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




5.Xiangyan Up a Tree


Venerable Xiangyan said, "It is like a man up a tree hanging on a tree branch held in his mouth.†† He canít use his hands to climb up the branch; his feet cannot step on the tree.It happens that below the tree a person asks, ĎWhat is the meaning of the coming from the West?íTo disregard the other who questions is immediately not correct.If on the other hand, you are correct, your body is dead and your destiny is lost.At that time what is appropriate; what can you put forth for a correct life?Ē


[MM 15]Wumen Says:Even if it happens that you can suspend a river of discernment, you do not manifest the whole use.If you are able to expound the teachings of the one great Buddhist scripture, again you do not manifest the use.If from within you are able to correctly manifest, then alive still follow before the dead road beginning; dead still follow before the alive road beginning.Canít you possibly be straight like that?Then, wait until the coming and ask Maitreya.


The Ode Says:

Xiangyan is really sloppy;

His wicked poison hasnít exhausted its limit;

It still mutes patch-robed monks mouths,

And smooth bodies break out with demonís eyes.



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This page last edited September 08, 2007.