The Best Season of Your Life

by Matthew Daniell

 

(Published in the Newburyport Daily News newspaper on May 27, 2017)

 

Spring rushes forth in all its glory this time of year, trees and grasses bright and green and growing strong, bird song amidst warm breezes. Is spring your favorite season, or summer, autumn, or winter?

 

The ancient Chinese Zen master Wu Men had an interesting take on this theme.

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.

 

Do the words of this ancient Chinese sage resonate with you, touching a quiet hidden place within that yearns for stillness and connection?  Do these words even make any sense, outside of being a nice poetic refrain, given the hectic nature of our lives?  What does it mean ‘if your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things’, when many of the ‘things in our minds’ are the stuff of memory, planning, anticipating, etc. that are necessary to survive and thrive in our lives.

 

Wu Men evokes an interesting possibility in us, and the Buddha’s teaching on Insight Meditation show us how to work practically to uncloud the mind.

 

Let’s begin by exploring with the clouded mind.

 

 

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