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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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Selecting Friends of the Way

Selecting Friends of the Way

(p.162) Forty-Eight Selecting Friends of the Way
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

This chapter is about the recognition and support that kindred spirits render each other and argues that what friends have in common is expressed as a deep feeling (nasake fukashi). The term nasake fukashi as used by Shinkei in his other writings implies a sense of the moving quality of things (mono no aware) in both their emptiness and interconnectedness, as well as a feeling of compassion directed toward both phenomena and persons. Shinkei cites the legendary case of Prince Shōtoku and Bodhidharma as evidence that people of kindred spirit intuitively recognize one another and transmit each other's words and works, whether it be in the realm of religion or poetry. The fateful encounter between the foreign Zen patriarch and the Japanese prince included a poem exchange.

Keywords:   friends, nasake fukashi, Shinkei, compassion, interconnectedness, Prince Shōtoku, Bodhidharma, kindred spirits

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