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




37.  The Cypress Tree In Front of the Hall


Zhaozhou: Because a monk asked, "Compared to what was the intent of the ancestral founder coming from the west?”  Zhou said, "In front of the hall, a cypress [MM 49] tree.”


Wumen says:  If you face where Zhaozhou’s reply dwells and are able to see intimately, before is without Śākya, afterwards is without Maitreya.


The Ode says:

Words do not open the matter;

Speech does not deliver the function.

Those who hold onto words mourn,

Those who are blocked by phrases are bewildered.



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This page last edited September 08, 2007.