Haiku Master Basho in Summer Mountains
Once Basho, a notable haiku poet in Japan in the late 17th century, traveled from Edo (Tokyo) to Mutsu, the vast local region northeast of Edo.
It was travelling to observe nice and interesting scenery and create haiku poems, since Mutsu was then with full of mountainous and seaside nature in addition to farming villages through paths of hundreds kilometers.
In a mountain area, Basho was walking up and got absorbed by a flood of buzzing of cicadas, since it was mid-summer. The sun was high, the mountains and fields were full of green, the air was hot, and cicadas were naturally and loudly buzzing to add the heat to the air.
Basho saw a wall of rocks on the road side. It stood there in the contrast against trees and other thick green plants. He felt that the buzzing of cicadas was incessantly hitting the surface of the rock wall.
But suddenly Basho realized that nothing was heard except the buzzing of cicadas in his environment. Rather, he felt how widely spreading the buzzing of cicadas was over the air where no other sounds existed. Then, he could catch silence of the environment through the buzzing of cicadas or through a very short momentary pause of the buzzing in its vibration. Yes, he found that cicadas were making noises in the middle of stillness in mountains.
Then he felt that the buzzing of cicadas was penetrating in the rock wall that stood still and the buzzing also forcibly penetrating into his mind. The more the sound was penetrating into the rocks, the more the stillness in the air covered by the buzzing could be sensed.
So, he made a famous haiku poet facing mountains near and far and listening to the spredaing buzzing of cicadas:
Oh what mountain stillness revealed
by the deeply seeping into the rocks
of the buzzing of cicadas so hot.
Cicadas were not trying to hide the stillness. But as it was essentially so still in the mountain, they made noises fully without restriction. It is as if the stillness in the mountain used the so many cicadas buzzing so as to make Basho realize the deep and vast stillness
Matsuo Bashō (1644 – 1694), or Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku (then called hokku).https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matsuo_Bash%C5%8D
Through full of noisy evil things in this world, can we, however, sense silent holiness?
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Mat 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
Mat 8:30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.
Mat 8:31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
Mat 8:32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.