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The Center is Empty, the Moon Full

I was fortunate this morning to catch a glimpse of the Super Flower Blood Moon this year; she shone well, but I didn't get to see the eclipse. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Behold the glow of the moon

Behold the glow of the moon

illumine the world's four quarters

perfect light in perfect space

a radiance that purifies

people say it waxes and wanes

but I don't see it fade

just like a magic pearl

it shines both night and day

it shines both night and day

The rays shining from this perfect Mani-jewel

The rays shining from this perfect Mani-jewel

by Hsuan Chueh of Yung Chia / Yoka Genkaku

The rays shining from this perfect Mani-jewel

Have the form of no form at all.

Clarify the five eyes and develop the five powers;

This is not intellectual work, -- just realize, just know.

It is not difficult to see images in a mirror,

But who can take hold of the moon in the water?

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, by Wu Men Hui-k'ai

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,

a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.

If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things,

this is the best season of your life.

Recently, I was working out the wording of a lecture for Qigong beginners, touching on the foundations. The subject was “Dao”, the word chosen by Laozi because he didn’t know what else to call it. Most often translated as the way, it points to a path and at the same time, an active progress, a motion. An impression emerged for me that made Dao seem more vivid and I’d like to share it, for what it is worth, since no one can say what it is. In my mind’s eye, I saw that we are each at a kind of center point amid a sphere of swarming, ever moving, living universe. It surrounds us externally, while at the same time, living within each of us is also a swarming, moving, and living universe, contained internally. Inside and outside seem distinguishable because of a physical barrier of skin and an internal barrier created by the inner noisiness of our own thoughts and emotional patterns. Both are illusions. A major part of the project called doing Qigong is to get these two universes to meet up and blend; to sync. This is a task of finding that which has no location but is everywhere- “the Dao”, or “the Real”, or “that what just Is”- erasing the lines and, paradoxically, falling into line. The reading I did for the Yijing project seems to coincide, should you want to read further.


Sunday's Yijing reading for May 23rd through May 29th.

61. Zhong fu (Inner Truth or Innermost Sincerity) - no changing lines

Huang translates zhong fu as: Innermost Sincerity. Zhong means “center” or “hit the mark” and Fu has multiple meanings- sincerity, confidence, honesty, reliability, and trustworthiness. This brings good fortune. Inner truth is a quality of the heart/mind; it’s the light of who we really are and its clarity, as well as our ability to be truly loving, warm, and real.

The nuclear trigrams make: 27 Yi- Nourishing: “When things are accumulated in great amount, nourishing become available. Thus, after Great Accumulation, Nourishing follows.” (Huang, p. 234) In contrast to nourishing the body, however, this hexagram represents nourishment of the soul, and helping to nourish other people’s souls.

Opposite hexagram is: 62 Xiao Kuo (Preponderance of the Small);

Huang names this one Little Exceeding- xiao means small or little; guo can mean many things- exceed, pass, beyond the limit, fault, mistake- there is a connotation of being overly sincere and trustworthy, in that it may lead to taking on too many things to handle. As a result, some things might go horribly wrong. Later in his description, Master Huang explains xiao kuo as a continuation of the concepts in zhong fu and adds another layer of meaning to the word, “fu”.

“The flying bird leaves a message, not appropriate to ascend, appropriate to descend. Great Good Fortune.” Fu can also mean chicken, or a hen hatching eggs. Now, the chicken as a bird is not known for its prowess at flying. We use the word “chicken” to make fun of someone who became too scared to follow through with something, judging the hesitation as cowardice and regrettable. Sometimes that happens, but the wisdom of the chicken is to discern when it is not a good idea to try and do something you are not meant to, ready to, or built to do. Innermost sincerity helps you to know who you are enough to clearly see what is reflected in your own heart and soul. Staying in a low place is not always a bad thing either because more development is being made, you are being protected, or it’s just not your destiny to accomplish what you are setting out to do. But only you can know which it is. This is understanding your place and fulfilling your role without apology or resentment, no matter how the world may judge your actions. Again, it’s like the bird that feels for and finds the airstream that makes the journey easier, or more difficult.

I had a random impulse to play a game with this reading, so I picked up a book close to me and read the passages on pages 61, 62, and 27. The book was Jeff Brown’s “Grounded Spirituality”, which I just bought and haven’t really read yet. Here’s how it went:

Page 61 was the start of a new section entitled, “Arriving Full Circle (and Then Some)” [Me: Whoa!] But wait, there’s more!

“As I stepped more fully into the shadow light of reality, I accepted the focus of my quest was misguided. In the same way as my quest for something called enlightenment became a quest for something I now call enrealment, my quest for a spiritual life had now become a full-on quest for humanness. That is, the real question was no longer, “What is spirituality?” The real question was, “What does it mean to truly be human?”

“We can either move toward separation, or we can move toward integration…”,

Page 62: We need all the little details that help us or trip us up- it is the catalyst to transformation. Mr. Brown says, “In the heart of the madness, on the rockiest of trails, in the most imperfect of psyches, I have found a path to call my own. It isn’t a pristine or a peaceful path, not one without obstacles, but it is truly mine."

Page 27: As it turns out, for his journey, how he was nourishing his spiritual pathway was the catalyst between the two:

He understood that the enlightenment experience described by Eckhart Tolle, whom he was studying, was not the ultimate goal. It is merely the starting point where in the release of attachment to mental and emotional baggage, the 10,000 things, were broken loose, let go of, but they still must dissolve and fall away. The oneness experience, as Brown observed it, only opens the door but we still have to walk in (or fall, if you will). There is still a need to get at all of the deep roots that kept them anchored into the psyche. This seems to be at least part of the reason why sitting on the cushion or going through the cleansings and conditionings made available by Qigong exercises such as Daoist 5 and Hun Yuan (of course many others) are critically important primers in learning to safely move this energy through and keep the mind and the heart focused and together.

I hope somewhere in these words is comfort, inspiration, and fullness of encouragement on your journey to wherever you are going! May these days be for you the best season of your life so far.


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