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THE MOON AND THE FINGER

THE MOON AND THE FINGER

A nun had scudied the Buddhist sutra for many yean. Yet 1 there were Mill many things she did not quite understand. She ] asked the Zen patriarch, Master Huinrng, for guidance. To be honest with you, I am an illiterate, the patriarch j told her. "But if you can read out the text to me, 1 may be abk to explain what it mouns.

The nun was Astomshed "Master, you must be joking. If you cannot rcmd^ how can you itndmcaiid its metning? "Thirh has nothing to do with wordb: the patriarch replied calmly. there as Idea the moon, like the birds in the sky the flowcn in the wikjkrmcss. Words art like che finger. The finger can point to where the moon it, where the birds and flowers arc, but it if not the moocu the birds, or the Dowers themselves. Besides, you can look it those thinj^s without using your finger. Right?* His answer struck the nun with awe.

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