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Murmured ConversationsA Treatise on Poetry and Buddhism by the Poet-Monk Shinkei$
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Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804748636

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804748636.001.0001

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The Influence of Companions in the Way

The Influence of Companions in the Way

Chapter:
(p.60) Seventeen The Influence of Companions in the Way
Source:
Murmured Conversations
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804748636.003.0018

While a proper teacher and familiarity with the tradition help the student in choosing the right path, good friends will ensure that he/she stays on it by means of stimulation and mutual encouragement and expressing kindred sympathies. In both cases, Shinkei's opinion is based on dependent origination—the Buddhist principle that nothing exists in its own right apart from external factors of causes and conditions (innen). Shinkei's belief in the influence of friends may also be seen as a natural consequence of renga's generic character as a collective art that depends entirely on the quality of its participants. Renga is generated by the maeku and in turn conditions the tsukeku, resulting in its own transformation. The question is whether Shinkei uses Buddhism as the very foundation of all his thought, or merely as a metaphor, a convenient language with which to illuminate the key charcteristics of the genre.

Keywords:   Shinkei, friends, innen, Buddhism, dependent origination, renga, Japanese poetry

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