December 4, 2012

Autumn leaves in the garden of Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

Close by the "Sogen-chi" pond, the arrangement of rocks (Ishigumi), which takes the form of "Ryumon-baku" (Dragon Gate Fall) waterfall, is finely decorated with colored autumnal leaves.

Ryumon-baku is the precipitous waterfall in the old Chinese legend, by leaping up which a carp is said to be able to change into a dragon.

This stone arrangement consists of a "Suiraku-seki" (Water Dropping Stone) stone, a "Kannon-seki"(Kannon Bosatsu Stone) stone, a "Hekigan-seki"(Hekigan-koan Conundrum Stone) stone, a "Koi-seki" (Carp Stone) stone and so on. This form of stone arragement is essential to the Chisen-kaiyu-shiki (pond-stroll-style) Zen gardens of Japan.

In the seasons passing away, these picturesque Ishigumi rocks tell us about the esoteric teaching of Zen wordlessly.

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