Poetic Process as Meditation
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.
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