December 6, 2021

Autumn leaves: Engaku-ji

Autumn leaves: Engaku-ji

The dazzling sunlight of afternoon is pouring down from the pale sky above the San-gedatsu-mon (Three Gates of Liberation) and makes the colored leaves of the old maple trees shine brightly like calm blazing flames in the air. 

In Zen temples, the San-gedatsu-mon symbolizes the three kinds of Samadhi. These Samadhis are the ways to attain the profound spiritual awakening that every earthly thing to which we cling is essentially a transient and empty delusion.

For those who have passed through these gates and have reached the state of liberation, I wonder how they see and perceive this fleeting but exquisite scene of autumn leaves glowing in the sun.

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