The Main Case
The great master Ma was unwell. The temple superintendent asked him, “Teacher, how has your venerable health been in recent days?” The great master said, “Sun-face buddha, moon-face buddha.”
First off, usually a commentary or teisho from a Zen Master follows a koan like this, that is supposed to provide insight. This is not That!
"The Sun-faced Buddha is supposed to live for one thousand eight hundred years. And the Moon-faced Buddha lives only one day and one night."
I've been listening to 10 to 15 year old tapes from my Zen teacher from the days when I was into that sort of thing and this is what I take from it.
A one day Buddha is just as complete as a 1,000 year Buddha. Not the same, just that both are as completely fulfulled. We are all destined to die, and dwelling on it has no relevance to the fullness or completeness of a life.
It is also a given that we are ALL already enlightened, or already Buddhas, but we just don't know it. So all of reality and experience is already here, already in us. Well or ill, sinful or virtuous, strong or weak, we are all already complete.
With each step each of us is complete, with each breath we are complete. "Striving" neither adds nor subtracts...we are all already complete.
Somehow that led me to think of the idea of non-attachment which you hear bandied about in buddhism/Zen books. An only now does it strike me that they were not talking about "non-attachment" as opposed to "attachment" to things or thoughts, but the the very idea of attachment. In one sense you work at not being attached to things and in another there are no things to be attached to.
What does it all mean?
I don't know.