Friday, February 28, 2014

Carpe Diem #409, Enko-ji (temple 39)

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

Today we are entering the last temple of the first part of our Shikoku Pilgrimage. Today that's Enko-ji (Temple 39) at Sukumo Kochi Prefecture, it's also the last temple in Kochi prefecture. After this episode we will enter Ehime Prefecture, the third of four prefectures we will cross during this pilgrimage. (You can find our new prompt-list for March HERE)

Enko-ji temple is devoted to Yakushi Nyorai or the Buddha of Medicine and Healing. It is said that he entered in the state of Samadhi ("Eliminating All the Suffering and Afflictions of Sentient Beings."), a very deep concentration and part of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Dharma Wheel, representing the Noble Eightfold Path
As I started a few episodes earlier I mentioned the Zen insights on haiku and we had already "selflessness" and "loneliness" and today I will try to tell you more about "gratefull acceptance" or "gratitude" with that what you already have. It is in this "gratefull acceptance" that Zen-Buddhistic monks are 'begging' and are gratefull for the charity they are given.

"Gratitude is the key to unlocking a more open and rewarding perspective on life. Feelings of appreciation are always accompanied by the elevation of one's state of life and the broadening of one's perspective. And, the more our life expands, the more profound our sense of gratitude becomes, to the point where we can feel appreciation even for the problems we face in life."

It's in this Zen thought that the haiku-poets are composing their haiku. I have sought for a few examples and I have found the following by Issa:

suzushisa ni katajikenasa no yo tsuyu kana

for the cool, cool air...
evening dew
Or this one by Matsuo Basho ...:

yagate shinu keshiki wa miezu semi no koe

soon to die,
yet no sign of it:
a cicada's cry

And what do you think of this one written by myself:

thousand daisies
around the farmer's house -
lowing of a cow

What do you think of these haiku ... in my opinion they're giving a great view on what "gratefull acceptance" is ... the simplicity of all days situations are accepted in gratitude. In other words "be happy with that what is given to you, it's all in the little things".

Well ... this was our last episode of Carpe Diem's first part of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Tomorrow we will go on further on our pilgrimage starting at the first temple on the Shikoku trail in Ehime Prefecture at Ainan, that temple is named "Kanjizai-ji" and is also devoted to the Buddha of Medicine and Healing.
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 2nd 11.59 AM (CET).


  1. Grateful for what is, was, can be...

  2. I love the cow haiku!

  3. As always, Basho's have different levels. Issa's is very powerful. Yours fits with that cutting 2rd line, like Basho's cuckoo. Being grateful is a strong topic.

  4. beautiful haiku… we can always find a way to love the moment.

  5. Yes the farmer is likely grateful for the daisies, the lowing cow AND the farmhouse!!

  6. Beautiful haiku!

    in early morning light
    blackbird sins

  7. And I gave you yet another non-working link. Sorry again. :(