only what is necessary

by tendo zenji

Hermitage at Tahoma-san

My Drafty Mountain Hut at Tahoma-san


The hermitage at Tahoma-san Sogen-ji is out in the woods between the monastery grounds and the lake. It has no electricity, no heat, no running water.  An uneven trail through the woods pressed upon by advancing nettles is the only path.


nestled in the woods
this place of solitude
sitting in the doorway
leave behind intention
look into green upon green
it is easy to let go
in the lingering twilight

A monks bookshelf

only what is necessary

electric blue dragonflies court in the tall grass
mosquitoes freely venture through the door
a fluttering mote of golden sunlight —
a tiger swallowtail dances by