The Chinese name for the peony is sho yu. It means, simply, most beautiful. The poet Sensei Ogui finds a lesson in its moment of lifetime:
Peonies bloom on peony trees.
A cat doesn’t become a chicken.
Tulips are tulips, not roses.
Why can’t we realize this true fact?
That to be me is great.
I don’t have to be anyone but me.
I am blooming as I am in my life, just as a peony blooms on a peony tree.
Further, a beautiful peony flower does not worry about when it will wilt and fall to the ground.
It does not compete with the flower next to it;
rather it blooms with its whole self.
~Sensei Ogui, from “Zen Shin Talks”
Peony photos by Mary O’Connor, © 2013
8 thoughts on “A Lesson from the Peony”
Wise words. GORGEOUS photos!
It’s the peonies that are GORGEOUS! They prompt wise words!
Beautiful and stunning!
How can one not admire the peony!?!
the words and the peony are equally wonderful and true
Peonies are one of my favorite (and wonderful) flowers…
I enjoyed this post. Very well done!!!
Glad you enjoyed it. Thought you might!