Sunday, February 28, 2010

Verklärte Nacht

Dehmel's powerful poem is about a man and a woman walking through a dark forest on a moonlit night, wherein the woman shares a dark secret with her new lover; she bears the child of a stranger. The mood of Dehmel's poem is reflected throughout the composition in five sections, beginning with the sadness of the woman's confession; a neutral interlude wherein the man reflects upon the confession; and a finale, the man's bright acceptance (and forgiveness) of the woman: O sieh, wie klar das Weltall schimmert! Es ist ein Glanz um Alles her (see how brightly the universe gleams! There is a radiance on everything).

The poem:

Two people are walking through a bare, cold wood;
the moon keeps pace with them and draws their gaze.
The moon moves along above tall oak trees,
there is no wisp of cloud to obscure the radiance
to which the black, jagged tips reach up.
A woman's voice speaks:

"I am carrying a child, and not by you.
I am walking here with you in a state of sin.
I have offended grievously against myself.
I despaired of happiness,
and yet I still felt a grievous longing
for life's fullness, for a mother's joys
and duties; and so I sinned,
and so I yielded, shuddering, my sex
to the embrace of a stranger,
and even thought myself blessed.
Now life has taken its revenge,
and I have met you, met you."

She walks on, stumbling.
She looks up; the moon keeps pace.
Her dark gaze drowns in light.
A man's voice speaks:

"Do not let the child you have conceived
be a burden on your soul.
Look, how brightly the universe shines!
Splendour falls on everything around,
you are voyaging with me on a cold sea,
but there is the glow of an inner warmth
from you in me, from me in you.
That warmth will transfigure the stranger's child,
and you bear it me, begot by me.
You have transfused me with splendour,
you have made a child of me."

He puts an arm about her strong hips.
Their breath embraces in the air.
Two people walk on through the high, bright night.
(Translation: Mary Whittall)

1. ♫
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Saturday, February 13, 2010


Danaë by Gustav Klimt

In Greek legend, the daughter of Acrisius, king of Argos. After an oracle warned her father that she would bear a son by whom he would be slain, he confined Danaë in a tower. Zeus visited her in the form of a shower of gold, and she gave birth to Perseus. Mother and child were then placed in a wooden box and cast into the sea, and they drifted ashore on the island of Seriphus. Perseus grew up there, and when the island's king, Polydectes, desired Danaë, he sent the young hero off in pursuit of the Medusa. Perseus later rescued his mother and took her to Argos.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let us acknowledge the differences we have

Some people feel the pulse of life in the hustle bustles , so they start off to see the crowd in the market or in the streets. On the other hand I feel the pulse of life in little living things trying to survive in between the bricks of the pavement or in the flows of clouds and winds, so I start off to walk just to notice those little things of the world.

Every individual is different. We are born to be different. And we are born in the different social and cultural environments. We have to learn to accept these differences. Isn't it beautiful to see the variety in this otherwise monotonous life?

We don't have to be even patient once we acknowledge these differences. We become to be able to enjoy the differences. Whenever we encounter the differences, warm smiles will be given out around our lips.

One of my usual #passingthoughts after the visit to the New Year market.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Calm Abiding

We should practice shamatha (calm abiding) to be natural to not be so swayed by circumstances. Most of the time we are not in control of ourselves; our mind is always attracted to, or distracted by, something our enemies, our lovers, our friends, hope, fear, jealousy, pride, attachment, aggression. In other words, all these objects and these phenomena control our mind. Maybe we can control it for a split second, but when we are in an extreme emotional state, we lose it.

I had a very disturbing dream last night; it woke me up at around 3am. I couldn't sleep. The horrifying scene from my dream was so vivid, yet I couldn't grasp any meaning at all from it. I came out to the living room and started listening to some music.

What is a dream? What did this dream mean? I fell into a bottomless pit trying to find the answer.

What is a dream? It's just a dream. - That is the answer to this question. It's just a dream. I am in control, not you, not a dream.

Just one of those #passingthoughts

Thursday, Februday 11. 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

All these other things are trivial.

Studying Zen, learning the way, is originally for the sake of birth and death, no other thing. What do I mean by other things? Arousing the mind and stirring thoughts right now; having contrivance and artificiality; having grasping and rejecting; having practice and realization; having purity and defilement; having sacred and profane; having Buddhas and sentient beings; writing verses and songs, composing poems and odes; discoursing on Zen and the way; discoursing on right and wrong; discoursing on past and present. These various activities are not relevant to the issue of birth and death; they are all other things.

- Chien-ju

Do you realize that all these are defined as trivial things? All these things we think important?........ What is important in our lives? Breathing, without breathing we aren't alive. Do you breathe? Are you aware of your own breathing each moment? Be aware.

Love, Aejin