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




9.  Great Penetration Wins Wisdom


Venerable Xingyang Rang: Because a monk asked, "Great-penetration Wisdom-winning (Daitōng Zhishèng) Buddha sat for ten aeons (kalpas) at a site of the Way yet did not manifest the Buddha Dharma and was not able to accomplish the Buddha Way. What was he practicing in that time?" Rang said, "That question is very [MM 19] attentive and appropriate."

The monk said, "Since he indeed sat very much at a site of the Way, why was he not able to accomplish the Buddha Way?"

Rang said, "He did not accomplish Buddhahood."


Wumen says:  Just so is the old barbarian’s knowledge, not so is the old barbarian’s comprehension. If an ordinary man knows he is already is a sage; if a sage comprehends he is already an ordinary man.


The Ode says:

How does knowing the body resemble knowing the joy of the heart-mind?

Being able to know the heart-mind – body not worried;

Also if body and mind are both completely known,

Why should one still hope to become a holy immortal?



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This page last edited September 08, 2007.