Sunday, 3 May 2009

monk in the lonely hut

What are your thoughts tonight, my monk sheltering the world in your lonely hut?

The Monk Daichi-zenji answers:

I have lived alone
in this hut
For twenty years,

Never going
to the village below
with begging bowl.

Carrying a basket,
I picked ripened fruit
from a thousand trees

And after eating,
sleep on a stone pillow
by the mountain creek.

I burn incense
and sit alone in zazen
under a tall pine tree.

Wind blows cold dew
and wets my robe.

In the fifth watch,
I get up, go down
to the two ravines,

And bring back a pitcher
containing the moon.

Far and near,
mountains wreathed
by haze,

like a sumi-e painting
in subtle shades.

Above and beyond,
mind is calm
and clear

So difficult to express
to those not seeking
the Way.

The Monk Henjo answers:

Let the winds of heaven

Blow through the paths among the clouds

And close their gates.

Then for a while
I could detain

These messengers in maiden form.

Can it be that they are one and the same?


  1. roxana.. ..

    unearthy scene.. I can smell the spirit of life or nymphs' jokes conveyed by the fog and twilight.. mystery.. mystery.. but so charming.. :-)

  2. Of course.. one.. and only one.. for all.. :p

    Seeing nonchalantly the mirage
    over the plain grasses in the wild field, being obsessed by the shadow of clouds reflected from deep inside of water.. I come into know that all these are for the great poems which have been being written by mother nature..

  3. imi place ! are mister! bun verdele!

  4. don't ask me why x but when i look at this it puts me in mind of the bit where jane eyre meets rochester and is thinking of the gytrash...

  5. Ne pare rău Roxane, utilizaţi un traducător de engleză, pentru tine
    o imbratisare


  6. Your photos are just getting more and more wonderful.....
    The picture seems very unearthly but nostalgic at the same time. Somehow makes me wish I was probably is the visualization of the spiritual state I wish to be in.

  7. Ikkyu comments: Who needs fruits of thousand trees? who sits in zazen if zazen itself is sitting? who looks for moon in water when it fills the sky? How to explain it to someone who found the way?

    Ikkyu continues: Sky gives us wind, wind turns the wheels in the mill - yet in its effect it is gone already? Only the unenlightened tries to detain free streams

    Ikkyu concludes: They are both fools, and fools can never be the same.

  8. Peter, still dreaming about nymphs, aren't you :-) what can i photograph which doesn't make you see sirens and nymphs, i wonder :-P but this seems to be a centuries old problem, this monk Henjo sees maidens in the clouds, and this even without the help of my photos :-)

    (luckily you save yourself with these beautiful lines: 'the mirage
    over the plain grasses in the wild field, being obsessed by the shadow of clouds reflected from deep inside of water' :-)

  9. multumesc I.B., cu recunostinta ca intotdeauna...

  10. swiss, 'don't ask me why x', as if the picture were horribly bad ahah :-)

    oh i was so in love with 'jane eyre' - and 'wuthering heights' as well, i can understand why you would think of that. btw, i have a question: is 'wuthering' just a part of a name for an english native speaker, or do you still think about the meaning, i suppose the sound of the storm swirling over those moorlands?

  11. buongiorno Morris! Ti ringrazio per il abbraccio... non parlo italiano ma posso legere e capire...

  12. thank you, Michiko, for your lovely words... yes, it was wonderful to be there in the mountains and feel the mist all over and the softness of the vapour coming out of the dark forests...

  13. eneles,

    Roxana comments: who needs love when one has beauty? who looks for the moon in the sky when it fills the heart? who needs reality if dream itself is real? how to explain this to one who lives in passion?

    Roxana continues: the sky gives us one moment, that moment still ravishes our lives, yet is it already long gone? how to explain this to one who is unable to feel passion?

    Roxana concludes: they are both fools, but only one will pay in the end.

    (oh, and Roxana wins anytime over Ikkyu, he may be enlightened but he is also drunk and she is sweet and pretty :-P sorry i can't resist, you know that i have to follow Cohen when he prays like this: 'G-d opened my eyes this morning loosened the bands of sleep let me see the waitress’s tiny earrings and the merest foothills of her small breasts […] Thank You Ruler of the World Thank You for calling me Honey'.)

  14. isn't commenting on koan's a monk's task? maybe roxana should have taken other form

    of course the sweet-and-pretty wins over drunk-and-enlightened - but not in the game that is played )

  15. no, she's very happy with this one thank you, but she also wants to do exactly what is not supposed to be her "task", sweet-and-pretty comes in a package with stubborn-and-playful, i'm afraid :-)

    oh and that win is of course illusory, but does she have something else apart her floating dreams?

  16. roxana.. how anybody dare not to adore you.. YOU are responsible for all these, my silen actually for everybody else!!! :p

  17. Peter, you make me shy :-) if i listened to you, how would i ever again be able to keep a humble mind? but luckily i don't listen :-P

    (so funny, this lovely asian habit of saying 'l' instead of 'r', do you know who Silenus was? :-P it would be indeed interesting to see a mixture of a siren and of a silen my god what a monstruosity - but if i am not mistaken, he was the sun of a nymph too - so there you have your nymphs again :-) however i doubt that he drank Heineken, being Dionysus's teacher)

  18. homelessness
    being his true home
    he sees the one in the many
    the many in the one
    and so is never alone

  19. :-) yes!! some asians have real difficulty in differentiating the sound of 'r' with 'l', or vice versa. Wow I didn't know that I confused the word though. Another discovery, brillant roxana!!
    I like to see your cheeks reddened over shyness.. only..
    And actually I would rather be a centaurs, half horse and half man, if God never make a mistake in creating the half part of the creature the other way around, i.e., upper half for horse with the other for man, like the one in Equus.. :p :p

  20. Se mi capisci io capisco te. dal tuo sorriso, dalle tue emozioni, dalle tue fotografie meravigliose, grazie di esistere. Con sincero affetto

  21. Michael.
    if i could write like you i would say it is different for me, not 'homelessness' but 'finding my home everywhere' - i think i was somehow blessed with this ability of becoming 'nestled' in even the smallest thing of this world.
    (i think you have already guessed this about me)

    but the two are again the same in the end, aren't they?

  22. Morris, grazie!!!!!!

    un grande bacio :-)
    mi capisce se scrivo in inglese?

  23. i absolutely love the photo, it also is like out of a dream!

  24. Manuela, it is near Brasov, last summer... it's a very beautiful area, I'd love to go back...

  25. I adore the colour of green in this.