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 a selection of 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).
The Shikoku Pilgrimage starts at the first temple, Ryozenji, but before we start with our Shikoku Pilgrimage we first have to learn the "Heart of the Great Wisdom Sutra":
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.
|Ryozenji (the first temple)|
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 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.
the Heart Sutra to honor Kukai -
cry of a Vulture
breaks through the serene temple -
Well ... our new month has started ... enjoy our small pilgrimage along the 88 temples on Shikoku Island.
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 9th at noon (CET). Have fun!
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