Hello my dear happiness nerds, welcome back!

I noticed that the less I write the more you do, so let’s try another short one today. Again, it’s a quote by a poet that really touched me. It’s the second half of the poem My Hovel by Zen master Ikkyū Sōjun.

What good are old kōans and faded traditions?
No use complaining any more, I’ll just rely on my inner treasures.
My real dwelling
Has no pillars
And no roof either
So rain cannot soak it
And wind cannot blow it down
Every day priests minutely examine the Dharma
And endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though, they should learn
How to read the love letters sent by the wind and rain, the snow and moon.

So, what do you think it means? Let me know in the comments below, I’m really curious to hear about your thoughts and feelings!

There is some jargon in the poem that I’m happy to “translate,” so you don’t have to look elsewhere. I’ll only touch the surface though to keep it short:

  • Koans are riddles to test or advance students of Zen Buddhism.
  • Dharma means a lot of things, among them a universal law or a right way of living.
  • Sutras in the context of Buddhism are canonical texts, often attributed to be direct teachings of the Buddha.

As far as I’m concerned, especially the last four lines really did something with me. I tend to overthink and seek objective truths to live by, but the happy life is right there in front me at all times, just waiting to be recognized. It’s simple: Learn to read and appreciate the love letters of nature (and one might add: life in general) and you cannot help but to be full of peace, joy, and bliss.

Life sends us all these love letters, so we can be happy. I think once we give them the attention they deserve, we will feel an authentic urge to give back in equal amounts. This will add another healing quality to our lives. We will want to protect and foster the beauty of nature, which includes all living and non-living beings. It just won’t be an option anymore to exploit or harm them.

I hope these words by Ikkyū touched you as much as they touched me. They served as another nudge that makes me want to explore Zen Buddhism more. If you’re looking for more great poetry like this, I also recommend the haikus by Kobayashi Issa. And with this, I wish you a beautiful day with a love letter coming your way. Yours truly, Thomas.

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21 thoughts on “A Love Letter to You

              1. I did but it wasn’t the greatest of succes. You can find them under ‘care for you’ and then ‘writing’ in my menu.
                Mostly my mind flows freely in the comment section as a reaction to what I read.
                When I come up with a nice word flow I’ll post it. Thank you for the encouragement!

                Liked by 1 person

  1. A lovely way to call the gentle interaction of the elements in our life “A Love Letter to You” There is a definite shift within when we acknowledge the beauty of the breeze, rain, sun rays all gently touch our lives.
    when small gusts pass over me I feel blessed

    Liked by 3 people

  2. ‘Never forget that the wind longs to play with your hair, and the earth delights to feel your bare feet’ (on a birthday card)
    I notice beauty when I go out and fun sights such as magpies sitting on sheep!
    I see the koru symbol everywhere, and sychronicities such as a line from a film repeated in shop window, or wordpress posts reflecting topics I’ve been thinking about. I take these as a sign that I’m in tune/on the right path.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that is one poetic birthday card!! Love that sentence!
      Yeah, I think that’s exactly the small and precious observations that the poem is talking about. In my best moods, I find wonders even in the most mundane things, like cardboard or glass. I use that as a compass, too. You sound like you’re on the right path, so keep it up 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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