This is a shame, because a state of suchness is a most excellent state to be in.

So, how to get there?

It’s really not too complicated; just view everything you see as helping you reach this suchness.

Suchness is the moon, and everything you see is a finger pointing at it.

It’s a little like there is an extra layer of meaning on top of all phenomena in your life, and all you have to do is become aware of it. It’s as simple as that.

For example, an open door can be more than just a portal to another room. It can be a portal to an open mind. An empty cup is not simply lacking a beverage; it is a vessel ready to be filled with the perfection of the moment.

One key point: you are not looking for an intellectual conclusion. You are looking to obliterate all intellectual conclusions. At first, you may need to conceptual thoughts about this hidden layer of meaning, but eventually you must push beyond them, into the realm of pure sensation and intuition. You will have to merely look, and you will know.

If you find yourself stuck in words and concepts, maybe try just looking around and asking yourself ‘what is this?‘ It is important to understand the answer is beyond words and concepts – this cannot be stated enough.

Do you see, right now, as you read this?

If you understand the meaning of this, you are no different from the Buddhas and the thousand sages. If not, you may keep staring at everything my fingers have typed here – but do not confuse it for the moon.