Like the Light of the New Moon

Like the Light of the New Moon

I am present in front of anyone who has faith in me, just as the moon casts its reflection, effortlessly, in any vessel filled with water.
— Guru Rinpoche

Every day, I am exhorted, from within myself and by others, to "do something." It would seem that in our culture, the only way to create change is to take action.

However, Vajrayana teaches that being is doing ... that simply being our true selves creates change right away. Just being in truth radiates truth and that creates change.

What comes to mind is the famous example of the power of the moon to manifest through being and not doing.  The Omniscient Jigme Lingpa wrote:

Pure awareness does not engage with the objects of ordinary mind. This can be illustrated by the light of the new moon—a profoundly indwelling luminosity which does not radiate outwardly.

In my own words:

The New Moon presides silently over the night sky, exuding sacred presence wordlessly. She does not have anything to prove. She does not feel the need to be consistent in her argument. She does not cite her sources. She does not seek validation. She does not follow any policy. She does not rail or rant. She does not try too hard. She does not feel like she needs to be heard. She seeks neither fortune nor fame. She does not worry what anyone thinks. 

The New Moon keeps her secrets. She does not whisper. She does not gossip. She will not argue. She does not feel the need to make herself clear. She does not comply. She does not seek input. She is not steered by anyone's agenda. She does not fear invisibility. She does not cosign anything. She doesn't volunteer. She owes no one an explanation. She sheds her light without ever speaking of her mysteries. 

The Moon moves heaven and earth
without ever saying a word,
simply through the force of her quiet gravity.

There is, of course, a time for doing, but there is also a time for just being. 

Yeshe Matthews (Tsogyal Lhamo) started her journey with Vajrayana in a volunteer position with the Nyingma Institute in 2002 and has travelled to Tibet twice. Yeshe facilitates sacred community for diverse spiritual practitioners worldwide through her writings, events, and classes. Learn more at

From Lama Yeshe Wangmo:

Getting Yeshe's point that being is doing—is not only restorative and healing but also makes doing more effective. At best, we experience them inseparably.

Being is as much a practice as doing. I'd love to hear from you in the comments below about two things: 

  • how you handle being and doing in your life
  • how Vajrayana supports or doesn't support your practice of being and doing.
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