using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Winter 2008
29 wiNter 2 00 8 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly ChikuseiColleCtioN • Mumon’s Introduction • BoDHISATTvAS: We now begin to study our text. Mumon says in his Introduction: Zen has no gates. The purpose of Buddha’s words is to enlighten others; therefore, Zen is gateless. Now, how does one pass through this gateless gate? There is a saying that whatever enters through the gate is not the family treasure. Whatever is produced by the help of another will dissolve and perish. In the Bible we often see such an expression as, “That which the Lord has declared unto his prophets should come to pass....” This is a distorted view of the teachings of Rev- elation. The young stage of a religious mind always lingers around such an idea. one thus has to have a Supreme Being, and the agency of prophets. The compilers of old scriptures had to work hard to satisfy those childish minds, and thus stitched together the ragged pieces of old traditions and legends. Zen has nothing to do with such antiquities. You are here to meditate only because you want to know your true self. No agent of a Supreme Being provoked you to come. No scriptures enticed you to study meditation. As Mumon says, “Zen has no gates.” All of you have gathered here by your own will. The purpose of Buddha’s preaching is to dispel the clouds of delusion and to allow the sun of enlightenment to blaze forth from your own mind. Just as medicines are prescribed by a doctor according to the nature of the sick- ness, the teachings are provided by Buddha according to the condition of the disciple’s mind. Therefore, the essence of the teaching has no particular form or mold. This is what Mumon means in saying, “Therefore, Zen is gateless.” In his time, all students of Buddhism understood that Zen is the essence of Buddhism, not a school or a sect of it. Mumon quotes a Chinese saying, “Whatever enters through the gate is not the family treasure.” And to make the meaning clear, he adds another saying of Buddhism: “Whatever is produced by the help of another is likely to dissolve and perish.” In the West you say, “Heaven helps those who help themselves.” Buddhism says, “one creates heaven and earth by oneself.” You must discover your own family treasure within yourself. I am a senior student to you all, but I have nothing to impart to you. Whatever I have is mine, and never will be yours. You may consider me stingy and unkind, but I do not wish you to produce something that will dissolve and perish. I want each of you to discover your own inner treasure. Mumon continues: Even such words are like raising waves in a windless sea or performing surgery upon a healthy body. If you cling to what others have said, and try to understand Zen through explanations, it is as though you are trying to hit the moon with a pole, or scratch your itchy foot from the outside of your shoe. It is not at all possible. Those who understand Zen need not listen to Mumon or anyone else. But most students have something lurking in their minds, something that is bound to become a harmful parasite: a feeling of dependence upon others for their own growth. These students need sharp and emphatic encourage- ment, not soft and kind words. The following part of Mumon’s Introduction will be understood without comment. I will offer it here and stop raising waves in a calm sea, or performing surgery upon a sound body.