A Winter Day to make me live

Looking outside of my warm room’s window, I looked at a bare tree that was gaining snow, yet seemed unaffected by the cold outside.

Tree dusted with snow,

Bare and beaten by the wind.

Why don’t you shiver?


From hakanasa to mujō appropriately sums the lessons learned this pass week.  The title represents the shift in the meaning of evanescence caused by Buddhism.  The three main concepts of Buddhist evanescence are anitya (impermanence), duhka (suffering), and anatman (no-self).  While concepts seem to put a damper on viewing life, it is interesting how it takes away the specialness humans gave themselves.  These ideas teach that people are a part of the world that is changing around them.   In Japan love is associated with dreaming rather than death (Lecture 2/15).  This is different from Western culture in which plays like Romeo and Juliet tie love to death.  People in Western culture like to believe love is permanent and this brings suffering, which is caused by not understanding changes from day to day (no-self).   This makes reference to dreams prevalent in japanese poetics  because they are suggestive, brief, and lyrical.  Everyone in Japan poetry because it’s an expression of feelings from a person’s heart.  Two sentences from this weeks readings struck me profoundly, “We do not live.  Rather, we are made to live.” (Inouye 35).  Memories of climbing mountains, watching sunsets, walking through cities, and poems I made rushed to my mind.  What has made my life have been the responses my environment have invoked in me.  This week ends, but I look forward to what the next week’s lessons will open my mind to.

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