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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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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

The Central Place of Grace [en] in the Poetic Process

The Central Place of Grace [en] in the Poetic Process

(p.140) Forty-One The Central Place of Grace [en] in the Poetic Process
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

This chapter, considered one of the most important in Sasamegoto, includes the frequently cited passage on the medieval religio-aesthetic ideal of spiritual grace (kokoro no en). Spiritual grace is a quality of mind that emanates from the existential knowledge of the emptiness and temporality of phenomena, as well as a consequent renunciation of mundane desire. Paradoxically, this consciousness is tied to a valorization of human feeling (hito no nasake), a bodhisattva-like compassion that is of greater value than life itself. In terms of poetic style, kokoro no en ideally manifests itself in the “chill and stilled” aspect of sabi. What is manifested in the poem is a nondualism of mind and phenomena. Shinkei argues that refined language is what sets poetry apart as a pedagogical instrument from the disorder associated with mundane discourse.

Keywords:   Sasamegoto, Shinkei, spiritual grace, kokoro no en, human feeling, hito no nasake, sabi, nondualism, mind, Japanese poetry

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