HeartlessnessPosted: February 14, 2017
My friend Sammy on her Instagram posted some quotes from her boyfriend’s Zen calendar that were not helping.
Due to the turbulent times, Saigyō focuses not just on mono no aware (sorrow from change) but also on sabi (loneliness) and kanashi (sadness). Though he was a Buddhist monk, Saigyō was still very attached to the world and the beauty of nature.
Others elsewhere translate mono no aware as something like beautiful melancholy or a feeling of longing so agonizing it’s pleasure.
To be “heartless” was an ideal of Buddhist monkhood, meaning one had abandoned all desire and attachment.
From Saigyō’s Wikipedia page.
Above we see Saigyō drawn by Kikuchi Yōsai, famous for his monochrome portraits of historical figures.