Monday, September 14, 2009
Longing by Basho
Paro Taktsang (spa gro stag tshang) is one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan. Completed in 1692, the temple hangs on a cliff at 3,120 metres (10,200 feet), some 700 meters (2,300 feet) above the bottom of Paro valley, some 10 km from the district town of Paro. The name Taktsang (stag tshang) means "Tiger's lair" or "the Tiger's nest", the legend being that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew there on the back of a tiger. The monastery includes seven temples which can all be visited. The monastery suffered several blazes and is a recent restoration. Visitors ascend the slope to the monastery on foot or on mule-back.
"Down though the dark cypress forests, the call of a solitary cuckoo awakens the poet from a restless sleep. From his hut on the mountainside, the haiku master holds the entire valley in his view---and yet its essence somehow still escapes him. He lights the lamp, and fumbles for his brush:
Though I am in Kyoto
I long for Kyoto
Song of the nightbird.
With these words, Matsuo Basho, the wandering poet, records an indefinable sense of longing, for an ancient city perhaps, for an entire civilization, for an ideal. He grasps a beauty that is at once exquisite and unattainable. Basho captures a need we all share, for an enlightened place or a moment in time. He misses "Kyoto"---not the city, but the dream." ~From: "Wabi Sabi, The Art of Everyday Life" by Diane Durston