Dear O-Henro ... Haijin, visitors and travelers,
Today I love to take another approach to introduce this temple, Tatsueji, to you all. Of course I hope to stay close to our prompt for today, close to Buddhism and close to what pilgrimage means.
As you all know (maybe) I am a big fan of the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. In our CD history I have used already two of his novels and this month we are reading 'The Pilgrimage' in our Special episodes. Paulo, however, has written a lot of novels and at the moment I am reading 'The Witch of Portobello', a great novel about a Libanese girl, once adopted, and born as a Rumanian gypsy, who turns out to be a charismatic 'guru' in the thought of 'The Tradition' (very similar with wiccan and pagan). Paulo wrote this novel several years ago and uses interviews to write it. In one of the interviews he talks with a nomad or bedouin at his tent. This nomad has given the girl lessons in calligraphy and has learned her valuable lessons for her life and the path she has to go.
This episode I love to tell you more about the lessons of the nomad.He tells the girl that 'every character has a deeper meaning and the right to be calligraphed with love to honor the 'spirit' of the character. If you do honor the characters and the words you create with them than all your written words become holy'. And a little bit further in the story the nomad tells her something else.'Every character deserves respect as does the pencil in your hand. When you take up your pencil to calligraph a poem or story you have to do that with respect, honor the characters which you use and let them flow into the perfect words'.
I think this nomad, this bedouin, says something with deeper truth, with a real Buddha meaning, maybe this bedouin is Buddha. He has learned to respect and love the world which he creates by his art of calligraphy.
How do you write your haiku? Do you respect every character? Every word in it? The image which it is catching? I think that every haiku I have written and every haiku I have read has been written with deep respect and love for the characters and the words which were used.
Were is the 'link' to our temple of today? I think that 'link' is in the meaning of the words I have used to show you the way to the next temple and to the Buddha to which the Tatsueji temple is devoted. Tatsueji is devoted to Jizo Bosatsu the Bodhisatvawho is responsible for the instruction of all beings in the six worlds, in the era between the death of Gautama Buddha and the rise of Maitreya Buddha.
The Mantra of this Buddha is:
namaḥ samantabuddhānāṃ, ha ha ha, sutanu svāhā
And there are several haiku written with this Buddha mentioned in it or mentioned toward on a deeper level. A few examples:
return into Jizo's sleeve
behind and in front
of Saint Jizo
And a last example written by Buson:
at the wayside shrine for the Jizo image
I pour more votive oil