Oct 21 2022

Wu Men Hui-k’ai – Ten thousand flowers in spring

Published by at 8:49 am under Poetry,Poetry Chaikhana Misc.

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

/ Image by Alice Popkorn /

Since I haven’t sent out an email for the past few weeks, I missed commenting on the lovely autumn moon recently. Did you step outside to look at it?

Here in Oregon, the leaves are turning colors, the mornings are misty, the afternoons have a blue haze, and the autumn moon on a clear night gives a quiet glow to the land.

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!

A good meditation for us as we enter autumn.

this is the best season of your life.

Responses to Homelessness

I received so many touching and profound responses to my email about interacting with our brothers and sisters who are living on the streets. Some of you spoke of the work you do with distributing food, others about your own personal experiences of homelessness. Your insights and various forms of service continue to inspire my own journey.

I shared a couple of your letters, with permission, on the Poetry Chaikhana blog. Worth reading.
People Not Labels
Homeless Son

Recommended Books: Wu Men Hui-k’ai

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry Haiku Enlightenment: New Expanded Edition The Gateless Gate: The Wu-men Kuan The Gateless Barrier: Zen Comments on the Mumonkan The World: A Gateway: Commentaries on the Mumonkan

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 Gateless Gate (Wu Men Kuan or the Mumonkan). The Gateless Gate was first published in 1228 and consists of 48 koans compiled by Wu Men Hui-k’ai with his commentary and poetic verse.

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

More poetry by Wu Men Hui-k’ai

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Wu Men Hui-k’ai – Ten thousand flowers in spring”

  1. Anna M.on 21 Oct 2022 at 11:16 am

    a maple leaf fell down
    upon the moon’s shining pond…
    the sound of water
    still in the air and …in Basho

  2. S.Santhion 21 Oct 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Dear Ivan,
    This is my first letter to Poetry Chaikhana Blog. I am a woman of 72 who has depended on poesy since childhood for solace, for joy and for redemption and to find deep meanings in life.
    Today’s poem is so evocative and is a lovely gift for this rainy cool dawn in Kerala, the southern most tiny mountainous State in India.
    Being a tropical monsoonal land, we don’t have sharply demarcated seasons. And now with the global warming affecting our weather and climate, seasons are going haywire and often we experience different seasons each day. Warm humid forenoons of late summer, stormy winter afternoons with thunderstorms, cool windy evenings of our autumn with leaves falling, fragrant flowers of spring blooming, starry starry nights of of early winter, and cool moonlit dawns.
    So to feel the seasons mindfully, one has to be alert all the time. I do try to be peaceful and adapt my life and rhythms to these amazing days with all the seasons in them. And it is bit scary, at the same time enchanting.
    Yes I do step outside, go for long walks and gaze at the skies, the waning and waxing moon…and follow certain ancient rituals like fasting on certain days, eating only fruits on the 5th day of the moon, eating only once on full moon day etc just for the fun of it.
    All my appreciation and affection for your tiny poem on Faith. Yes it is all about being and becoming trustfully, prayerfully, joyfully and lovingly.

  3. Carolon 22 Oct 2022 at 5:15 am

    Dear Ivan, we do miss your poem and commentary if it does not come, but know most
    assuredly, it will come eventually. . .And this poem is a delight for me because this is
    probably the first year I have really appreciated the blessings of fall. I am always cold,
    and would live through these months of fall dreading the coming of the COLD winter.
    But this year I am able to appreciate the brilliant reds and yellows of the fall leaves,
    the clear and welcome sunny days, and the coolness after our hot summer. Extra
    clothing solves my coldness problems and I will look for the moon.

    I so appreciated Santhi’s comments about this poem, thank you. And your Thought
    for the Day says it all. . .Faith isn’t about knowing, it’s about being – then you know.

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