October 29, 2011

A stone image of Bodhidharma in Kencho-ji

A granite stone image of Bodhidharma was gleaming brightly in the clear and pure sunlight peculiar to late October.

Each time I stand in front of this solemn stone image in the quiet bamboo garden, I have the illusion that I can hear the sudden deep shout of Bodhidharma which he gives to waken and disillusion us from earthly passions and delusions.

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) leaves in Tokei-ji

As autumn deepens abruptly, these thick summer leaves of Iwatabako will begin to fall after fulfilling their duty.

The kanji text carved on the stone plate tells about the great mercy and wisdom of Soyen Shaku (1860-1919), who is one of the most notable Zen monk in modern Japan and is the first to introduce the philosophy and word of "Zen" in the West.

Hototogisu (Tricyrtis hirta) flowers in Tokei-ji

In Kita-kamakura, the purple polka-dot flowers of Hototogisu are presently blooming in full glory in the every garden of Zen temples.

This adorable flower is one of the precious seasonal gifts which autumn delivers to us stealthily.

Jyugatsu-sakura (Prunus × subhirtella cv. Autumnalis) flowers in Tokei-ji

Although spring sakura flowers bloom splendidly with the happiness of victory, the flowers of Jyugatsu-sakura blossom inconspicuously as if trying to avoid being seen.

"Jyugatsu-sakura" means the sakura which blossoms in October.

In the silent garden where the tints of autumn deepen moment by moment, I appreciate the modest and fragile beauty of this pale pink flower of October.

Sacred lotus in Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

The leaves of sacred lotus, which once covered this pond lively and densely in summer, have died calmly.

The seasons turn and the wheel of life goes round and round.

October 20, 2011

Sion (Aster tataricus) flowers in Kaizo-ji

The light blue of the afternoon sky, the green and red of leaves of trees and the pale purple of Sion flowers created a brilliant and complex mosaic of autumn.

The full-blown flowers of Sion were quietly facing toward the the declining sun in the modest garden where a faint hint of winter could be felt in the air.

Fallen flowers of Kinmokusei in Kaizo-ji

An enormous number of golden Kinmokusei (fragrant olive) flowers had been scattered all together in a very short time by the sudden night rain.

These small flowers were still staying on the glossy green leaves of Tsuwabuki (Farfugium japonicum) and the moss-covered ground to beautify this garden of autumn magically.

A Tsumagurohyomon (Argyreus hyperbius) butterfly in Kaizo-ji

In the afternoon sun, I saw a Tsumagurohyomon butterfly fluttering lightly among vivid Sion flowers.

I felt that this butterfly was the last I found in the gardens of Zen in this year.

October 14, 2011

Higanbana (Lycoris radiata) flowers in Kencho-ji

The Higanbana flowers, which are lit up by the afternoon sun shining into the bush, are glittering like deep crimson flames.

The clear and soft sunlight peculiar to early autumn can work magic on the gardens of Zen to reveal the essential beauty of this world.

Before long, leaves of trees will begin to take on vivid autumnal reds and yellows. The crimson of these flowers may be the advance notice of the coming season of these brilliant tints.

A Komaruhanabachi bumblebee in Engaku-ji

In the soft afternoon sun of October, I saw bumble bees buzzing busily from flower to flower to collect pollen and nectar.

Until the end of their lives, they go on carrying out their last duties absorbedly for leaving offspring.

When long and bitter winter is over, I will find their noisy offspring buzzing diligently around flowers in the warmth of spring.

The Kara-mon (Chinese-style gate) of Kencho-ji

High white clouds are slowly floating in the azure sky.

The golden gate is softly sparkling in the clear autumn sun.

October 11, 2011

Kinmokusei (Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus) flowers in Tokei-ji

The small golden flowers of Kinmokusei (fragrant olive) trees suddenly bloom all at once and emit a delightful aroma of autumn everywhere about here.

The spectacular blooming of these fragrant flowers is one of the most evident and graceful manifestations of the start of autumn in Kita-kamakura.

When a sudden rain falls, these flowers scatter simultaneously and decorate the ground surfaces splendidly with their gold petals.

October 9, 2011

Calm twilight at Morito coast

Countless fleecy clouds are gently floating high up in the air. The evening sun has just sunk below the horizon.

The dim afterglow, which is a precious and transient gift from the setting sun, is subtly coloring the quiet sky violet and scarlet to let us sense the fineness of our universe at this very moment.

The waves are softly lapping the shore with pleasant sound as if to wash away the pain and distress of all living things in this peaceful twilight.

Water lily leaves in Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

The declined sun of early October is tranquilly shining on the rippled water surface covered with water lily leaves.

Soon these leaves will disappear into the muddy water for their long winter sleep and lively rebirth in the coming spring.