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The Beauty of a Flower

by Alexey R. Basov

A Master was renowned for growing flowers of striking beauty. His flowers were remarkable for their exceptional richness of color, their exquisite perfection of shape, their aroma that would make one’s head spin. The flowers were shining with vital energy. No one could remain indifferent to them. Their heavenly beauty was captivating and in some inexplicable way it touched something deep in one’s heart.

Once the shogun visited the Master’s place and admired his flowers. The governor was eager to find out if it was some special method, maybe a rare mineral or something else that filled the flowers with such vigor and magnificence. But the Master asserted that he used the same means everybody did.

 

Then what was it? There was some mystery about it. The shogun asked the Master to reveal his secret.

“It is said that a wise man is interested not so much in the external display of a phenomenon, but rather in the inner cause that begot it. There is mystery in this flower, but I doubt that I can explain it.

I have observed nature a lot, and I noticed once that if a flower grows, for instance, in a rock crevice where it is quite hard to survive, it blooms rarely, it blooms alone, but it is much more dazzling than other flowers growing in a common environment.

I applied this principle to the growing of my flowers. I mercilessly tear off bud after bud. The flower starts struggling for life, mobilizing all the might of its roots, it fights death, but its buds become more resilient and fine-looking.

Sometimes I don’t let the flower bloom in a certain year. Sometimes the plant perishes, sometimes it starts fighting back relentlessly. It might sound absurd… the flower goes mad; it is rising above itself…

At some point it finally crosses a mystical boundary allowing it to derive strength from the profound wisdom of being… The flower gets access to the strength of the Source streaming from the afterworld. This Mystery cannot be expressed in words.

I teach the flower to think of death, I teach it to fight fiercely in spite of everything…
I teach it Bushido.

We comprehend the Way together… We are both in close proximity to death. I die with every torn-off bud and strive for life again with every new one. I am ready to give a flower all the blood of my heart so that it could prevail…

In the end a single bud remains, one out of a hundred, one out of a thousand. It cannot help but bloom… it is perfect.

If you could only see this flower blooming! It is true poetry how it is shining with joy!
The blooming flower is the embodiment of the deepest Mystery of being – the triumph of life over death.

That is why my flowers are so magnificent, that is why other flowers bear just a pale resemblance to the blossom that has experienced closeness to death and has overcome it.
Such a flower thrives with the light and fragrance of life.
This blossom embodies the Mystery of life that I cannot explain.”

Peonies by Tanigami Konan

This is a chapter from the book "Samurai. Spirit of the Warrior"

 

 





I will not get lost...
The North Star is shining in the darkness...
The road to Valhalla, straight like a sword, is always in front of me!

Copyright 2000-2016 Alexey R. Basov, Tatiana Basova. All rights reserved.

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