The Gateless Checkpoint of the Zen Lineage

Chan Zong Wumen Guan (J. Mumonkan)


By Wumen Huikai (1183-1260, J. Mumon Ekai)


Translated by Gregory Wonderwheel © 2007




16.The Sound of the Bell and Seven Strips


†††††††††† Yunmen said, "How vast is this world? What is the reason you face the sound of the bell and manage to unroll [your robe of] seven-strips?"


Wumen says:Meeting Chían is greatly ordinary. In studying the Way be sure to avoid following sound and proceeding to color.†† Even if you use hearing sound to awaken to the Way or see color to understand the Heart-mind, still this is ordinary.†† Especially, donít you know the patch-robed monkís family rides sound and covers up in color.The top of the head is transcends understanding; wearing appearances transcends the mysterious. So, although you indeed listen, just say, does sound come to the earís boundary path or does the ear go toward the soundís border frontier? Even though there is only loudness and silence, forget both. Arriving here to listen, how do you speak of merging? Going the way of having ear and hearing meet, it is difficult to merge.At the time you manage to hear sound with the eye, only then are you intimate.††


The Ode says: [MM28]

Merging with principle, the matter is the same as one family;

Not merging, ten thousand discriminations, a thousand differences;

Not merging, the business is the same as one family;

Merging with principle, ten thousand discriminations, a thousand differences.




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This page last edited September 08, 2007.