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Emptiness and TemporalityBuddhism and Medieval Japanese Poetics$
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Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804748889

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804748889.001.0001

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Poetic Process as Meditation

(p.108) Eleven Ushin
Emptiness and Temporality
Stanford University Press

A symbolic poem, such as the one formulated by Shunzei in the Korai fūteishō, is essentially the very figuration of the poet's mind. The process of composing this kind of poetry is a critical issue, particularly in the ushin (which literally means “having a heart-mind”) style. The ushin may be rendered as “Style of Meditation” in the same way that kokoro is translated as “mind” with respect to the critical vocabulary from the Shinkokinshū period on. The ushin underlies the idea that poetic composition involves the discipline of mental meditation. Teika views pure poetry as the figuration of a state of contemplation similar to Tendai shikan as Shunzei sees it, or to Shinkei's connection of the distant link with Zen meditation. Shinkei cites two poems, one by Teika and another by Shōtetsu, in the course of his discussion of the ushin mode in Sasamegoto.

Keywords:   Shunzei, ushin, meditation, Shinkei, mind, Teika, Shōtetsu, Japanese poetry, contemplation, Sasamegoto

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