There’s a moon in my heart

Supermoon rises over Auckland, New Zealand - 10 Aug 2014

“Imagine the full moon coming through your living room window, coming closer and closer and suddenly entering your heart. You might be freaked out, or resent the whole thing, but usually it’s a tremendous relief.

Phew! The full moon has entered my heart. It’s great. Wonderful, in fact! On the other hand, when the full moon comes into your heart you might have a little panic. Good heavens, what have I done? There’s a moon in my heart. What am I going to do with it? It is too shiny. 

You may panic much more than if you discovered you were pregnant. When the baby is born, it is going to be tiny. It’s not going to come out and start minding your business right away. It has to learn to breathe, suckle, walk and talk. It has to be toilet-trained. But this moon is fully developed.

It may have just entered your heart this morning, but it’s fully, totally there.

That’s it! We have absolutely no choice so we might be somewhat fearful. The mind of the ego may feel that it’s been deflowered. You have lost your stronghold. We are used to calling ourselves ‘I’ and speaking of ‘my’ or ‘mine’. I would never let anybody into my world. My self is my self.

Now that toughness known as aggression has been overcome. The moon has been transplanted into your heart and you may not like it. Sometimes, it feels terrible. What have I done? You hope it’s just a dream, another phase. Unfortunately, it turns out not to be a phase or a trial run, but it is real. Absolutely real.

We have planted the full moon of enlightenment in our heart. By the way, that moon cannot wane. It never wanes; it is always waxing.

In the process of realising that, we may also begin to feel very sad. We have lost the virginity of our ego, fundamentally speaking. We might feel somewhat good but at the same time, we feel a sense of loss. We want to hang on to our good old ego. Good old Joe Schmidt or Susie Doe used to be full of ego and used to have tremendous courage, flair and aggression. We used to take tremendous pride in our jealousy and we never experienced defeat. We used to do just fine. If people got in our way, we used to get rid of them one way or another. But now, life is a mess. We let that silly moon come into our heart. We became softened and saddened, and we cannot carry out our machismo anymore.

In extreme cases, you might want to destroy anything connected with that principle of wakefulness … You think it could drive you crazy. On the other hand, if you look at this from an unconditional view, this is the greatest breakthrough that you could ever have in your life. If you really look at the moon in your heart, you feel so good. It is the first step. For the first time, you have discovered yourself as a real person, as opposed to being a fake.”

~ Chögyam Trungpa, Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery



4 thoughts on “There’s a moon in my heart

  1. I remember the feeling after I spent a few years with my Buddhist sangha. I wanted to have a pity party over something and I just couldn’t justify it. I wished that I wasn’t so blasted aware and awake and all that stuff! When I spoke about about, we all laughed. We all understood. It was really quite wonderful… :)


    • Great example, Lorna. It’s a common experience for me too. Last week I was running a racket on someone and as a result, I pulled out of something I had promised to do, and I was all justified and righteous for half a day, and then I realised I just couldn’t do it. Just could not pull that stunt. So I got on the phone, came clean, apologised for the impact on her (she’d been running around trying to find someone to replace me) and re-committed to doing what I had said I would do. Suddenly, the world was beautiful again. Thanks for always being authentic, sister.


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