May 13, 2018
Like a graceful daydream flitting in the bright sunlight, the blue-striped summer butterfly suddenly appeared from nowhere in the air and alighted on the small white flower before my eyes.
In an instant, it sucked nectar from the flower while beating its wings and then quickly fleeted from one flower to the next for eagerly seeking nectar. Immediately after doing so, it swiftly flied high up and vanished into thin air.
Summer butterflies are beginning to fly around here to let me realize that the season of the dazzling sun has just arrived.
The early summer breeze was gently blowing down from the slope thickly covered with the dazzling fresh green and was conveying to me the quiet aura of enlightenment which was completely pervading this small valley.
April 28, 2018
Various new leaves have just emerged all at once and many kinds of fresh green are quickly flooding this peaceful garden.
These green colors, which are shining brightly in the abundant warm sunlight of mid-spring, represent the vivid vital sparks of plants. The brisk breeze passing through the new leaves lets me reaffirm that the cycle of life and growth is repeated as ever.
I deeply sensed the silent joy of all living things within the pleasant air drifting gently in this fresh green place.
On April 8, in almost all Japanese Buddhist temples, the "Hana-matsuri" (flower festival), which is also called "Kan-butsu-e" (the festival of bathing the new-born Buddha), is held for celebrating the birthday of Buddha.
A tiny "Hana-mido" (flower shrine) is decorated with various beautiful spring flowers. A small basin called "Kan-butsu-oke" (the tub for bathing Buddha) is filled with "Ama-cha" (sweet hydrangea tea). In this basin, an image of the newborn Buddha is placed and the worshipers pour Ama-cha tea onto this image for celebrating his birthday.
This practice of pouring Ama-cha is based on the legend that the nine dragons of heaven poured pure rainwater onto the newborn Buddha to give him a his first bath.
This newborn Buddha is standing in the symbolic pose for declaring that he is his own Lord throughout heaven and earth (Tenjyo-tenge-yuigadokuson) by pointing his fingers at heaven and earth.
Like beautiful and devotional offerings, the spring-peony flowers are blooming in full glory beside the quiet stone path leading to the "Sho-do" shrine (the shrine in which the image of the founder is placed).
This inmost shrine of Kencho-ji temple is sacred to the memory of Lanxi Daolong, who crossed over to Japan and founded this temple as a Rinzai-Zen training monastery by request of the regent of the Kamakura shogunate in the 13th century.
A peony flower is called the queen of flowers and was introduced into Japan from China.
April 3, 2018
In the true height of spring, with the help of a rapid rise of temperature, every living thing awakens suddenly from its long quiet sleep and this season of tireless resurgence starts with very hurried steps.
Diverse spring flowers burst into bloom in the twinkling of an eye and a variety of new leaves quickly appear in one breath. In concert with this lively transformation, birds begin twittering their love songs to chant the joy of spring.
The enchantment of this jubilant season silently arouses the lusty vital force of all living things that are interconnected with each other.
When I look at a flower, I often feel like seeing a beautiful but fragile illusion which has no physical reality. Because a flower must vanish away soon after it blooms, most likely I can never find the current flower right in front of me once again.
A flower transiently blooms just once in this world and I encounter such a flower only once in my lifetime.
March 24, 2018
In the passing of seasons, a flower selflessly blooms and fades away as it is.
While I am aware that any flower must decline and fall immediately, its vanishing before my eyes always causes my inexpressible and subtle sorrowfulness.
In the gentle warm sunshine of mid-spring, the white lotus-shaped flowers of Haku-mokuren (white-lotus-flower tree) are lively blooming with one accord high up in the air.
Just after this spectacular blooming period, all of these white flowers will decay and scatter very rapidly without any hesitation and trace.
February 25, 2018
Against the bright blue sky of early spring, the countless white blossoms of ume are in full bloom to nobly declare the arrival of this long-awaited season.
The rugged branches of the aged ume tree are persistently struggling to seek the sun and are drawing the flowing curves like the calligraphy of a Zen priest in the air.
The refreshing fragrance of blossoms is faintly floating here, which makes me confirm the awakening of beautiful spring.
In every season, flowers bloom to secretly imply to us the true essence of the nature.
The exquisiteness and transience of every flower wake our deepest respect and heartfelt affection for the universe in which we are living.