Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Glorious Mandala of autumn at Mount Rokko

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “circle”.  Sacred arts of Buddhism and Hinduism often take a mandala form which has radial balance.  In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically,  a microcosm of the universe. 
The inner forest is shining.

It is said that the idea of “Rinne tensei, 輪廻転生”, the circle of transmigration that all things are in flux through the endless circle of birth, death, and rebirth, was derived from the forests of India.  In fact when you are in nature, it would be easier for you to understand there is no beginning or end but everything is connected to go forward in spiral.     The ancient Greek Heraklitus’ “Panta rei” (Banbutsu rutenn, 万物流転) and Buddha’s  “Shogyo mujyo, 諸行無常” are the same.  All the phenomena in nature is constantly changing from the world of atom to the universe. We are a part of it.



I hear this year’s momiji (maple leaves) are the most spectacular in recent years.  I’ve realized that momiji trees display much more varied colors than usual.

Enjoying a walk in a spectacular landscape of autumn color and feeding oneself with a homemade “bento” lunch with friends or families is one of the reasons to love this time of year. 

Sasanqua camellia

This glorious Mandala on the Earth will fade away, get muted in colors, buried in snow, and burst into bud and receive light again in spring.


  1. The colours here are spectacular! I love the idea that life is really a spiral and not a straight line.

  2. What a beautiful place, indeed. We're lucky to see such scene in Japanese many places. :)

  3. This is so gorgeous... the colors... so spectacular, Yoko!
    I love it...
    Warm greetings, Anna

  4. What spectacular shots. That last one is pure magic.

  5. The people enjoying a picnic under the tree branch make a delightful photo and illustrate how integrated we are in the fabric of life. Creatures perhaps less visible also are doing the same thing. We are all wrapped up in the mysterious circle of life and survival on this globe. And seeing your wonderful forest captures, it does seem eternal. :)

  6. Beautiful!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  7. yes natures confetti celebration in red...

  8. Picture No. 12 would look lovely on the wall with the black branches showing off the red leaves. I really enjoyed seeing the little family sitting behind the canopy of leaves eating their lunch.
    Beautiful pictures again, I wonder when the snow will make itself known to us - this year or next?

  9. Przepiękne zdjęcia z cudownego spaceru. Nie tylko liście na drzewach zmieniają pięknie kolory, ale nawet liście lilii na wodzie. Pozdrawiam.
    Beautiful photos of a wonderful walk. Not only the leaves on the trees change colors beautifully, but even on the water lily leaves. Yours.

  10. Such beautiful colours captured for our enjoyment. Thank-you for sharing your world.

  11. カラフルな落ち葉を踏みしめる、かさかさとした音が聞こえてきそうです。三脚を担いで前を歩いている男性はご主人ですか?六甲の自然の森が、さりげなさそうに見えるショットの中にその美しさがよく表されています。やはり巧みな写真だなと思います。最後のモミジちゃん、すっくと立ってウィンクしているようですね。

    1. 今回はゆっくり写真を撮ろうと一人で行きました。でも、あの景色の中で、一緒にくればよかった、来年はきっと一緒にくると思いました。彼はマイペースで歩くのが好きなので、いつものように現地で別行動になると思いますが、私の携帯が圏外になるのが問題。帰りも別になるおそれがあります。

  12. These photos are of glorious colours in burnt-orange, red, yellow and gold. I bemused with the photo of people enjoying their bento meal under the trees.

  13. Those are beautiful series of autumn colors..
    Great sharing my friend..

  14. Love all your shots Stardust. So beautiful. The kids under the tree is adorable. And the words are powerful. I believe in this and wonder how it all works in the universe when everything is put into motion. Enjoy those colors!

  15. Yokoさん こんにちわ!
    すっかり秋も深まりましたね。私は 街路樹や学内の紅葉をぼんやり見上げて変わりゆく季節を愛おしく感じています。ですが、皆さんのように しっかりと準備をした服装で、湿った土のにおい、頬に感じる冷気も気持ち良く、息を大きく吸いながら山の中まで歩いていくと、こんなにもさまざまな落ち葉の絨毯が広がっているのですね。黒い鴉、可愛い目をした鹿が配された、錦絵図屏風を見せて頂けたようで、感服しました。

  16. Ohayo Goizamasu, Yoko-san!
    Wonderful and amazing photos you took! Especially your bento lunch photos is really funny!
    The circle of life and the circle of colours seems to be really spectacularly this autumn! What a pity I've never been to Japan in this season to look at and to take photos of your momiji! Here in Germany all trees lost their leaves in the meanwhile and since three days it has been raining all day long so that all brights colours have disappeared more or less...
    ...but next week we'll have our annual company conference. Colleagues from 27 different nations are going to arrive then, including three colleagues from Japan. Then it'll be very colourful again in our conference rooms and the circle of company culture will be renewed.
    Have a pleasant fall season,


    I would like to sit hidden under this marvelous tree, to be engulfed in its colors and textures! With lunch or without! :-)

    I have to rearrange my inner mandala in order today! Yes!

