These lazy spring days
continue-but how far away
those times called Long Ago! ~Buson*
It is part of the photographer’s job to see more intensely than most people do. He must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or the traveller who enters a strange country. ~Bill Brant**
To view more images submitted for this week’s Black and White Challenge, visit Sonel’s Corner
*The Sound of Water
Trans: Sam Hamill
**The Tao of Photography
Philippe L. Gross and S.I. Shapiro
my dear old village,
every memory of home
pierces like a thorn ~Issa
Releasing the shackles of tension
Concentrating energy and then relaxing is a good way to release any physical or mental tension. Concentrate your mind, feel the tension, and then let go…release energy blocks in the mind and body…concentrate on feeling where the pressure is – often you can release the stress simply by bringing awareness to it, and letting go. If muscles are tense in a certain place, they will relax once awareness of letting go is there.
Release the stress or worry in your head by relaxing the muscles of your face and forehead, and letting go of all tension…image a healing light opening up and relaxing the tightness or pain in your head, or where ever it is tense…imagine your out-breath as a warm wind that sweeps away stress…releasing your breath into the welcoming infinity of space. (pages 108-109)*
The Healing Power of the Mind
As a water-vessel is variously perceived by beings:
Nectar to celestials,
is for a man plain drinking-water,
While to the hungry ghost it seems a putrid ooze of pus and blood,
Is for the water serpent-spirits
and the fish a place to live in,
While it is space to gods who dwell
in the sphere of infinite space.
So any object, live or dead,
within the person or without —
is seen by beings
according to their fruits of kamma.
In a new post specifically for this WordPress photo challenge, share a photo which means FRESH to you!
Be from the earth, not of it.
Fearlessly look into the seat of the trouble.
Where the grief is the strongest,
the doubt most disturbing,
the turmoil most opaque,
the ignorance most dark –
that is the place where enlightenment will break through.
The Feeling Buddha
Symptoms are ways home. They are our routes, our passages, our betaking of ourselves. A symptom is a kind of sigh, a sort of relief in a routine of life, a letting go of the unfamiliar and entering the unfamiliar. It is not a dangling part, but rather a striking, integrated expression of self. In the system of interpretation of traditional acupuncture, the symptom acts as a leitmotif, a main theme of a persons’ life that has been called up to be dealt with, to be completed. The symptom is not for the sake of itself. It is, rather, an instrument for wholing, healing, coming home.
The symptom sits in the person’s history. It is a request for support; not support for simply getting rid of, of fixing it; but support for bearing it; for suffering it as an expression of life; support for seeing the wisdom and embrace ability of the symptom. It may even be said that a symptom, no matter how awesome or terrible, is life requesting to be embraced in all its manifestations. . . . A symptom is a way to the whole, to the person’s story, to her history, to her “storied” life. Like any opening, anyway in, there are things that come into view right away; so the symptom acts as an opening to vision and relationships beyond the ordinary, beyond the suffering (All Sickness is Homesickness, Connelly, 1993)
Dogen-zenji said, ‘Time goes from present to past,’ This is absurd, but in our practice sometimes it is true. Instead of time progressing from past to present, it goes backwards from present to past. Yoshitsune was a famous warrior who lived in medieval Japan. Because of the situation of the country at that time, he was sent to the northern provinces, where he was killed. Before he left he bade farewell to his wife, and soon after she wrote in a poem, ‘Just as you unreel the thread from a spool, I want the past to become present.’ When she said this, actually she made time present. In her mind the past became alive and was the present. So as Dogen said, ‘Time goes from present to past.’ This is not true in our logical mind, but it is in the actual experience of making past time present. There we have poetry, and there we have human life. (33)*
*Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
The years tumble by
like the leaves driven before the breeze,
intricate and veined,
fading from the green of recent memories
to the gold autumnal shades of the past.*
Those gifts you left
have become my enemies:
there might have been
a moment’s forgetting ~ Ono no Komachi*
Ono no Komachi…became the subject of legend almost from the time of her death. Little is known of her life, and the stories about her freely commingle historic fact and suppositions drawn from poems…Legends, folktales, and songs add that Komachi was not only the outstanding woman poet of her time but also the most beautiful and desirable of women…Also according to legend, the renowned poet ended her life in anonymity, isolation, and poverty, an ancient, half-mad hag living outside the city walls, though still writing poetry and possessing a deep understanding of Buddhist teachings.*
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*The Ink Dark Moon
Trans: Jane Hirshfield w/Mariko Aratani