Lost in the Mist Haiku

linked to carpe diem haiku kai

This is a picture of the main gate to Honen-in, a temple of the Pure Land Buddhist sect. It is found in the Northeast corner of Kyoto, just off the Path of Philosophy.  Its precincts are relatively small, but a precious, tranquil oasis.


pure land gateless gate

Nirvana on either side

hiding in the mist

8 thoughts on “Lost in the Mist Haiku

  1. miriam louisa simons

    Oh how beautiful to see the entrance to Honen-in again – this little temple was my favourite refuge on The Philosophers’ Way. I remember watching the monks for hours as they shaped and tended the sand platforms to the right and left of the inside of the gate. (I wish WordPress would make it possible to include an image in a comment… I have a stunner.)
    And your haiku is so apropos – Nirvana hiding – yet in plain sight!
    Thank you John.


    1. jhanagan2014 Post author

      Isn’t this a wonderful place, Miriam Louisa? I always felt a deep tranquility when I enter through that wonderful thatched gate and saw the sand platforms. A dear friend of mine’s parent are buried in the graveyard there, and we would go together to wash the stone and light incense and say a prayer. I once asked her if the Kami understood English. She just shrugged.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. jhanagan2014 Post author

      Isn’t it interesting, Sue, that nirvana is hiding in plain sight. Someone once said that the secret of life is that there is really no secret. The mists are in the mind.



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