March 29, 2012

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Engaku-ji

Spring has made its belated arrival at last.

The fragrant flowers of early spring have begun to bloom lively in unison and are adding delightful colors and elegant fragrances to the quiet gardens of Zen.

Flowers are blooming devotedly and peacefully to fulfill their own precious duty under the order of nature. The esoteric beauties of them always open my eyes to the truth of life.

The bright seasons of growth and breeding have only just gotten under way.

Mitsumata (Edgeworthia chrysantha)flowers in Jochi-ji

By the side of the bell tower, the bright yellow flowers of Mitsumata, which earliest announce the arrival of spring, are at their best.

Ume flowers in Engaku-ji

Kawazu-zakura (Cerasus lannesiana Carrière, 'Kawazu-zakura') flowers in Engaku-ji

Kawazu-zakura is an early-flowering variety of Sakura (Japanese cherry), which tells us of the appearance of spring.

These elegant pale pink flowers are announcing beforehand that the best time of cherry blossoms will soon arrive here.

Ume flowers and a Zen-monk in Engaku-ji

In the front garden of the Shari-den (a hall for Buddha's bones), a trainee Zen-monk, who had just returned from his training of asking for alms, paused momentarily and casted his eyes to the white Ume flowers.

Chasen-bai flowers in Tokei-ji

This species of Ume is called Chasen-bai (Chasen-ume) in Japan because its small delicate flower looks like a chasen.

A chasen is the tea whisk which is made of bamboo and is used to whip powdered green tea in the tea ceremony.

Ume flowers in Tokei-ji

An image of Shaka-nyorai in Tokei-ji

Ume flowers in Tokei-ji

Beneath a sky of cloudless blue, white Ume flowers were in the bloom of beauty.

I felt that these flowers were quietly rejoicing in the bright beams of the spring sun.

A stream in Engaku-ji

March 20, 2012

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Engaku-ji

The gentle warmth of early spring is softly waking up all living things out of long and calm winter sleep.

Anywhere I go, the faint but distinct aroma of elegant Ume flowers is floating on a breath of air to convice me of the arrival of this new spring.

The old wooden image of Amitabha Buddha seems to be fondly watching the white flowers of Ume blooming splendidly in an ecstasy of joy.

In Buddhistic culture, flowers symbolize the infinite mercy and compassion of Buddha.

Amitabha is the Buddha of infinite light and infinite life who presides over the Pure Land.

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Engaku-ji

The quiet yellow-green surface of the Byakuro-chi pond greatly enhanced the elegance of the red Ume flowers. Byakuro-chi means "the pond where snowy herons visit."

Until the gray and cold winter comes again, numerous varieties of enchanting colors continue to beautify the gardens of Zen one after the other with the changing of the seasons.

The flowers of Mitsumata (Edgeworthia chrysantha) in Tokei-ji

The bright yellow flowers of Mitsumata are coming into full bloom to happily proclaim the long-expected start of early spring.

These flowers emit a sweet and delightful fragrance, which can instantly melt my melancholy winter mind.

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Engaku-ji

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Engaku-ji

The flower buds of Haku-mokuren (Magnolia heptapeta) in Engaku-ji

The fuzzy flower-buds of the Haku-mokuren tree are growing up rapidly.

Soon, in the bright sunlight of spring, the countless white flowers of this tree will bloom magnificently with one accord as if to celebrate the arrival of this joyful season.

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Engaku-ji

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Kencho-ji

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Engaku-ji

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Engaku-ji

Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers in Tokei-ji

March 16, 2012

Red Ume (Japanese apricot) blossoms in Engaku-ji

Spring is here.

The blossoms of Ume (Japanese apricot) are blooming elegantly in concert now.

Uguisu birds (Japanese bush warblers) are beginning to sing their sweet spring songs to warmly welcome the arrival of this beautiful season of growth.