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




29.  Not the Wind, Not the Flag 


Sixth Ancestor: Because the wind tossed the temple flag, there were two monks debating what was correct. One said, “The flag moves.” One said, “The wind moves.”  Going back and forth repeatedly, they did not agree in principle.

            The Ancestor said, "The wind is not moving, the flag is not moving. Virtuous ones, the heart-mind moves."

            At that the two monks were startled.


Wumen says: The wind is not moving; the flag is not moving; the heart-mind is not moving. In what place do you see the Founder?  If within you are able to see intimately, in that place you know the two monks bought iron and obtained gold.  The Founder did not restrain his refined forbearance and in the one open space he divulged and stirred.


The Ode says:           

Wind, flag, and heart-mind moving,

All conditions guide to ford across.

Simply know, when opening the mouth,

Unconscious conversation degenerates.



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This page last edited September 08, 2007.