May 30, 2010

A Chozubachi (hand-wash basin) in Engaku-ji temple

In the grassy and serene garden of Obai-in ("the house of winter jasmine"), I found this moss-covered old Chozubachi (hand-wash basin) filled with calm and transparent water.

The bright blue sky of early summer and the shadows of dense branches are beautifully mirrored on the specular surface of the clear water. The fallen leaves under water are adding elegant touches to this quiet scene.

The mental state of enlightenment which all trainee monks of Zen pursuit is often expressed with the Zen-word of "Meikyo-shisui."

Meikyo-shisui means "a cloudless mirror surface and a waveless water surface" and symbolizes the absolutely serene and clear mind which is never disturbed by evil thoughts and emotions.

In the deep stillness of the garden, the calm and clear water in the stone basin reminds me of this profound word of Zen.

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