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Moon on the Water - Introduction

Shakyamuni Buddha said, "The true form of Buddha is universal emptiness, and it is like the moon reflected in the water." Here, "moon reflected in the water" means "water as it is" or "moon as it is"; "as it is" does not mean similarity but indicates the true form of existence.

So states the great Zen master Dogen Zenji in his wonderful book, "Shobogenzo" or "The Treasury of the true Dharma Eye", written in the 13 th century .

(Trans; Kosen Nakayama).

The image of the moon on the water has often been used to describe enlightenment as experienced by the Buddha ancestors. This image is evoked in many Zen stories to point directly at the nature of reality and the true nature of mind.

The image of the full moon over a still lake, or glistening on the ocean never fails to fill us with awe and a sense of wonder. It has inspired artists and poets, guided our harvests and accompanied ritual and ceremony in almost every culture since man first looked up and pondered his place in the vastness of the universe.

>On this album, shakuhachi master "Kakudo" Richardson plays authentic pieces from the Zen and folk traditions of ancient Japan that seek to express the emotions and serenity experienced when viewing the moon.

The Zen practice of playing the Japanese bamboo flute "shakuhachi" has been transmitted for centuries from teacher to student. We do not know who composed most of the original pieces (honkyoku). We play them as a meditation practice. As such they are intended to bring the player to full awareness of the nature of reality, of the interdependence and also the independence of ourselves and the universe. In essence to develop a mind like the "moon on the water", "full moon" as Dogen also says, is a symbol of original mind, bright and clear, penetrating everything; heaven and earth, ourselves and others. He also goes on to say," even though it's light is great and wide , it is reflected in a puddle an inch wide, the whole of the sun moon and stars are reflected in dewdrops on the grass".

It is hoped that listening to these soulful melodies will evoke in the listener a deeper connection with the vast emptiness of our universe and inspire reflection and serenity like a full moon reflecting on a tranquil lake.

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> Full the full liner notes for Volume 1
> Full the full liner notes for Volume 2


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