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




38. An Ox Passing Through the Window Lattice


Wuzu said, "For instance, a water buffalo (bull ox) passes through the window lattice; the head, horns, and four hoofs all pass through completely. What is the reason why the tail cannot pass through?”


Wumen says:  If within you invert, are able to manifest one single eye, and are able to issue one [MM50] turning word, you can rise up to declare the four loving-kindnesses and descend to give aid in the three realms of existence.  Maybe you are not yet like that? Then you still must look after and attend to the tail to be able to begin.


The Ode says

Formerly, one resisted falling into the moat;

Now, circling back and arriving in retreat due to being destroyed.

This little “baby” tail,

Frankly, is more than strange.



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This page last edited September 08, 2007.