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Gateless Barrier: Zen Comments on the Mumonkan
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Gateless Barrier: Zen Comments on the Mumonkan

4.53 of 5 stars 4.53  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  4 reviews
For more than seven centuries the Mumonkan has been used in Zen monasteries to train monks and to encourage the religious development of lay Buddhists. It contains forty- eight koans, or spiritual riddles, that must be explored during the course of Zen training. Shibayama Zenkei (1894-1974), an influential Japanese Zen teacher and calligrapher who traveled and lectured th ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 5th 2000 by Shambhala (first published 1974)
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This book required a complete departure from how I normally read and the way that I think about things. Of course this sounds cliche, but is genuinely true from the outset. Boolean logic, describing something as is or is-not, and any other logical principles are of absolutely no use to the reader. Considering this is a purpose of going through zen training to begin with, that should come as no surprise. If you think that's a bunch of crap (and I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking so): don't both ...more
Jan van Leent
Excellent translation of this collection of classic Zen Koans.

The commentary is very helpful.

Recommended for study of Zen koans

Also recommended as five star rating:

- Yamada Koun Roshi, Gateless Gate - Translation with Commentary. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1979

- Robert Aitken, The Gateless Barrier - The Wu-men Kuan (Mumonkan), New York: North Point Press, 1991

Not a book you ever really finish, but something in there will inevitably make you consider your experience differently. Zenkei Shibayama's commentary is extensive and in-depth, including a history of many of the teachers mentioned in the koan stories.
This is a collection of Zen koans with commentary by Zenkei Shibayama. For those unfamiliar with this kind of material it would probably be mystifying and maybe even annoying, but anyone who already loves this kind of stuff should rush right out and get it. Beautiful writing by Shibayama, very complete and written at a meditative pace. Loved it.
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