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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 37 Jõshû's Oak Tree     三十七 庭前栢樹

 

趙州、因僧問、如何是祖師西來意。

A monk asked Jõshû, "What is the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming to China?"

州云、庭前栢樹子。

Jõshû said, "The oak tree in the garden."

 

Mumon's Comment

無門曰、若向趙州答處見得親切、前無釋迦後無彌勒。

If you understand Jõshû's answer intimately, there is no Shakya before you, no Maitreya to come.

 

Mumon's Verse 頌曰

言無展事      Words cannot express things;

語不投機      Speech does not convey the spirit.

承言者喪      Swayed by words, one is lost;

滯句者迷      Blocked by phrases, one is belwildered.

 

Next chapter: Case 38 A Buffalo Passes the Window

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

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