Home > Uncategorized > The Moon Cannot Be Stolen

The Moon Cannot Be Stolen

A Zen Master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, while he was away, a thief sneaked into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal. The Zen Master returned and found him. “You have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.” The thief was bewildered, but he took the clothes and ran away. The Master sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, ” I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”

There are many things in life which can be stolen from us. Everyone has possessions. We have material things in our lives that can be taken from us at any time. The thief in the story was about to steal all of the Master’s material things. What did the Master do? Instead of getting angry or even trying to stop him, the Master gave the thief his clothing. A Zen Master had precious few material possessions. To the average person the thought of someone stealing everything they have would be heartbreaking. Yet the Master felt nothing like that. Why?

Just as we all have things that can be taken from us we also have things that cannot be taken. The Master had the moon and its’ beauty. The moon’s beauty is a gift from the universe to everyone and everything. It cannot be taken from the person who appreciates it. It cannot be given away either because it belongs to all of us as part of the collective. The Master had a deep appreciation for the moon and its’ beauty.

Just like the moon we all also have things that cannot be taken from us. Unlike the moon there are things we have that cannot be taken but can be given away if we chose to allow it. We have things like our personal dignity, our integrity, even out faith in ourselves that can only be taken from us if we allow it to happen. Material things are fleeting. They do not last forever. Your car, your electronic devices, even your health will not last forever. The things that make up who you are will last forever. These attributes will last even after your time in this world has passed. They are that important. The beauty in these things are not only important but they are the things we should wish we could give as gifts to others like the Master wished he could give the beauty of the moon to the thief.

Have you ever wished you could give someone honesty? Have you ever looked a person and wished that you could give them confidence? Have you ever wished that you could allow another person to see something through your eyes so they could understand its’ beauty?

Like the moon was to the Master, these things should be to us.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 5, 2012 at 5:22 am

    I love the thought of having the ability to give others character atributes instead of material possessions. How wonderful would that be? Good thought.

    • April 5, 2012 at 7:51 am

      Thank you Misty. I enjoyed your post on life being a path very much also. I “Liked” it but didn’t see where to comment on it. So just so you know, I have the very same philosophy on our lives being a path we travel…Good Stuff!!!

  2. April 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Oh, I write daily to try to get other’s to see the beauties and lessons of Creation through my eyes. I know exactly what it feels like to want to give the Moon to someone! Thank you for reminding me of this wonderful story of this monk that I think I had read over at zendictive some time ago–can never read this story too often!

  3. April 8, 2012 at 3:35 am

    You’ve brought to life Sir Gibran’s words “Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.”
    Thanks for following my thoughts, it has given my spirit the chance of rising through this..

    • April 8, 2012 at 11:53 am

      And thank you for both your comment and your following as well

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