Friday, September 18, 2015

Pastel-colored dancers in the autumn breeze

At Hannya-ji Temple, Stone Buddhist statues and Cosmoses welcome visitors 
nearby the entrance as well as in the precinct.

Cosmoses play around the Buddha image or Bodhisattva images. 
I like it when the effect of front bokeh added the lovely colors to the sober-colored stone statues 
and made them look wearing translucent pink cosmos-veil or feathery green veil.

The origin of the temple’s name “Hannya” is from“般若波羅蜜多心經/Hannya-kyo", 
or The Heart Sutra.  
The Heart Sutra is the most frequently used and recited text
in the entire Mahayana Buddhist tradition including Japan.

The text is short, a tip for anyone to live happy, to break through our fundamental delusion,
or to remove all egos completely which prevent us from waking up to our true heart. 
It's not easy to understand because it is about the "emptiness" in a nutshell. 
Neither to practice it, because human species have not only sentience but also reason. 

I don't try to understand hard
as the last words say, "Don't worry, everything will be fine."
Instead, I try to keep a soft and flexible mind without rigidity, compassion, and attitude of "letting go",
which I have perceived from the teachings.
 That way, I would be able to live positive.

The Thirteen-story Stone Pagoda (13th Century)
Look around the pastel flowers floating in the light or dancing in the breeze!  
The ephemeral, wispy cosmoses look free and comfortable from the buds to the withering.  


According to the Kegon Sect of Buddhism (like Todaiji- Temple), each of us has a seed within us.
What we are supposed to do is to grow the seed to bloom beautifully someday. 
No comparison, you don't have to be Number One because you are already Only One.

This flower has the same name with the Universe.
Origin is "Kosmos", the Greek word for harmony or ordered universe.

Evenly placed petals, Cosmic beauty
Hannya-ji is a small temple located at the top of Nara-zaka (Nara slope), part of the old highway connecting Kyoto and Nara.  It has prospered as a study temple of the Heart Sutra repeating prosperity and declines including the catastrophes of being burnt down in 1180, 1490, 1567 and severe damages caused by the anti Buddhism movement in the early Meiji Period (1868-1912). 

The precinct of the Hannya-ji Temple is transformed into right yellow color in spring.


  1. Marvelous....
    Thanks for sharing....


  2. Your images are so uplifting and cheerful. Such a lovely walk through the garden.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  3. The pefect pictures to start a zen weekend !

  4. こんばんわ。

  5. so beautiful. thanks for sharing the joy.

  6. such a lovely and inspiring post
    i might have to look up the heart sutra
    the flowers with the peaceful statues is a joy to see

  7. I tend to gravitate to the serene faces of most Buddha images … their calm expressions are reminiscent of a still lake. These gray statues amid the moths and graceful cosmos seem in an ideal setting. Apparently, to the Greeks the name cosmos represented beauty and ornamental order and, indeed, the statues and flowers combine like the heavenly cosmos flowing with synchronicity of their own accord without help from anyone.

  8. Hello Yoko, I am mesmerized by the Cosmos and like the focus you took bringing the Buddhist statues into sharpness while allowing the flowers to act as supplicants. I think this is a wonderful teaching, "you don't have to be Number One because you are already Only One." I would like my grandchildren to carry this thought in their hearts. This spring, Cosmos were planted in a new median coming into the town of Breckenridge. They are still very pretty this fall. Now, when I see them, I'll think of you!

  9. Detail and informative narration... Pictures are amazing...

  10. Thank you for this posting. Its beauty, both visually and with words, brought tears to my eyes. Just wonderful. I bow to your ability to communicate such wonder.

    1. Thank you, Mary, for your kind words, and your comment from time to time. I always enjoy reading your reaction. Have happy days ahead.


  11. 被写体の手前をボケさせてとてもクールです。 思い切りというか、大胆さが必要ですね。 

  12. Beautiful translucent photos, diffusing the background a bit, but letting light shine through. So pretty the Cosmos, so fragile the butterfly, so wise the Buddha...
    "Don't worry, everything will be fine" - I live by that day in and day out, we say in Hebrew; "Al tidag, hakol ihije beseder".
    Yes Yoko, let's go on living with the half full glasses, thank you for this positive post! :-)


  13.  こんばんは。 所謂、色即是空のお寺ですか。 コスモスがきれいで、石仏のお顔がとても穏やかで、癒しを感じます。
     ボケ写真のお手本の様な、 いろいろなテクニックが使われていて、とても楽しいです。

  14. I try to be positive every day, even when there are black clouds on the horizon of my life. Beautiful flowers and a lovely temple. Thank you for these lovely photographs.

