Friday, January 31, 2014

Carpe Diem #389, Ryozenji (Temple 1)

Youkoso at Shikoku dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we start with our Shikoku Pilgrimage and so I started this episode with "Youkoso", which means "welcome''. From this day on we will make a pilgrimage along the 88 temples on the Isle of Shikoku and will trod in the footsteps of thousands of O-Henro (pilgrims on Shikoku-route) and in the footsteps of Kobo Daishi (774-835).

Kobo Daishi (774-835) a.k.a. Kukai

So from today on, until the end of our pilgrimage next month, we will be O-Henro or pilgrims along the Shikoku temples-route. As O-Henro we have to wear special clothing as you can see in the photo hereafter.

O-Henro traditional clothing

And we have to learn the Heart-Sutra, which has to be sung at every temple.


Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo


Kanjizai Bosatsu Gyo Jin Hannya Haramita Ji
Sho Ken Go Un Kai Ku Do Issai Ku Yaku Sharishi
Shiki Fu I Ku
Ku Fu I Shiki
Shiki Soku Ze Ku
Ku Soku Ze Shiki
Ju So Gyo Shiki Yaku Bu Nyo Ze
Sharishi Ze Sho Ho Ku So Fu Sho Fu Metsu
Fu Ku Fu Jo Fu Zo Fu Gen Ze Ko Ku Chu
Mu Shiki Mu Ju So Gyo Shiki
Mu Gen Ni Bi Zets' Shin I
Mu Shiki Sho Ko Mi Soku Ho
Mu Gen Kai Nai Shi Mu I Shiki Kai Mu Mu Myo
Yaku Mu Mu Myo Jin Nai Shi Mu Ro Shi
Yaku Mu Ro Shi Jin Mu Ku Shu Metsu Do
Mu Chi Yaku Mu Toku I Mu Sho Tokko
Bodaisatta E Hannya Haramita
Ko Shin Mu Ke Ge
Mu Ke Ge Ko Mu U Ku Fu
On Ri Issai Tendo Mu So Ku Gyo Nehan
San Ze Sho Butsu E Hannya Haramita
Ko Toku A Noku Ta Ra Sanmyaku Sambodai
Ko Chi Hannya Haramita Ze Dai Jin Shu
Ze Dai Myo ShuZe Mu Jo Shu
Ze Mu To Do Shu
No Jo Issai Ku Shin Jitsu Fu Ko
Ko Setsu Hannya Haramita Shu
Soku Setsu Shu Watsu
Gyate Gyate Hara Gyate
Hara So Gyate Boji Sowa Ka
Hannya Shin Gyo

O-Henro at one of the 88 temples on Shikoku Island



Heart of the Great Wisdom Sutra


When a sincere truth seeker attains the wisdom of enlightenment, he realizes that all the five senses are empty and he transcends every suffering.
Listen: All things are no different from emptiness; emptiness is not different from all things. Form is emptiness; emptiness is form. Feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness are also like this.
Listen: The original nature of all things is neither born nor extinguished. There is no purity, no defilement; no gain, no loss.
In this world of emptiness there is no form, no feelings, perceptions, impulses, or consciousness. No eye, ear, tongue body, or mind. Therefore, no color, sound, smell, taste, touch, or thought. The world of form does not exist, nor the world of the mind or of ignorance; no old age and no death.
Yet there is continuous ignorance, old age, and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no cessation of suffering; no wisdom and no attainment because there is nothing to be attained. The compassionate truth-seeker depends upon the wisdom of enlightenment.
When the mind does not become attached to anything, there are no obstacles and fear does not exist. This mind goes beyond all disruptive views and attains Nirvana. All the Buddhas of the past, present and future depend upon the wisdom of enlightenment--and so attain the supreme, wisdom of enlightenment as the great unexplainable true word, the great shining true word that is able to remove all suffering. It is true, not false. This true word of wisdom says:
Gyate Gyate Hara Gyate Hara So Gyate Bodhi Sowa Ka.



Of course none of the O-Henro, a few maybe, knows these words completely from his/her mind, so we will meet O-Henro who are chanting the Heart Sutra with a little booklet in their hands and maybe ... that's what we have to do too.

O-Henro chanting the Heart Sutra

Well ... as we are prepared now I say again "Youkoso" and I bow for you. In my heart I chant the Heart Sutra to become in tune with Shikoku. We are on our way and will start at the first temple Ryozenji at Naruto in Tokushima Prefecture. It is here were the pilgrimage starts.

Ryozenji, the first temple at Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture

Ryozenji Temple is also known as "Vulture Peak" which refers to one of the sermons the Buddha once gave on a mountain with the same name. It was on that mountain that Buddha started with his religion and wrote the Heart-Sutra and e.g. the Lotus-Sutra.
So this first temple is in every way the start of our Shikoku Pilgrimage.
In the upcoming episodes of our Shikoku Pilgrimage I will try to tell you all more about Buddhism as one of the roots for our beloved haiku. As you maybe know ... in the classical rules of haiku is said that there has to be a Buddhistic layer in haiku. Of course I will use haiku examples written by the classical haiku-poets and sometimes written by modern haiku-poets.
OK ... let us start with our Shikoku Pilgrimage and I love to share my first haiku for this new month with you and I am looking forward to all our new insights and wonderful haiku.

Vulture Peak India

pilgrims chanting
the Heart Sutra to honor Kukai -
cry of a Vulture

cry of a Vulture
breaks through the serene temple -
pilgrims chanting

Well ... I hope you like this 'kick-of' haiku and I hope to read wonderful haiku written by you all my dear O-Henro ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 2nd 11.59 AM (CET). I hope to post our new episode, that will be our first Special episode of this month in which we will follow in the footsteps of Paulo Coelho as he is on "The Way of St. James" (The Pilgrimage to Santiago De Compostela, Spain).

PS.: This month I will have no Tan Renga Challenges for you, because the posts about Shikoku and Paulo Coelho's Pilgrimage will take a lot of my time.


  1. This is a very inspiring prompt. Two weeks ago, I started reading about Zen, Buddhism, meditation, chakra, etc... because I am fond of Basho's hokku and I read that he learned Zen. So, I wanted to have an idea about it. When I found this blog, I felt that I was led here to continue the journey.

    I already have two haiku inspired by this stunning prompt.

  2. Another journey is now underway...I wonder where we will wander! Very nice start Sir Chèvrefeuille!

  3. I have been on a pilgrimage of another sort this past month as you will see by my post. I am popping in whenever I can. I was very moved by the idea of a heart-sutra!

  4. I love the post today. As a serious student of Zen, I have chanted the Heart Sutra many times in both English and Sino-Japanese (which is the non-English version) and it has always been meaningful to me. I do wonder about the graphic, though, as the "bag of prayers" looks more like a rakusu, the smallest Buddhist robe. Many Zen students sew one of these as part of taking the precepts, which is somewhat like Christian confirmation.

  5. I'm once again home.. what an inspiring start...

  6. love your haiku set and looking forward to this journey. it's all new to me and i find it all fascinating. thanks, Kristjaan.