Mazu was sick. The superintendent of the monastery asked him, “How are you feeling these days?”
Mazu said, “Sun Face Buddha, Moon Face Buddha.”
Sun Face Buddhas live for 1800 years, Moon Face Buddhas live for one day—which would you rather be? This koan isn’t about long or short. I hear echoes of Mazu saying he never lacked for salt or sauce. It is said that the mind is like tofu and takes the shape of any container it is put into, but the point isn’t the shape that the tofu takes, neither is it the shape that our minds take.
Mazu had an idea about what practice looked like, which his teacher likened to trying to polish a roofing tile into a mirror. If you think a Moon Face Buddha is less than a Sun Face Buddha, you’re polishing a roofing tile also. If you think you can judge your practice by any measure whatsoever, you are also polishing a roofing tile.
—David Weinstein, October 17th, 2023
David Weinstein Roshi, Director of Rockridge Meditation Community