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The Gateless Gate

 

The Gateless Gate or The Gateless Barrier (Chin. Wu-wen kuan; Jap. Mumonkan)

The author is Chinese Ch'an master Wu-men Hui-hai (無門慧開 Mumon Ekai, 1183-1260).

 

English Translation

By late Zen master Katsuki Sekida (Two Zen Classics 26-137)

 

Original Chinese Text

The original Chinese text is taken from the following Japanese web site:

 

                  http://homepage1.nifty.com/poem-club/mumonnkan/mumonkanwoyomu.htm

 

The Chinese and Japanese texts in this web site are taken from the book titled Mumonkan, published in Japan by Iwanami Bunkõ.

 

Chinese Characters

Unfortunately a few Chinese characters were not given in this site. Luckily these characters are less than 1% of the text. Where there was a definition about these ideograms, they are entered them using Chinese system (Big 5). There are also ideograms that appear as mere black boxes, without any explanations. These are replaced with dummy characters (empty square boxes).

 

 

The Gateless Gate 無門關

Wu-wen kuan (Mumonkan)

 

Case 16 When the Bell Sounds   十六 鐘聲七條

 

雲門曰、世界恁麼廣闊。

Unmon said, "The world is vast and wide.

因甚向鐘聲裏披七條。

Why do you put on your seven-piece robe at the sound of the bell?"

 

Mumon's Comment

無門曰、大凡參禪學道、切忌、隨聲遂色。

In studying Zen, you should not be swayed by sounds and forms.

縱使聞聲悟道、見色明心也是尋常。

Even though you attain insight when hearing a voice or seeing a form, this is simply the ordinary way of things.

殊不知、納僧家、騎聲蓋色、頭頭上明、著著上妙。

Don't you know that the real Zen student commands sounds, controls forms, is clear-sighted at every event and free on every occasion?

然雖如是。 且道、聲來耳畔、耳往聲邊。

Granted you are free, just tell me: Does the sound come to the ear or does the ear go to the sound?

直饒響寂雙忘、到此如何話會。

If both sound and silence die away, at such a juncture how could you talk of Zen?

若將耳聽應難會、眼處聞聲方始親。

While listening with you ear, you cannot tell. When hearing with your eye, you are truly intimate.

 

Mumon's Verse 頌曰

會則事同一家         With realization, things make one family;

不會萬別千差         Without realization, things are separated in a thousand ways.

不會事同一家         Without realization, things make one family;

會則萬別千差         With realization, things are separated in a thousand ways.

 

 

Next chapter: Case 17 Chu The National Teacher Gives Three Calls

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

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