Two Moons

There are a few “two moons” stories in Zen – this is one of them, a very short one!  (These stories are meant to illustrate the co-existence/no separation of Zen, or just taking care of life day by day, moment to moment …. )

Zen Master Ungan was hard at work, sweeping the temple yard.  Zen master Dogo came to him and said;  “You’re working hard.”

“There’s a name for people who don’t work hard,” said Ungan.

“If so,” said Dogo, “there are two moons.”

“Two moons” refers to our dualistic notions of how we understand people and the world.  If we think like that, there are two types of people – those who work hard and those who don’t.

But sweeping the temple yard doesn’t take place in that kind of thinking space.  All is still in Reality – there is no movement.

So Ungan sweeps in movement that is no movement.

If you stand in a temple yard where there is no movement anyway, you are in the wisdom mind of knowing how the world goes from moment to moment.  Then your sweeping is only manifesting wisdom.

If you like Zen Stories and would like the versions for kids, you can get books and comics at Soto Zen



Susan Ni Rahilly has reached an interesting point in her life now that she’s in her mid-sixties: as an author/publisher and Zen, Yoga and Meditation teacher she considers herself “trans-genre”—a multi-dimensional teacher inspired by Ancient roots of both Zen and Yoga. These roots reach back to Divine Feminine practices and inspire her ongoing research into our innate abilities for deep listening and intuitive practice: awakening and accelerating our Spiritual Vision as change-agents for Humanity’s future. She is also the Spoken Word Artist SuZen.