Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Secret of Rocks

No matter how much you know, there's always gonna be a healthy dose of the unknown sitting right there in front of you, making you stupid, keeping you humble.

In Japan, Rob and I wandered from one zen garden, temple, museum and shrine to another, taking it all in as it came . . . but, I think we both agree that the Ryoanji Temple housed the most profound experience of the trip.

Its main feature is a large rectangular zen garden with fifteen stones, alone and in groups, spread from one end to the other. The design is about five hundred years old and it's essentially an elegant, abstract metaphor. The number "15" is a sacred number, symbolizing knowledge; thus fifteen stones. But, no matter where you stand in the viewing area of the garden, you can only see fourteen stones from any one point at any one time; there's always a stone that you can't see in the sculpture and that unknown stone completes the picture.

So, sit and think about that we did . . .


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