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




24.   Abandon Language       


Venerable Fengxue: Because a monk asked, “Talking and silence wade across brightness and subtlety.  So how is one to flow unobstructed and not offend?” 

Xue said,          “I long remember South of the River* in the 3rd month

                        The place the mountain quail cry,

                        The fragrance of a hundred flowers.”


Wumen says:  Fengxue’s function was like pulling on lightening and obtaining an expedient path for walking.   He contended, but he sat on the tongue of the person who came before, he didn’t cut it off.  If within you are able to see intimately, naturally it happens you go out personally on the zig-zag path.  Just abandon the samadhi of language and be ready to say one line of verse when you come.


The Ode says

The verse did not reveal Feng’s bones;

He was not the first to say this part that was handed down.

Progressing with mouths twittering,

Be aware, all of you, of the great net arranged.


[* "South of the River" is the region known as Jiangnan.]

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This page last edited September 08, 2007.