Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Delayed Daily Musing - March 15th, 2013 - Shrine - 神社 - Shénshè

Shrine - 神社 - Shénshè

What will await
across the still water
on that distant shore?
Cicadas' serenade,
while cranes pass overhead,
the air is so alive
and yet your heart
so dead.

Why have you come?
This is not your land
nor is it your ancestors'
but you feel yourself drawn in
by the richly-piled offerings
and decadent surroundings.
Incense wafts through the halls
of the great temple of heaven,
candles light your way
on the cool marble floor.
Look closely-
can you read the letters
written not on parchment or plaster
but on your heart?

inspired by Deng Ming-Dao


It is perfectly good to visit holy places and to embark upon pilgrimages, but you must realize that the place itself is not of the greatest importance. It is what you feel, how you grow, that is the most lasting benefit of such pilgrimages. To visit another part of this earth is minor; to change within is great.

When people come to holy places, some say that they can hear the whispers of ancient holy men. Others are entranced by exotic images and curious sensations. If possible, come to these places with an open mind, as a pilgrim as opposed to a tourist. Maintain a humble attitude, and let your heart be moved, do not seek to move it. The experience will accomplish that on its own. Then, you shall receive the true treasure of such shrines.