October 8, 2017

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers and Kuro-ageha (Papilio protenor) butterfly: Tokei-ji

In the gardens of Zen, the intenseness of summer is passing away stealthily and the calmness of autumn is coming closer quietly.

In the gardens where the dainty flowers of autumn begin blooming, summer butterflies with worn-out wings, which once flitted high in the dazzling sky, are gently flying low to eagerly search for the remaining floral nectar.

Without our noticing, such an exquisite butterfly of summer will soon disappear from view after devotedly fulfilling its own mission in life.

Monument to the memory of Dogen Zenji (Shikantaza, or "Just sitting"): Kamakura

The stone monument, on which the fundamental principle (i.e. "just sitting" or shikantaza) of Dogen Zenji  (the founder of the Soto Zen school) is engraved, is shining brightly in the burning sunlight of summer.

A Saru-suberi (Indian lilac) tree with countless vivid magenta flowers is standing by the side of this monument as if to quietly meditate under the deep blue sky.

"Just sitting" and "Shinshin datsuraku" (the freedom from body and mind) are the profound doctrines of Dogen, who teaches us the way to experience the ultimate spiritual awakening.

(Please click the bold-faced words to open their linked pages.)

Hagi (Lespedeza) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Tokei-ji

Hagi (Lespedeza) flowers: Chojyu-ji

Tama-ajisai (Hydrangea involucrata) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Sujiguro-sirocho (Pieris melete) butterfly: Kita-kamakura

Yuri (Lilium) flowers: Engaku-ji

Summer maple leaves: Engaku-ji

Fuyo (Hibiscus mutabilis) flowers: Kaizo-ji