May 26 2016 – month of daily flower & buddha photos – Day 26
morning glory flower, glazed porcelain jar. Japan. photo May 2016 ©
Buddha. photo may 2016 ©
The morning glory blooms but an hour
And yet it differs not at heart
From the great pine that lives for a
—Teitiku (Matsunaga Teitiku 1571-1654)
“Zen naturally finds its readiest expression in poetry rather than in philosophy because it has more affinity with feeling than with intellect; its poetic predilection is inevitable.”
—D.T. Suzuki, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism
The morning glory!
It has taken the well bucket,
I must seek elsewhere for water.
—Chiyo-ni (1703-1775) (Fukuda Chiyo-ni, Kaga no Chiyo)
“Kaga no Chiyo, considered one of the foremost women haiku poets, began writing at the age of seven. She studied under two haiku masters who had themselves apprenticed with the great poet, Basho…. In 1755, Chiyo became a Buddhist nun — not, she said, in order to renounce the world, but as a way ‘to teach her heart to be like the clear water which flows night and day.’ “(Jane Hirshfield)
“The idea is this: One summer morning Chiyo the poetess got up early wishing to draw water from the well…She found the bucket entwined by the blooming morning glory vine. She was so struck…that she forgot all about her business and stood before it thoroughly absorbed in contemplation. The only words she could utter were ‘Oh, the morning glory!’ At the time, the poetess was not conscious of herself or of the morning glory as standing against [outside] her. Her mind was filled with the flower, the whole world turned into the flower, she was the flower itself…
“The first line, ‘Oh morning glory!’ does not contain anything intellectual…it is the feeling, pure and simple, and we may interpret it in any way we like. The following two lines, however, determine the nature and depth of what was in the mind of the poetess: when she tells us about going to the neighbor for water we know that she just left the morning glory as she found it…she does not even dare touch the flower, much less pluck it, for in her inmost consciousness there is the feeling that she is perfectly one with reality.
“When beauty is expressed in terms of Buddhism, it is a form of self- enjoyment of the suchness of things. Flowers are flowers, mountains are mountains, I sit here, you stand there, and the world goes on from eternity to eternity, this is the suchness of things.” (D.T. Suzuki)
From the mind
of a single, long vine
one hundred opening lives.
photos May 2016 ©