The mountains remain the same,
As do the trees and streams…
All that has changed
Is my heart.
For those who don’t know Bennen was a yamabushi (mountain ascetic) who tried to kill the Pure Land Buddhist teacher Shinran in the mountains. When he actually met Shinran however he became his disciple. The above poem was something he recited when travelling through the mountains with his master, following the same path where once he had lain in ambush. As a disciple of Shinran he recieved the name Myoho-bo. he died before Shinran; who writes about him one of his letters (19).
A great little verse to take into my new day; Thankyou.
When a heart freezes and refuses to move, it dies. But a warm heart that moves towards others, is alive.
Thanks Pa, glad you enjoyed. I’d be curious to know the source of your quote – self penned or….?
Also, thanks Kyoshin for adding the background detail. Guess I’m lazy like that sometimes. Although, sometimes I like the poetry to stand by itself and the reader appreciate it in their own way, I guess many readers would appreciate the background info and I should acknowledge that.
You’re welcome – self penned!
Actually it was just that I gave a talk that touched on this story last weekend. I had never put together that Bennen and Myoho-bo where the same person. When I realised that Shinran’s letter took on a whole new light.
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