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The Gateless Gate: The Classic Book of Zen Koans

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4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  378 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
In The Gateless Gate, one of modern Zen Buddhism's uniquely influential masters offers classic commentaries on the Mumonkan, one of Zen's greatest collections of teaching stories. This translation was compiled with the Western reader in mind, and includes Koan Yamada's clear and penetrating comments on each case. Yamada played a seminal role in bringing Zen Buddhism to the ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 15th 2004 by Wisdom Publications (first published 1228)
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The Gateless Gate by Wumen HuikaiThe Original Face by Thomas ClearyPath to Bodhidharma by Priscilla Daichi StorandtThe Zen Eye by Sokei-AnThe Zen Teaching of Huang Po by Huang Po
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Maurice Halton
Feb 28, 2013 Maurice Halton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One can never finish reading The Gateless Gate.
Leo Kuznetsov
May 15, 2014 Leo Kuznetsov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-stpean, nook
There is not enough stars in observable Universe and beyond to rate this book. This is not actually a book. This is probably the only title that holds to be the "Revelation". Not for everyone. You gotta be ready for it.
Viet Hung Nguyen
Tóm lại là chưa đủ trình độ để hiểu, nên khó mà đánh giá rating được. Sẽ là nguồn tham khảo khi rèn luyện thiền tập thôi.
Jake
Apr 13, 2010 Jake rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism
The Gateless Gate is a classic book of zen koans. In this version, Yamada adds his own explication of each case, which helps a lot in understanding some of the basic ideas. As a Westerner and someone who is not steeped in Buddhist history, I often felt like I was facing a steep series of translations- from Chinese to Japanese, from Japanese to English, from Eastern ideas and idioms to Western ones. For that reason I read the book slowly- at most one case each night. Some of them, like the ...more
Johnny
Jul 02, 2010 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Disclaimer: I know little to nothing about Zen Buddhism.)

Though Nietzsche has instilled in me an aversion to the idolization of nothingness or silence (be noisy and passionate while you can) characteristic of some eastern philosophies, I found the koans both profound and wonderfully silly. They question; call on one to justify, our preference for the determinate (e.g the thesis that all propositions are true or false), absolutes, dichotomies (good and evil).

They also provoke reflection on commu
...more
Chin Jian Xiong
Jun 21, 2016 Chin Jian Xiong rated it it was amazing
1.

Only a man with little secrets
Fears being seen.
A man with many secrets can be seen all around
They will never find him

You must be like the frog that has swallowed the Great Mystery

By throwing the past,
To the ruffled pigeons
He removes statistics like a robe

His belly is infinite in heaven and earth.
He will be greater than seven Trump Towers

2.

A monk once came to a master and asked: “How can I find the self?”

The master replied: “Two mirrors make a tunnel which you can crawl to many places. When you
...more
k
May 20, 2014 k rated it really liked it
Surprised at how few reads this book has gotten on this site. I guess I figured something like the Tao Te Ching would be more popular, but not 3 orders of magnitude more popular. This book is a great introduction to Zen for the casually curious. The koans are very funny at times, and Yamada's commentary is painstaking and clear, sometimes overly so, but between the koan, Mumon's commentary and Yamada's, you get three different layers and styles of understanding and it all works quite well as a ...more
Jim Parker
Mar 31, 2013 Jim Parker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This certainly isn't a book to read all at once.

The way I am handling the book is to read one koan at a time. I don't even necessarily manage to read one everyday but I'm trying to get in the habit of doing it that way. Sometimes I think about the koan and sometimes the koans are incomprehensible to me and I just sort put that one aside.

I have finally finished going through all the koans for the first time. In no way do I consider this book finished but at least I have begun the study. (3-31-201
...more
Jan Leent
Aug 24, 2014 Jan Leent rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
Excellent translation of this classic collection of Zen Koans.

The teishos and commentaries are very helpful.

Recommended for study of Zen koans.

Also recommended as five star rating:

- Zenkei Shibayama, The Gateless Barrier - Zen comments on the Mumonkan, Boston: Shambhala, 1974

- Robert Aitken, The Gateless Barrier - The Wu-men Kuan (Mumonkan), New York: North Point Press, 1991
Scott
Jul 23, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it
See combined review attached to Gateless Barrier: Zen Comments on the Mumonkan.
Patrick
Mar 09, 2009 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my life. Will it change yours? All I know is that if anyone asks you whether or not the cat is yours, you put your shoes on your head, and the cat down your pants. In this way you will save two lives.
Rosie Dempsey
Jun 06, 2013 Rosie Dempsey rated it liked it
Not enough can be said regarding the craziness of zen koans. I don't understand most of them, but then again, I'm not enlightened.
Pasquale
Jun 26, 2012 Pasquale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strano, essenziale, profondo o banale da vari punti di vista. In una mente occidentale puo' creare ironia. Noiosa l'ultima parte. Interessante concetto finale.
Isa Cantos (Crónicas de una Merodeadora)
Repito: dafuq did I just read? o.0

Parcial de Budismo de mañana, mátame ya que las demás materias no pudieron.
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Wumen Huikai (simplified Chinese: 无门慧开; traditional Chinese: 無門慧開; pinyin: Wúmén Huìkāi; Wade-Giles: Wu-men Hui-k'ai; Japanese: Mumon Ekai) (1183–1260) is a Song period Chán (Japanese: Zen) master most famous as the compiler of and commentator on the 48-koan collection The Gateless Gate (Japanese: Mumonkan). Wumen was at that time the head monk of Longxiang (Wade-Giles: Lung-hsiang; Japanese: ...more
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“Every day Zuigan used to call out to himself, "Master!" and then he answered himself, "Yes, Sir!" And he added, "Awake, Awake!" and then answered, "Yes, Sir! Yes, Sir!"
"From now onwards, do not be deceived by others!" "No, Sir! I will not, Sir!"

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“In spring, hundreds of flowers; in autumn, a harvest moon; In summer, a refreshing breeze; in winter, snow will accompany you. If useless things do not hang in your mind, Any season is a good season for you.” 1 likes
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