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




44. Bajiao's Crutch


Venerable Bajiao taught the assembly saying,"If you have a 'crutch'*, I give you a crutch. If you are without a crutch, I snatch your crutch."


Wumen says:It helps fording across the river of the broken bridge. Itís my companion returning to the moonless village. If you call it or take it for a crutch you enter hell like an arrow.


The Ode says

[MM 57] The various methods deep and shallow.

All exist within the grasp of his palm.

Propping up Heaven goes together with supporting the Earth.

Following this point rescues the style of the lineage.


[* The "crutch" or "support-staff" is a long stick approximately 6 to 8 feet long used by traveling Zen monks as a walking stick and for testing the water's depth when crossing streams, and when kept by the teaching platform it is used by the Zen master to hit students standing in front of the master.]



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This page last edited September 08, 2007.