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




32. One Outside the Way Asks the Buddha


The World Honored One: Because one outside the Way asked, “I do not ask you to be with words: I do not ask you to be without words.”

            The World Honored One occupied the seat.

            The One Outside the Way praised and exclaimed saying, “The World Honored One, the Great Merciful One, the Great Pitying One, opens my clouds of confusion and by His decree I am able to enter.”  He consequently made his proprieties and then departed.

            Ananda sought to ask the Buddha, “What actually did the one outside the Way have as evidence to exclaim his praise and then depart?”

World Honored said, "He is just like a world class horse. Seeing the shadow of the whip, yet it goes.”


Wumen says:  Ananda indeed was a disciple of the Buddha, but it was as if he was not as good as the one outside the Way at seeing liberation.   Just say, how many times did the one outside the Way together with the disciple of the Buddha mutually depart?


The Ode says:

Walk on the edge of a sword;

Run on thin silky ice;

Do not cross over by stair steps

When hanging from the precipice, let go your hands.


Return to the Gateless Checkpoint's Table of Contents


This page last edited September 08, 2007.