SKY ABOVE GREAT WIND THE LIFE AND POETRY OF ZEN MASTER RYOKAN
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Ryokan (1758–1831) is, along with Dogen and Hakuin, one of the three giants of Zen in Japan. But unlike his two renowned colleagues, Ryokan was a societal dropout, living mostly as a hermit and a beggar. He was never head of a monastery or temple. He liked playing with children. He had no dharma heir. Even so, people recognized the depth of his realization, and he was sought out by people of all walks of life for the teaching to be experienced in just being around him. His poetry and art were wildly popular even in his lifetime. He is now regarded as one of the greatest poets of the Edo Period, along with Basho, Buson, and Issa. He was also a master artist-calligrapher with a very distinctive style, due mostly to his unique and irrepressible spirit, but also because he was so poor he didn't usually have materials: his distinctive thin line was due to the fact that he often used twigs rather than the brushes he couldn't afford. He was said to practice his brushwork with his fingers in the air when he didn't have any paper. There are hilarious stories about how people tried to trick him into doing art for them, and about how he frustrated their attempts. As an old man, he fell in love with a young Zen nun who also became his student. His affection for her colors the mature poems of his late period. This collection contains more than 140 of Ryokan's poems, with selections of his art, and of the very funny anecdotes about him.
Ryokan (1758-1831), a Buddhist monk in the Zen sect, was a major figure in Tokugawa poetry. Though a Zen master, he never headed a temple but chose to live alone in simple huts and to support himself by begging. His poems are mainly a record of his daily activities--of chores, lonely snowbound winters, begging expeditions to town, meetings with friends, romps with the village children. At the same time they show us how rich a spiritual and intellectual life a man could enjoy in the midst of poverty. Ryokan's unusual personality and outlook are evident in this volume. His Japanese poems (waka) were influenced by the poets of the eighth-century Man'yoshu anthology. Eighty-three representative works are presented here. He also wrote Chinese poems (Kanshi), some doctrinal in nature and many inspired by Han-shan, a Buddhist recluse and Master of Cold Mountain. Forty-three of these are included in the collection. To enrich the text, the original Japanese poems are provided in romanized form. Also included are an explanation of the Buddhist practice of begging for food, and an introduction by Burton Watson.
The Japanese poet-recluse Ryokan (1758–1831) is one of the most beloved figures of Asian literature, renowned for his beautiful verse, exquisite calligraphy, and eccentric character. Deceptively simple, Ryokan's poems transcend artifice, presenting spontaneous expressions of pure Zen spirit. Like his contemporary Thoreau, Ryokan celebrates nature and the natural life, but his poems touch the whole range of human experience: joy and sadness, pleasure and pain, enlightenment and illusion, love and loneliness. This collection of translations reflects the full spectrum of Ryokan's spiritual and poetic vision, including Japanese haiku, longer folk songs, and Chinese-style verse. Fifteen ink paintings by Koshi no Sengai (1895–1958) complement these translations and beautifully depict the spirit of this famous poet.
A poet-priest of the late Edo period, Ryokan (1758-1831) was the most important Japanese poet of his age. This volume contains not only the largest English translation yet made of his principal poems, but also an introduction that sets the poetry in its historical and literary context and a biographical sketch of the poet himself. Originally published in 1981. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Author : Mary Lou Kownacki
ISBN : 0802828094
Genre : Religion
File Size : 80.9 MB
Format : PDF
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"Between Two Souls presents a spiritually uplifting conversation in poetry between a gifted modern-day Roman Catholic nun and a nineteenth-century Zen monk. Offering a unique entree into spiritual contemplation, this book pairs inspirational writing from two distinct but mutually enriching faith traditions, revealing the religious joy, wisdom, and all-embracing compassion that transcend temporal, cultural, and theological differences." "Ryokan (1758-1831) is one of Japan's most-loved and most-renowned poets. After formal training at the Zen monastery of Entsu-ji, he refused offers to head his own temple and instead lived as a wandering monk in the snowy country around Mt. Kugami. Ryokan wrote thousands of poems during his travels but never published a collection himself. For two years Mary Lou Kownacki, a Benedictine nun, used Ryokan's poetry for devotions. Each morning she would read one of his poems, meditate on it, and then respond with one of her own. Between Two Souls is the result of this poetic interplay." "Over the course of these pages, Kownacki and Ryokan's separate voices blend and become one, ultimately drawing the reader into their soulful dialogue on the eternal. Like echoes across time, these poems bring new depth and insight to truths that mark the meaning of the ages. Along the way they consider the smallest things in life, using them to gently warn us not to miss the bigger truths found in each moment, not to squander our souls."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
This collection of Zen poetry by 19th century Japanese Buddhist monk and hermit Ryokan is a masterful exploration of life and nature. Ryokan's zen poems are celebration of the joys and sadness of everyday life. His spare, direct style is remarkable for its immediacy and intimacy. This bilingual collection contains more than 150 of his finest poems in Japanese and Chinese, including his famous lyrical correspondence with the nun Teishin, who befriended him in his later years. It also includes a biographical essay on Ryokan, and useful notes on the poems themselves.
Taigu Ryokan (1759-1831) remains one of the most popular figures in Japanese Buddhist history. Despite his religious and artistic sophistication, Ryokan referred to himself as Great Fool and refused to place himself within the cultural elite of his age. In contrast to the typical Zen master of his time, who presided over a large monastery, trained students, and produced recondite religious treatises, Ryokan followed a life of mendicancy in the countryside. Instead of delivering sermons, he expressed himself through kanshi (poems composed in classical Chinese) and waka and could typically be found playing with the village children in the course of his daily rounds of begging. Great Fool is the first study in a Western language to offer a comprehensive picture of the legendary poet-monk and his oeuvre. It includes not only an extensive collection of the master's kanshi, topically arranged to facilitate an appreciation of Ryokan's colorful world, but selections of his waka, essays, and letters. The volume also presents for the first time in English the Ryokan zenji kiwa (Curious Accounts of the Zen Master Ryokan), a firsthand source composed by a former student less than sixteen years after Ryokan's death. Although it lacks chronological order, the Curious Account is invaluable for showing how Ryokan was understood and remembered by his contemporaries. It consists of colorful anecdotes and episodes, sketches from Ryokan's everyday life. To further assist the reader, three introductory essays approach Ryokan from the diverse perspectives of his personal history and literary work.