Tag Archives: Buddhism

SKKS XX: 1932

Amongst some poems of reminiscences.


toku minori
kiku no shiratsuyu
yoru wa okite
tsutomete kien
koto o shi zo omou
The Law teaches that
White dewdrops on chrysanthemums (Listen)
Fall at night (Arise from slumber)
And vanish with the dawn (Go to prayer, all will die)–
That is what I feel.

Former Abbot Jien

SKKS XX: 1931

Amongst some poems of reminiscences.


negawaku wa
shibashi yamiji ni
kakage ya semashi
nori no tomoshibi
I have but one request:
That from these tracks of darkness for a while
I might escape–
O, I would raise high
The lantern of the Law.

Former Abbot Jien

SZS XIX: 1215

When he was composing poems on the twelve names of Amida, he composed this on the spirit of Chie (Wisdom).


wabibito no
kokoro no uti wo
yoso nagara
siru ya satori no
Fikari naruran
In desolation, a man
Within his heart –
Though afar –
Sees enlightenment’s
Gleam, perhaps?

Minamoto no Toshiyori

SZS XIX: 1206

At a time when there was a reading of the Lotus Sutra at the Bodai Temple and she had gone to hear it, she heard from someone asking her to return home quickly, so she composed:


motomete mo
kakaru Fatisu no
tuyu wo okite
uki yo ni mata Fa
kaFeru mono ka Fa
Even being asked,
Faced with such a lotus –
Dew-dropped – should I abandon it
And once again to the world of pain

Sei Shōnagon

MYS XX: 4468

Two poems composed when lying in sickness, saddened by the ephemerality of life, and desiring to follow the Way.


utusemi pa
kazu naki mï nari
yama kapa nö
sayakëki mitutu
miti wo tadune na
This world of ours
Is but a passing thing.
A moutain stream’s
Clean purity in my gaze,
I would find the Way.

Ōtomo no Yakamochi