Tag Archives: Japan

A Cherry Hung with Snow…

Simply trust, Simply trust! Cherry blossoms in bloom                 Japanese haiku poet Kobayashi Issa It’s Japanese practice (as I understand it) to display each seasonal decoration, like this cherry blossom bonsai, a little in … Continue reading

Posted in Flowers, Japan, Nature, Pioneer Valley, Poetry, Spring | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments

Promiscuously, in a Vase

Why have I been sequestered so long, away from my blogs (and yours)? I’ve been preparing to moderate a seminar on the Cultural Arts of Japan in our local Learning in Retirement program. I’m sure that in a previous life … Continue reading

Posted in Challenge, Etcetera, Flowers, Japan, Nature, Pioneer Valley, Quotes, winter | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

In Praise of Shadows

Here in the West we often favor brilliant colors, hyperrealism, and a superabundance of light. Dazzle! Clarity! Vision! But in the East, in Japan, there are also alternate aesthetic values. This quote from the novelist Junichiro Tanizaki presents a traditional … Continue reading

Posted in Flowers, Japan, Mindfulness, Quotes, Writers | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

The Jewel in the Lotus —

Anyone who’s flirted even mildly with Tibetan Buddhism knows this mantra for chanting: Om mani padme hum. What does it mean? “Hail, The Jewel is in the Lotus.” But what does that mean? Even though I’ve chanted it myself (although I am … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Buddha, Etcetera, Flowers, Japan, Pioneer Valley, Wisdom, Wonderings, Zen | Tagged , , , , | 39 Comments

Wondering —

“you have to be careful, ask yourself questions, as for example whether you still are, and if no when it stopped, and if yes how long it will still go on, anything at all to keep you from losing the … Continue reading

Posted in Buddha, Etcetera, Japan, Mindfulness, Quotes, Wonderings, Writers | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

“But the Beholder Wanting —“

This is a recent post on one of my favorite blogs, cross-ties. After I read it —- At the end of the first stanza of The Parakeets at Karekare, Allen Curnow refers to “a scene waiting to be painted.” Apt, I’d say; apt … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Etcetera, Photography, Poetry, Quotes, Wonderings | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Guess What We’re Doing?

No prizes offered, just the quiet satisfaction of your own cleverness: Moving House Soon the house will be filled again, Our boxes have been carried off, The walls are bare, we only leave White patches where our pictures hung. Dust … Continue reading

Posted in Etcetera, Home, Poetry | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Even the Heavens Wept —

Shinto, the religion that belongs to Japan indigenously, before the arrival of Buddhism, is an animist religion. It believes that the physical world and the spiritual world are inseparable, that natural phenomena are also living entities like human beings, and … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Essay, Poetry, Zen | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Plum Blossoms

Only slight taste of it — Spring makes its Bronx debut With ume and orchids — Photo and Haiku (after Basho) by David Elpern In Shochikubai: Three Friends of Winter we met the pine, the bamboo, and the plum blossom (bai, or … Continue reading

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Shochikubai: Three Friends of Winter

SHO —         CHIKU —         and BAI —         We all get by with a little help from our friends — and since ancient times each of these “three friends … Continue reading

Posted in Etcetera | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments