Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Carpe Diem #1630 Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage ...The Kohechi Trail

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have to apologize (again) for not publishing yesterday, but sometimes ... time is not at my side. Today however I had time to create a new episode of this wonderful pilgrimage month.
As I told you earlier this month the Kumano Kodo (Ancient Road) is a complex of five different pilgrimage route and today I love to take you on another Kumano Kodo trail ... The Kohechi trail.

Let me tell you a little bit about this Kohechi trail: Kohechi connects Kumano with Koyasan. This mountaintop route is long and challenging, and consequently should not be undertaken without careful preparation. Inns are rarely found without zigzagging up and down the mountainsides into valley towns, greatly increasing the distance traveled. Kohechi was used mainly by Buddhist monks from the temple complex of Mount Koya.

a fallen cocoon
in the first rays of the morning sun -
a butterfly rises
drying it's young blue wings
to live fully

© Chèvrefeuille (2014)

About the temple complex of Mount Koya there is a lot to tell but of course that;s not possible, but I just had to tell you a little about it.

Mount Koya (Kōyasan) is the center of Shingon Buddhism, an important Buddhist sect which was introduced to Japan in 805 by Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai), one of Japan's most significant religious figures. A small, secluded temple town has developed around the sect's headquarters that Kobo Daishi built on Koyasan's wooded mountaintop. It is also the site of Kobo Daishi's mausoleum and the start and end point of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage.

Garan Temple

Kobo Daishi began construction on the original Garan temple complex in 826 after wandering the country for years in search of a suitable place to center his religion. Since then over one hundred temples have sprung up along the streets of Koyasan. The most important among them are Kongobuji, the head temple of Shingon Buddhism, and Okunoin, the site of Kobo Daishi's mausoleum.

pilgrims chanting
the Heart Sutra to honor Kukai -
cry of a Vulture
breaks through the serene temple -
pilgrims chanting

© Chèvrefeuille (2014)

Here we make a connection with one of our earlier pilgrimages here at CDHK ... the Shikoku pilgrimage. Back in 2014 we digitally walked this pilgrimage for two months visiting the 88 temples on Shikoku Island. The above tanka I wrote back in those months.

I have wonderful memories of that Shikoku pilgrimage and I hope, you my dear Haijin, have those memories too.

deep meditation
high up in the mountains
chanting Buddhist monks

© Chèvrefeuille

What an awesome feeling this episode gives me. Here we can feel how all the post on CDHK are connected with each other ... isn't that awesome?

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. Have fun!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Carpe Diem Extra March 19th 2019 Delay

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

During circumstances and lack of time I hadn't the opportunity to create and publish our new episode. I hope to create our new episode later on on March 20th 2019. My excuses for the inconvenience.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Monday, March 18, 2019

Carpe Diem #1629 Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage ... the East route

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode in our journey straight through the Kii peninsula were we are on the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage. As I told you earlier the Kumano Kodo is not just one route, but five different routes and today I love to follow the East route better known as Iseji the Eastern route to Kumano.

Let me tell you a little bit more about this Eastern route: The Iseji route runs along the east coast of the Kii Peninsula between Ise-jingu Shrine and the Kumano Sanzan. The use of this trail rose dramatically in the Edo period (1603-1868) with the increasing number of pilgrims to the Ise-jingu Shrine. After paying homage in Ise, devotees would continue on the Iseji route to Kumano. To prevent erosion from heavy rains, extensive sections were paved with picturesque cobblestones. This route has a diversity of mountain passes, bamboo forests, terraced rice fields, and beaches.

In the Edo period lived a haiku poet who we all know, Matsuo Basho (1644-1694). In the last ten years of his life Basho went on several journeys and one of them was a journey to the Ise-jingu Shrine. So let us look at a few haiku by Basho about the Ise shrine.

Ise-jingu Shrine (also known as Ise Grand Shrine)

from what tree's 
blossoms I know not:
such fragrance

© Basho (Tr. Barnhill)

month's end, no moon:
a thousand year cedar
embraced by a windstorm

© Basho (Tr. Barnhill)

These haiku are written during Basho's visits to the Ise shrines. He didn't actually used the name of the shrine, but in these haiku we see a Shinto touch, because (as you know) Ise shrine was a Shinto temple.

Ise Grand Shrine is one of the renown Shinto temples that are part of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage and it's the most important Shinto Shrine.

Well ... this episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 25th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Carpe Diem #1628 Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage ... by boat

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend full of inspiration. I had a very relaxed weekend and have new energy for a full new week.

This month we are on a pilgrimage straight through the Kii peninsula, the Kumano Kodo (ancient road) pilgrimage. The Kumano Kodo has five different routes and we have seen already two of those routes this month.

The Kumano river is an important part of this pilgrimage. 1000 yrs ago pilgrims had to cross Kumano river to reach their pilgrimage goal ... the Great Ise Shrine, but this Kumano river has also a deeper meaning in Shinto. The Kumano river was the last stage of someones life before he entered Paradise. This kind of idea we also see for example in the ancient history of Egypt. Pharaohs had to cross the river of death, the river to the stars, so in many religions we see the river also as being part of the last stage to Paradise.

