Monday, February 10, 2014

Carpe Diem #397, Shozanji (Temple 12)

Dear O-Henro ... Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I look back at the first part of this month I read wonderful haiku inspired on the temples along the Shikoku trail and I see how much you all appreciate these post. I see the growth of our community and of your haiku, senryu, tanka and kyoka ... I think this Shikoku Pilgrimage brings the best in you all above and your haiku seems to look more spiritual, but maybe you don't experience that your self.

Our next stop on our pilgrimage is the 12th temple, Shozanji (or Shosanji). This temple is devoted to the Buddha of boundless space and it's said that Kobo Daishi (774-838) chanted a certain mantra, Akasagarbha, and he had a vision of this Buddha of boundless space who told him to go to China to  seek understanding of the Mahāvairocana Abhisaṃbodhi Sūtra. A Sutra which learns you that, ......[...] "though one has realized the true emptiness of the individual and phenomena, one does not yet realize that the natural state of mind is the Tathagata's inherent Awareness and that it is the all-pervasive Body of Vairocana with all the manifested Buddha realms. Therefore one must transcend even emptiness with the emptiness of emptiness, when it is seen that the mind is primordially unborn and unarisen" [...]

Emptiness is a very important thought in Buddhism and in haiku. Why in haiku? Haiku is just the awareness of emptiness in a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water. That emptiness, that moment, you have caught in just a few lines and words, but with those few lines and words you have told a whole story. You have told what you have experienced in that moment, but that experience isn't the experience of the reader ... the reader and the poet have different images ... that is the boundless space of Kokuzo Bosatsu, the Buddha of boundless space.

Isn't it wonderful? Haiku and Buddhism are close to each other and will always be part of each other.

I have found a photo of this temple, Shosanji, which shows that boundless space and the emptiness ....

Shosanji (Temple 12)
boundless world
the tranquil gardens of the temple
I empty my mind

I empty my mind
to make room for another thought
emptiness is cool

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 12th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will publish our new episode,  Jorakuji (Temple 14), later on today. Have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

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