Last Sunday, many people around the world gazed up at the sky at a rare celestial event—a total lunar eclipse of a supermoon. I, too, was outside with some of my students on Jeju Island, South Korea. Although I couldn’t see the eclipse from there, I looked up at the full, bright moon
, and it spoke the wisdom of Tao to my mind. I’d like to share with you what it said.
On its cycle around the earth, the moon shows us different faces, and we call them different names: a full moon or half moon or crescent moon. However, up there where it exists in space, the moon is always the same.
We are like the moon. As we move through life, we constantly change. Our habits change, our emotions change, our outlook changes. Most noticeably, our physical body changes as we grow from a squirming newborn to a settled elder.
Some changes are the same for all of us. Human life cycles through 12 stages:
- A state in which all lines of life and human connection are completely disconnected.
- Forming into new life as a fetus.
- Growing inside its mother’s womb for 10 months.
- Being born.
- Receiving protection while being raised and washed.
- Growing and beginning to learn.
- Coming of age and attaining status.
- Blossoming the flower of life with the greatest flourishing and abundance.
- Becoming weak and starting to decline.
- Getting sick and being in pain.
- Being buried and returning to the earth.
Everyone experiences everything within these stages, but none of our experiences last forever. We don’t keep our health, status, wealth, or fame. They are as ephemeral as the phases of the moon. When we die, we lose all of our material achievements. That’s why living a life only to build up our physical abundance has little meaning
Like the moon, however, there is a part of us that doesn’t change. It’s our original self: an energy-consciousness at our source that I call our original mind or our soul. It is always there, watching the changes we undergo.
If we know this self, we won’t have to keep repeating the same human cycle endlessly. Instead, we can live to accumulate spiritual brightness and therefore complete our life cycle. This is called Chunhwa
, or spiritual completion.
To Chunhwa at the end of our physical life, we need to keep clearing out our dark (or gray) thoughts and emotions and open our ability to see with the consciousness of our original mind. With a mind that sees the truth and with clear, bright energy, we can share this with others and help them do the same. Eventually, instead of being covered by shifting shadows, we will become only our full, original self: Life that has no beginning or end and exists alone, in and of itself, inherently bright and radiant.
The only way to do that is through steady mind-body-energy practice, study of energy principles, and application of those practices and principles in your everyday life
. Live every day for the goal of spiritual completion.
Let the moon be a reminder to you that there is more to life than what you can see with your eyes and that you are whole and complete no matter how you look on the outside. You are Life itself, inherently precious and valuable.
When many people realize that essentially all human beings, and all other beings, are the same Life, the many problems of this earth village will be solved.