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Most Inner Of Rooms

Photo: B. Fertman

Photo: B. Fertman

Daitoku-ji Revisited

Twenty-five years ago I first entered the gates of Daitoku-ji, one of the most beautiful Zen Temple in Japan, known for its rock gardens.

Today I returned, and found myself no less in love with them. They have not changed, but I have, and so they have.

1988

Ryugintei and Isshishan are Zen Rock Gardens within the monastery walls.  Shoko-ken is a small teahouse I found when I was roaming around within a bamboo forest on a snowy night, completely lost.

 Ryugintei

Leaving this world.

Gazing down from high above.

Seeing far below.

Small islands.

White waves.

No details.

Only large patterns,

Orderly in their randomness,

Unknowable in their logic.

Isshishan

Tall rocks,

Jutting through gravity.

Once I loved them.

Now they seems too ambitious,

Working so hard.

Shoko-Ken

Moonlight falls.

Snow settles slowly upon the thatched roof.

Steam rises from an old, black pot.

The smell of thick green tea.

Two tatami mats.

Most inner of rooms,

Where you and I can meet,

Who knows for how long?

Thank God I lost my way,

I never would have found you.

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