Back in March I wrote a post called Inside the Grass Hut, about a new book by Ben Connelly, based on the poem by Shitou called Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage. I am happy to let you know that Ben has published a video on YouTube of him chanting the Song – here’s the link.
It is the season for village festivals in this area, and next weekend we are Celebrating Cromford. It looks like being quite a lively weekend and I plan to get out and about and enjoy the fun. My neighbour, whose courtyard is adjacent to mine, will be doing a pop-up cafe so I will tidy up my courtyard before the weekend – I already have my bunting out.
A. Nope, it’s not a bag. It’s called a small Kesa (J. Rakusu) and, as the name implies, it is a smaller, simplified version of the Kesa, which is the large patched robe that monks wear for meditation and ceremonies. The small Kesa was created in Japan in the 19th century to be less cumbersome to wear. The Kesa itself dates back to the time of the Buddha, when monks sewed together rags to make their robes. The Buddha is said to have pointed to the pattern made by rice fields and instructed his monks to make their robes in a similar pattern.
P.S. The Kesa is known as a Field of Merit, which is the name we chose for the charity from which the Hermitage operates.