Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mumon's Verse on Enjoyment

The Reading:

The spring flowers, the moon in autumn,
The cool wind of summer, winter's snow-
If your mind is not clouded with the unnecessary things,
This is the happy day in human life.

...Only those who really love the flowers and the winds and the moon and the snow know how necessary it is to enjoy them with another person.  And this is the "ordinary mind" which Mumon is trying to exemplify.
Mumonkan, R.H. Blyth


Mumon's verse is perfect.  Blyth fails to understand that "another person" is one of the "unnecessary things".  This is the problem intrinsic to writing about Zen.  If you don't understand it, you can't write about it without flaw.  Of course Blyth is being ridiculous.  First you see the beauty of the moon, in a pure moment of experience.  Blyth tramples this in his desire to share it.  There opens the gates of hell.

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