Thursday, 5 April 2018

Blue Moon Nirvana

A few days ago, on my way to evening meditation at Dong Shan (link to Shadows of Cave Mountain), I was captivated by the moon. It was a “blue moon”, a rare event in the Gregorian calendar, happening only once in a blue moon, golden in colour. 

It was also the 15th day of the second moon according to the Chinese lunar calendar — Buddha’s Nirvana Day, and the 31st of April 2018, Easter Saturday, the only Christian holiday which follows the lunar cycle. Jesus had just been hammered into his passionate version of Nirvana about two millennia ago, holding his breath until Monday. Coincidence never fails to intrigue.


三月三十一日是陰曆二月十五,當我緩步輕聲走往洞山禪堂途中(洞山禪影 鏈接),突然被天上的月光迷住了。天邊掛著金黃色的「藍月亮」。 原來藍月只不過是陽曆同一月內出現的第二個月圓,並非天文奇景,也不藍色。至於因何得名,則無從考究。由於不常發生,被視為罕見,所以有 once in a blue moon 之說。剛巧當晚為佛祖的涅槃日,也是基督教唯一的陰曆節日復活節。據說念耶穌大約兩千年前被劊子手釘進了臨時涅槃,閉氣三天後再重現江湖。