Friday, February 10, 2012

A rainy day at Ryōan-ji Temple’s rock garden

a rainy day at  Ryōan-ji Temple’s rock garden

i sit
on ancient wooden steps
and stare at boulders in the sand
blanking the brain
forgetting the wet socks and cold feet
no shoes allowed
forgetting the glistening streets out there,
the pouring rain
it helps to cleanse the mind
the simplicity of it all
forget for a moment
which will not last long
no doubt
about the world outside the temple’s walls

i look
at more rocks
gravel neatly raked in lines and circles
water ripples in the sand
cast away the thoughts
i look closer
at even smaller rocks
grinded to sand over millennia
the glue to it all
keeping boulders and gravel
and tiny spittle’s of green moss together
as one
a tranquil sandy enclave
no doubt
inside the embrace of the temple’s walls

i listen
to the rain
cascading down
a modern gutter-chain
a single-stream waterfall
rustling over river rocks
to silently flow away
no doubt
to the lake outside the temple’s walls

i hear
but don’t hear
the stir of people
just the sound of my breathing
goes in and out as it always have
no dreams no wishes
no wants no denials
no why’s no when’s
just the calmness of the present
don’t touch
it will burst
the moment
it won’t last
too soon
it will flow away
like the rain
no doubt
to the world outside the temple’s walls

The Zen Buddhism Ryōan-ji Temple is one of many temples and shrines scattered in and around the hills and mountains of Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. The temple, originally an aristocratic villa was converted to a temple after Japan’s Civil War, the Ōnin War (1467-1477). Situated in park-like surroundings with a large lake and beautiful gardens, it is also the site of Japan’s most famous rock garden. The garden’s creation date and creator are unknown. The meaning of the garden is also unclear. Although there are many suggestions and speculations about the meaning of the garden, no historic facts exist.  It is up to each viewer to find the meaning for him/herself. I have always believed that is how all gardens should be seen.

The rock garden consists of fifteen boulders of different sizes, some of them moss-covered, in a bed of raked gravel. The boulders are placed in such a way, when looking at the garden from any angle only fourteen of the boulders are visible (excluding looking from above.) Tradition maintains that only through attaining enlightenment would one be able to view the fifteenth boulder.


BoerinBallingskap said...

Daardie eerste foto is pragtig...en jou woorde mooi. Maar dit laat my jaloers. Een van die plekke waar ek nie kon uitkom toe ek in Kyoto was nie.

BluegrassBaobab said...

Ek is seker daarvan jy sal weer eendag 'n draai maak in Japan. Jy's so naby.

kaalvoetinireen said...

Mens het meer as 'n paar uur in Kyoto nodig om by baie van die goed uit te kom, maar ek is nooit spyt nie. Sal maar net eenvoudig weer daar moet uitkom en sommer 'n week bly ;-)