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




31.Zhaozhou Investigates an Old Woman


††††††††††† Zhaozhou: Because a monk asked Madam Old Woman "What place do I go for the direction of the path to Lookout Mountain?Ē

††††††††††† The Old Woman said, "Go straightforward full speed ahead."

††††††††††† The Monk only walked three fives (15) steps and the Old Woman said, "A good teacherís monk again goes in this way?"

It happened afterward that the monk raised this in appearing to Zhou.

††††††††††† Zhou said, "Wait, Iíll go for you to investigate any faults of this Madam Old Woman."

The next day he then went also with the identical question.

The Old Woman also had the identical reply.

Zhou returned and called the assembly saying, "I investigated Madam Old Woman of Lookout [MM 44] Mountain for you and completely defeated her besides.Ē


Wumen says:†† Madam Old Woman only understood sitting and planning in the tent and waiting in ambush.She didnít recognize the insurgentís trick.Old Man Zhaozhou was skilled at using stealth in his function to raid the enemyís encampment. Again, his was just not a great personís examining. To pick up and examine this for the future: the two both have faults.†† Just say, what was within the investigation of Zhaozhou to defeat the place of Madam Old Woman?


The Ode says:

The questions were both the same,

The replies were also similar.

Inside of the cooked rice there was sand;

In the middle of the mud there were thorns.


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This page last edited September 08, 2007.