Quotes to Meditate On - Master Bashō
Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694) was a Japanese sage-poet influenced by both Zen meditative awareness and the Nature connection cosmology as experienced in Shinto, the indigenous spiritual tradition of Japan.
If you didn’t “catch” Episode One of The Poet’s Dreamingbody, “The Journey Begins…,” I talk about how Matsuo Bashō is one of the old creatives of the past who, when I encountered his writing, “nudged” me onto the path of artistic and spiritual exploration that I walk today.
One of his famous quotes that has remained a lantern for my path reads:
As I say in Episode One, this quote hit me like a lightning bolt in my teen years. I immediately perceived it as an instruction. Even today, I consider it a coordinate to a very important trailhead.
With these simple words, Bashō-sama illuminates for us four key points:
1) the existence and deep value of the search
2) the fact that there are multiple ways of seeking (in other words, when we study the lives of the ancients, and really meditate upon their verses, we see that they walked many paths, in the plural, and they were not all the same)
3) the activity of the ancients is a viable spiritual orientation and a source of creative inspiration (not their specific chosen paths or lifestyles, necessarily, but a particular quality of consciousness that they brought to their lives; a way of being that involves cultivation, a life-practice, an ever-present alignment to the creative-spiritual search, and a dedication to the expression of what is found and experienced along the way)
4) the search itself is rooted in a person’s dao, one’s pathWay of life, in the here-and-now (and that search and that path — oriented to that which the ancients sought [which includes Nature connection, an awareness of spirit, the practice of artistry, and illuminating heart-mind through meditation] — must ultimately be walked in one’s own way)
One could call such a path a quest.
My late teacher used to play around with words.
For example, take the word: QUESTION.
Embedded within this one word are three words = Quest-I-On.
She used to say, “The questions we hold reveal the quests we are on. Quest-I-On.”
In this way, as Kuma-sensei often used to say, she was often much more interested in the questions that people held rather than the answers they hoped to find.
What QUEST-I-ON questions are YOU holding in these strange and turbulent times?
What quest are you on?
SOUND MAP FOR EPISODE:
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