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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 19 Nansen's "Ordinary Mind Is the Way"  十九 平常是道

 

南泉、因趙州問、如何是道。

Jõshû asked Nansen, "What is the Way?"

泉云、平常心是道。

"Ordinary mind is the Way," Nansen replied.

州云、還可趣向否。

"Shall I try to seek after it?" Jõshû asked.

泉云、擬向即乖。

"If you try for it, you will become separated from it," responded Nansen.

州云、不擬爭知是道。

"How can I know the Way unless I try for it?" persisted Jõshû.

泉云、道不屬知、不屬不知。

Nansen said, "The Way is not a matter of knowing or not knowing.

知是妄覺、不知是無記。

Knowing is delusion; not knowing is confusion.

若眞達不擬之道、猶如太虚廓然洞豁。

When you have really reached the true Way beyond doubt, you will find it as vast and boundless as outer space.

豈可強是非也。

How can it be talked about on the level of right and wrong?"

州於言下頓悟。

With these words, Jõshû came to a sudden realization.

 

Mumon's Comment

無門曰、南泉被趙州發問、直得瓦解氷消、分疎不下。

Nansen dissolved and melted away before Jõshû's question, and could not offer a plausible explanation.

趙州縱饒悟去、更參三十年始得。

Even though Jõshû comes to a realization, he must delve into it for another thirty years before he can fully understand it.

 

Mumon's Verse 頌曰

春有百花秋有月    The spring flowers, the autumn moon;

夏有涼風冬有雪    Summer breezes, winter snow.

若無閑事挂心頭    If useless things do not clutter your mind,

更是人間好時節    You have the best days of your life.

 

Next chapter: Case 20 The Man of Great Strength

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

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