Buddha of Compassion

offering a clenched fist
an open hand

Kim M. Russell, 2017

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My response to Carpe Diem #1274 Ryuko-ji (compassion)

Today Chèvrefeuille has chosen one of the temples on Shikoku Island to inspire us. It is named Ryuko-ji and is devoted to the Buddha of Compassion. Compassion is one of the main ideas of Buddhism and, according to Chèvrefeuille, ‘wordlessness’ one of the pillars of haiku: with three lines, approximately 17 syllables and around 15 or 20 words, it’s a very short poem in which the strength lies in describing a scene without words. He goes on to say that he considers experimental haiku to be the best example of wordlessness in haiku.


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