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




7.  Zhaozhou Washes a Bowl


Zhaozhou: Because a monk asked, "This beginner has newly entered the jungle. I beg teacher to instruct.", Zhou said, "You still haven’t finished eating the rice gruel."

            The monk said, "I also finished eating the rice gruel."

            Zhou said, “Wash your alms bowl and go.”

            This monk had insight.


Wumen says:  When Zhaozhou opens his mouth one catches sight of his gallbladder and he exposes his heart and liver.  This monk heard the matter. It is not reality to pretend the call of the bell is an urn. 


The Ode says:

Simply act in differentiation to arrive at clarity;

Searching makes one’s income to be late;

The beginner understood the lamp is fire;

The cooked rice was done already too long a time. 

[MM 18]



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This page last edited September 08, 2007.