Thursday, June 9, 2011


"Moon-in-the-water is a favorite Zen metaphor for human experience.  It is used to demonstrate how human experience is created not only by external objects, but also, and equally as much, by the nature of the mind and the structure of the senses.

In the metaphor, water may be seen as subject (mind and senses) and moon as object (external objects).  There is no moon-in-the-water if there is no water or if the moon does not rise.  Moon-in-the-water happens only when there is water and when the moon rises. However, neither moon nor water waits for the other:  the water does not wait to catch the moon's image, and the moon does not wait to cast its rays on water.  Moon-in-the-water is created equally by water and the moon.

Thus, experience does not happen to us, but is created by our minds and senses and the external objects perceived by them."

Taken from the book, "Moonscapes" by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Photo credit: "Colorado Water Landscape Night Sky Moon" by Julie Magers Soulen

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  1. Perception creates our experiences for sure. What a beautiful metaphor to explain that! Thank you very much for using my photograph in your post.

    Julie Magers Soulen Photography



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