The Quote By Wu Hsin


I just stumbled upon this quote this morning and it was just what I needed today.

It’s from a book called “Aphorisms for Thirsty Fish” by Wu Hsin, the work of a mysterious Daoist in ancient China. No, I’ve never read his book (although I have now downloaded a sample on my kindle and put in on my find-in-a-bookstore list), but it was featured on my new favorite tumblr, The Highlights of My Day.

Being in that current season of change when winter turns to spring, with an old fiscal year ending and stepping into a new one, having to look back and set new goals, my head tends to be full of what-should-I-do’s and what-do-I-want’s. Not to mention the am-I-good-enough-for’s.

I’ve always been a worrier, especially when it comes to things out of my control. Which is ridiculous because those are the things that you can least prepare for by worrying. And when I look back on changes in my life, it always comes out of nowhere and I am actually quite adaptable (must be that nomad upbringing). So that’s even more reason not to worry.

But sometimes I do anyway.

Maybe I’m stubborn that way. I don’t know. But this quote has reminded me that yes, there are better things to think about than myself. So many things to be thankful for and to look forward to during this season of change.

So I think I’ll just empty my thoughts and just enjoy the beautiful spring day today!

What kind of thoughts are in your head lately? Are you a worrier?

This is why I walk to work…blooms everywhere! x

7 thoughts on “The Quote By Wu Hsin”

  1. Well, how wonderfully strange that we should have been considering the same thing at the same time and reached the same conclusion. That quote is brilliant — the book is now on my list.


  2. This is fascinating. I just ordered the five-volumes-in-one version.

    Looking around the interwebs it looks apparent that the so-called translator, Roy Melvyn, is himself Wu Hsin.

    Why is it that the exact same words uttered or written by someone whom we believed to be an ancient Chinese sage and some modern guy who just made those same words up are looked at so differently? But if Melvyn (obviously) invented Wu Hsin as a lost historical figure that makes of him a hoax, a huckster, dishonest and a scam, thereby damaging his message. Maybe there was no message other than, ”Buy my book! (And whose books will you buy more of, an archaic master of esoteric oriental wisdom, or some schlep like me?”).

    Wu Hsin is, in English, the concept of no mind. In Japanese and Chinese it is written 無心。(In Japanese: Mushin).

    The thinking highly or lowly of oneself seems such a modern Western concept. I can’t imagine that being any concern of people thousands of years ago or in many other cultures.

    Come to think about it: What was I doing ordering that? “Read hundreds of things to stick in your head in order to appreciate not sticking things in your head.” Ha ha. Wouldn’t not buying the book do that even better?

    Since we are on the topic of Taoism I have been meaning to mention some Qigong exercises I wondered if you would be interested in. That because you wrote here some time ago that you were having a hard time making it to the gym. One of the exercises (from nearly 2,000 years ago, ha ha, but mostly kind of true) is the Five Animal Frolics. I kind of like this version at YouTube. Book and DVD.

    If I were to describe Ma Wan Dui it would be that it kind of looks like: a modern dance warmup for people who live in tight spaces. Book with CD and DVD.

    Suggested just as a possible way to get toned and tuned up conveniently at home without having to bother with a gym.


  3. Oh WOW! Wouldn't that be the best hoax ever? I am weirdly excited by all this. I think I've been watching too many episodes of Elementary (the Sherlock Homes show) 😀

    And your comment “The thinking highly or lowly of oneself seems such a modern Western concept.” makes a lot of sense as well. Or if not a Western concept, definitely a more modern concept.

    I'm going to have to look into the excercises, although it look like I would have to go to the gym anyway, due to a lack of space at home. Or maybe the park.


  4. Because of your love of flowers this must be a particularly cherished time of year. Are those early cherries? Or are they generally blooming already in the middle of March? The pearls-of-dew-drops-bedecked leaves look like Nandima domestica. Do you know the common name? Heavenly bamboo.

    As for the exercises it is foolish for me to recommend something like that. Only if you discovered something like that on your own would it might have appeal. I was thinking, too, that that is another advantage of a tatami room. If you have room enough for a futon you would have room for those exercises.


  5. I believe the first two blossoms are plum and the bottom two are a type of cherry blossom. I secretly like these pinkish blooms more than the popular Somei Yoshino sakura that we have everywhere in Tokyo. Our cherry blossom is expected to be in full bloom on March 26th! 😀

    The name Heavenly bamboo is far from “common!” How lovely! I can't be sure, I don't know very many name for plants but the leaves stay very green throughout the entire year.

    Yes, you may be right about exercise. I'm thankful that yoga is tatami sized and doesn't take up too much room. All I need is Youtube and a mat! 😀


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