Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Rennyo Shonin: Yesterday is Spent

Summer and fall slip away; the months and years go by; yesterday is spent, and today draws to a close.

Little did I know that I would grow old before I knew it, with the unnoticed passage of the years.

On occasion during that time, I must have known the beauty of flowers and birds, of the breeze and the moon; I must also have met with the joy and sorrow of pleasure and pain.

But now there is not even a single instance that I remember in detail.

How sad it is to have grown gray with age, having done no more than pass my nights and days to no purpose!

When I deeply reflect on the apparent soundness of my own existence, not yet been called away by the relentless wind of impermanence, it seems like a dream, like an illusion.

As for now, there is nothing left but to aspire to the one way out of birth and death.


Source: Great Middle Way

Rennyo Shonin was a 15th century Japanese Buddhist teacher and writer known for restoring the Jodo-shinshu tradition.

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2 comments on “Rennyo Shonin: Yesterday is Spent

  1. Tricia Knoll
    December 12, 2018

    Thank you for inviting us to reflect on the thoughts to long-ago Buddhist teachers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia A. Nugent
    December 12, 2018

    Although he was seemingly unaware of his lasting contribution while on earth, his work lives on. A good reminder for us all that what we do and who we are while on this plane is indeed permanent. Tread lightly….

    Liked by 1 person

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