  15. I love all those different shades of purple. I like the way the flowers are flowing and giving Buddha's statue a gentle gift. His statue deserves the flowers. I admire how you were able to capture the light.

  16. Your delightful photos once again lighten the heart and free the mind. There is so much beauty in Nara. An interesting coincidence happened earlier today ... I was reading some passage somewhere and it spoke of glorious Nara.

    Re your questions about my Ocala post. I'm sorry, but sometimes my "jokes" have to do with the vagaries of the English language or American customs. The reference was to Big Brother, the "government" who watched over everyone in the book, "1984." The speakers broadcast many programs of an extreme right wing position, including the Rush Limbaugh show. Camera are everywhere to keep watch on people. If you've seen the movie, "The Truman Show," you'll know what The Villages feels like.

    Hope you are doing well. I've contracted shingles (neglected to get the shot) and it's very painful. So, I'm rather unhappy with my health at the moment, but it will go away in a few weeks. I hope!

  17. NOW (finally) I've found some time to write a comment to your enchanting post about the Cosmos Flowers, you call the "pastel-colored dancers in the autumn breeze", Yoko.
    I took my cosmos blossoms and the other flowers in the cottage garden still in a very warm late summer breeze. But the summer is already gone and we are enjoying a more or less pleasant early autumn feeling currently end of this month.
    Yesterday I was a lucky man and had the opportunity to support three (female) colleagues from Asia here in Germany. One from China, one from South Korea and one from India. Only the ladies from Japan and Singapore were missing.. ;-(

    Lucky coincidence or any other higher power that we both posted cosmos flowers at the same time, Yoko?
    Interesting to see that each of us has his or her own way to present these floral beauties in the proper light. Your first photograph with the buddha statue is my personal favorite. The buddha stone on the green field, surrounded by flourishing cosmos plants fits perfectly together!
    Enjoy a great weekend with your loved ones, Yoko!
    All the best from Germany, Uwe.

  18. Hey! The pink-purple flower looks pretty against the blue sky :) And you're right, the gloomy weather gave Himeji Castle a different effect. I would love to go back during sunnier weather. So I can also check out the Kokoen Pond.

  19. コスモスは小さいときに住んでいた家の庭にたくさん生えていたので、本当に懐かしい花なんですよね。この仏さまの顔が優しくて、なごやかにになる気がします。写真のアングルも大変いいと思います。テクニックがすごい!
    日本の旅もあっという間に過ぎて、時々ぼーっとしてしまうこの頃です。 またこんな穏やかな秋に巡り会えたいです(台風の影響で強雨、強風でちょっとめげました)。 アメリカで言う、Super Moon を主人と眺めに行きました。 赤く染まった月が幻想的でした。 見ましたか?

    1. スーパームーンが今、居間の窓から見えていますよ。大きいみかん色です。昨日は伝統行事の中秋の名月で、あちこちで観月会が開かれていました。

  20. Hello Yoko,
    What a magical place,I'd love to see such a profusion of cosmos. I love the way you've caught the blur of waving flower heads like splashes of paint. The Buddha brings peace to the garden and it's visitors!

    Have a lovely week,

  21. Dear Yoko,
    Your way to live positive echoes in my heart. Thanks for a leisurely contemplative walk, I loved it!
    Have a nice October,

  22. Ethereal, dancing, floating, visions of floral beauty amidst the more solid, somber statues. A gorgeous post. And thank you for all of your comments on my blogs and for your positive note in this post. I tend toward the more negative side of things, which, I think, is less healthy overall.

  23. Woooow!!! After reading these texts and seeing these instantaneous they give desire of putting to dance accompanying these figures. Undoubtedly we will not find more suggestive and delicate veils for it that the optical effects that the games of light provoke between these flowers.


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