Kumano Kodo ... by boat on the Kumano River

For over 1000 years pilgrims have been making the journey to Kumano. The Kumano-gawa River was a vital section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route between Kumano Hongu Taisha in Hongu, and Kumano Hayatama Taisha in Shingu. The pilgrims used wooden flat-bottom boats. As I wrote above this part of Kumano Kodo was a deep spiritual experience and it gave the pilgrims the opportunity to meditate and contemplate before going on to Ise Grand Shrine.

Isn't it a wonderful pilgrimage? I like that deeper spiritual meaning in this part of the Kumano Kodo ... especially because of the deeper meaning of the river ... the last stage to Paradise.

at the horizon
faint impression of paradise
the sound of water

© Chèvrefeuille

Not a very strong one I think, but it fits the theme for today.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 24th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Carpe Diem Time Glass 2019-02 shimmering dew

!! This Time Glass episode is open for your submissions until Monday 18th 6:oo AM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had some spare-time so I thought I will give you a new CD Time Glass episode. As you all know a while ago I changed the responding time of our Kai into seven days, a whole week, but (as you all know) haiku is an impression of a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water. That short time can help you to create your haiku (or tanka) based on that single moment.

I love to improve your haiku (and tanka) writing skills so I think this "Time Glass" feature can help you with that. But ... we are a haiku loving family from all over the world and we live all in different time zones, so I think it's a good thing to extend the (original) 24 hours of the "Time Glass" feature to 36 hours to respond on the theme.

That theme can be a haiku, a tanka, a waka, an image or just a word. For this Time Glass episode I have chosen a haiku written by myself to inspire you:

Shimmering Dew
dewdrops shimmer
in the flower of the Morning Glory
a diamond necklace

© Chèvrefeuille (2014)

Well ... a nice time challenge I think. Try to create your haiku or tanka inspired on this given haiku and share it with us within 36 hours. That means this episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 18th 6:00 AM (CET). Have fun!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #76 Renga With ... the Big Five

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday March 17th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Time flies when you have fun they say, but time flies really fast. It's again time for a new weekend meditation and after that first Light Retreat, started today, I have another challenge for you. As you all know in my opinion there were five great haiku poets, or as I call them "The Big Five". Maybe you know which haiku poets I mean with the big five?

Yes ... I knew you all would know it. The "big five" are Basho, Issa, Buson, Shiki and Chiyo-Ni. This weekend I love to challenge you with a new episode of "Renga With ..." This weekend that will be a Renga With ... The Big Five.

I have chosen a two haiku by Basho and of the other four I have chosen one haiku. It's up to you to create a renga with those haiku. You can choose your own "line-up" and I hope you will try to "close" the chain by a ageku (closing verse) that refers back to the hokku (starting verse).

Here are the haiku to work with:

wisteria beans
let's make that a theme for haikai
a flower fruit 

how glorious
young green leaves
flash in the sun

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

garden butterfly
as the baby crawls, it flies―
crawls close, flutters on

© Issa

Plum Blossom

in nooks and corners
cold remains:
flowers of the plum

© Yosa Buson (tr. RH Blyth)

the wild geese take flight
low along the railroad tracks
in the moonlit night

© Masaoka Shiki

the flowering branch of the plum
gives its scent
to him who broke it off

© Chiyo-Ni

A wonderful range of haiku by these five haiku poets and you, my dear haijin, can enjoy the opportunity to create a renga with these five great haiku poets by adding your two-lined stanza.

I hope you all will have a wonderful weekend with a lot of inspiration. I am looking forward to your renga with the big five.

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday March 17th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 24th at noon (CET). Have a wonderful weekend.

A New Feature ... Carpe Diem's Light Retreat 2019 ... The Joy Of Light

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

With joy I invite you to a new challenge here at our wonderful Haiku Kai. Maybe you can remember that I created our seasonal retreat, a period of 30 days to create haiku and tanka inspired on a theme. Not so long ago I told you about the Pagan idea of a Light and Dark part of the year. That gave me the idea to create two retreats this year, a Light Retreat and a Dark Retreat instead of our four seasonal retreats. So here it is our new feature ... Carpe Diem's Light Retreat 2019.
It works exactly the same as our earlier retreats. I will give you a theme and your task is to create on an every day base a haiku or tanka inspired on that theme. So after 30 days you have created 30 haiku or tanka inspired on that theme.

For this first Light Retreat I have chosen the next theme ... "THE JOY OF LIGHT" what can you create inspired on this theme? Give it a try ... try to create a haiku or tanka every day (for 30 days) themed "The Joy Of Light".

The Joy Of Light

This Light Retreat starts tonight and will and on April 14th at 10:00 PM (CET). Please number your daily haiku or tanka.

And here is my first haiku inspired on this theme "The Joy Of Light":

thousand orange leaves
counting my blessings every day -
I light a candle

© Chèvrefeuille (2014)

Well ... are you with me? Are you in to a new challenge? A new retreat about "The Joy Of Light"?

This Light Retreat is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until April 14th at 10:00 PM (CET). Enjoy this retreat ...