  18. This is one of my favourite posts of you. The description and the photos go well together and it makes me enrich to see and understand the idea. I'd thought Mandara was just the symbolical microcosmos that you explained here. Thank you for this.

  19. Exquisite lovely captures Yoko, in all its varied shades and hues! Through the beautiful walk in the forest, I could see the meaning of the glorious mandala shining. Perhaps that is also the reason why it is said to concentrate on the beauty of the moment and try and live it to the fullest. Because there is never an end, only hopes for new beginnings tomorrow.

    Wish you a very happy week ahead :)

  20. Preciosas fotografías que anuncian el Otoño... Pido permiso para utilizar una foto tuya en una próxima entrada de mi blog también sobre el Otoño, por supuesto pondré tu autoría y el enlace a tu maravilloso blog. Gracias siempre y gracias mil. Bss

  21. Such a feeling of harmony in this universe! I sometimes think that there only 2 things that all people have in common - love for nature and children. Irrespective of nationality, beliefs, whatever. Am I wrong? I wish we had more time to stop for a while in this endless circle of Life. Thank you, Yoko.
    When you choose time, would you read my post Books from Childhood? We're discussing it with my students, and I would love to know what you used to read in childhood, are the books mentioned familiar in your country? Thanks in advance!

  22. Beautiful series of maple leaves, so artistic. The picture of people seated behind the maples enjoying a meal is marvelous.

  23. A perfect post, in words and pictures.

    I too am aware of the constant change and renewal in life, walking in nature and gardening teach me every day. There is no escape from this fact.

    I hope that I too will help to nourish the earth and become part of the universe, when my time comes.

  24. おはようございます。綺麗な紅葉の写真に見とれました。水面に映る紅葉も大変素敵です。近年に無い美しい秋だそうですね。

  25. 錦の森ですね。多彩な表情をみせてくれて、楽しませてもらえます。紅葉の下のお弁当仲良く並んでおもしろいですね。真紅のもみじ、とてもきれいです。

  26. I was worried that the long hot summer would mean a bad autumn, but I've read that a hot summer followed by a sharp drop in temperature brings about the most beautiful leaves. That seems to have happened this year! I think Tokyo's maples will be at their reddest in the next week to ten days.

    Beautiful photos and text, Yoko-san! Thanks!

  27. Greetings, Yoko! So nice to hear from you again. With regard to this post, I would again say the photos are gorgeous, mind-bendingly so with colors so beautiful as to almost surreal. But what really struck me in almost every instance, was the have captured the light perfectly and thus the photos sparkle with an unusual vibrance!

    Please note that we have consolidated all of our photo blogs and they are currently inactive except for the blog on our L & L Photography site. Please check it out here:

    Best wishes to you!

  28. Maple leaves were stunning here this year as well.
    I think the drought had a play in the color.
    I have visited here often. I think this is my first comment.
    I like this place.


  30. Yoko,this is all so beautiful! And you have found more lovely reflections....I always love the way you capture them. Your photos are all splendid,I really like the last one,this solitary upright leaf glowing for the last time!

    Enjoy your week,

  31. Just spectacular - my world has lost its colour. Our dormant winter period is longer than yours. I loved your writing about the cyclical nature of life.

  32. Hi Yoko,
    thanks for the ride. long ago that I never leave madrid. I miss the walks in the forest, the smell, the sounds, the wind ... snacks ... I wish I could go back!

  33. Dear Yoko,
    Thank you for taking us with you on this pleasant walk around Mount Rokko. The variation of colors that you captured is amazing.
    The leaves also teach us lessons about life. They change to adapt and when its time to let go, they fall and nurture the ground. So that new cicles can begin.
    The deers I photographed are indeed similar to the ones u photographed in Japan!
    How sweet!
    I wish you a beautiful December!

  34. This is a lovely post – your photos and your writing. Nature is there always to teach us the philosophy of life – we just have to be perceptive. Your colorful photos and eloquent narrative help us understand

  35. Again, the beauty of your photos take my breath away! Amazing colors!

    Have you ever thought of doing what they call a "coffee table" book? Fill it with your photos and sell it around the world (on the Internet). Call it "Love From Japan." Or something like that. I think you would have a winner. You've shown me a part of Japan I never knew existed.

    Thank you for the kind comments today. And I love the poem!

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