Friday, December 20, 2013

Ryokan's Kind Words

        Were there someone
        in the world
        who feels as I feel,
        we would talk all night
        in this grass hut.

(From Tanahashi's translation of Ryokan poems Sky Above, Great Wind. Another verse follows below.)

Genju recently posted a review of this wonderful book along with some of her own brush work reminding me of this poem. It's reminiscent of much of the poetry I love in that it calls out to our wish to share in wonder an appreciation of life and of each other. 

In actuality though, what would such a conversation involve? Most likely an exchange of trivialities that falls short of the wonder we wish to share our experience of. Silence and sitting tend to be more effective ways of experiencing and sharing that sense of wonder, as well as increasing our experience of wonder in every day life.

(Photo of a portion of Soyoung L Kim's 100 Cups of Tea. More of her work can be found at saatchionline.)

        I don’t regard my life
        as insufficient.
        Inside the brushwood gate
        there is a moon;
        there are flowers.

I'm grateful to have this blog in which to share some of that sense of wonder with any person who wanders by.


Lauren said...


Happi said...

_/|\_ Hi Lauren, thanks for dropping by.

To the person who left a comment asking about Antaiji - I haven't published your comment since it contains your private email address.

If you decide to go to Antaiji take aspirin, bug spray, anti-histamines, antibiotic salve, and rubber boots and rain gear that fit well and are comfortable. If you don't need them someone else will and be thankful. It's not a vacation, it's hard work and sometimes difficult sitting afterwards as a result. Nonetheless the primary resistances you'll encounter will be the ones in yourself -- a few of which you probably won't know you had. Whatever image of yourself and Antaiji you have, Antaiji will challenge your assumptions and expectations.

If, after reading the other Antaiji posts on this blog ( and checking out Antaiji's new website ( , especially the yearbook), you still have questions I suggest asking Moho-san or one of the other residents. The description in the "Residents Wanted" section is accurate.

Wishing you all the best.