Notes On Attention Paid

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02 The Daily Read:

“Haru no akebono” (Spring Sunrise), by Utagawa, Kuniteru, (1830?-1874), woodcut print on three sheets (Japan). Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.  //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/jpd.00869, //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/jpd.00870,  //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/jpd.00871.

The Haiku of Issa…

… another set of poems that are down to earth, finding Buddha in simple moments… a pretty girl yawning in spring rain… there have been many sittings of pretty girls in my life… this poem about the indifference of youth to youth, perhaps?… unaware of how fleeting youth is… another about a woman putting her child to bed and washing clothes by the light of the summer moon… life unfolding as it needs to… another poem about not having attained Buddhahood, an ancient pine tree and dreaming… pine trees are signifiers of longevity, prosperity and to guard against bad fortune…

… i find an article about the significance of pine trees in Japanese culture… this jumps out at me and reminds me of pansychism…

It is a Shinto belief that everything has a spirit, and how it is treated determines whether it becomes benevolent or malevolent.1

… i also read about becoming a Buddha, and the three secret activities to be pursued, according to Esoteric Buddhist tradition in Japan… they are…

  • assuming the posture of the Buddha
  • correct recitation of a buddha’s mantra
  • to see things as they truly are

… so, ancient pine tree, not yet a buddha, dreaming…

another article on the significance of dreaming in Buddhism… all life is dreaming… any sense that there is a difference between self and everything else is an illusion that must be overcome… one awakens when one no longer feels this separateness… this from the article…

All the things of this world should be seen as

A phantom’s mask,

A shooting star, a guttering flame.

A sorcerer’s trick, a bubble swept

On a swiftly moving stream.

A flash of lightning among dark clouds.

A drop of dew,

a dream.

… so, sacred tree, dreaming, no awakening… this poem quite dense in Buddhist thought…

… another poem about a gorgeous kite rising from a beggar’s shack… a statement that there is beauty and understanding to be found everywhere?…

… from an article on the origin of kites… kites have a significance in warding off bad spirits and communicating with the gods in Asian traditions… so, perhaps, even a beggar can communicate with the gods, become a Buddha, be enlightened…