Weekend Reading: Chinese Cauldron: Huineng Points at the Moon ~ 惠能指月: "One evening, the Buddhist nun, Wu Jincang (無盡藏)...
...consulted Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch of Chan (Zen) Buddhism (六祖惠能), for guidance. She said:
I have studied the Mahaparinirvana Sutra (涅槃經) for many years, yet there are many places where the meaning still eludes me. Please would you enlighten me.
I am illiterate. Would you please read out the passage for me first? Then perhaps I may unveil its meaning for you.
The nun was astonished. She said:
If you cannot even read the words, how are you able to understand its meanings?
Truth has nothing to do with words,
Truth is like the bright moon in the night sky. Words are like this finger which points at the moon. Thought the finger can point out where the moon is, it is not the moon itself. To see the moon, one does not necessary need the finger. Right?