Saturday, March 29, 2014

Carpe Diem #433, Nagao-ji (temple 87)

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

With this episode we enter the last phase, the last two days of our Shikoku pilgrimage and as I have promised I will the last two themes of the State of Zen in Haiku.
In this episode that will be love and in our last episode tomorrow that will be courage.

Love ... a wellknown emotion and in Zen-Buddhism love is very much referred to all and everything, but what to say about love as theme for the State of Zen in Haiku? Let me tell you ...

Credits: Spiritual Love

Zen is love of the Universe. Without this love, joy is uncertain, pain inevitable, all is meaningless.
This love must be complete, - not that it aims at the Universe as a whole, but that the personality as a whole is to be concentrated on the thing; the thing is to be suffused with the personality.

[...] "When an object is picked up, everthing else, One and All, comes along with it, not in the way of suggestion, but all-inclusively, in the sense that the object is complete in itself" [...] (Source: Dr. Suzuki)

The relation of love to poetry may be easy to make, but that to Zen is more difficult. Look at it like this.
If we are without self-love, greediness, without desire of gain, of happiness, of life itself, all this energy must overflow somewhere. It overflowes into all things, including one self, so that now no actions are selfish or unselfish, good or bad, but are like the sunshine or the rain, but with mind instead of mindlessness. We say that we see the beauty of the fine drops of rain, the glittering of the leaves in the sun, the stars in their calm, - but what we really see is in the mind of man, or own mind, in all these things. Through our activity and cooperation, these inanimate things acquire mind and affection.
In return, we become windy, rainy, starry, sunny creatures living in all things, in all times and places.

Love is also a kind of Dualism

Haiku are an expression of the joy of our reunion with things from which we have been parted by self-consciousness, so strong and tender in the sexual act, more diffused, yet equally powerful and delicate in our poetic moments. Though our love of things is so feeble, we all desire to be loved ardently in the wrong, the unbuddhistic, the unchristian way.

A few haiku to give you all an idea of love as a State of Zen in Haiku:

mountain persimmons;
the mother is eating
the astringent parts

(c) Issa

shutting the great temple gate,
creak! it goes:

an autumn evening

(c) Shiki

And a last one composed by San-in, a not so well-known haiku-poet:

it walked with me
as I walked,
the scarecrow in the distance

(c) San-in

Now we know a little bit more about love as a State of Zen in Haiku and now we can enter Nagao-ji, temple 87, devoted to Guanyin the boddhisattva of compassion. Guanyin is in this idea of love as a State of Zen in Haiku the most important boddhisattva, because Guanyin is depicted in both ways, as a male and as a female. So in Guanyin love is clearly there.
Now we can celebrate love as the ultimate, unconditional and universal energy which makes us who we are and who we will become. In my opinion love is the strongest energy to transform us into godlike loving creatures.

Nagao-ji (temple 87)

the last steps taken
to find universal love -
the sound of rain

(c) Chèvrefeuille

And now it is up to you my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers to write haiku inspired by love as a State of Zen. This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 1st 11.59 AM (CET). I will (try to) post our last episode of this month, of this wonderful and spiritual pilgrimage, later on today. In that episode we will finally, after two months, enter the last temple of the Shikoku trail, Okubo-ji (temple 88).


  1. Another wonderfully informative post and love the haiku ~ ...universal love and sound of rain ~ Happy Weekend with your new grand child. ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol

  2. Love; everyone wants it , even without even understanding it's parameters; have a nice weekend

    much love,,,

  3. That was a difficult prompt, but good one!