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




19. Ordinary Is the Way



Nanquan: Because Zhaozhou asked, "Compared to what is the Way?" Quan said, "Ordinary mind is the Way." 

Zhou said, "To return [to ordinary mind], can one advance quickly by facing obstructions?

Quan said, "Intending to face something is immediately at variance.”

Zhou said, “Isn’t the striving of intention how to know the Way?

Quan said,  "The Way is not a category of knowing and not a category of not knowing.  Knowing is false consciousness; not knowing is without recollection.  If you really break through to the Way of non-intention, it is just like the utmost boundless void, like an open hole.  Can you be that stubborn about right and wrong, still?!

            At these words Zhou fell into sudden awakening.


Wumen says:  Nanquan suffered Zhaozhou’s arising questions simply to obtain a tile to melt the icicles, to eliminate discriminating, to pierce not-falling-into.  Though Zhaozhou came to a bountiful awakening, he still interviewed for thirty years to be able to begin.


The Ode says:

Spring has a hundred flowers; autumn has the moon;

Summer has cool winds; winter has the snow.

If no leisure or business hangs up the top of the heart-mind,

Then the human world is the season of good times.




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This page last edited September 08, 2007.