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




39.  Yunmen’s Idle Speech


Yunmen: Because a monk asked, "The brilliant light silently illuminates the whole river and sands . .” , the one sentence was not yet ended when Men quickly said, “Aren’t those the words of the excellently gifted Zhangzhuo?”

The monk said, "Yes,"

Men said, "Idle speech!”

Coming after, Sixin picked this up and said, "Just say, what point is within this monk’s idle speech?”


Wumen says:  If within you are able to see how Yunmen uses the point of solitary danger of this monk’s [MM51] reason for his idle speech, then you are able to give to people and gods [devas] as a teacher.  If you still are not yet clear, you are not able to save yourself.


The Ode says:

A fishhook hangs in the torrent

Catching those who are greedy for the bait.

The first time the mouth cracks open

One’s life is lost nevertheless. 



Return to the Gateless Checkpoint's Table of Contents


This page last edited September 08, 2007.