Buddha in the Bushes

Under our trees there sits a statue of a Buddha in meditation. I visit often – sometimes with my feet and sometimes in my mind.

I won’t die.

I’m not going anywhere

I’ll be here.

But don’t ask me anything.

I won’t answer.

Death poem by Zen master Ikkyu who lived from 1394 to 1481.

As we have seen in the comments to the previous post “Beauty in Death” there is a cycle to everything. We are falling away from summer towards the resting of winter that will nurture the sprouts of spring, bringing them to the full blossom of summer again. We know this. We know this like our breath. No thought is required. Yet, like our breath it sometimes helps to focus on it just for a moment or two. Focus on the fullness of the cycle and then pause on death – as it is a necessary part of living.

You may wonder what this has to do with creativity. I propose that when we are inspired by the fullness of our living, and of our dying, our creative work benefits. There need not be a god or goddess or Buddha in the bushes of our creative work. We only need to pause. It is in the pause at the top of our breath where we pick the moment to press the shutter button; our hand knows to release the brush stroke; our keyboard finds the phrase; or our voice hits a note. These need not be perfect. It is through their ordinariness that our creativity goes beyond perfection and holiness.   Somehow we know during this pause that there will come a day when we shall release that breath and it shall be our last. From this same place I believe the brilliance of our creativity is released.

With this in mind, I ask us to pause as if it were our last breath.

Sprout Question: What might your death poem be?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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11 thoughts on “Buddha in the Bushes

  1. Sad to leave
    happy to be home

    Not very profound. I played with a few other ideas but my tired mind couldn’t quite order my words and feelings. But the sprout question has got me inspired, thanks.

    I love your garden Buddha. Such a peaceful photo.

    Kat X

    • Julie I am really looking forward to what you decide. I have neither my epitaph nor my death poem written though there are so many I like that others have written. I did get my will done this past year – which is a step in the right direction.

      Here is one of my most favourite death poems…

      Empty-handed I entered the world
      Barefoot I leave it.
      My coming, my going –
      Two simple happenings
      That got entangled.

      By Kozan Ichikyo, who died February 12, 1360, at 77.

  2. What would my death poem be, oh Buddha coming forth through Terrill?
    **autumn leaves drape across
    the breast of your final rising.
    Rainbow colors drift below
    soil’s embracing.
    The gods of the underworld open
    their arms
    and drink of the fullness
    of our lives above clay and puddles.”

  3. Magnificent blend here of beauty, spirit and life, fueled by some thought-provoking ideas, and a remarkable passion for the life cycle and a resistence to sucumb to defeat and melancholy.

    My own favorite death poem? That’s easy. And it basically embraces your ‘conquering’ message:

    It was many and many a year ago,
    In a kingdom by the sea,
    That a maiden there lived whom you may know
    By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
    And this maiden she lived with no other thought
    Than to love and be loved by me.

    I was a child and she was a child,
    In this kingdom by the sea;
    But we loved with a love that was more than love-
    I and my Annabel Lee;
    With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
    Coveted her and me.

    And this was the reason that, long ago,
    In this kingdom by the sea,
    A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
    My beautiful Annabel Lee;
    So that her highborn kinsman came
    And bore her away from me,
    To shut her up in a sepulchre
    In this kingdom by the sea.

    The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
    Went envying her and me-
    Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
    In this kingdom by the sea)
    That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
    Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

    But our love it was stronger by far than the love
    Of those who were older than we-
    Of many far wiser than we-
    And neither the angels in heaven above,
    Nor the demons down under the sea,
    Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

    For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
    Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
    In the sepulchre there by the sea,
    In her tomb by the sounding sea.

    (Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe)

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