No-Gate Gateway: The Original Wu-Men Kuan

No-Gate Gateway: The Original Wu-Men Kuan

by David Hinton


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A new translation of one of the great koan collections—by the premier translator of the Chinese classics—that reveals it to be a literary and philosophical masterwork beyond its association with Chan/Zen.

A monk asked: “A dog too has Buddha-nature, no?” And with the master’s enigmatic one-word response begins the great No-Gate Gateway (Wu-Men Kuan), ancient China’s classic foray into the inexpressible nature of mind and reality. For nearly eight hundred years, this text (also known by its Japanese name, Mumonkan) has been the most widely used koan collection in Zen Buddhism—and with its comic storytelling and wild poetry, it is also a remarkably compelling literary masterwork. In his radical new translation, David Hinton places this classic for the first time in the philosophical framework of its native China, in doing so revealing a new way of understanding Zen—in which generic “Zen perplexity” is transformed into a more approachable and earthy mystery. With the poetic abilities he has honed in his many translations, Hinton brilliantly conveys the book’s literary power, making it an irresistible reading experience capable of surprising readers into a sudden awakening that is beyond logic and explanation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611804379
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 02/27/2018
Pages: 168
Sales rank: 583,610
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

David Hinton’s many translations of classical Chinese poetry have earned wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary poems that convey the texture and density of the originals. He is also the first translator in over a century to translate the five seminal masterworks of Chinese philosophy: I Ching, Tao Te ChingChuang TzuAnalects, and Mencius. Hinton has received many national awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, both major awards for poetry translation, and most recently, a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Reading Guide xxxiii

No-Gate Gateway

No-Gate's Foreword 2

1 Visitation-Land Dog Nature 4

2 Hundred-Elder Wild Fox 8

3 Million-Million One Finger 12

4 Western Barbarian No Beard 14

5 Incense-Regal Stuck High 16

6 World-Honored Held Flower 18

7 Visitation-Land Wash Bowl 20

8 What-Next Invented Cartwheel 22

9 Vast Insight Surpassing Wisdom 24

10 Lucid-Black Alone Impoverished 26

11 Land Interrogates Shrine-Master 28

12 Crag Called Empty One 30

13 Mirror-Sight Nestled Bowls 32

14 Wellspring-South Chopped Kitten 34

15 Fathom Mountain Three-Score 36

16 Bell Sound Seven-Piece 40

17 Nation-Teacher Three Times 42

18 Fathom Mountain Three Pounds 44

19 Ordinary Mind Is Way 46

20 Someone of Great Power 48

21 Cloud-Gate Shit-Stick 50

22 Mahakashyapa Dharma-Talk Flag 52

23 Don't Think Right Wrong 54

24 It All Outside Words 58

25 Third Seat Elucidates Dharma 60

26 Two Monks Raised Blinds 62

27 It Isn't Mind Buddha 64

28 Dragon-Lake Long Renowned 66

29 Not Wind Not Flag 70

30 This Mind This Buddha 72

31 Visitation-Land Questions Woman 74

32 Someone Outside Asked Buddha 76

33 Not Mind Not Buddha 78

34 And Wisdom Isn't Way 80

35 Twain-Beauty's Spirit Fled 82

36 Meet Sage-Master Way 84

37 Cypress in Our Courtyard 86

38 Water Buffalo Passing Window 88

39 Cloud-Gate All Wrong 90

40 Kicked Over Water-Jar 92

41 Bodhidharma Silence This Mind 94

42 Girl Awakened from Samadhi 96

43 Origin-Mountains Abbot-Staff 98

44 Banana Mountains Travel-Staff 100

45 Who Is That Someone 102

46 Step Beyond a Flagpole 104

47 Buddha-Land's Three Gateways 106

48 Heaven-Peak's Single Path 108

No-Gate's Afterword 110

Notes 113

Key Terms: An Outline of No-Gate's Conceptual World 127

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