Posted inArt and Poems, Blue Cliff, Other Teachings

For whom do the blossoms bloom in the spring?

November 11, 2016


This Japanese Tea Ceremony scroll – is attributed to Keishu Masanori (Rinzai – Zuiho-ji -Daitoku-ji)

and it reads:


Hyakka Haruitatte Taga Tameni Hiraku

“For whom do the blossoms bloom in the spring?”





This the 4th line of a verse that appears in the Hekiganroku (Blue Cliff Record) – Case 5: Seppo’s Grain of Rice

The complete verse reads:

A cow head sinks, a horse head turns up.
In Sôkei’s mirror no dust is found.
I beat the drums for you to look – but you don’t see.
For whom do the blossoms bloom in the spring?

When I looked up Zuiho-ji ( 瑞峯院)- I discovered that is a sub temple of Daitoku-ji (head temple of the Rinzai sect) – and one of the few to open to the public all year around. I found its description really intriguing:

“Zuihō-in is an extraordinary temple in Kyoto: It was founded by daimyo Otomo, who was one of the early Christians in Japan. He founded the temple as his family temple; and he and his wife are buried here as well. Garden designer Shigemori Mirei, who created the gardens in 1961, included a Garden of the Cross and even a statue of the Virgin Mary in reference to the founder.”

“For whom do the blossoms bloom in the spring?” kept echoing in my mind over and over again.
For whom the flowers (daisies, tulips, bindweeds, dandelion…) bloom: a Buddhist, a Christian… ?
Who is this One, this mirror where no dust is found?

Created by Rosa Bellino, used with her permission. Thank you Rosa!

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