TFW you see the universe in a flower through a flower in the universe

拈華微笑
nen.ge.mi.shou

Literally: twist (with the fingers) – flower – delicate/minute – laugh/smile

Alternately: Communicating “heart to heart,” without words or writing. Subtle, unspoken communication. Plucking or toying with a flower, and a smile.

Notes: In other contexts, 微笑 can also be pronounced bishou or hohoe(mi) and changes , which can mean “laugh,” to the subtlety of a smile. In this case, though, mishou is the only correct reading.

This is another inheritance from the 五灯会元. The story is not one of stereotypical feminine communication, as I had first imagined, but rather of the Gautama Buddha picking up and holding a (white lotus) flower in front of his disciples. Most of them were nonplussed, but Mahakasyapa understood and smiled in response, proving that he was ready to be the Buddha’s successor.

NenGeShikaOnna

Not prajna per se, but no doubt some form of understanding. From the #拈華微笑 hashtag on Twitter.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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