Feb 11 2011

Wu Men – Ten thousand flowers in spring

Published by at 9:56 am under Poetry

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn
by Wu Men (Hui-k’ai)

English version by Stephen Mitchell

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.

— from The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry, by Stephen Mitchell

/ Photo by Richard Cocks /

The flowers say it, the moon, the breeze, the snow. Each time we pause to notice the living world around us it blesses us and says– May your mind be unclouded, and may every season be the best season of your life!

Wu Men (Hui-k’ai)

China (1183 – 1260) Timeline
Buddhist : Zen / Chan

There are two primary collections of koans in Zen/Chan Buddhism: the Blue Cliff Records, and the Wu Men Kuan, also known as the Mumonkan. The Mumonkan, first published in 1228, consists of 48 koans compiled by Wu Men Hui-k’ai with his commentary and poetic verse.

Wu Men (also called Mumon) was a head monk of the Lung-hsiang monastery in China.

More poetry by Wu Men (Hui-k’ai)

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13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Wu Men – Ten thousand flowers in spring”

  1. Martha Toyon 11 Feb 2011 at 11:25 am

    Hi Ivan,

    The simplicity of the verse alone, helps to ‘uncloud the mind’. I love the photo, and appreciate also knowing the source of what are the more widely read koans by Zen/Chan Buddhists.

    Thank you! Martha

  2. Deeon 11 Feb 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks Ivan:I enjoy reading the poems that you send each and every day.
    I would like to contribute to keep this going…but I do not like to send money over the computer. If you can send me a physical address….I will help you.
    I have particularly enjoyed the poem today…I love Chinese and Japanese poets.

  3. Ivan M. Grangeron 11 Feb 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Thanks, Dee. I always welcome donations, so long as you can comfortably afford it. In addition to online donations, you can also send donations in the mail to:
    Poetry Chaikhana
    PO Box 2320
    Boulder, CO 80306
    Your support — and your supportive thoughts — are deeply appreciated!
    – Ivan

  4. Claudiaon 11 Feb 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Yes the living world around us declares the creator’s love and unclouds our minds.

    The creation is “The Other Book of God” and poets are called to read this “Other Book of God” and to distill the messages of the living world around us into language for the rest of the world to read – to allow the poet’s words to help open mindfulness and awareness into the spiritual reality declared by the living world around us.

    The book “God of Dirt: Mary Oliver and the Other Book of God” by Thomas W. Mann allowed this truth to come to me recently during a Sacred Poetry Retreat sponsored by The Merton Institute held at their retreat center – Bethany Spring – 1 mile from The Abbey of Gethsemani, Thomas Merton’s (a Trappist Monk and poet) home for 26 years.

  5. Lynon 11 Feb 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I found this particularly beautiful, and said everything with so few words!

  6. franon 11 Feb 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Alas, I am in Chicago and though I love snow…..surely there is a poem for too much!!!
    Sincerely, it was a delightful poem as always the thought for the day insightful, too. thank you, awaiting the thousand flowers…..

  7. Jackieon 12 Feb 2011 at 7:52 am

    Everything was beautiful this morning. The picture was amazing. I’ve always said “I hated the winter.” This year I did my own Winter Solstice celebration, honored my space, my going inside and it has been the most wonderful Winter I’ve ever experienced. I think it is because I’m present for it to happen.

    I loved the quote of the day. Interesting enough that is where I am right now with a particular question I have for my own heart.

    Thank you Ivan. I live in Grand Junction, so you are not very far from me.


  8. Ivan M. Grangeron 12 Feb 2011 at 9:29 am

    Hello from across the mountains, Jackie.

  9. swadesh royon 13 Feb 2011 at 5:14 am

    this is a great poetry. i have read this today. our spring has started from today; but i discover in my mind that, it is great than spring.
    with thanks
    swadesh roy

  10. simonbaghon 14 Feb 2011 at 4:59 am

    Hi Ivan,

    Cast a look at the simply entangled story of being
    consider emotional life of every monarch and king

    Kings from them, but lost dust nothing did remain
    attempt all that came over them to room into brain

    Look at the days of life using their eyes of power,
    then the value of life days you do better discover

    There exists a high stand in yours corner of psyche
    by death ladder you reach on the top if to be lucky

    All are not so fortunate to feel death before time
    to make time to display the life gist within rhyme

    If you wish to meet death when you are still alive
    like the bee, you too come out from thy cozy hive

    Then you sure breathe aroma of fleeting moments,
    in rose garden of life, you live without comments

    Simon baghdasarian [simonbagh]

  11. Wysnexon 14 Feb 2011 at 8:51 am

    thanks for posting this poem. very simple & easy. Yet at the same time, profound…& complete. (a bit tough though, for those of us who go around with ‘cloudy minds’ rather often…much too often than we’d like anyhow….lol…)

  12. Russon 19 Feb 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Beautiful, Ivan!

    Thanks for sending this to our crazy world today.
    A monk would notice these things as well as we readers now.
    Oh; To be rewarded with life’s beautiful simplicity!


  13. Anneon 18 Jan 2018 at 8:53 am

    Calming and beautiful Heard this on an app
    Meditation that I do daily!!
    So meaningful and necessary for these
    Changing times and tumultuous world

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