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The Gateless Gate: The Classic Book of Zen Koans
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The Gateless Gate: The Classic Book of Zen Koans

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  425 Ratings  ·  32 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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(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.
Chin Jian Xiong
Jun 21, 2016 Chin Jian Xiong rated it it was amazing

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


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
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.
Ilias Zagas
Jan 30, 2017 Ilias Zagas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Σίγουρα βιβλίο στο οποίο θα ξαναγυρίσω...έρχεσαι σε επαφή με την ανατολίτικη φιλοσοφία και τρόπο σκέψης..Ακόμα και αν δεν καταφέρεις να διαβείς την "πύλη" της διαφώτισης, σου παρουσιάζει μια διαφορετική οπτική αντιμετώπισης των ερωτημάτων που ενίοτε μας έχουν απασχολήσει..
"Ποιος είμαι πραγματικά;;;"
"Ποιο το νόημα της ύπαρξης μου;"....

"..there's no thing which you are..And nothing which you are not!"
Ngọc Phạm
Chắc chắn hay nhưng mình chưa đủ trình độ để hiểu. Hi vọng lần sau đọc lại sẽ ngộ ra được nhiều thứ.
Jan 24, 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 classi ...more
Jul 01, 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
May 15, 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 w ...more
Jim Parker
Mar 10, 2012 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
Jan Leent
Aug 14, 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
Jul 23, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it
See combined review attached to Gateless Barrier: Zen Comments on the Mumonkan.
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.
Jure Godler
Dec 14, 2012 Jure Godler rated it it was amazing
Good book. Yea. I love this one. Read it.
Travis Hosgood
Apr 09, 2014 Travis Hosgood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are hungry, eat. If you are thirsty, drink.
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.
This book annoyed me. I shall read it again.
Kris Freedain
Oct 22, 2013 Kris Freedain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 17, 2016 Dominik rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buy-in-print
exploring the Zen world in 48 -relatively- short commandments.

Mar 10, 2015 Jere rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple yet complex. Confusing and enlightening. A dazzling read.
This book will take some mental chewing.
Ben Hughes
Feb 22, 2015 Ben Hughes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52in52
This will be the first of many, many reads I think.
Terry Butler
Terry Butler rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2015
Geoffrey Brown
Geoffrey Brown rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2016
F. Robertson
F. Robertson rated it it was amazing
Nov 26, 2015
Jeffrey A, Hunt
Jeffrey A, Hunt rated it really liked it
Jan 15, 2016
nothing rated it it was amazing
Nov 29, 2016
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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: Ryus ...more
More about Wumen Huikai...

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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!"

“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.” 2 likes
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