Two Zen phrases for February 2月の禅語

17 Feb Two Zen phrases for February 2月の禅語

It’s already mid-February, so here are two Zen phrases for the month. They are both related to spring but more about expecting spring. In the old days, when people live in houses that were not well- sealed, they must have felt so happy to see signs of spring . . .

By the way, I have been thinking about taking a calligraphy course so that I can be better at deciphering those scrolls at tea rooms. What do you think? Because we sometimes must write letters in ink and brush on Chado occasions, it wouldn’t hurt, right? A couple of years ago, I served as a host for my first Chaji and I wrote an invitation in ink and brush. I practiced it several times on normal paper (8×11 office paper) with a Fude-pen. I felt comfortable enough, so I pulled out an inkstone and a stick of ink, made ink with water and the stick. I had a roll of Hosho paper, unrolled it, and then, after taking a deep breath, put down my first stroke – which exploded. I did not know how much the combination of the specific paper and ink would make the ink bleed. It took me so many trials to finish writing the invitation letters to my five guests. Since then, I’ve been thinking about taking some lessons, but I’ve never gotten around to it. I still have the Hosho paper and ink…. Hmm…. Still thinking.

春来草自生 (はるきたらばくさおのずからしょうず)

When spring comes, flowers and plants start to sprout. In the same way, if we try to do things at the wrong time, they never go well. When the right time comes, we are so much better able to do things that we should not even worry. 

花閑鳥自啼 (はなしずかにしてとりおのずからなく)

Tranquility is emphasized by a bird call among full plum-tree blossoms. There is a balance or harmony between the sound and serenity. 

Here’s also the link to the poetic names for January and February (which I wrote 2 years back? or last year??)




春来草自生:はるきたらば くさ おのずから しょうず


花閑鳥自啼:はな しずかにして とり おのずから なく



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