CONTEMPLATION ON PURITY
for hichiriki and piano
When my wife and I were taking a walk for leisure in Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, Japan, we stumbled upon a beautiful Buddhist temple named Seiryō-ji 清凉寺. The name struck me at once, for there is a Buddhist temple in my hometown, Changzhou 常州, with exactly the same name. 清凉 is pronounced as “seiryō” in Japanese and “qīngliáng” in Mandarin Chinese. Originally, it probably referred to the sensation of feeling cool or refreshed, but here in a Buddhist context it probably refers more to the state of being that is free from desires, hence the translation “purity” in the title.