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




 17. The National Teacher’s Three Calls


The National Teacher called his attendant thrice.  The attendant responded thrice.  The National Teacher said, "When you first came I was ready to say I was disappointing you, instead it is you disappointing me."


Wumen says: The National Teacher called thrice, and his tongue fell to the ground.  The attendant responded thrice, and he spit out the light of harmony.  The National Teacher was old in years and his heart was lonely. He pushed the ox’s head to eat grass.  The attendant did not consent to shoulder the responsibility.  Delicacies do not hit the spot of the satiated person. Just say, within this case at what spot was he disappointed?  Only in the nation is a gifted scholar honored.  In rich families the small children are pampered.


The Ode says: [MM29]

An iron prison-yoke without a neck hole needs a person to shoulder it,

Toiling extends to children and grandchildren who are not leisure class;

If one wants to be able to prop up the gate and hang the doors,

Then one must ascend a mountain of swords barefoot.




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This page last edited September 08, 2007.