53/59 Baike



Plum Blossoms

Baike means plum blossoms. Master Dogen loved plum blossoms very much and we can find many descriptions and poems about plum blossoms in his works. Master Tendo Nyojo, Master Dogen’s master, also loved plum blossoms and so we can also find many poems about plum blossoms in his works. Plum blossoms may have been a great pleasure to Buddhist monks living in mountain temples when there were few consolations to relieve the hardship of winter-because plum blossoms bloom at the very beginning of spring, when there are no other flowers, and plum blossoms are both pretty and fragrant. In this chapter, Master Dogen described the real situation of nature, quoting Master Tendo Nyojo’s poems and preachings on plum blossoms.